BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Friday, September 05, 2014

Comic Cuts - 5 September 2014

I hope you're enjoying the serialised adventures of the Man in the Iron Mask. I needed a bit of a palette cleanser after spending so long on the latest couple of books and this proved just the ticket. I spent four frantic days digging around census records and through century-old newspapers looking for information and writing it up. Very intense and with new discoveries made every day. Just the kind of excitement I needed after a couple of weeks that have been for the most part a slow and steady grind of cleaning artwork.

Well, that particular job is done, the introduction is written and the cover is... under way, finally. I had to admit defeat when it came to turning an idea into reality, so I've asked someone else to take a look at it. They've already made some smart suggestions and with any luck we might have something to show off next week.

In the meantime, I'm laying out the pages; I'm waiting on an introduction from someone who was intimately involved with the strip and things are moving along at a smart clip now that I've got my act back together.

As for the current serial, I'm planning to rejig the whole thing and put it together as an e-book and maybe even as a small booklet to sell locally. There will be a few more details that I didn't think were necessary for Bear Alley. Indeed, it's not the sort of thing I would normally post here, but I like to think that it has been a nice change for you, dear readers, as much as it has been for me.

As there's another episode of Iron Mask to read, I'm going to keep this short. There isn't much news anyway. We've had over 100 cherry tomatoes off one plant and 30 larger tomatoes from another. I'm having tomatoes with everything except my coffee, although I have been known to scoff down the cherry tomatoes like treats.

Our random scans selection is a few strays that I've picked up over the last couple of weeks. Alphabetically, I think you can't help but start with Ben Aaronovitch. Rivers of London I picked up because I recognised the author's name as someone connected with Doctor Who. The book is an "urban fantasy police procedural", the first of a series that has the intriguing concept that a small unit of the Met Police has been created to investigate supernatural crimes. There are currently four titles in the series with two more promised for 2014 and 2015. The cover design by Patrick Knowles had me hooked even before I read the blurb.

I snaffled up The Serene Invasion based on the Dominic Harmon cover.  I've not read anything by Brown, although I'm aware of him and his stories have won a couple of British SF Awards. He's on my "to try" list and this seems as good a place to start as any.

William Boyd seemed an intriguing choice when it was announced that he was to write the next James Bond novel. In the wake of Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks (which was OK) and Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver (which wasn't). Boyd's book arrived in the wake of the broadcast of a 2-part spy thriller entitled Restless, which I'd really enjoyed. I picked up the novel and enjoyed that, so I have high hopes of Solo, which Boyd has set in 1969, an almost chronological continuation of the original Fleming novels. As usual, I'm so far behind with my reading that it's probably getting close to the time when they'll be announcing the author of the next Bond novel.

I'll be finishing off the Iron Mask story over the weekend. It might drift into Monday as there are a few loose threads I'd like to tease before I leave the subject, but I might leave those for the e-book. I've also got to sort out the monthly releases listings for recent and upcoming British comics' related books. Anything else depends on what time I have.

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