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Monday, June 26, 2017

Richard Cowper cover gallery

Pen-name of John Middleton Murry

NOVELS AS COLIN MURRY

The Golden Valley (London, Hutchinson, 1953)
(no UK paperback)

Recollections of a Ghost (London, Hutchinson, 1960)
(no UK paperback)

A Path to the Sea (London, Hutchinson, 1961)
(no UK paperback)

Private View (London, Dobson, 1972)
(no UK paperback)

NOVELS AS RICHARD COWPER

Breakthrough (London, Dobson,1967)
Pan/Ballantine 0345-01653-x, (Jan) 1972, 218pp, 30p. Cover by Steele Savage

Phoenix (London, Dobson, 1968)
Pan/Ballantine 0345-01856-7, 1972, 186pp.

Domino (London, Dobson, 1971)
(no UK paperback)

Kuldesak (London, Gollancz, 1972)
Quartet Books 0704-31075-9, (Dec) 1973, 186pp, 50p. Cover by Jim Burns
Orbit 0704-31075-9, 1976, 186pp, 60p. Cover by Chris Achilleos

Clone (London, Gollancz, 1972)
Quartet Books 0704-31116-x, 1974, 168pp, 40p. Cover by Jim Burns
Pan Books 0330-26179-7, (Jun) 1981, 167pp, £1.25. Cover by Ian Pollock
VGSF/Gollancz 0575-04694-5, (Mar) 1990, 189pp, £3.50. Cover by John Higgins

Time Out of Mind (London, Gollancz, 1973)
Quartet Books/Orbit 0704-31242-5, 1976, 134pp, 60p. Cover by Chris Achilleos

The Twilight of Briareus (London, Gollancz, 1974)
Quartet Books/Orbit 0704-31248-4, 1976, 254pp, 70p. Cover by Chris Achilleos
Pan Books 0330-26022-7, (May) 1980, 235pp, £1.25. Cover by Geoff Taylor
VGSF/Gollancz 0575-04693-7, (Sep) 1990, 255pp, £3.99. Cover by John Higgins

Worlds Apart (London, Gollancz, 1974)
(no UK paperback)

Profundis (London, Gollancz, 1979)
Pan Books 0330-26178-9, (Oct) 1980, 158pp, £1.25. Cover by Ian Pollock

The Road to Corlay (London, Gollancz, 1978)
Pan Books 0330-25697-1, (May) 1979, 156pp, 80p.
Orbit/Futura 0708-88195-5, (Apr) 1986, 202pp, £2.25. Cover by Mick Van Houten

A Dream of Kinship (London, Gollancz, 1981)
Orbit/Futura 0708-88200-5, (Jun) 1986, 239pp, £2.50. Cover by Mick Van Houten

A Tapestry of Time (London, Gollancz, 1982)
Orbit/Futura 0708-88199-8, (Aug) 1986, 186pp, £2.50. Cover by Mick Van Houten

Shades of Darkness (Kerosina Books, 1986)
(no UK paperback)

COLLECTIONS AS RICHARD COWPER

The Custodians and Other Stories (London, Gollancz, 1976)
Pan Books 0330-25364-6, 1978, 144pp, 60p. Cover by Geoff Taylor

The Web of the Magi (London, Gollancz, 1980)
(no UK paperback)

Out There Where the Big Ships Go (New York, Pocket Books, 1980)
(no UK paperback)

The Tihonian Factor (London, Gollancz, 1984)
(no UK paperback)

The Magic Spectacles and Other Tales (Kerosina Books, 1986)
(no UK paperback)

NON-FICTION AS COLIN MIDDLETON MURRAY

One Hand Clapping: A Memoir of Childhood (London, Gollancz, 1975; as I at the Keyhole, New York, Stein and Day, 1975)
(no UK paperback)

Shadows on the Grass (London, Gollancz, 1977)
(no UK paperback)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Comic Cuts - 23 June 2017

I'm pleased to say that my erratic internet connection has been working well all week. Now, excuse me while I go and find some wood to touch. It's a pointless superstition but one I've never been able to wean myself off. Why would "touching wood" cause Fate to respond to someone making a confident statement by sending them bad luck?

