Friday, July 22, 2011

Comic Cuts - 22 July 2011

The big news from me is that the third volume of Eagles Over the Western Front is due back from the printers next week... and I announced that on Wednesday, leaving me with little to say here.

Um... oh, yes, I had some odds and ends (some old models, a few books, some old film-related ephemera) that went into auction this week and raised over £100 towards paying off the computer. Financially, I've spent the past couple of years ticking over, which you can look at two ways: on the plus side I've managed to get through this recession without going under - and there are a lot of freelancers suffering at the moment - and weathered the move we were forced into last summer; on the bad side, the money I've earned gets spent immediately, so I'm not putting money aside for emergencies (like, say, a new computer) or the future (paying towards my pension). Hence taking on extra work and selling off some bits and bobs just to get my bank account back in balance.

The extra work at the moment is helping out with some images for the Look and Learn picture library. By the time you read this I'll have cropped, rotated and supplied metadata for about 400 Vanity Fair cartoons like the above. The subject above is 'Spy' (Leslie Ward), who was actually the regular artist of these cartoons, although this one is by Jean de Paleologu.

I have some other odd and ends that I'm going to be selling off - some duplicates of comics and the like - but I may well put them up here first so that the regular readers of Bear Alley get first refusal. It's finding the time to sort them out, scan covers, write notes and post them that's the problem. You can do your bit by keeping Bear Alley Books busy with orders, or just by ordering stuff from Amazon through the links I put up, or the search box that sits over to the left of this column. Doesn't matter what it is - books or bath plugs or whatever. It doesn't cost you a penny extra, but I can earn a few pence as I've "recommended" a purchase. It isn't much - in fact I can give you the exact figure... it's £6.49 so far this month - but it all adds up and keeps me afloat.

Following on from this week's comic strip, here are some covers by 'The Champions' artist John Vernon. Vernon is probably best known for his work on 'Skid Solo' in Tiger, which he drew for many years from 1965 on. He was active in comics from the early-1960s until the mid-1980s. prior to which he had worked in theatre publicity and as a book cover artist. You can get an inkling of the diversity of his art from the three covers below.

Next week... more 'The Man Who Searched for Fear' plus our regular recent releases and upcoming releases columns - yes, it's that time of the month already. This weekend's cover gallery will be Desmond Bagley and I've more in the works.


  1. Before his Tiger years, John Vernon was a regular and very reliable contributor to Micron Publications' Combat Picture Library, which was an early competitor to the Fleetway war libraries before Thomson's Commando came on the scene. Vernon drew (and supplied the scripts for) many of the Combat Jeff Curtiss titles. Because Micron had an arrangement to buy all-Spanish art for its western picture libraries, I was unable to use Vernon's talents in that area. That was a pity. He had been the cover artist for most of Frederick Muller's Sombrero western novels in the 1950s.

  2. Love the cover to the Robert Dietrich (wasn't that another pseudonym of Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt?) - well the woman looks good, not so sure about the Alligator. Where are its teeth??

  3. Rob,

    It reminds me of one of those old Jack Dee adverts for John Smiths beer (the one with the widget). I can just see her standing there against a green screen and grumpily saying, "And definitely no alligators ... So you're going to put the background in afterwards?"



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