Friday, October 07, 2011

Comic Cuts - 7 October 2011

The highlighted name is that of John Seymour Lucas and I was writing up his son Sydney for the Illustration Art Gallery blog when I stumbled across this advert for DeReszkes Cigarettes. The advert appeared on 8 December 1922. Seymour Lucas died five months later.

A little news about the next Bear Alley Books project. I managed to spend a whole day working on the upcoming The Black Pirate collection last weekend and now have all of the original artwork pages pieced together. Just to explain: the boards were too big to scan in one piece, so I had to do up to four scans (although usually two or three) per page, which I've then had to put together like a jigsaw puzzle - one of the reasons why this particular project is taking so long. Thirty pages of original artwork are being used in the book which meant some seventy-five scans in total.

The good news is that all thirty pages have now been reconstructed. That left ten missing pages across two stories, which have also now been scanned, and the third story - of twenty-five pages - has also been scanned. The third story, incidentally, will have some missing frames restored that didn't make the cut when it appeared in Look and Learn.

There's still quite a long way to go: I've cleaned up about a third of the pages, but some pages also need to be relettered and there's a fair amount of restoration required. I'm also mulling over the idea of adding a fourth story, which is probably a completely daft idea as it will add another twenty-four pages to my workload.

Another possible title that I'm not quite ready to announce yet also took a step towards reality this week. Hopefully I'll be starting on it before Christmas, by which time you'll know what it is.

Just to balance all this good news, I was knocked back on another book I wanted to do. The company in charge won't let me do it at this time, which is a bit disappointing. Maybe, one day...

Given the weird way the weather has been of late, today's random scans has a doomed world theme... except the one above. John Christopher is one of  the big names of British science fiction who, ironically, is now almost forgotten. I think I'm right in saying that The Death of Grass is his only book still in print here in the UK, although others are available from the USA.

The first title here isn't a novel, it's a collection, but I couldn't resist putting it in here because (a) I had the book to hand; and (b) it has a fine cover.

Next up are our three global disaster novels, beginnig with the classic The Death of Grass, which Penguin published with a stark cover by John Griffiths in 1963. I did a little digging around the internet and found a later edition from Sphere for comparison. In fact, I found later Sphere editions of all three books, so my thanks to the original scanner. The 1964 Penguin edition of The World in Winter has a cover by Bruce Robertson. For the third title, A Wrinkle in the Skin, we actually have two different Sphere editions.

Next week, less doom and more Paul Temple... and we're approaching the end of the story. No breaks from hereon.


  1. Thanks for reminding me to look John Christopher up again Steve. I'd forgotten these titles - having concentrated on Tripods and Prince in waiting trilogies. I was so pleased that one of my kids loved his work. One of the others fell for Nicholas Fisk (I read Space Hostages as a kid).
    I'm off to the net to search for some - thanks

  2. Christopher (Samuel Youd) is probably best known for his children's books, most of which are still in print. His other output is just as good, though. I think I've read most of his books.

    Whether writing for children or adults, his chosen sub-genre is more or less exclusively dystopian.



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