Saturday, July 30, 2011

Simon Bond (1947-2011)

Simon Bond, the cartoonist behind the best-selling 101 Uses of a Dead Cat and two sequels, as well as some 20 other collections of drawings, died in Northamptonshire on 22 June 2011, aged 63.

Born Simon Patrick Everett Bond of British parents in New York, on 19 August 1947, his family settled in Nottingham when he was four. Bond studied graphics at West Sussex College of Art and Design, Worthing, and worked on Tatler magazine as a paste-up artist. He returned to the US on health grounds in 1970 where he had a number of jobs, including working as a stand-up comedian and cartoonist. He returned to the UK in the early 1980s.

His first book, Real Funny, appeared in 1976, although it was with 101 Uses of a Dead Cat (1981; in the US as 101 Uses for a Dead Cat) that he created a phenomenon. The book's grotesque humour earned Bond hate mail as well as royalties; it sold over 2 million copies in 20 countries and spawned two sequels, 101 More Uses of a Dead Cat and Uses of a Dead Cat in History. An omnibus, Complete Uses of a Dead Cat, appeared in 2001.

Bond was also the publisher and co-editor of Squib: The Magazine of Comedy Allsorts in 1992-93.

He was married to Linda Marshall in 1985.

Obituaries: The Independent (26 July).

(* Cartoons © Estate of Simon Bond.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Comic Cuts - 29 July 2011

Our big news is that Eagles Over the Western Front volume 3 has been shipping since Monday and all advance orders have now been filled, as have the steady trickle of further orders that arrived during the week. I'm expecting more orders to come in over the weekend and next week as people get paid. There have also been a handful - more than a handful, in fact, but not quite two handfuls - of people ordering all three volumes, which is an option now available if you want to save a little on postage.

Other than that, it has been a week of steady work, pounding out artist biographies for the Look and Learn website. I've currently knocked out close to 100 of these - the 100th should appear next Friday. I spent Wednesday morning wrestling together a lengthy piece on Doc Savage artist James Bama for the Illustration Art Gallery blog and the time since has been dedicated to metadata - typing up information on more Vanity Fair cartoons for the Look and Learn picture library (nearly 700 at the last count).

There isn't much else to report, other than my Sunday roast was rather spoiled when my one and only filling fell out... again. Same thing happened back in June 2007 and that was the second time since my move to Colchester. I'm trying yet another dentist to see if I can actually get something that's permanent this time. At the moment I've something very temporary stopping my tongue exploring the gap every five seconds. I'm due to have an X-Ray on Monday. Hope they don't decide to remove the tooth as it's deep-rooted and would need an operation. Eek!

The Imperial War Museum is holding a two-day comics'-related event on 19-20 August (a Friday and Saturday) entitled The Comics and Conflicts Conference, with speakers including Pat Mills, Garth Ennis, Martin Barker, Roger Sabin and Francesca Cassavetti. You can find out more about the event here.

Today's random scans. I mentioned James Bama above so here's his cover for Tomboy by Hal Ellson. This is the Corgi edition, reprinting the cover that originally appeared on the Bantam edition in 1965.

The second scan is to celebrate the imminent arrival of my copy of Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss. When I started doing cover galleries - quite a few years ago now! - I began with mostly SF authors; then, in 2008 I wrote Sci-Fi Art: A Graphic History, which meant more scanning of SF covers. In early 2009 there was a disaster: two external harddrives blew within days of each other. Many months later, we were able to recover data from one drive, but the other was lost forever, including all the SF scans that I'd done for posts such as this gallery for E. E. 'Doc' Smith.

With any luck, and over time, I'll rescan all those old books. The Asimov happened to be close to hand and seemed as good a place to start as any.

I've truly no idea what will be happening next week. Probably more 'Man Who Searched for Fear' and whatever else I can squeeze in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Recent Releases: July 2011

July 2011

Alan Moore: Storyteller by Gary Spencer Millidge.
Ilex Books ISBN 978-1907579127, 18 April 2011, 320pp, £25.00. [£17.50 on Amazon]
Alan Moore: Storyteller is the first serious examination of the life, career and work of one of the UKs most distinctive and popular creative voices. It traces Moore's creative development from his modest contributions to Northampton Arts Lab fanzines and local newspaper strips to the very top of his field, writing some of the most widely read and critically acclaimed comics and graphic novels ever produced: Swamp Thing, Watchmen, From Hell, Lost Girls, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta. The book provides an unparalleled insight into the mind and work of this enigmatic and at times controversial creator. Moore's extraordinary body of work is examined in depth, with rare and previously unseen material, glimpses into unfinished and abandoned projects and new light shed on overlooked masterpieces. With co-operation from Moore, and full access to his archives, Gary Spencer Millidge has written a book which will not only be essential reading for Moore's many fans, but for anyone interested in contemporary literature and pop culture.
Order from Amazon.
    Beano Annual 2012.
    D. C. Thomson ISBN 978-1845354534, 10 July 2011, 112pp, £7.99. [£5.49 from Amazon]
    Order from Amazon.

