Friday, July 23, 2010

Comic Cuts - 23 July 2010

By the time you read this there's a good chance that everything in our house will be packed—it needs to be because tomorrow we begin the second phase of moving house, moving fridge, washing machine, tumble dryer and TV, bit of furniture and boxes, boxes and more boxes. But not as many boxes as last weekend. Sunday we move the computers, beds, anything that's left and we're officially in residence at the new house from then on.

We still have a week left on the rent for the old house so we've got a chance to give it a thorough clean and cut the grass and get rid of a few things that are being left behind. Sadly one of my old shelves has given up the ghost and it's very likely that some filing cabinets will have to be let go as part of the down-sizing. Where the contents will live in the new house is a mystery I'm not especially looking forward to figuring out. There's likely to be a few odds and ends popping up on Bear Alley for sale in the next few months as I empty boxes and discover that the contents have no home to go to.

But enough moaning. Everything will sort itself out in the end.

There's a chance that I may not be able to post much next week as we are still trying to sort out the broadband situation at the new house. The Talk Talk customer services person I spoke to said it might take as long as 28 days to transfer the account of the present owner to us, which is a ridiculously long period of time in these days of near instant communication and the fact that it will probably only involve someone pressing a few keys on a keyboard. Hopefully we'll have things sorted within days.

I managed to get something lined up for the weekend, which I hope you'll all enjoy, but failed miserably to get a new strip lined up for next week. So service might be a bit patchy. I'll rerun the monthly upcoming comics list on Monday but it may not  be as fully updated as I would like. Unfortunately I've just managed to delete the recent releases list—d'oh!—so I'll need to see if I can piece it back together again once I've got the computer and internet connection up and running after the move. I don't suppose anyone copied it for their own reference?

I keep stumbling across old newspapers and magazines that I've kept for years without clipping out the bits that I actually want or find interesting and, in most cases, I've completely forgotten about and buried in amongst piles of other paperwork. I stumbled across this 2004 interview with the late Harvey Pekar and Joe Sacco from the Daily Telegraph the other morning.

Or how about an interview with Roy of the Rovers (from Flicks, April 1997)...

More clippings as and when I get a chance to fire up the scanner. 

In the news:

Garen Ewing tells me that Rainbow Orchid is to have a Dutch edition. Published by Silvester Strips in September, it will be followed by volumes two and three in January and May 2011.

The third volume of the series will be published here in the UK around the same time in the spring of 2011. I've just read the second volume and it continues with the high standard of storytelling from the first volume, mixing adventure, action and introspection beautifully. That this is the middle volume of a trilogy doesn't cause it as many problems as some reviews might imply. There's enough action to carry the story along and we learn a little about the backgrounds of some of the story's main characters, including hero, research assistant Julius Chancer, and heroine, actress Lily Lawrence. The book is beautifully paced, with occasional moments of humour (usually supplied by Lily's manager, Nathaniel Crumpole) and plenty of tension as the baddies, led by the villainous Evelyn Crow, stalk every step that our heroes take.

The whole thing ends on a cliff-hanger and I'm looking forward to finding out how it will be resolved in early 2011. And I'm sure the books will do well in Europe where the clear-line style of artwork developed (which is why it is known as ligne claire; those canny French have been studying the ninth art closely for years and have a snappy name for everything): if you're a fan of the old-school art style used by Hergé and Edgar P. Jacobs or the more modern, stylised art of Yves Chaland, you'll love Garen's work on The Rainbow Orchid. Like the work of his European influences, Rainbow Orchid is one of those stories that can be enjoyed by children of all ages, the action and humour broad enough for youngsters to enjoy and the plot complex enough for adults.

The latest volume is available at a knockdown price from Amazon, as is the first volume... worth every penny and more!

The Rainbow Orchid: Volume 1. Egmont ISBN 978-1405248532, 4 August 2009.
The Rainbow Orchid: Volume 2. Egmont ISBN 978-1405250474, 5 July 2010.

Yesterday's mention of Farscape tie-in novelisations prompted an e-mail from Lee Goldberg and Max Allan Collins of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers about the book Tied-In: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing edited by Goldberg. I'll let Messrs, Goldberg and Collins introduce the book:
Tie-in novels are books based on pre-existing media properties—like TV shows, movies and games—and they regularly top the national bestseller lists. But as popular as tie-ins books and novelizations are among readers, few people know how the books are written or the rich history behind the hugely successful and enduring genre.

This 75,000 word book is a ground-breaking collection of lively, informative, and provocative essays and interviews by some of the best-selling, and most acclaimed, writers in the tie-in business, offering an inside glimpse into what they do and how they do it. Contributors include Alina Adams, Jeff Ayers, Donald Bain, Burl Barer, Raymond Benson, Max Allan Collins, Greg Cox, William C. Dietz, Tod Goldberg, Robert Greenberger, Nancy Holder, Paul Kupperberg, Jeff Mariotte, Elizabeth Massie, William Rabkin, Aaron Rosenberg, David Spencer, and Brandie Tarvin.
The book is currently available as an e-book on Amazon and Smashwords and will shortly be available through the iBookstore and Barnes & Noble. A trade paperback edition, for those of us who like old-fashioned hard copy to read, will be published next month. There's a nice article by Paul Kupperberg on comics tie-ins amongst the articles, something of an interest of mine as anyone who followed my lengthy attempt to chart as many of them as possible will recall.

I think I'd better call it a night. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

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