Friday, October 21, 2011
Comic Cuts - 21 October 2011
I did get a chance to read one of the latest DFC Library books, which I've reviewed below. I'd hoped to also have a review of the new Strip comic, but there has been short delay - the comic is being printed in Bosnia and the couriers have failed to meet their delivery date. Print Media also have a couple of books due out shortly which I'll review when copies turn up.
Yesterday's Papers blog, has a review of a book that might be of interest to fans of the oldest British comics and story papers. The Curious Cyclists by John Reynolds is the story of two young Nottingham men who decided to take a trip to Gibraltar by bicycle in the waning days of Queen Victoria's reign. It's a true story and the two men were Tom Browne, artist of such early strips as 'Weary Willie and Tired Tim', and Stacey Blake, who wrote popular boys' stories for The Captain, Big Budget, etc. Blake was an inveterate traveller, journeying around Europe, Scandinavia and North Africa by bike or on foot; his trip to Gibraltar was enlivened by having Browne provide illustrations for his journal jottings about their exploits, 42 of which Browne later transferred to slides. These are reproduced in Reynolds' book, which is available from Amazon for as little as £5.
carried an obituary this week for John Holmes, an artist best known for his surreal book and record sleeve designs, his most famous image being the cover for Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch, published in 1970. Born in 1935, Holmes studied at the Coopers' Company school in Bow and took on a variety of jobs, including porter at Smithfield market, to support his young family following his National Service with the RAF. He painted abstracts, eventually gaining a place at the London College of Printing in 1965. He subsequently worked as an art director with an advertising company as well as producing numerous covers for Granada, Pan, Ballantine and others, ranging from Vladimir Nabokov's Despair (1969) to Peter Benchley's Jaws (1974); he also illustrated H. P. Lovecraft books for Ballantine and the Horror Stories series for Fontana. Above is one of my favourites, the Futura edition of George Tremlett's The Rolling Stones Story (1974).
This week's random scans have all been supplied by readers. David Ainsworth has sent me over a few in the past ahead of selling off books on Amazon. This week it was the 1961 Four Square edition of The Heart in Exile by Rodney Garland (Adam de Hegedus) with a nice Edward Mortelmans cover. Phil Rushton sent over a filler for my Isaac Asimov cover gallery, the Digit edition of Second Foundation, which was already a pretty sharp copy when it arrived. The same can't be said for the issue of Schoolgirl Picture Library that Roger Green (suitably apologetic) sent over, which took a lot of work and still isn't perfect. But I'd rather have a rough copy that needs some work than no copy at all.