Friday, July 08, 2011
Comic Cuts - 8 July 2011
I've been keeping busy with my work for Look and Learn (extra work has just landed on my desk through which I'm hoping to pay for the new computer), so I've not had a chance to get back to the Mike Western book. However, Bear Alley Books is still going strong and you can now pre-order the final volume of Eagle Over the Western Front. The book will be out shortly. I'm hoping that I can get back to Mike Western: A Life in Comics within the next week or two; a good chunk of the book is already written and I'm reasonably sure that I should be able to get the book out within the next couple of months.
The initial 'beta' release will contain about three-quarters (3 million words and about 12,000 entries) of the projected content and is to be unveiled as part of Gollancz's 50th anniversary as a publisher of science fiction. The text will then be expanded through monthly updates until it is completed by the end of 2012. Thereafter, further monthly updates will keep the texts up-to-date.
The SFE3 now has an official front page, although there's not much to see at the moment beyond the official press release. There is a Facebook page and a Twitter feed for anyone who can't stand to wait for news. If you don't waiting a little longer, there should be a regular newsletter, which you can sign up for on the main page.
My main contribution has been birth dates, death dates, spotting pseudonyms and the like... It's amazing how much erroneous information floats around the internet and in print. I'm a huge fan of reference books and have been involved in dozens of them. I've always been a bit picky about what I get because some reference books are good and some are bad. There are certain resources that I consider safe (e.g. any reference book by Mike Ashley) and others that I use as a starting point but try to double-check information if possible (e.g. Wikipedia). As it is impossible to trawl around the internet trying to correct every error you spot (that way lies madness!), the only thing you can do is to pick a handful of projects and try to make those as accurate as possible. Al Hubin's Crime Fiction bibliography is one that I've worked on for many years; the SFE is another. I've contributed 35,000 words of notes since 2008, some of which I had to write up twice as I stupidly managed to delete all my notes at one point in 2009. This last proves that I'm as fallible as the next man and more than capable of making mistakes. So, when the SFE3 goes live and you think you've spotted a mistake, don't be afraid to contact the editors, John Clute and David Langford, or, if it's a date, drop me a line.
A news report appeared in the Dundee Courier on Wedneday recording the death of George Martin, a former artist for D. C. Thomson, following a fire at his home on Monday morning. There was some confusion initially as George Martin was the artist of numerous strips for Topper, Dandy and other Thomson comics: he is probably best known for "Send for Kelly" in Topper (1969-90), with episodes reprinted in Champ (1984-85). But the report is NOT about the comic strip artist.
Jeremy Briggs was quickly on the case and contacted Morris Heggie who says: "It is not the cartoonist George Martin that died. The poor artist that perished was a jobbing artist who for a short time was staff in our art department then worked freelance, doing an occasional page for our girls and womens titles." The initial newspaper report includes a note that the late George Martin contributed to People's Friend, My Weekly, Bunty and Judy.
How long will it be before we see The Sunday Sun? Or maybe it will just be called SUNday. The News of the World was always known as News of the Screws. What will the new paper be known as? The F*ckday Sun probably. Update (9:45 am): I've just read in some of the papers that thesunonsunday.com and thesunonsunday.co.uk were registered as domain names on Tuesday.
Today's random scan... two Pan Books Disney tie-ins from 1966. I was prompted to dig these out by the appearance of a large gallery of Disney tie-ins over on the Tony's Trading website. Tony has been helping me fill in gaps in my New English Library Disney tie-ins gallery for many months. It's the website's tenth anniversary, so congratulations to Tony. Once you've oggled the Disney gallery, it's well worth taking a look around the rest of the site.
polarized opinion; the best or the worst yet? All I'll say is that I'll hopefully have some more for you next week. I'm also working up a couple of cover galleries that are rather more colourful than the recent Chandler.
(* Daily Courier article © D. C. Thomson; Eagles Over the Western Front © Look and Learn Ltd.; The Good Sex Files © News Group Newspapers.)