Elsewhere in the world, the phrase "knock on wood" seems to be more common, and it would appear that the phrase dates back to the age of Pagans who believed fairies, sprites, dryads and other mystical creatures lived in the trees. So you would knock or touch the tree if you wanted good luck.

Since most of the shelves surrounding me are laminated chipboard, but some of the old magazines I own are made from wood pulp, would I be better off touching them? How much more luck do you get from a pulp magazine rather than a newspaper? And by the time the wood has been cut, pulped, soaked and reconstituted as paper, sliced into sheets and rebound as books, how many of them contain a whole fairy? How much luck is there in half a sprite or random bits of dryad?

These are the sort of questions we need Q.I. for.

After mentioning the death of Alan Austin last week. I heard of two more deaths relating to British comics on Monday: Carlos Prunes, a Spanish artist who worked over here for twenty-odd years, and Gordon Livingstone, one of the main figures who shaped Commando, drawing 372 issues, roughly two-thirds of which have been reprinted. That means Livingstone was responsible for an eighth of Commando's total run of just over 5,000 issues.

I managed to write up a piece for Prunes (scroll down for which) and we will be running an obituary for Gordon shortly.

I haven't had a chance to get back to the Valiant index for a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping to maybe spend a couple of days on it next week. I mentioned a book that someone had said they were putting out some years ago and said that the author should get their finger out... only to realise that it has been a couple of years since I managed to get one of these indexes out, so I'm not exactly in a position to cast aspersions.

We have the first tomatoes on our tomato plants. Judging by the number of flowers, we should have a reasonable crop. And on that good news....

Random scans: I have some "Red" themed covers left over from last week:


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Carlos Prunes (1937-2017)

Spanish artist Carles Prunés Álvarez, who signed his work Carlos Prunes, died on 18 June 2017, aged 79. A prolific artist in the UK for twenty years, his work was little known as it appeared exclusively in romance and girls’ comics. His work appeared most regularly in Valentine, the teenage romance comic where strips were based around the titles of the popular hits of the day; Prunes produced over 100 stories for that paper alone between December 1957 and March 1966.

At the same time he also contributed to other teenage girls’ titles, including Roxy, Marilyn and Serenade. When these titles began to wane in popularity in the mid-1960s, Prunes – through his agents Selecciones Illustrades – began contributing to D.C. Thomson’s girls’ comics, Mandy and, most notably, Diana, where he drew ‘Princess Cookie’ (1969), ‘Little Yoo in The Castle of Secrets’ (1970), ‘The Pendant of Peril’ (1974) and various complete stories. He occasionally appeared Fleetway’s girls’ titles, including Tammy (‘Dog Paddle Doris’, 1972) and June & School Friend (‘Which One’s the Spy?’, 1972-73).

Prunes was notably the first Spanish artist to contribute to the Warren magazines. Eighteen months ahead of the arrival of a number of Josep Toutain’s best artists, Prunes had contacted Warren independently and contributed “To Be or Not to Be a Witch” to Creepy 30 in 1969, although it proved to be his only contribution, Prunes turning down offers of more work in order to concentrate on illustration.

Born in Barcelona on 7 December 1937, Prunes studies at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios at the Llotja de Mar palace where he earned the title of Professor of painting and drawing. At the age of 19 he became one of the earliest artists to find work via Josep Toutain’s Selecciones Illustrades agency in the UK.

While still working for the UK, he also contributed war, crime and spy stories to various Spanish comics published by Toray, including Rosas Blancas (1959), Susana (1959), Brigada Secreta (1966), Hazanas Belicas (1966-71), ‘El Cid’ to Novelas Graficas Clasicas (1966), ‘Noel Bertrand’ in Huron (1967-69), ‘Ali Bey’ and ‘El Gran Capitan’ to Hombres Famosos (1969), Aventuras (1969) and Relator de Guerra (1970).

Prunes’ other major market was Germany where he contributed to various titles published by Bastei, including horror and sword & sorcery comics Geister Geschichten, Gespenster Geschichten and Spuk Geschichten.

