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Friday, April 08, 2011

Comic Cuts - 8 February 2011

Late nights have been the order of the day for the past week. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I blitzed the Eagles Over the Western Front volumes, writing and designing three introductions and finishing off the last two covers. There's probably some tinkering to do still, but above you'll see the fabulous Graham Coton cover that will be wrapped around volume 1.

I've still got plenty of work to do - there are still 90 pages of original artwork to tidy up for starters—but if all goes to plan I'm hoping to have the first volume ready for proofing some time around the third week of the month and have it out maybe the first week of May. The second book should follow first or second week of June, in time for the next ABC Show on Sunday, June 12th. Third book will be out about a month later. If all goes to plan! You know what they say about war... the first thing to fall apart are all your carefully laid plans. Same applies to war books.

Don't forget, I've also got to earn a living 'cos Bear Alley Books sure isn't contributing anything to the bottom line. At the last count I was about £170 down, although, oddly, I'm in a better position now than I was last weekend when I was down £120 but had barely enough copies left to cover the debt.

Click here for ordering information
Click here for ordering information
One nasty surprise came on Monday when I found out just how big the price increases for postage were. It think they average out at about 8% but for the large letter packets I'm sending out it worked out at 13.5%! The increase is said to be financing the Post Office's modernisation. At that rate of increase, by next year the Post Office will be modernised all the way to 2050AD.

Here's what I've decided: I'm going to stick with the current prices until stocks run out. At the moment that's about 25 copies of the Hurricane & Champion and 9 copies of the Mean Streetmaps. Once they're gone and I put in a reorder, I'll have to take the postage increase into consideration because no doubt it will be costing more to ship the books from the printers to me as well as the extra cost of shipping them out to customers. The margins are too slim for me to be burned at both ends. So if you want the cheaper postage rates, order soon.

As I've been spending every spare moment on Eagles I've not had much chance to do anything else. Last Friday I did manage to squeeze in a short article for Gary Dobbs' Tainted Archive blog as he was having a British comics weekend. I managed to get it posted to Gary at 11:45 pm, which was about as close to the deadline as you can get! I'll rerun the piece here tomorrow as some of you might not have seen it.

Apart from that I've still some episodes of the Hurricane Annual guide to publish. I think I now have contents listings for all bar one of the annuals now: 1968. If anyone has the 1968 annual (cover scan above), please let me know as it would be nice to complete the set of contents lists. With any luck I'll also fit in another episode of 'The Man Who Searched for Fear' and, next Friday, I'll let you see the covers for Eagles volumes two and three.

Um... I've been so busy on Eagles that I've not had a chance to work on any old book covers. Instead, today's random scans are a couple of books I picked up in charity shops last weekend. I liked McDonald's River of Gods but I've never read anything else. The Pohl book I used to have (much like the Robert L. Forward books mentioned a couple of weeks ago), so I've read it before, but there are some great stories that are going to be worth reading again.

See you next week.


  1. If you were to offer the option of pre-ordering all 3 volumes (and therefore paying up front), I would certainly do it.
    Would this be possible, and also more helpful to you?

  2. Hi Reuben,

    I'm still figuring out what to do regards pre-ordering. I can't really make any decisions until I can work out the costs, which I won't be able to do until I can get proofs of the books; at that point I may be able to work out a discount for ordering all three, although the margins on short print-run titles is tight, so it may only be pence at the end of the day.