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Friday, August 13, 2010

Comic Cuts - 13 August

Although I'm still running to stand still, I'm pleased to say that things are slowly beginning to settle down after the move. I'm still unpacking... very slowly due to circumstances beyond our control which meant that, since moving, we've had three people in the house rather than the planned two. It's not an ideal situation and it has slowed things down considerably... but that's life and we're making the best of it we can.

You'll have noted (I hope) that the daily comic strip has returned to Bear Alley. "The Lost World" will continue over the weekend and into next week. After that I'm hoping to have a few cover galleries lined up as I've been scanning lots of book covers over the past few months. When we were looking for a new home it was pretty clear from the start that I would have to sell off a large chunk of my book collection. A lot of this was reference material I no longer needed and books I'd had sitting in trays, lost to sight for years, that I thought I could get rid of without feeling the loss. That amounted to around 2,100 books in all, but I managed to get around 800 of them on the scanner before they disappeared from my life forever.

So I've a bank of cover images that I need to go through to which I've been adding daily. I've been concentrating my efforts on tie-ins to old TV shows and, with any luck, I'll start running these as an occasional series when "The Lost World" ends.

It's one good thing to come out of the move—I now have a chance to really sort through everything and give it a cold, hard Paddington stare and figure out if I really need it. So expect a few old books and comics to appear here for sale at some point.

I'm not yet up to speed on work, although I've managed to put in a couple of full days. A couple of obituaries have appeared in The Guardian recently (Victor de la Fuente, James P. Hogan) and there's an article upcoming in Dodgem Logic issue 5. I'm also writing material for the daily Look and Learn blog on all manner of subjects, tied into anniversaries of events, inventions and famous people. It's designed to promote the Look and Learn picture library and is a lot of fun to compile as I'm forced to research a ton of things I often know nothing about. The latest entries written (which will be appearing in the next few days) have included entries on Henry Hudson (explorer), William Herschel (astronomer), Rowland Hill (creator of the penny post), the first jet fighters, the Battle of Crecy, Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain, the first telescope, George Stubbs (painter), the Gutenberg Bible and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius! They may be brief but they still take a fair chunk of time out of the day to research and write.


There seems to finally be some movement on the long-proposed Dan Dare movie. Variety reported (back on 23 July, but we were in transit so I missed it completely) that Warner Bros. has closed a deal for the film which will be produced through Basil Iwanyk's (imdb) Thunder Road production company (which was behind the recent Clash of the Titans). Colin Frewin (of Dan Dare Inc.) and Dan Lin (imdb) are executive producers and the film will star Sam Worthington (imdb), whose recent credits include Terminator: Salvation, Avatar, Clash of the Titans and the upcoming movies The Debt and The Fields.

Oliver Frey, who worked on both Dan Dare and Trigan Empire comic strips back in the 1970s/'80s, has been interviewed by Paul Gravett, although the focus of a lot of the conversation is Oliver's work for gay magazines and drawing hardcore strips... so, broadminded over 18s only.

The Eagle Awards are, in future, to be held at the MCM Expo at Excel, the 2010 award to be announced in October and the 2011 awards at the May event next year.

Peter Richardson has posted some additional information on the upcoming Wulf the Briton reprint from Book Palace Books on his Cloud 109 blog. The book is a major project from BPB as the plan is to reprint the whole of the Embleton-era strip—300+ pages—in its original printed size. For Peter that has meant a lot of hard work to make sure the pages look spot on (I know from my own experiences with the Frank Bellamy books what kind of hours you have to put in!). You can see a sample page at the top of this very column.

There will be a regular hardback edition and a slipcased, leather-bound edition limited to 100 copies. This isn't going to be cheap, so start saving your pennies now. I'm hoping that you'll have enough left over to pick up copies of the Thriller Comics Index and the Don Lawrence-drawn Wells Fargo volumes that Book Palace will be publishing around the same time which will be substantially cheaper and, hopefully, will be out in plenty of time to make nice Christmas presents!

And finally... today's completely random pic.We had a chance to wander down to the railway station the other day, just to find out where it was and check out train times and discovered that the station has its own cat. There we were thinking we'd just moved across town, little realising that we'd travelled back in time as well. I wouldn't be surprised if we discover that our station master is Bernard Cribbins and Jenny Agutter waves her knickers at the trains as they go by.

(* Wulf the Briton © Express Newspapers.)

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