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Friday, November 26, 2010

Comic Cuts -26 November 2010

The cold bug I mentioned last week has proved to be a persistent little blighter and is still hanging around, although I have manage to pick up the pace and get some work done this week on a project to be announced shortly.

There isn't really much in the way of news. This week's mini-essay for the Illustration Art Gallery blog was on animator/artist Mike Arens who, despite being American, actually did do some original British comic strip work back in the early 1960s for the Huckleberry Hound comic, and there are more historical bits and bobs on the Look and Learn blog. 2010 could be the first year where I'm writing more online than for paper publications.

I've expanded Bear Alley's annotated Recent Releases column to include November and I've been working backwards to cover titles published in 2009, although it's slow going as, back in August, there was a glitch that wiped out all my information on 2009 releases. So don't expect the full list to be appearing anytime soon, but it's something I'll dip into and the results will be posted when I think I've a reasonable number of titles listed.

The Upcoming Releases list can also be found below. You'll notice that Darkie's Mob has been pushed back again to next February but we can at least now take a look at the final cover design (above). Still no firm dates for most of Titan's other reprints, which is a shame as they have some good titles.

The latest Charley's War collection has just come out and I noticed a couple of copies ordered via Bear Alley were dispatched a couple of weeks ago. So I was quite surprised when I stumbled across this...

The description of the product seems perfectly fine to me: "In September 1917, Charley is caught up in the mutiny by troops against harsh treatment at Etaples and faces divided loyalties as the rebellion gathers pace. Eventually, back on the front line, he faces death once more as a stretcher bearer...This seventh volume of "Charley's War" is rich in the detailed minutiae of the terror-punctuated existence of a Tommy." That its a comic strip is also pretty obvious from the "product details" listing where it holds various positions in Books>Comics & Graphic Novels. You can still buy it via Amazon for a knockdown £8.49 + postage as other dealers can supply copies, just not from Amazon until this hiccup resolves itself.

Over the weekend and into next week there's more Paul Temple as "Death Sitting Down" heads towards its climax. And whatever else I can squeeze in.

Today's random scans... Bear Alley reader Tony sent over today's fabulous column header, which is from the original cover artwork for Starblazer 177 by the peerless Ian Kennedy. If anyone else wants to share original artwork from old British comics, drop me a line.

On a sadder note, this week saw the passing of Ingrid Pitt, a stalwart of memorabilia and collector's shows where I bumped into her (and hubby Tony) on a few occasions when I was editing Model & Collectors Mart magazine; after leaving the mag, I continued to write one or two articles a month for the new editor and, for a couple of years, Ingrid was also a regular contributor, covering a broad range of film and TV related subjects. She turned out to be quite an entertaining writer. During the recent move I stumbled across copies of a couple of novels she'd written: Cuckoo Run (1980) and The Perons (1982). She wrote at least one other novel, Katarina (1986), which I don't think ever appeared in paperback, and a children's book, Bertie the Bus (1981). We're not talking the kind of celebrity fluff you get nowadays: these were actually proper novels, not ghost-written, and ranged in subject from thriller (Cuckoo Run featured a female James Bond type) to contemporary history (The Perons, reprinted as Eva's Spell in paperback, was about Eva Peron) and the holocaust (Katarina), in part drawing on her own experiences growing up in a concentration camp.

The broadsheets have all published obituaries if you want to learn more: The Guardian (24 November), Daily Telegraph (24 November) and The Independent (25 November).

(* Starblazer artwork © D. C. Thomson.)

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