During the 1970s, he began concentrating of cover art (e.g. El Mundo Futuro) and illustrations for children’s books, although he continued to contribute comic strips, including Cowboy (1976), Servicio Federal (1980) and La Historieta (1980) for Ediciones Ursus and a biography of Miguel Ángel for Comic Biografías (1983). In 1992 he drew the story of Los Espanoles en la Florida, part of the "Stories of the New World" series produced by Planeta-DeAgostini for the Quinto Centenario State Society.

Increasingly, he dedicated himself to painting and retired from drawing comics. An exhibition of his paintings took place at the Centre Cívic del Parc – Sandaru in Barcelona in February 2017.

(* Photo from Memories Illustradas, via Tebeosfera)

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 21 June 2017.

2000AD Prog 2036
Cover: Chris Weston
Judge Dredd: The Fields by Rob Williams (w) Chris Weston (a) Dylan Teague (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Brink: Skeleton Life by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
Defoe: Diehards by Pat Mills (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Grey Area: Back in Black by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Hunted: Furies by Gordon Rennie (w) PJ Holden (a) Len O'Grady (c) Ellie De Ville (l)

Judge Dredd Megazine 385
Cover: Phil Winslade
Judge Dredd: The Third Person by Michael Carroll Carl Critchlow (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Tales from the Black Museum: Bite Sized by Rory McConville (w) Andrew Currie (a) Annie Parkhouse
Havn by Si Spencer (w) Henry Flint (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Anderson, Psi Division: Dragon Blood by Alan Grant (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Lawless: Long-Range War by Dan Abnett (w) Phil Winslade (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Features:
New Books: Skizz, One-eyed Jack, Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
Obituary: Edmund Bagwell
Bagged reprint: Necrophim: Civil Warlord by Tony Lee (w) Lee Carter (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Monday, June 19, 2017

M. John Harrison cover gallery

NOVELS

The Committed Men (London, Hutchinson, 1971; revised, Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1971)
Panther Books 0586-03775-6, 1973, 137pp, 35p. Cover by Bob Haberfield
VGSF/Gollancz [VGSF Classics 32] 0575-04220-6, (Apr) 1989, 223pp, £3.50. Cover by Peter Elson

The Pastel City (London, New English Library, 1971; New York, Avon, 1971)
New English Library 0450-00764-2, (Sep) 1971, 144pp, 30p. Cover by Bruce Pennington
---- [?2nd imp.] (Jan) 1974, 144pp, 30p. Cover by Bruce Pennington
Sphere 0722-14441-5, (Sep) 1978, 142pp, 85p. Cover by Angus McKie
Unwin Paperbacks 0048-23333-1, (Apr) 1987, 142pp, £2.50. Cover by Kevin Tweddell

The Centauri Device (Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1974; London, Panther, 1975)
Panther Books 0586-04207-5, (Apr) 1975, 204pp, 50p. Cover by Peter Jones
Unwin Paperbacks 0048-23364-1, (Sep) 1986, 212pp, £2.95. Cover by Fred Gambino
Millennium [SF Masterworks 31] 1857-98997-x, (Jul) 2000, 205pp, £6.99. Cover by Chris Moore
---- [?2nd imp.] 2004
Gollancz 978-0575-08257-1, (Apr) 2009, 199pp, £7.99. Cover by Sanda Zahirovic

A Storm of Wings (Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1980; London, Sphere, 1980)
Sphere 0722-14442-3, (Dec) 1980, 185pp, £1.35. Cover by Chris Achilleos
Unwin 0048-23334-x, 1987, 189pp, £2.95.

