BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Friday, November 27, 2015

Comic Cuts - 27 November 2015

I lead a very dull and uninteresting life most of the time. It's why my hobbies can so easily take over every working moment of the day. I was trying to think back over the past week, searching for something exciting to tell you and I came up with this: my electric razor has a long hair trimmer that you have to push up to engage. I use it quite a lot, but, on Friday last, it jammed in the upwards position, making it impossible for me to use the razor in the normal way. On Saturday I had to buy a new one and was surprised at how expensive they were because it has been so damn long since I bought the last one.

Surprise at how expensive things are nowadays is a kind of default setting for me as I rarely replace anything that still has some life in it. Electrical goods have to be utterly unworkable and clothing... well, the odd odd bit of wear and tear is fine as long as it's not obvious or obscene. After all, I work from home, so it's not as if anyone is going to see me.

I replaced a pair of shoes earlier this year because I'd literally worn a hole through the sole; I've finally dumped some t-shirts, pants and socks that were little better than dish rags; and I'm keeping a careful eye on one of my jumpers where the stitching has gone under the armpit. I don't want you to picture me as some kind of latter-day Scrooge, but I suspect that I am probably some kind of latter-day Scrooge. I'd rather spend my money on things I like rather than things that really don't need replacing. To illustrate this point, earlier today I found a photo of myself taken at my Dad's on Christmas Day 1993 and had to laugh because I was wearing the same jumper as I put on this morning.

Twenty-two years on there's some grey in my hair, little Alex is now big Alex and the ghostly figure at the window really is now a ghost (it's my Dad, outside having a cigarette, eight years before he died). But the jumper is still the same one!

Happy, slim days! I suspect I was about 3 stone lighter back then.

I'm hoping to pick up the pace on Bear Alley a little ahead of Christmas and will hopefully have a nice surprise for readers... a lost British comic strip that I'm trying to sort out now. It might start next week, it might not. It all depends on how quickly I can sort out the strips.

For our random scans this week, I thought I'd offer a few British reprints of Gold Medal hardboiled yarns. New Fiction Press published editions of novels by Edward Ronns, Bruno Fischer and Joseph Hilton Smuth, who wrote the anonymous I, Mobster. The covers are all redrawn after the originals, some of them very nicely done. Artwork for the original Gold Medal editions: The Lady Kills is uncredited, Catspaw Ordeal is by Willard Downes, while both I Can't Stop Running and I, Mobster are both by Barye Phillips. I have no idea who repainted the artwork for New Fiction Press but they made a pretty good job of it.

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