BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Comic Cuts

The workload has suddenly gone into overdrive this week as we're entering that last minute mad panic to get a whole bunch of books off to the printers. Two out of four volumes of the Karl the Viking box-set were sent on Monday and one went today; we're working on the last one now. While that's going on I've been proofing one Storm book and doing some minor rewrites on another; oh, and trying to work on the introduction for the first Trigan Collection volume. As you can imagine, I haven't got very far with the latter.

I'm trying to keep tabs on what's going on as it's going to be a busy couple of months for books coming outand there's a lot! Not surprising that something ridiculous like 70% of all yearly book sales are made on the run-up to Christmas (I'm not sure of the exact figure as it was something I half-heard on the radio; I presume this also includes the January sales). I'd love to get some sales figures for all the comics' related titles that are coming out but I've no access to Nielsen's charts. If anyone can suggest where I can get useable figures, please let me know.

And if anyone picks up any of the latest crop of books and wants to write a review for Bear Alley, just drop me a line.

Talking of reviews, the first reviews for Against All Odds, Love on Ward B and The Best of Boyfriend are in and, touch wood, all reviewers so far seem to like them. The links above will take you to the pages set up here on Bear Alley for each of the books.

Tomorrow I'll post a full run-down of recent releases and upcoming titles. In the meantime, here are a few books from other folk to break up the relentless self-promotion...

* David Bishop's monumental Thrill-Power Overload is to get a paperback edition early next year, he reports on his blog. "The £35 cover price meant TPO was never going to be a bestseller, but the mighty tome is something of an evergreen. Steady reorders mean Rebellion is down to its last handful of hardback copies. Once those first editions go, the book will be switched to paperback. The new edition is due out in February 2009, with a cover price of £25. I've already been through the text correcting minor errors that crept into the first printing. No idea if the new edition will also get a new cover - probably not. But it's a joy to know the book is staying in print.

* Gary Northfield's 'Derek the Sheep' will be well known to readers of the Beano. What you may not know is that it's the first creator-owned strip to appear in the paper and has also appeared in France as 'Norbert Le Mouton'. A collection of Derek's adventures has just been published by Bloomsbury.

* Alistair McGown has posted details of the upcoming (October) Look-In: Best of the 80s book from Carlton (see, it's not just me trying to flog their own books). Alistair reveals that the contents include "complete and unabridged full colour picture strip serials including Buck Rogers, Robin of Sherwood, The A-Team and CHiPs, more colour comic action with Danger Mouse, 5 Star and No 73 and classic black and white fun from the likes of Bucks Fizz, Haircut 100, Super Gran, Madness and Cannon and Ball."

* Titan are publishing Jane: The Misadventures of a Bright Young Thing in October, collecting a run of 541 episodes of the famous Daily Mirror strip that were published between October 1943 and January 1945. Recruited by British Army Intelligence, Jane spent the war battling 5th columnists and Nazi spies at home and engaging on secret missions deep inside enemy territory aided by her sausage-dog Fritz and her habit of losing her clothes at the drop of a hat. Jane's quintessentially British adventures are filled with 'Carry On' sauciness and light-hearted action that helped to make her a major morale boaster for the Allied forces.

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