    Commando: Achtung!, ed. Calum Laird.
    Carlton Books ISBN 978-1847328212, 7 July 2011, 208pp, £4.99. [£2.89 from Amazon]
    Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size Commando anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original Commando comics. "Achtung!" features a trio of explosive Brits-versus-Wehrmacht yarns that show the heroic British Tommy at his best. From mountain fighting in Italy and armoured-car battles with Tiger tanks in Normandy, to battles with Nazi art-looters in the final weeks of the Second World War, this action-packed but handily formatted collection of stories will thrill Commando fans of all ages.
    Order from Amazon.

    Commando: Action Stations!, ed. Calum Laird.
    Carlton Books ISBN 978-1847328229, 7 July 2011, 208pp, £4.99. [£2.89 from Amazon]
    Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size Commando anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original Commando comics. "Action Stations!" features a trio of explosive war-at-sea yarns that show the Senior Service at its best. From fast-moving motor torpedo boat engagements in the English Channel to anti-submarine warfare in the Far East, this action-packed but handily formatted collection of Second World War stories will thrill Commando fans of all ages.
    Order from Amazon.

    Commando: Banzai!, ed. Calum Laird.
    Carlton Books ISBN 978-1847328199, 7 July 2011, 208pp, £4.99. [£2.89 from Amazon]
    Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size Commando anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original Commando comics. "Banzai!" features a trio of explosive Brits-versus-Japanese yarns set in Burma that show the heroic British Tommy at his best: repelling waves of Japanese jungle attacks, cutting enemy supply lines and capturing inaccessible mountain strongholds. This action-packed but handily formatted collection of Second World War stories will thrill Commando fans of all ages.
    Order from Amazon.

    Commando: Tally Ho!, ed. Calum Laird.
    Carlton Books ISBN 978-1847328205, 7 July 2011, 208pp, £4.99. [£2.89 from Amazon]
    Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size Commando anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original Commando comics. "Tally Ho!" features a trio of explosive air-war yarns that show the heroic RAF flyers at their best. From fighter sorties over occupied France and bombing raids on the Afrika Korps to Hurricane attacks on the Japanese, this action-packed but handily formatted collection of Second World War stories will thrill Commando fans of all ages.
    Order from Amazon.

    Dandy Annual 2012.
    D. C. Thomson ISBN 978-1845354541, 10 July 2011, 112pp, £7.99. [£5.49 from Amazon]
    Order from Amazon.

    Eagles Over the Western Front Volume 3 by Mike Butterworth & Bill Lacey.
    Bear Alley Books ISBN 978-1907081576, 25July 2011, 84pp, £9.99.
    The third volume of Eagles Over the Western Front brings the epic story of Harry Hawkes to a dramatic climax. As our new book opens, Harry and his comrades, Entwistle and Pootle, are piloting Sopwith Camels for a squadron on the Western Front in France in 1917.
    __Facing them across the 'line' is Manfred von Richthofen—the Red Baron—and his infamous 'Flying Circus' of German fighter aircraft, the Jagdgeschwader 1 squadron. Richthofen would become the highest scoring ace of the Great War, officially credited with some 80 kills.
    __Harry faces danger from both sides of the line. At the squadron's base there are newcomers like the despicable and arrogant Dave Buller, or Entwistle's younger brother, Algy, a slacker and a thief. And then there's Polly, the parrot, who may hold the key to a German offensive...
    __What happens when Harry chooses to aid the escape of a German pilot, finds himself chased through the streets of Berlin and lands up in a shell hole in no-man's land with Crown Prince Wilhelm and the Red Baron, will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Order from Bear Alley.

    Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss by Rian Hughes.
    Titan Books ISBN 978-1848566989, 22 July 2011, 240pp, £24.99. [£17.99 from Amazon]
    Foss's groundbreaking and distinctive science fiction art revolutionized paperback covers in the 1970s and 80s. Dramatically raising the bar for realism and invention, his trademark battle-weary spacecraft, dramatic alien landscapes and crumbling brutalist architecture irrevocably changed the aesthetic of science fiction art and cinema. Featuring work for books by Isaac Asimov, E. E. 'Doc' Smith, Arthur C. Clarke, A. E. Van Vogt and Philip K. Dick, and film design for Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick, this volume brings together many rare and classic images that have never been seen or reprinted before. The first comprehensive retrospective of Chris Foss' sf career. Chris Foss' name has become pre-eminent among sf artists...He is in love with the monstrous, with angular momentum, with inertia-free projectiles and irresistable objects. A" - Brian Aldiss [Foss'] creations are real machines, not just an artist's dreams. They combine the two elements so essential to science fiction: realism and a sense of wonder...A medieval goldsmith of future eons.A" - Alejandro Jodorowsky. Rian Hughes is an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator, font designer and comics artist, noted for his work on 2000AD, and Dan Dare. His illustration work is highly distinctive, wearing its design influences on its sleeve. Clients include Virgin Airways, Penguin Books, DC Comics (for whom he has designed numerous logos), Eurostar the BBC and a range of magazines and newspapers. He is the editor and designer of several books including "Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s" and the recently released "Cult-ure". "One of the most successful and prolific designer/illustrators of the past 20 years" - Roger Sabin, Eye magazine
    Order from Amazon.

    Judge Dredd: Restricted Files Vol. 3 by John Wagner et al.
    Rebellion ISBN 978-1907992216, 21 July 2011, 288pp, £19.99. [£12.99 from Amazon]
    Mega-City One: the future metropolis bustling with life and every crime imaginable. Keeping order are the Judges, a stern police force acting as judge, jury and executioner. Toughest of all is Judge Dredd. He is the law! Restricted Files 03 collects together more forgotten and rare gems from the Thrill-power archives. Readers can experience Judge Dredd strips which have appeared in annuals and specials from the early nineties - many of which have never been reprinted before.
    Order from Amazon.

    Nikolai Dante: Hero of the Revolution by Robbie Morrison, Simon Fraser & John M. Burns.
    Rebellion ISBN 978-1907992223, 21 July 2011, 192pp, £16.99. [£12.74 from Amazon]
    Year of the Tsar 2676 AD, bastard son of the Romanovs, Nikolai Dante, leads a rebellion against Vladimir the Conqueror. Supported by the tyrant's daughter, Jena Makarov, his mother - pirate queen Katarina Dante - and some of his weapons-crest-enabled siblings, can Dante finally bring down Vladimir? And if so, can he bring peace to the empire, or is there someone else vying for power? Dante's adventures are brought to the brink of conclusion as the epic globe-trotting tale of future empire, revolution, love, lust and action reaches the penultimate collection.
    Order from Amazon.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Desmond Bagley

    My collection of Desmond Bagley's novels is a pretty rag-tag bunch, although I'm pleased with the way the covers cleaned up for this gallery. I liked Bagley back in the days I was reading thrillers and have re-read a couple recently: Night of Error was OK, one of two novels completed by his wife following Bagley's death in 1983. I've more recently finished reading The Freedom Trap (filmed as The Mackintosh Man (1973) with Paul Newman), which is a fine thriller, rather spoiled by two things on the edition that I read: the blurb on the back gives away a major twist and the cover, although not quite giving the whole game away, pretty much reveals the climax of the book. But it was definitely still worth (re-)reading. (Since writing the above I have also re-read Running Blind, which is a terrific thriller set in Iceland and one of Bagley's finest.)

    There has been some confusion over Bagley's real name, with some sources giving Desmond as the pen-name of Simon Bagley. This isn't the case: his birth (in Kendal, Cumberland) is registered as Desmond Bagley. He was the younger son of John Bagley and his wife Hannah M. (nee Whittle), who were married in Bolton in 1912. John Bagley was born in 1913 and Desmond followed ten years later on 29 October 1923.

    Please note that I've not included the House of Stratus editions in the following listings as I've not had time to type up the information. I'll add those editions plus a few additional pics when I get a chance.

    The Golden Keel
    Fontana 1509, 1965
    ---- [2nd imp.], May 1967; [3rd imp.], May 1967
    Fontana 2049, [4th imp.], Jul 1969, 220pp, 5/-. Cover by unknown
    Fontana 2829, 1972
    ----, [12th imp.], Apr 1973, 220pp, 30p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 5583 (0006-15583-9) [23rd imp.] Mar 1979, 220pp, 85p. Cover by unknown
    ----, 1986
    ----, 1991
    ----, 1993

    High Citadel
    Fontana, 1967, 255pp.
    ----, [2nd imp.] 1968
    Fontana 2539, [3rd imp.] 1971
    ----, [9th imp.] Mar 1973, 255pp, 30p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 5584 (0006-15584-7), Mar 1979, 255pp, 85p. Cover by unknown
    Fontana 0006-17305-5, 1986.
    ----, [31st imp.] Jun 1988, 255pp, £2.95. Cover by unknown
    ----, [33rd imp.] 1990, 288pp.

