Friday, August 05, 2011

Comic Cuts - 5 August 2011

I've nothing of particular note to report, which is becoming the norm for the summer months. The extra work I've taken on to pay off the computer is still dominating my life. At the last count I'd straightened, cropped and produced metadata for 1,200 Vanity Fair caricatures, which is about 80 hours work spread over the last couple of weeks. You can see some of the results at the Look and Learn picture library, where the first 430 have already been posted.

I had a dental check up on Monday and have been booked in to have the filling - the one that fell out 24 July - fixed on Wednesday. That's 17 days to get a filling replaced. Is that average these days? Meanwhile, I have perfected the art of eating on one side of my mouth to prevent the temporary filling from falling out. Hopefully the new one will last more than four years.

Bear Alley Books reached a minor landmark this week when I shipped out the 50th copy of Eagles Over the Western Front Volume 1 - volumes 2 and 3 are a little way behind but slowly catching up. Over the course of the three volumes, Bear Alley Books has crept from red to black on the balance sheet and my prediction that this little hobby venture would be in profit by the summer has been proven right. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for ordering the books - and showing enough faith to pre-order books - and to say that hopefully we can rescue a few more interesting strips in the future.

One bit of sad news I heard is that the ABC Show, where I was able to sell a few copies of the books earlier this year, may not be running in the autumn. This has nothing to do with our little event but with the National Collectors Marketplace show which ran alongside it and which seems unlikely to continue. If the situation changes, I'll let you know.

I was also sorry to hear that Martin Skidmore died on 27 July, aged only 52. Martin was the editor of Fantasy Advertiser in 1984-91 and was the editor at Trident Comics which published some fine comics in it brief lifetime. Despite suffering from cancer, Skidmore resurrected FA online last year and maintained an online journal of his treatement. The FA website has links to a number of tributes.

Today's random scans: For a change of pace, and as I haven't had a chance to do any for a while, here are a quartet of science fiction yarns from the 1940s and 1950s. The first is Slaves of Ijax by John Russell Fearn (Kaner, 1947) with a cover by H. W. Perl. Second is a pair of covers by George Ratcliff - the first for Arnold Brede's Sister Earth (Scion, 1951), the second for Duel in Nightmare Worlds by B. Flackes (Hamilton & Co., 1952). Last, but far from least, is a colourful Ron Turner cover for Spawn of Space by Franz Harkon (Scion, 1951).

Next week: More Paul Temple and whatever else I can squeeze in. I'm planning a few cover galleries that will feature some more SF cover from my favourite period of 1970s and 1980s. These will probably be a little less complete than some of the galleries I've produced in the past as, quite a few years ago, I sold off the majority of my SF collection due to lack of space. What I have now is patchy, so keep your eyes on Bear Alley and fire up your scanners as you may be able to fill some gaps.

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