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Friday, June 24, 2011

Comic Cuts - 24 June 2011

Not a lot to report as I've spent the week trying to get as far ahead with work as I possibly could ahead of the big shutdown and migration. The bit of wire I ordered arrived but I'm not convinced it's the right one! I'm now waiting on a visit from someone who knows what they're doing before I do anything else.

Meanwhile, I'm doing another major backup of everything on the old computer, which I started Thursday evening. At this precise moment (around 1:30 in the morning) I've still 80 minutes of copying left for one bit of the drive; then I'll be leaving the rest to copy overnight.

While it's copying I'm trying to spend the time constructively, working up some notes on the 'Roy of the Rovers' newspaper strip that appeared in the Daily Star back in the 1980s and 1990s... the first bit of work I've done on the Mike Western book for over a week. For relaxation, I've been watching an episode of the BBC2 thriller The Shadow Line over lunch each day this week and we've been watching episodes of the first season of Babylon 5 in the evening. The former is excellent - the best police drama the BBC have done in a while; the latter is still as good as I remember it first time round.

Air Pirate Press have just published a retrospective of one of 2000AD's greatest artists, The Art of Brett Ewins, which is now available via Amazon at a knockdown £9.99. As well reproducing some of his original artwork, pencils, inked pages and paintings - some of it previously unseen - there's a candid 11,000 word interview with Ewins talking about his work in comics and the toll it took on his health.

Also now announced is Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss which I had a small hand in... well, my scanner had a bit of a hand in it anyway. The bulk of the work was by the indefatigable Rian Hughes whose talents for restoring artwork far outstrips mine (we all need something to aspire to). I've had this as a PDF for a while but the book is now in the hands of the authors - Rian shares the writers credits with Imogene Foss - and should be in the shops before too long. The official release date is 22 July, but if you want to have a sneaky peak at the contents, click on the video below:

This is by far the most comprehensive collection of Foss artwork ever assembled, a large chunk of it taken from original artwork and the remainder carefully restored from printed covers. It's 240 pages of the best SF artwork you'll see this side of Pluto. Foss's spacecraft bristle with antennae, rocket pods and exhausts; they're pitted and battle-scarred and you can actually believe they're the kind of ships that might one day plough the spacelanes. Foss painted each panel and rivet that made up these vast space hulks in the same way that the best military artists paint aircraft and tank... they're utterly convincing and they totally revolutionised the artwork for British SF books in the 1970s, echoes of which you can still see today in books, movies and video games.

Foss is making a rare appearance at Forbidden Planet in London on the Thursday, 21st July for a signing between 6 and 7 pm.

Just enough space to squeeze in a random scan. This was sent over by Morgan Wallace and required a heck of a lot of work just to get it where it is now, which isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I've no idea why, but Milestone books from the early 1950s are almost always the most beaten and battered of all those old Fifties gangster yarns. This one showed lots of wear, creasing and general damage, but it cleaned up OK. The artist is Len Gard about whom we know almost nothing.

Coming to a future near you: a couple of odd bits over the weekend as I struggle to discover anything about J. Weedon Birch and show off the Dr. Palfrey novels I picked up at last week's ABC Show. Next week, a new story featuring 'The Man Who Searched for Fear' and our regular 'Recent Releases' and 'Upcoming Books' columns. And a new computer that works. Hopefully.


Mike W said...

Interested to hear about your Roy of the Rovers notes - he appeared in The Tiger, his own comic, the Today newspaper, Match of the Day Magazine, another more adult (short-lived) comic which featured his son Rocky more as well as many other sources.

Reuben said...

Thanks for the tip off about the Brett Ewins book.

Steve said...

My pleasure.