Friday, October 08, 2010
Comic Cuts - 8 October 2010
I've had a frustrating week, although it started well. The Book Fair was quiet—perhaps the rain put people off, although I suspect a lack of money and all this talk of cuts and house prices falling will not have helped. Bizarrely, as we've now moved further away, my trip up to London was actually quicker and cheaper than it has been for years. At the old address we were miles away from the railway station and with no buses scheduled on early Sunday mornings, I always had to take a taxi (at a cost of around £7-8); now I'm within walking distance of a train station, saving me about £15 (the bus service was no better on the return trip). And there was no repair work on the line, which usually means half the journey is actually by coach. So... a pleasant trip up to London but the fair a little disappointing as some folks I had hoped to see didn't manage to get there.
There was one point raised on the day that's worth repeating (as it's rather flattering!): a regular Bear Alley reader was convinced that I must have an astonishing collection of near mint books. The truth is, a lot of the books on my shelves are the lousiest, dog-eared bunch of paperbacks you've ever seen... but I've got a good scanner and don't mind putting in some time with Photoshop to clean up the worst of the damage, do colour correction and present the results as good as I can get them. The pic. at the top of today's column, for instance, took three scans (front, back, spine) which had to be joined together and the joins painted out. All for you, dear reader.... all for you.
The rest of the week has been a series of false starts and interruptions. Hopefully next week will be better. I'll let you know.
There's the usual features: Syd's editorial, Duncan Lunan's examinations of each story, Andrew Darlington's peek back at space heroes of old (this issue it's Kemlo). I'm amazed that editor William Rudling has managed to keep the annual subscription for Jeff Hawke's Cosmos at £20 for three issues. Most issues contain three tales and in a year you get nine for roughly the price of a hardback book. That's not only excellent value for money, it's a bloody miracle these days.
Subscriptions cost £20 (or £30 overseas), cheques payable to Jeff Hawke Club, which you should send along with an SAE to The Jeff Hawke CLub, 6 The Close, Alwoodley, Leeds LS17 7RD. Further information can be found at the Jeff Hawke website.
Today's random scan... or scans. Two covers by the remarkable Reginald Cyril Webb, a.k.a. Heade, from his post-Hank Janson days. The first I picked up at the book fair on Sunday for a quid; the second is a scan sent over by Jamie Sturgeon some while back which I've had sitting on my desktop waiting for the day I could think of an excuse to use it. Well, today's the day.