Friday, May 08, 2009

Comic Cuts

I have a few bits of news that I'll try to wrap up quickly so you can get on with the final episode of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hope you've all enjoyed this... and for fans of "Eagles Over the Western Front", don't panic—Harry will be back on Monday in another story.

The cold seems to be abating. Good news as I've not been very enthusiastic about doing any work for a few days and the clean-up on the latest book has been crawling along at a snail's pace. I did get some additional scanning done but I've not written anything longer than an e-mail all week.

Talking of which, I've had my usual bizarre selection of e-mails this week, everything from the usual "how much is this worth" kind of thing to friendly contacts with relatives of some of the people I've written about here on Bear Alley over the years. These are always exciting as there's a chance of getting fresh information—the lifeblood of Bear Alley. I'd love to get more insight into the people I write about; lists of work are just the bare bones of a career and don't tell you much about the people themselves, which is why I always welcome comments from colleagues and family.

I also heard from someone who wants to challenge the information on an author's date of birth listed at the Library of Congress based on evidence they found here on BA (it's the piece I wrote on Hal Dunning, if you're interested). I'm going to have to be doubly careful about the information I present from hereon.

The post this week has also brought in new articles by Jeremy Briggs and Gordon Howsden, so I'll be posting those shortly. Hopefully I'll also get a chance to write up some notes on a couple of people myself once I get back into the swing of working a full day.

I heard from Rob van Bavel, publisher of Don Lawrence Collection, who has been working hard these past few months on the relaunched Eppo Stripblad. Rob has just published a new Storm album (the 24th) in Dutch and I took the opportunity to ask him what his plans were for upcoming English-language editions. He tells me that, if things work out, we'll be putting together the next two volumes for publication in October or November. There will also be a third Legacy book of Don Lawrence's sketches when he has the time and—the one some of you have been waiting for—Olac the Gladiator is still on the books. But not for this year. Probably 2010.

My own publishing plans are creeping forward and I'll hopefully have an announcement shortly.

Long-time readers will know I'm a bit of a Roland Davies fan. I've was sent some original strips by Davies recently but I've no idea where they appeared. The main character is one Berty Bantam, who seems to get involved in different adventures. The first (as can be seen above) is set in the Wild West, the second was entitled "Berty Bantam and the case of the Howling Hound", a Sherlockian mystery story featuring Leghorn Soames, and the third was entitled "Berty Bantam in The Bohemians" and was set in the artists' quarter of Paris. They were initially signed with the initials RD and, from episode 4, ROD (for Roland Oxford Davies). But where on earth were they published? Any help would be appreciated.

(* The column header is a Look and Learn cover by Ron Embleton that I cleaned up recently; it's just too good not to share. Artwork © Look and Learn Ltd.)

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