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Monday, November 17, 2008

Comic Cuts

Lots of news today so I'll plough through it as expediently as I can.

Firstly, take a look at the fabulous cover above which is the cover for Sci-Fi Art: A Graphic History. It's by Vincent Di Fate, who is one of the finest artists working in SF. I loved his artwork when I first saw it in the 1970s, when I was buying Analog. When we were putting the book together, one of the pictures I wanted to use was something Vincent had painted for NASA; Vincent very graciously gave permission to use the image and came up with a couple of suggestions for images we might use in the chapter in the book devoted to him. To have him also doing the cover is an honour.

Did I mention that the book's foreword has been written by Brian Aldiss?

The book's on track for publication in January in the UK, so make sure you save those gift vouchers or whatever cash you get for Christmas.

And then start saving your pennies again, because the next volume of War Picture Library is coming out in April. And here's the cover (provisional... it might change)...

Up And At 'Em! has ten classic tales from the 1963-65 era, including artwork by Gino D'Antonio, Victor de la Fuente and Larry Horak from scripts by Norman Worker, Donne Avenell, A. Carney Allan and James Edgar. Again, it's a collection I'm very happy with... you could almost pick stories at random from that period and always come up with a winner (although, I hasten to add, that the selection process is a little more complex than a list and a pin!). The previous volumes have received some excellent reviews and I think this one matches the others for action, adventure and artistry. Here's the blurb from Carlton:

"Fix bayonets! Stand by to go over the top with the third volume of ten complete blood-and-glory combat stories from the War Picture Library. This selection promises to take you from the mud and thunder of the trenches to the sweat and suffering of the jungle in a series of adrenalin-fuelled picture stories that represent the cream of War's 25 years' of publishing.To display the amazing comic-book art that brought these stories so vividly to life to its best advantage, each adventure is reproduced here 25 per cent larger than in the original War Picture Library editions, drawing you even further into the action.Whether you are a seasoned campaigner, or whether this is your first experience of War, Up And At 'Em! will have you marching shoulder to shoulder and dodging bullets with some of the toughest fighting men ever to storm the pages of a comic book!"

Third bit of news: I mentioned in the piece on artist Michael Codd (scroll down to take a look at the little gallery I put together) that I'd been looking through some old issues of the men's magazine Mayfair. There was quite a bit of comics-related content that I suspect will be of interest to regular readers of Bear Alley, not least a lot of strip material (no pun intended) by Angus McBride and Don Lawrence. But as it involves a certain amount of sexual content... what to do? There's nothing especially X-rated about them but as I publish a lot of information about children's authors and have posted a lot of children's illustrations and artwork from nursery comics, there's a good chance that young children are sometimes visiting Bear Alley and I like to think that I'm a fairly responsible adult when it comes to this kind of thing.

So I've set up a little side-alley called... ahem... Bare Alley so I can post some of the cartoons and strips I found. I don't expect I'll be finding vast amounts of this kind of thing but it's handy to have somewhere I can post to if I do stumble across more of this kind of thing.

I've posted some examples of Angus McBride's cartoons and illustrations (1974 vintage) plus a few episodes of a comic strip he began producing in 1975 called "Adam's Eves" which, I have to admit, I'd never even heard of before Friday. Very nice artwork, as you'd expect from McBride.

And yet more news... you can now pick up the slip-cased version of the Karl the Viking four-volume box-set via Amazon. It's not cheap, but it's a beautifully produced edition of the four books with a print unique to the set.

Next Sunday, David Roach, David Leach and I will be appearing at ComICA to ramble about British comics. The guest list for the season is incredible: best place for information is Paul Gravett's long list of upcoming events. The full line-up for Sunday the 23rd, which is when we're appearing, includes...

Great British Comics - Past, Present & Future
How do the comics of our childhoods stand up to today? Boyfriend, Eagle, Battle, Rick Random and more are being reappreciated thanks to a wave of compilations, artbooks and studies.

In the first half of this event Steve Holland, David Leach and David Roach examine the creators behind these wizard wheezes and ripping yarns.

In the second half, cartoonists Adam Brockbank, John and Patrice Aggs, Gary Northfield and Sarah McIntyre from new weekly The DFC compare notes on how to make comics appeal to 21st century kids. More...

Supported by Bloomsbury, Carlton, DFC & Titan

Where: Nash & Brandon Rooms, ICA
When: Sunday, 23 November, 2pm to 3.30pm

Stripping Off - Erotic Comics
From Playboy and bandes dessinées to hentai manga and webcomics, an adults-only romp through the sex and sexualities in modern X-rated comics with special guests including artists Erich Von Gotha, Lynn Paul Meadows, Garry Leach and and Wicked Wanda writer Frederic Mullaly. Hosted by Tim Pilcher, author of the two-volume Erotic Comics: A Graphic History. More...
With The Erotic Review & Ilex Press

Where: Nash & Brandon Rooms, ICA When: Sunday, 23 November, 4pm to 5pm

Live From Kirby Plaza
Jack 'The King' Kirby not only co-created much of the Marvel Universe, including Captain America and The X-Men, but also created the Fourth World epic for DC and pioneered romance and kid gang genres in American comic books. His legend and legacy are celebrated by Paul Gambaccini, Mike Lake and Chrissie Harper, editor of the 15th anniversary edition of Jack Kirby Quarterly. Hosted by Paul Gravett, with live transatlantic links to Greg Theakston, Kirby confidante and author of the new biography Jack Magic, Vertigo artist James Romberger and Kirby Museum archivist Rand Hoppe. More...
Supported by Jack Kirby Quarterly & Quality Communications

Where: Nash & Brandon Rooms, ICA When: Sunday, 23 November, 5.30pm to 7pm

Tickets for the day's talks are individually priced £6 (£5 concs., £4 members) or you can can an all-day ticket for all three talks for £15 (£12 concs., £9 members).

While we're talking about talks, Pat Mills is giving a talk about his collaboration with Joe Colquhoun on Charley's War, the landmark graphic retelling of the ordinary Tommy’s experience of World War I, at the Cartoon Museum. The talk is at 6.30-7.30pm on Wednesday, 26 November.

It's worth taking a look at the Cartoon Museum site as they also have a number of talks lined up in early 2009 relating to Giles and Punch magazine (the link is under "Cartoon Classes and Events"), plus an ongoing Giles exhibition that runs to 15 February 2009.


Vexillia said...

Steve why are there only 10 stories in "Up 'N' Them"? The previous volumes had 12. Will the price change?

Steve said...

The volumes are slimmer due to rising costs: the high cost of oil always has an adverse effect on printing costs as oil (or oil derivatives) are used in the manufacture of paper; and transport costs also soar. The costs are hitting American newspapers especially hard at the moment and it has also made a lot of publishers in the USA and UK look carefully at their schedules.

Slimmer books at the same price are going to be a fact of life for 2009 as titles are being planned, budgeted and written now. There's at the very least a nine month lag between commission and publication so expect a lot of slimmer books over the next year, or planned books to be pushed back in the hope that falling oil prices (which we're seeing at the moment) are reflected in lower print costs in the future.

Anonymous said...

Regarding BARE Alley....great idea! I will add it to my Newsreader and keep an eye on it...but comments might be few and far between, as you've not enabled Anonymous commenting ;-)

John Freeman said...

Worth mentioning Vincent di Fate has a web site perhaps:

The book looks great, Steve.