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Friday, June 05, 2015

Comic Cuts - 5 June 2015

For some reason I spent most of Wednesday thinking it was Thursday and that I needed to get my usual Friday Comic Cuts column written. A sense of slight panic can be seen in the fact that I ended up posting the Commando releases a day early. It felt like the old cliche of having two figures perched on my shoulders arguing over what day it was. The logical side of my brain told me that it was Wednesday, sure as Wednesday follows Tuesday. The nervous, illogical side, meanwhile, was insisting that Wednesday was yesterday and today was Thursday.

Maybe one day is too much like the previous day and I haven't got anything different planned for the next day. I'm trying to figure out how best to schedule my work week. I've spent about half the week on the magazine and half wrangling the mess I've generated in the past thirty-five years. People following my Facebook feed have been seeing a random selection of what I've turfed out of boxes and trays (the kind tomatoes come in) ranging from a random episode of Beau Peep from the Daily Star to the cover of the Daily Telegraph Review which, for Christmas 1992, contained a short Doctor Who story by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Mike Collins & David Roach (and, Mike reminds me, coloured by Who regular James Offredi). Other recent oddments include an invite to the 2009 launch of Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid and promo material for the Kidnapped graphic novel by Alan Grant & Cam Kennedy and mine and David Roach's The War Libraries index.

Here's a bonus for Bear Alley followers: the full set of four promo postcards for Kidnapped showing some pencil art by Cam Kennedy.

As you can imagine, the clean-up is going slowly because I stop to scan every other bit of paper that I come across. That said, I've cleared three trays completely and one box in the past few weeks; one tray was of books that I found space for on shelves and the small pile of paperwork that I'm saving will fit neatly into a much smaller box.

Even if I stop scanning (which I've no intention of doing for at least another month), I believe I can store everything in a far more compact way. Some things I'll flog off via eBay or direct sale through Bear Alley to raise a bit of cash to put towards the cost of doing research. Believe it or not, doing this kind of work can be quite expensive, probably clocking in at around £400 a year. I've just spent £20 on a marriage and a death certificate for the upcoming Harry Bensley book and next month I have my subscription of Find My Past due, followed a month later by Ancestry, which cost £240 between them.

Not that I mind. I use both sites constantly in my research. But it might be useful if I could offset those costs some way.

Today's random scans come from a 1975 New English Library magazine about Edgar Rice Burroughs, edited by Penelope Grant and aimed at the same people who were buying Science Fiction Monthly. It had the same mix of articles and posters, with features including articles by John Brosnan, Walter Gillings, Dick Ellingsworth and Jim Cawthorn. Mike Moorcock was interviewed about scripting The Land That Time Forgot and  the cover boasted "new Edgar Rice Burroughs fiction"... well, kind of... the magazine included a spoof biography written by Burroughs, which probably wasn't the kind of fiction readers thought they would be getting.

But the big draw, for me anyway, was the posters by W. Francis. Phillips, Chris Achilleos and two by Bruce Pennington.

More random miscellanea next week. See you then.

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