Monday, June 09, 2008

Comic Cuts

Let chaos reign. We're having the windows done so I'm writing everything to the shriek of drills and the thump and crack of shattering glass as the old wooden frames are ripped out and nice new plastic frames go in. It's a job that's been on the cards for a few years but our landlord has only just gotten around to it.

It's going to be pretty chaotic around here for the next couple of months as there's a lot of other work lined up—the porch is going to be ripped down and there's redecorating and re-roofing still to come. We're moving furniture and shelves around constantly and for about four weeks we're going to have to put a lot of it in storage while rooms are redecorated because there just aren't any nooks or crannies where we can squeeze more things into. All our nooks and crannies are stuffed to the gills already.

I'm still on the Sci-Fi Art book juggling bits of writing with desperate and frantic e-mails trying to locate pictures. I'm nearly three-quarters of the way through the text but there's a long way to go with the illustrations as I've probably only got a third of the number I need. Anyone with lots of sf pulps and US paperbacks is more than welcome to get in touch if they fancy doing some scanning.

Here are a couple of strays that won't be in the SF book but, as I had them off the shelf anyway I thought I'd pop them on the scanner. One of my first loves about science fiction was the Chris Foss covers that were appearing in the early 1970s—this isn't going to be news to regular readers but I got heavily into sf around 1974 and every paperback (except New English Library) had a Foss spaceship, or a spaceship in the style of Chris Foss.

You never forget your first love, so I've always gotten a big buzz out of finding spaceship covers on older paperbacks. Here are a handful that I think you'll like. Forget your flying torpedoes—this is what spaceships ought to look like: colourful and with bits jutting out of them. Foss before Chris Foss.

Not sure who the artist is for the three Digit Books' covers but the top one is Norman Light, who deserves a gallery of his own. Something to think about doing to keep myself sane while they're tearing the house down around my ears maybe.

News from around the Net...

* Lew Stringer reviews The Beano: 70 Years of Fun, a special 68-page collectors edition commemorating the upcoming 70th birthday of "the best British comic ever" (or so it says on the cover).

* Hot-Shot Hamish has been appearing in Scotland's The Sunday Mail for some weeks. Episodes are being posted online. One of British comics' hidden gems, Hot-Shot was written by Fred Baker and drawn by Julio Schiaffino for Scorcher & Score, and subsequently for Tiger, back in the early 1970s; Hot-Shot then teamed up with Mighty Mouse from Roy of the Rovers, in which title the pair's adventures continued until 1991.

* Alan Grant is to be interviewed by Ian Rankin as part of the Borders Book Festival on Sunday, 22 June. (link via Down the Tubes)

* Talking of Alan Grant, you can now download for free the first issue of Wasted which should be hitting the shops in June (although I notice that the issue is dated May and was first posted online at least as early as February and maybe as far back in November 2007.

* Bryan Talbot remembers the Finnish comics festival Kemi over at Forbidden Planet International.

* Richard Bruton remembers the old Captain Britain over at the Forbidden Planet International blog before tackling the new series, Captain Britain and MI13, by Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk. The mainstream media made a mini-fuss over the appearance of Gordon Brown in the strip with the BBC Breakfast TV show discussing the appearance before being joined in the studio by Lawrence Etherington. The appearance even made the pages of the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail (all on 3 June). The latter interviewed writer Paul Cornell who is quoted as saying, "I'm quite a fan of Gordon Brown—so I'm pleased we've given him a PR boost on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world."

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, Fred Baker died earlier this month: I've posted a news item on the downthetubes blog and former Tiger editor Barrie Tomlinson has very kindly written a tribute to this prolific writer:



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