I've just about shaken off the cold I picked up a couple of weeks ago. Mind you I still feel completely wiped out so don't expect much sense out of me.
Above is the cover to the upcoming Frank Bellamy's The Story of World War 1 and I'm pleased to say that we're almost heading to the printers with this one. It's still a couple of months away from publication but it should look incredible. Proofs have been proofed but we still have to see printed proofs before the 'go' button gets pressed.
Yesterday I hit the halfway mark on the clean-up for "Wells Fargo", one of the Don Lawrence strips Book Palace is planning to publish in the not-too-distant future. It's a superbly drawn strip, as you'd expect from Lawrence, and almost unseen by even his biggest fans. The strip started in Zip back in 1958 and ran for 85 episodes before Zip merged with Swift, where the strip continued for another 65 weeks. Whilst most fans of British comics are aware of Swift, even if they don't own copies, Zip is almost unknown. I know one person who has a complete set, which I was fortunate enough to borrow for scanning. There were a couple of other excellent strips in Zip that deserve to be revived. One day...
Talking of which, my little publishing venture is coming closer to seeing the light of day. I appreciate it's a little frustrating for you all not to know what I'm talking about but I've already had to rethink this whole thing two or three times over the last few months and I'd rather keep disappointment down to a minimum. Best way to do that is say nothing. But I can't help saying something... so I'll say this: I've now seen a rough cover sketch for the first book, which looks great, and the book will be bigger than I originally planned. I've already started work on books two and three and I'm mulling over what to do for book four. Beyond that, my lips are sealed.
I've been doing my usual mid-month check on upcoming titles so here's a round-up of the latest news. I repost the recent releases and upcoming comics listings around the 1st of the month, but I try to keep them updated as best I can, so it's worth revisiting them during the month.
Carlton's new collection, Commando: D-Day Fight or Die, is out and copies have been shipping from Amazon. The cover by Ian Kennedy is, in my opinion, the best they've had on any of the Commando collections. We're still four weeks away from the release of Aces High: Air Ace Picture Library Vol. 1. Go out and buy it so I can do volume two, please!
Titan have managed to get a few of their titles out on time recently, namely Dan Dare: The Phantom Fleet and Modesty Blaise: The Lady Killers, which are both now on sale, but there's a chance that The Best of Battle: Volume 1 book has been delayed again, as has James Bond: The Girl Machine. If I can get confirmation of the latest release dates, I'll update this note later today. The Best of Roy of the Rovers: The 1970s is on schedule.
Waverley's The Broons' Day Oot and Classical Comics' The Tempest have also been pushed back to next month.
Above are covers for a couple of titles that aren't due out until September: Eagle Annual: The Best of the 1960s and Football's Comic Book Heroes: Celebrating the Greatest British Football Comics of the Twentieth Century.
If you fancy something completely different, I suggest you try the Manhwa exhibition at the Korean Cultural Centre. Full details can be found here and its worth noting that our very own Paul Gravett will be on hand to discuss Asian comics at the live drawing performance of Manhwa artist Chul-Ho Park on 21 May. The exhibition and events celebrate 100 years of Korean comics and cartoons.
Talking of events, the ICA has a talk on 2 June starring Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, who will be exploring the vast referential cosmos of their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century trilogy with Christopher Frayling, rector of the RCA and popular culture guru.
And talking of popular culture (see how this all hangs together?) I went to see the new Star Trek movie last night. Best described as a roller-coaster ride that works just fine as long as you don't start thinking about gravity works while you're upside down doing a flip. Physics doesn't work in the Trek universe the same way it does in this universe, so just let yourself be carried around the loop and out the other end and you'll be OK. As a reboot of a tired franchise, it's a great start. I hope the film does well enough for there to be more of the same.
And that, I think, is all the news that's fit to print.