Friday, February 03, 2012

Comic Cuts - 3 February 2012

Firstly, I want to say that today is the last day that I'm offering a discount on Pages from History Illustrated by C. L. Doughty. Orders that come in today will save you 10% on the cover price... orders that come in tomorrow will be charged at the full rate.

I'm very pleased to see that plenty of people have taken advantage of the offer... and nice to see so many names that I recognise as having ordered copies of other books. You really are a nice lot! I'm now starting to ship out copies of the book so hopefully everyone (at least everyone in the UK) will have received their copies by the end of next week.

Bear Alley Books has been running for about a year now. I had a couple of false starts but even the false starts were a handy learning experience and we're now running fairly smoothly (touch wood!). I had hoped to have a couple of further books out by now but my well publicised — well, I moaned about it endlessly here — computer problems last summer put the brakes on all other activities. However, six books in a year isn't bad going. How many books I can get out over the next year will depend on how much work comes in and how much extra time I can squeeze out of the day. I'm not even sure what the next book will be at the moment, although I have a few ideas for new things and also a couple of old projects that I would love to get into print.

I've spent most the week juggling work and sorting out a few things that have taken longer than I expected. I mentioned last week that I bought a new external hard drive, which meant spending the weekend copying files from drive to drive to make sure that I had a mirror of everything on two drives. The amount of data I've backed up in the last five or six years is amazing. Mostly images. I have two drives filled with images from Look and Learn alone and have been generating about 5-6GB a week that needs to be stored - work that I'm doing for Look and Learn, scans that I've done and scans that people have sent me.

I'm loath to delete anything, but I'm thinking I may have to have a cull at some point or I'm going to have to buy another hard drive within the next six months. I don't mean to hark on about this but it has been high in my thoughts all week, especially as the free space on my computer keeps creeping downwards.

Today's random scans are inspired by the news, broken by Nick Jones over on his Existential Ennui blog, that, starting in the summer, Titan Books are to reissue the novels of Helen MacInnes. A superb writer, dubbed "The Queen of spy writers" by the Daily Express, her books have been out of print for ages. She was one of the authors my Dad read as I recall her books being in the house when I was growing up and reading voraciously everything that I could get my hands on. My Dad would pick up a lot of paperbacks second hand and then give them away after he'd read them... so I clearly didn't get my paperback collecting mania from him.

After a good dig around the shelves I've only turned up four of her books, so having some reprints on the way is good news. Titan have yet to announce any titles but, frankly, given the condition of the copies I own, I'll probably replace them anyway.

Fontana Books 1263 [3rd imp.] Feb 1968, 317pp, 5/-. Cover: photo

Fontana Books 1398 [2nd imp.] Jul 1966, 253pp, 5/-. Cover: photo

Fontana Books 1728 [3rd imp.] May 1968, 253pp, 5/-.

Fontana Books 2499, 1971, 378pp, 7/- (35p). Cover: photo

Next week: Paul Temple returns. I'm not sure what's going up over the weekend because at this precise moment I haven't managed to write anything. It'll be as much of a surprise for me as it is for you.

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