In Viriconium (London, Gollancz, 1982; as The Floating Gods, New York, Timescape/Pocket Books, 1983)
Unwin Paperbacks 0048-23247-5, 1984, 126pp, £2.25. Cover by Linda Garland

Climbers (London, Gollancz, 1989)
Paladin 0586-09065-7, (Jul) 1991, 221pp, £4.99. Cover by John Harris
Flamingo 0586-09065-7, (Aug) 1993, 221pp, £5.99. Cover by Carol Fulton
Gollancz 978-0575-09217-4, (May) 2013, 234pp, £8.99. Cover by Sam Green

The Course of the Heart (London, Gollancz, 1992; San Francisco, CA, Night Shade Books, 2004)
Flamingo 0006-54602-1, 1993, 216pp, £5.99. Cover photo by Carol Fulton

Signs of Life (London, Gollancz, 1997)
Flamingo 0006-54604-8, (Apr) 1998, 253pp, £6.99. Cover by Dave McKean

Light (London, Gollancz, 2002)
Gollancz/Orion 0575-07026-9, 2002, 320pp, £10.99. Cover by Chris Moore
Gollancz 0575-07403-5, (Sep) 2003, 320pp, £6.99. Cover by Chris Moore
Gollancz/Orion 0575-07503-5, (Nov) 2007, 320pp, £7.99. Cover by Chris Moore
Gollancz 978-0575-07403-3, 2013, 320+16pp, £8.99. Cover by Sam Green

Nova Swing (London, Gollancz, 2006)
Gollancz/Orion 0575-07028-5, (Nov) 2006, 247pp, £9.99. Cover by Dominic Harman
Gollancz 0575-07969-x, (Nov) 2007, 247pp, £7.99. Cover by Dominic Harman

Empty Space (London, Gollancz, 2012)
Gollanc 978-0575-09631-8, (Jul) 2012, 302pp, £12.99. Cover by Sam Green
Gollancz 978-0575-09632-5, (Apr) 2013, 302pp, £8.99. Cover by Sam Green

NOVELS AS GABRIEL KING [with Jane Johnson]

The Wild Road (London, Century, 1997)
Arrow Books 0099-24252-4, (Nov) 1997, 463pp, £5.99.

The Golden Cat (London, Century, 1998)
Arrow Books 0099-24422-5, 1999, 350pp, £5.99.

The Knot Garden (London, Century, 2000)
Arrow Books 0099-29700-0, (Nov) 2001, 495pp, £5.99.

Nonesuch (London, Century, 2001)
Arrow Books 0099-29710-8, (Jun) 2002, 435pp, £6.99.

COLLECTIONS

The Machine in Shaft Ten and Other Stories (London, Panther, 1975)
Panther Books 0585-04191-5, (Jul) 1975, 174pp, 50p. Cover by Chris Foss

Viriconium Nights (London, Gollancz, 1982; New York, Ace Books, 1984; revised, London, Gollancz, 1985)
Unwin Paperbacks 0048-23330-7, (Aug) 1986, 158pp, £2.95. Cover by Linda Garland

The Ice Monkey (London, Gollancz, 1983)
Unwin Paperbacks 0048-23347-1, (Apr) 1988, 144pp, £2.95. Cover by Ian Miller
Flamingo 0006-54578-5, (Aug) 1993, 144pp, £5.99. Cover by Carol Fulton

Travel Arrangements (London, Gollancz, 2000)
Gollancz/Orion 0575-06832-9, (May) 2000, 262pp, £9.99.
Flamingo 0006-54603-x, (Nov) 2001, 262pp, £6.99.

OMNIBUS

Viriconium (contains In Viriconium and Viriconium Nights) (London, Unwin, 1988)
Unwin 0044-40245-7, 1988, xii+276pp, £3.95. Cover by Ian Miller

Things That Never Happen (contains The Ice Monkey and Travel Arrangements) (San Francisco, CA, Night Shade Books, 2003; abridged, London, Gollancz, 2004)
Gollancz 0575-07593-7, 2004, 436pp, £8.99. Cover by Stanley Spencer

Anima (contains Signs of Life and The Course of the Heart) (London, Orion, 2005)
Gollancz/Orion 0575-07594-5, 473pp, £8.99. Cover by Blacksheep

Viriconium (contains The Pastel City, Viriconium Nights, A Storm of Wings, In Viriconium)
Millennium/Orion [Fantasy Masterworks 7] 1857-98885-3, (Jul) 2000, 563pp, £7.99. Cover by Albert Godwin

GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Luck in the Head, illustrated by Ian Miller (London, VG Graphics, 1991)
Gollancz 0575-05037-3, 1991, 80pp, £8.99. Cover by Ian Miller