    Wyatt's Hurricane
    Fontana, 1968
    ----, 1970.
    Fontana 2830,  1972.
    ----, [15th imp.] Mar 1976, 254pp, 60p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 0006-15398-4, 1978, 254pp.
    ----, [28th imp.] 1990, 301pp.

    Fontana, 1969
    ----, [Xth imp.] 1971.
    ----, [7th imp.] 1972, 253pp, 30p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 5257 (0006-15267-8), 1978.
    ---- [ 22nd imp.] Apr 1979, 253pp, 85p. Cover by unknown
    ----, 1986.
    ----, [32nd imp.] Nov 1988, 253pp, £2.95. Cover by unknown

    The Vivero Letter
    Fontana, 1970, 253pp.
    Fontana 2669, [10th imp.] 1973, 253pp.
    ----, [11th imp.] Nov 1973, 253pp, 35p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 5397 (0006-15397-6), 1978.
    ---- [23rd imp.] Jan 1981, 253pp, £1.25. Cover by unknown
    ----, 1986.
    ----, [30th imp.] Jun 1988, 253pp, £2.95. Cover by unknown
    ----, [32nd imp.] Nov 1990, 300pp, £2.99. Cover by unknown
    House of Stratus 1842-32019-X, 2000, 238pp.

    The Spoilers
    Fontana 2535, 1971
    ----, [10th imp.] Feb 1974, 256pp, 35p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 0006-15268-6, [18th imp.] 1978, 256pp.
    ---- [22nd imp.] Jan 1980, 256pp, £1.00. Cover by unknown
    ---- [27th imp.] Jan 1984, 256pp, £1.50. Cover by unknown
    ----, 1986.
    Fontana 7302, [30th imp.] Nov 1988, 256pp, £2.95. Cover by unknown
    Fontana 0006-17302-0, 1990, 320pp.

    Running Blind
    Fontana 2752, 1972, 221pp, 30p. Cover: photo
    ----, 1978. TV tie-in.
    Fontana 0006-16534-6, 1982, 221pp.
    ----, 1986.
    ----, 1990.
    ----, 1993, 254pp.
    The Freedom Trap
    revised edition, Fontana 3582, 1973
    ----, [8th imp.] May 1974, 222pp, 35p. Cover: photo. *MTI
    ----, [10th imp.] Mar 1975, 222pp, 50p. [cover as above]
    Fontana 0006-15266-X, 1978, 222pp.
    ----, [27th imp.] Mar 1990, 270pp, £2.99. Cover by unknown

    The Tightrope Men
    Fontana 00006-13706-7, 1974, 254pp, 40p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 0006-15755-6, 1979.
    ----, 1986.
    ----, 1990.
    ----, 1993.
    The Times, 2010, 285pp, n/p.

    The Snow Tiger
    Fontana 4319, 1976, 253pp, 70p. Cover by unknown
    Fontana 0006-17301-2, [10th imp.] Feb 1986, 253pp, £2.50. Cover by unknown
    ----, [13th imp.] Apr 1988, 253pp, £2.95. [same cover as above]
    ----, 1990, 253pp.

    The Enemy
    Fontana 5479, 1978, 255pp, 85p. Cover: photo
    Fontana 0006-15833-1, [3rd imp.] 1980
    Fontana 0006-17304-7, 1986.
    ----, [Xth imp.] 1990.
    ----, [Xth imp.] 1993

    Fontana 5875, 1979, 251pp, 95p. Cover: photo by David Fairman
    Fontana 0006-166113, [Xth imp.] 1982, 251pp.
    ----, 1990.
    Fontana, 1993.

    Bahama Crisis
    Fontana 0006-16304-1, 1982, 250pp, £1.50. Cover by unknown
    ----, [xth imp.] 1990.

    Fontana 6744, 1983, 320pp, £1.75.Cover by unknown

    Night of Error [completed by Joan Bagley]
    Fontana 7166, 1984, 314pp, £1.95. Cover by unknown. *Continental edition
    0006-17166-4, [2nd imp.] 1985, 314pp.
    ----, 1990.
    ----, [10th imp.] n.d., 331pp, £4.99. Cover by Kevin Tweddell

    Juggernaut [completed by Joan Bagley]
    Fontana 7250, 1985, 320pp. * Continental edition
    0006-17250-4, [2nd imp.] July 1986, 320pp, £2.95. Cover by unknown
    ----, [Xth imp.] 1991?, 320pp.

    Domino Island
    [with Michael Davies]
    HarperCollins 978-000833464-2, 2019, 309pp, £12.99. Cover design by Mulcahey Design


    Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books