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Friday, January 20, 2012

Comic Cuts - 20 January 2012

I'm very grateful to everyone who has so far pre-ordered the Pages from History Illustrated by C. L. Doughty book. It was a title I was a little nervous about because, for all his talents, Doughty is not a well known name amongst collectors.

The lack of reprints in the past has consigned a great many very talented artists and writers to obscurity and even the recent boom in British comics' reprints didn't take much advantage of the vast backlog of material available. Hopefully, if Pages from History is a success, we'll be able to do a few more collections and rescue a few other names. I'm already thinking of one that I'd love to do... but let's see how this one goes first.

Since last week I've given the book a thorough proofing, as have my three proof-readers (so a big thanks to them). I've added a key to all the illustrations which now includes the date of publication and added a couple of extra images, which now brings the book pagination up to 176 (for no extra cost!). I'm now waiting on a second proof to make sure that none of the alterations I've made have screwed things up; in other words, I'm confident that we'll hit the on sale date of 6 February and maybe even have the pre-ordered books shipped earlier than that.

Below are a few pages from the book's art gallery — there are over 100 illustrations in the book, all taken from original artwork, as well as four full-length strips. (And, yes, I've spotted that the pages below don't have page numbers... but the book will.)


Following on from last week's forties western titles, I thought it was about time we had a few more examples of the good girl art that was on show on contemporary crime/gangster yarns, so this week we're celebrating (in a small way) the wonderful H. W. Perl. I know nothing about Perl. Incredibly prolific in the late 1940s and early 1950s — often working at such speed that the results were not always good. But when he was good, he was very, very good. Then he disappeared completely in 1952, just as the number of books being gathered up by the vice squads up and down the country began to leap. Perl's sexy covers were certainly a target. So did he give up? Or did he reinvent himself under another name? Does anybody know?

The fourth and final title has what I presume to be a cover by Arnold Taylor, who was generally to be spotted working for book club hardcovers.

From Monday you'll be able to read Paul Temple's latest adventure, "Paul Temple and the Great Jewel Robbery". I finally got around to sorting it out, thanks to some late nights and lots of coffee. I must have done something particularly wicked in a former life because I'm not even going to get a lay in over the weekend thanks to the Inland Revenue, who will be snaffling up my feeble PLR payment and more once I file my tax returns. Aaaaagh!

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