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Friday, May 14, 2010

Comic Cuts - 14 May

I'm over the half-way mark with StormThe Collection volume 12, with the introduction and the text for Commander Grek completed; just the back end of the book, which rejoices in the title 'The Big Picture', to go, although I've yet to find out how much work will be involved as I don't have a copy of the original Dutch edition. This, of course, is why I try to work on as many books as I can ... so I can get hold of copies of books I might otherwise not be able to afford.

There was a mid-week break to write an obituary for Frank Frazetta, which appears in today's Guardian. As I mentioned yesterday, Frazetta had a huge impact on fantasy art through his book covers, posters and prints. His Conan covers, originally published by Lancer in the 1960s, were astonishing and really stood out on the book shelves when Sphere reprinted them in the 1970s. The Lancer editions reputedly sold 10 million copies and a lot of those sales must have begun with readers being attracted to the books by the Frazetta covers.

One thing I was unable to resolve before the deadline for the obituary: I think Frazetta was born Alfonso Frank Frazzetta. If  his son was Alfonso Frank Frazetta Junior, logically his father should be Alfonso Frank Frazetta Senior. I suspect Frank's father was also Alfonso, although every source I was able to find gave his name as Alfred. A minor point, but if you've read this blog for any length of time you'll know that I can get pretty anal about these little details.

The latest issue of Hop! has turned up in the post—issue 125, March 2010—and, as always, I can't read a word. I'm ashamed to say my foreign language skills are awful, although I find I can get the gist of things as I can often recognise the names of creators and their comics. The good thing about fanzines from abroad is that they're packed solid with illustrations and strips, which I can enjoy as a visual feast even if I can't follow the text. More information (for French speakers) can be found at the Hop! website.

William Rudling tells me that the Jeff Hawke Club and Sydney Jordan will be at the Bristol Comic Expo at the Ramada City Hotel on 22-23 May. This is the first time Syd has been in Bristol and he'll be happy to sign stuff. Only a few tickets for Sunday remain according to the Expo's website.

Don't forget that the London ABC Show and National Collectors Marketplace is also on Sunday 23rd. I'll be staggering along to the Royal National to sign anything shoved in front of me and moan about  the train service. If comics come up in conversation, I might even talk about them.

Congratulations to Paul Rainey who, way back in September 2006, launched the 2000AD Prog Slog blog after buying a run of 1,188 issues of 2000AD. His daily reviews will be coming to an end on Saturday. If you're wondering what the hell you'll do with that Prog Slog-shaped hole in your day, fear not. According to John Freeman's Down the Tubes, David Page of the Dead'll do blog plans to pick up where Paul leaves off.

And congratulations to John McDonald, Jon Haward, Gary Erskine and Nigel Dobbyn, the creative team behind The Tempest which is up for an Ippy (Independent Publisher Book Awards), the results to be announced on Tuesday next week, and for an AEP (Association of Educational Publishers) Award, the winners of which will be announced on 8 June.

And finally... can I just say I'm very excited to hear that Waverley Books have announced that they are reprinting an absolute comic classic at the end of next month... none other than Black Bob the Dandy Wonder Dog! I guess you have to be of a certain age to appreciate how cool this news is.

Next week we'll be continuing the adventures of Jim Holdaway's Cliff McCoy and Slicker and I'll squeeze in whatever news comes my way in between, plus a review of the new Roy of the Rovers book, which I'm just off to read.

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