OTHERS

Fawcett on Rock by Ron Fawcett and John Beatty, with Mike Harrison [ghostwritten autobiography) (London, Unwin Hyman, 1987)
(no UK paperback)

Parietal Games: Critical Writings By and On M John Harrison, edited by Mark Bould and Michelle Reid (London, The Science Fiction Foundation, 2005)
SF Foundation 0803-00705-3, (Aug) 2005, 357pp. Cover by Colin Odell

Saturday, June 17, 2017

W. R. Hutton

W. Richard Hutton's writing career seems to have begun during the Second World War but it was a year after V.E. Day, that he suddenly found success writing crime and western paperbacks for Hamilton & Co., who published eight of his short novels in only six months. Some were little more than pamphlets, but a rather more substantial series appeared in 1947-49 from Fiction House who published a run of murder mysteries featuring Detective Inspector Goldie of Scotland Yard in their Piccadilly Novels line.

Hutton had two hardcover Western novels published in 1950 by Quality Press but seems to have disappeared soon after that, perhaps into pseudonymous anonymity.

Beyond the 22 novels listed below, Hutton continues to remain frustratingly elusive. The only firm information I have on him is that he was the honorary secretary of the Bristol Writers' and Artists' Association writers' collective (chairman Leslie Urquhart-White [born Leslie Dorando White], 1909-1972), who published a miscellany of prose and verse entitled Bristol Packet in 1944, reviewed in the Western Mail (23 November 1944) thus:
"Bristol Packet," a publication which seems to have been inspired by the appearance of "Wales" and "The Welsh Review," makes its bow at half-a-crown a time in a bright green and white cover. There are more than 60 poems, articles and short stories, some by experienced writers, others by unknown contributors banded together in the Bristol Writers' Association, with Mr. W. R. Hutton, of 19, Cavendish-road, Henleaze, as secretary. The contents have a strong Bristol tang, but Wales is represented by two writers, Keidrych Rhys and Idris Davies. Altogether it is an attractive publication, with a special interest for those who have watched the progress of similar literary ventures in Wales.
In March 1945, a report on an address by City Librarian James Ross at the Bristol Central Library, notes that the Bristol Writers' Association was present and a vote of thanks was proposed by Hutton (chairman), although the stated position may have been in error—all other mentions give his post as secretary.

In 1946 the Association was involved in setting up an exhibition of the work of a 30-year-old local artist named George Melhuish (1916-1985). After searching for available premises in Bristol and concluding that none could be found, the exhibition was moved to the Alpine Club in South Audley Street, London W1, where it ran between the 4th and 22nd of June 1946, partly funded by the Association from sales of stories by members.

Later in 1946, the Association, through Bristol-based Rankin Bros., published a slim volume of reproductions of Melhuish's work with an introductory essay by Hutton. This, as far as I can discover, is the last activity of the Association, although Hutton's connections with Bristol continued with the publication of two editions of Arrowsmith’s Guide to the City and County of Bristol in 1946-47.

The address given for Hutton in 1944 might offer a clue to his movements. The property was owned by Ernestine St John  Kiddle, who died there on 26 March 1941. A few months later, her furniture and effects were auctioned off, along with the property itself, a stone-built, semi-detached house conveniently situated with level approach to Dudham Down, shops and 'bus services. The house was big: five bedrooms, one of which had an en suite kitchen, meaning that the upper floor could be let as a separate flat.

Hutton was definitely living at that address in 1944-46 but had probably left by 1950. According to the local phone book, 19 Cavendish Road was the residence of Griffith Leonard Tanswell (1902-1994) in 1950-54. What became of Hutton after that remains a mystery.

