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Friday, March 25, 2016

Comic Cuts - 25 March 2016

A frustrating week. My second proof for Iron Mask arrived but the printer had screwed up the pagination and the 44 page first proof had mysteriously become a 48 pager with four blank pages at the rear. Not only does it look terrible, but it moved a map away from the centre pages where it was intended as the centrespread. I'm still waiting to hear the explanation and whether they can guarantee to print the book properly when I make a larger order.

To balance things out, a copy of Spaceship Away arrived (review tomorrow) plus a huge thumping new volume from Robert Kirkpatrick, whose name you'll recognise from his articles here at Bear Alley. His new book, Pennies, Profits and Poverty: A biographical directory of wealth and want in Bohemian London, looks at the penny dreadful era and how some writers and publishers found success while others grubbed a living from their pens. I'll review it properly once I've had a chance to read it all, but, dipping in, I've discovered some fascinating details about some of the old writers that I never knew.

And then another stumble: the magazine has been shunted back a week because there was no time to sell advertising. Nobody's fault, that's just the way the schedules fell for the sales team, so we've shuffled the dates forward; now I've got a planning meeting on my birthday. Bugger.

Karma snaps back and  I've managed to scan over 500 book covers in the past couple of weeks; now comes the cleaning up. Some of the covers are really poor and beyond repair, but I must admit that I do like taking out the creases and trying to get the cover back to where it would be the day it appeared on the spinner racks fifty or sixty years ago. The column header is a clue as to what I've been busy scanning.

David Ainsworth often sends over cover scans, and it's he who has inspired this week's random scans column. His Ross Angel cover had some nasty creases and a small chunk of the young lady's face was missing, which I've repaired as best I can. I'm not sure who the original artist is here.

The cover for Easy Come Easy Go is signed Gilmore but is by none other than Oliver Brabbins. Drop Dead looks to me like John Pollack (although he usually signs his work), but I'm a little stuck on Skid Row. Anyway, they make a nice quartet.


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