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Friday, February 18, 2011

Comic Cuts - 18 February 2011

The big news for me this week is that Hurricane & Champion: Companion Papers to Valiant, the index I've been working on for the past few weeks, is almost finished. The layouts are all done, although that doesn't mean there's no more work to do... there's still a bit of tweaking to get things looking the way they should and the whole thing needs to be proofed, but the release date is now only weeks away rather than months. I've still got to set up an ordering system but as soon as that's done I'll start taking orders.


The pic above isn't the cover, by the way. Just one of the Hurricane covers I cleaned up. The cover that will appear on the book is taken from original artwork... but I'll have to save that until next week.

The Lionel Fanthorpe radio show I mentioned on Monday wasbroadcast yesterday on Radio 4 at 11.30 am and is now available on the iPlayer for the next six days. Easiest way to get to it is through this page.

Commando is continuing its 50th anniversary celebrations with the launch of a new website, officially launched on Tuesday, and what they're calling a "full-scale assault on the digital world", including a digital subscription service using iPhone and iPad apps—a frst for D. C. Thomson's stable of publications. The new website also exclusively offers A1 posters of many of Commando's covers, currently with an introductory price of £19.99.

According to editor Calum Laird, "Being the first D. C. Thomson title to offer a downloadable digital comic via a web-based subscription service is quite a responsibility but one we are delighted to take on. Commando is a unique product in the UK marketplace and now it can be made available worldwide at the click of a mouse, or the tap of a screen for iPhone and iPad. These devices are almost tailor-made for the unique presentation of Commando. Backing up the subscription service with a fully-loaded website giving access to our timeless story archive will be welcomed with open arms by Commando fans."

The iPad and iPhone apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. Thomsons are currently offering 4 free issues to download prior to making a purchase.

Graham Rye of 007 Magazine has just published a heavily illustrated tribute to the late Raymond Hawkey, celebrated graphic designer of newspapers, magazines and books whose work had a tangible influence on the visual culture of Britain in the second half of the 20th century. His early interest in American graphics while a student at the Royal College of Art in the 1950s subsequently helped change the look of British newspapers and magazines and his ground-breaking book jackets had a major influence on the evolution of British book jacket design.

The tribute is written by a long-time friend of the designer, Edward Milward-Oliver, and has a strong focus on Hawkey's newspaper and paperback presentations of Ian Fleming's James Bond fiction and his long association with author Len Deighton.

Great graphic design, like great art, remains relevant beyond its time. Raymond Hawkey brought innovation, integrity, and a meticulous eye for detail to everything that he undertook: newspaper design, magazine covers, advertising, book jackets, film titles, original fiction and illustrated books.

Copies of 007 Magazine issue 54 can be purchased here.

Our strip adaptation of 'Michael Strogoff' drawn by Alfonso Font comes to an end tomorrow, so I'll have to think of a few things that we can run next week. I'm trying to achieve a balance with Bear Alley—the simple truth is that I can't write new material online and do the indexes and do my regular daily work (the stuff that brings in the rent money); the first thing that goes to pot when things get busy is e-mail correspondence, although I'm pleased to say that I'm keeping fairly well on top of it at the moment. With the Hurricane & Champion index almost done, I'm now looking at the next couple of projects I want to work on, including a thorough updating of The Valiant Index and various others.

Today's random scan... something a bit romantic since it was Valentine's Day this week. Famous Romance Library adapted dozens of novels into strip form, many from those famous old romantics Mills & Boon. Not everybody's cup of tea, I know, but well worth a look as they had some superb artists, both internally and on the covers. Here, for instance, is a cover by David Wright of 'Carol Day' fame.

A quick Thank You to Roger for sending the scan. See you next week.

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