PUBLICATIONS

Novels
Dead Man’s Range. London, Hamilton, Jun 1946.
Sinister Mistress. London, Hamilton, 1946.
Trigger Fever. London, Hamilton, Nov 1946.
Riders of the Bar X. London, Hamilton, Dec 1946.
Rustlers of the Night. London, Hamilton, Dec 1946.
Valley of Death (by Richard Hutton). London, Hamilton, Dec 1946.
Broadway Racket. London, Hamilton, Dec 1946.
Dead Men Tell (by Johnnie James). London, Grant Hughes, Dec 1946.
Enduring Passion. London, Hamilton, Apr 1947.
Not A Dog’s Chance. London, Piccadilly Novels, Sep 1947.
Death At the Golden Cockerel. London, Piccadilly Novels, Jan 1948.
Death Of A Wide-Boy. London, Piccadilly Novels, Apr 1948.
Rough Riders. London, Grant Hughes, 1948.
Death At the Drome. London, Piccadilly Novels, Jul 1948.
Outlaw’s Town. Glasgow, Muir-Watson, Apr 1949.
Murder In Transit. London, Piccadilly Novels, Apr 1949.
Outlaw of Lost Canyon. London, Grant Hughes, Jun 1949.
Colt Justice. London, Grant Hughes, Oct 1949.
Injun Brand. London, Hamilton, May 1950.
A Gun Totin’ Hombre. London, Quality, Oct 1950.
Arapaho Charlie. London, Quality, Dec 1950.
Gunslinger’s Luck. London, Hamilton, Sep 1951.

Non-fiction
George Melhuish, with an introduction by W. Richard Hutton. Bristol, Bristol Writers' & Artists' Association, 1946.
Arrowsmith’s Guide to the City and County of Bristol, 1946-1947. Bristol, J. W. Arrowsmith, 1946.
Arrowsmith’s Guide to the City and County of Bristol, 1947-1948. Bristol, J. W. Arrowsmith, 1947.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Comic Cuts - 16 June 2017

After a couple of slow and steady days I had a mare of a day on Wednesday which has rather thrown the whole week out of kilter. I'm off to visit family today (Friday) and Thursday is usually the day I spend writing the Comic Cuts column, cleaning up a selection of random scans and also writing the feature that is posted on Saturday (the latter often spills over into Friday and, if it involves lots of research, I'll often spend Sunday finishing it off for the following week).

So I only had three days to pack the paying bits of work into...

... and everything was going OK until Wednesday morning, when I woke up to no internet access. Reboot the wireless box. Internet returns... for about three minutes. Reboot the wireless box. Internet returns... this time for five minutes. Reboot the wireless box. No internet. Reboot the wireless box. Internet returns for three or four minutes.

And this has been the situation since I woke up. It's now ten o'clock on Wednesday evening and I rebooted the wireless box eight minutes ago. It died almost instantly. I can keep writing because Blogger allows me to work offline, but I can't save what I'm writing. All I can do is keep going and hope that, when I reboot the wireless box again in a couple of minutes, the connection to the internet will be stable enough for me to save the changes I've made.

So here I am, writing this on Wednesday, working on the theory that if I get this out of the way I may be able to catch up on the paying work tomorrow. If—and at the moment it's a big IF—the internet connection is stable. This has happened before with Talk Talk. Last time this happened, I phoned and was sent a new connector to plug into the phone socket. Since the connector was never the problem, I can't say I understood why. Now I understand why... the guy I spoke to had no idea what was wrong, so he sent me the new connector so that he could say that some action had been taken to resolve the problem. I really can't recommend Talk Talk to anyone. Since starting this paragraph, I've rebooted the wireless box twice.

And now it's Thursday morning. I eventually had to give up trying to write the column last night because the connection to the internet was so unstable I couldn't upload any images. The only positive that I can take from the problems I had on Wednesday is that I cleaned up quite a few covers.

I was saddened to hear that Alan Austin died in May after a long battle with cancer. Alan was a very active member when British comics fandom took off in the 1970s, publishing a great many fanzines and the first British comic book price guide. He was also a book dealer of note. I probably first met him at Westminster Comic Mart, but after moving to Alan's home town of Colchester, I would occasionally bump into him shopping or trawling around the charity shops. Oddly, I saw more of him than ever when I was doing research at the Family Records Centre in London, as, to get there, I had to walk through Exmouth Market, where Alan ran a shop for a few years.

Alan had written a book about his experiences which I believe will be published shortly.

And as I'm seeing red at the moment, what better theme to choose for our random scans than 'red'.