Having bemoaned the fact that I've been juggling a number of different projects and not actually finished anything for a couple of weeks, I'm pleased to say that, as of 9:53 am, my work on Trigan Empire--The Collection is done. Finished. Over. I've just mailed off the last few corrections to the proofs of the twelfth and final volume.
Next week, the files for the last two volumes (12 and 1) will be sent to the printers and we'll have the printed books in January; at that point the whole of the Trigan Empire saga as written by Mike Butterworth and drawn by Don Lawrence will be back in print for the first time. 974 pages of artwork plus a 5-page text story. Of course, fans of the series will know that the Trigan Empire had a number of other contributors and the saga actually runs an additional 664 pages, but I believe 99.9% of fans agree that the Butterworth/Lawrence era was when the strip was at its peak. The completest in me wouldn't mind seeing all of those pages reprinted, too, but that's an idea that can be explored later. I somehow doubt that this will be the last I see of The Trigan Empire!
When the last two books are out I'll set up a permanent page for the series but, until then, I thought you might enjoy seeing the following...
The first image comes from the story 'The Invasion From Gallas' as it was originally drawn for Ranger in 1967. However, when the strip was reprinted in the Dutch weekly Sjors in 1969, that page, for some unknown reason, was missing and Don Lawrence redrew it. The 'Invasion' storyline has only ever been reprinted in the UK in Vulcan at a time when that comic was being distributed in Scotland. The Sjors version has appeared in a number of album reprints over the years but this is the first time it has been seen here in the UK. The Dutch-language version of the Trigan Collection restores the original page, which was re-discovered many years later. As we've also restored the first few storylines back to their original formats, there should be something new for most readers who have only read the Look and Learn Book of The Trigan Empire, the Hamlyn Trigan Empire or even the Vulcan reprints.
Guess I should be getting back to cleaning up artwork for the next book and start thinking about the one after that. No rest for the freelance.
(* The Trigan Empire © IPC Media.)