Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Comic Cuts

Even long-time readers of Bear Alley will probably have forgotten the announcement originally made back in February 2007 that DLC were to publish a box-set of 'Karl the Viking' strips drawn by Don Lawrence "this summer". Well, the original plan fell apart almost as quickly as it was enthusiastically drawn up thanks to the amount of time it has taken to restore the artwork. I started writing the introductory material in April 2007 and completed the first couple of volumes in May... only to find that the book was being pushed back to November. I was back on the book in August and completed about 17,000 words when it was decided to push the book back again to March 2008, then to June. Various further delays have meant that I've not gotten back to it until now and we're looking at a "fourth quarter" release, somewhere around the time that the last (twelfth) Trigan Empire book appears.

However, I'm pleased to say that I do now have a complete draft of the introductory matter—clocking in at just over 20,000 words. No doubt there will be changes made before it reaches print but I can say in all honesty that I now know more about Vikings than I ever imagined I'd need to know. No doubt I'll have forgotten most of it by Friday.

John Freeman has announced an upgrade to his Down the Tubes website which has just moved to a new server. "Please let us know if you have any problems with the site or find any missing images." Well, the first thing I spotted was that the announcement was made on Thursday, 1 May 2008... but maybe that's what you'd expect from a former editor of Doctor Who Magazine.

(Yes, I know it's a cheap shot but it's been that kind of week.)

Talking of looking into the future (see, there was a reason for mentioning it), what was looking to be a slow news day has suddenly been livened up with some images.

Titan Books now have three Roy of the Rovers titles on their schedule to appear over the next few months:

The Best of Roy of the Rovers: The 1980s (ISBN 978-1845769482) is scheduled for 13 June; Roy of the Rovers Archives: Season 1954-55 (ISBN 978-1845769499) is scheduled for 15 July; and The Bumper Book of Roy of the Rovers (ISBN 978-1845769581) is scheduled for 22 August.

Titan have also announced Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbons, Chip Kidd & Mike Essl (ISBN 978-1848560413, 24 October 2008). Here's the synopsis: "Acclaimed as one of "Time Magazine's" 100 Best Novels, "Watchmen" is widely considered to be the greatest graphic novel of all time. "In Watching The Watchmen", artist Dave Gibbons gives his own account of the genesis of "Watchmen", opening his archives to reveal excised pages, early versions of the script original character designs, page thumbnails, sketches and much more, including posters covers and rare portfolio art.Featuring the breathtaking design of Chip Kidd and Mike Essl, "Watching The Watchmen" is both a major art book in its own right, and the definitive companion to the graphic novel that changed an industry."

Yet more pictures... the next James Bond collection James Bond: The Paradise Plot (ISBN 978-1845767167) is to be released on 27 June. And the Modesty Blaise: Yellowstone Booty collection (ISBN 978-1845764197) due 23 May seems to have had a cover change. The first is one that I've posted previously, the second the image that has just appeared on Amazon.

Next up we have the following titles announced by Prion, some of which I've mentioned previously, some of which are newly announced and some of which have moved around in the schedule. I've managed to grab one tiny cover image. I'll post better images when they become available.

War Picture Library: Against All Odds, edited by Steve Holland (ISBN 978-1853756610, 4 August 2008)

The Best of 2000AD (ISBN 978-1853756689, 1 September 2008)
The Best of Boyfriend, edited by Melissa Hyland (ISBN 978-1853756658, 1 September 2008)
The Best of Punch Cartoons, edited by Helen Walasek (ISBN 978-1853756795, 1 September 2008)
The Biggest Jackie Annual Ever! The Best Thing for GirlsNext to Boys (ISBN 978-1853756672, 1 September 2008)
Commando: Bandits at 12 O'clock, edited by George Low (ISBN 978-1847321282, 1 September 2008)
Hospital Nurse Picture Library: Love on Ward B, edited by Melissa Hyland (ISBN 978-1853756665, 1 September 2008)

The Art of War, edited by David Roach (ISBN 978-1853756627, 6 October 2008)
Battle Picture Library: Let 'em Have It, edited by Steve Holland (ISBN 978-1853756719, 6 October 2008)
The Best of Alex 2008 by Charles Peattie & Russell Taylor (ISBN 978-1853756894, 6 October 2008)
High Noon: Wild West Picture Library, edited by Steve Holland (ISBN 978-1853756726, 6 October 2008)
Look-In: The Best of the Eighties, edited by Graham Kibble-White (ISBN 978-1853756863, 6 October 2008)
Rick Random, Space Detective, edited by Steve Holland (ISBN 978-1853756733, 6 October 2008)

It looks like there will be plenty of choice if you're planning to ask Santa for copies of some of these for Christmas. Some of the other titles already announced by Titan and Rebellion for the latter half of 2008 can be found here.

A few more bits of news from hither and yon...

* BBC Radio 4's Word of Mouth show for Tuesday (29 April) discussed the use of talk bubbles and how speech is conveyed in comics and cartoons. Presenter Michael Rosen visited the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury and talks with the Museum's curator Anita O'Brien and Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson, followed by interviews with Oli Smith & Co. at Camden Market and Posy Simmonds.

* Two of the things mentioned one the show: Anita O'Brien mentions that the Cartoon Museum will be hosting a celebration of 70 years of Beano from July and this Sunday's children's magazine show go4it will be interviewing Philip Pullman about his upcoming comic strip and will be taking a trip to the Dan Dare exhibition at the Science Museum. The show is on Radio 4 at 7:15 pm.

* Brian Heater interview David Lloyd at The Daily Cross Hatch (part 1 of 2, 25 April). (link via Journalista)

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