Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Comic Cuts

It's a slow news day from me. Not much to report. The latest (ninth) Trigan Empire: The Collection is at the printers and should be out in a couple of weeks; we're then looking at March for the publication of the Karl the Viking Box Set and the next Trigan Empire: The Collection, the tenth to be published but the fifth chronologically.

I've explained this before but it's worth repeating: when we set out to reprint all the Don Lawrence Trigan Empire stories, the decision was made to print the books depending on how much of the original artwork was available. The hope was that, as the series progressed and more people became aware of it, people who owned original artwork would come forward and allow Rob van Bavel (the publisher) to scan it so that each volume was the best we could possibly manage.

Thus, the first volume out was book 10, the second book 9, the third book 4, etc. as they were the most complete titles as far as original artwork went. The good news is that it worked: many additional pages have come to light which we have used in subsequent volumes and we are still searching even as work commences on the last few volumes.

There has been quite a gap between volumes this year due to the publication of an all-new Storm series and collection and the huge amount of time it has taken to clean up the artwork for the upcoming Karl the Viking volumes. Although I've worked on it in fits and starts, I estimate I'm about 1,000 words shy of completing the introductory material to the latter, which will be in a 4-book box set. The story text for the Trigan book was typed up months ago but I've still got to write the story intros. Should keep me busy over Christmas.

After that we'll be putting out Storm: The Collection volumes 8 and 9 as a pair; these will cover The Chronicles of Pandarve stories "The Living Planet", "Vandaahl the Destroyer" (vol. 8), "The Twisted World" and "The Robots of Far Sied" (vol. 9) which originally appeared in 1985-89 in Holland; three of them have never appeared in English (the first was translated for Heavy Metal many years ago).

So, my schedule of books for 2008 is starting to shape up and looks something like this (dates, as always, are likely to change):

Frank Bellamy's Robin Hood: The Complete Adventures. Book Palace, 2008.
Best of Valentine Story Picture Library. Carlton, Feb 2008. (introduction)
Trigan Empire: The Collection -- The Red Death. DLC, Mar 2008.
Karl the Viking: Box Set. DLC, Mar 2008.
Storm: The Collection vol. 8. DLC, Sum 2008.
Storm: The Collection vol. 9. DLC, Sum 2008.
The Fleetway Libraries vol. 2: The Thriller Libraries. Book Palace, 2008.
Best of War Picture Library vol. 2. Carlton, Sep 2008.
Best of Battle Picture Library vol. 2. Carlton, Sep 2008.

I shall see if I can add a few more to that over the next few months. I have a couple of projects up my sleeve that I might have time to work on early next year. We shall see.

Here's a little round-up of news from elsewhere...

* More newspaper coverage of the new Dan Dare. "Five decades on, Dan Dare blasts back to save the world" says Bill Mouland of the Daily Mail (17 November). Meanwhile, Ben Hoyle of The Times (17 November) claims "Dan Dare and the Mekon blast back into the bestseller stakes" as he discusses the recent spate of retro books, including Eagle Annual: The Best of the 1950s Comic.

* Jess Nevins has extensively annotated Alan Moore & Kev O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier for Comic Book Resources (15 November).

* Talking of Alan Moore, he has just appeared in an episode of The Simpsons alongside Art Spiegelman and Daniel Clowes which quickly found its way to YouTube -- and almost as quickly found itself off YouTube again due to Twentieth Century Fox. The above screen capture comes from Journalista. Also from Journalista comes a link to an interview with Chris Staros by Tom Spurgeon (19 November) about French publisher Delcourt's recent announcement that they will not be publishing a French-language translation of Lost Girls.

* Talking of Kev O'Neill, he's interviewed by Emmett Furey at Comic Book Resources (20 November). There are photos of a recent signing by Kev during his tour of the USA to be found here (The Savage Critics, 20 November).

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