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Friday, March 09, 2012

Comic Cuts - 9 March 2012

Another non-news week. Everything I'm working on is heading in the right direction but slowly as I've not managed to have a whole day off in some weeks and some evenings have been dedicated to other things (the Bruce Cornwell obit. or cleaning up covers for a future gallery). When spare time is only a few hours, even a meal out to celebrate someone's birthday (as happened last Saturday) can lose you (well, me) valuable book-writing time. Having been stuck in front of a computer all week, you'll not be surprised to learn that I chose food over typing. Very nice food, in fact. I'd better get off this topic before I make myself hungry.

The next couple of projects from Bear Alley Books are going to be something of a departure, although I'd point to the fact that our six books to date are pretty diverse: three comic strip collections, an index, a collection of essays and an art book. If you've looked carefully at the Bear Alley Books site, you'll have noticed that from day one there has been an unlinked heading for "fiction". Unlinked because we've not published any so far... but that's about to change. And, before you ask, no, it's not fiction by me. It does, however, relate to the Gwyn Evans biography that I'm currently working on. Incidentally, I'm still wrangling pictures for the latter, hence the lack of any announcements; we're in "swan" mode at the moment — the surface isn't rippled by the passing of another week, but underneath, we're going like the clappers.

I'm in the process of signing a deal for another set of books that will hopefully appear over late spring and summer. I've agreed terms but the contract isn't signed yet, so I'll save that announcement for another week. If everything goes to plan, by the summer the number of Bear Alley Books published will reach double figures. Not bad for a spare-time hobby that put out its first book a year ago.

There seems to have been a spate of deaths recently that, whilst not directly involving creators of comics, do involve those lurking around the fringes. The comedian Ken Goodwin died on 18 February, aged 78. Readers of Look-In might remember that he starred in "Settle Down Now with Ken Goodwin" in 1973-74. Look-In was also home to quite a few strips related to Richard Carpenter, the scriptwriter, who died on 26 February, aged 82. He was involved in dozens of memorable children's shows from the 1950s to 2000s, many of which made it into the pages of comics, including Catweazle (in both TV Comic and Look-In), The Adventures of Black Beauty, Dick Turpin and Robin of Sherwood. And, on 13 February, Louise Cochrane, creator of the Watch With Mother series Rag, Tag and Bobtail (who starred in TV Comic), died at the age of 93.

As a bit of a celebration of their lives, today's column has examples of their strips and our random scans for today are a selection of books by Carpenter.

Next week... y'know, I'm not sure. I think it's about time we had another strip but I've not decided which one yet. Richard Sheaf has something for us this weekend and I'll hopefully have another "mystery that has me mystified" author from the 1950s, which means "good girl art". That should keep me busy...

1 comment:

Mike W said...

Geoffrey Bayldon who played Catweazle (& also The Crowman in Worzel Gummidge) is still going strong at the age of 88.
Great news that on Tue 20 March a set of 10 GB stamps are being issued to commorate the 75th anniversary of The Dandy.
10 different comic front covers are featured along with an inset of a major character linked to the comic - the stamps look magnificent although sadly only 3 (Beano, Dandy, 2000 AD) of the comics featured are still being published.
Examples of the stamps include Valiant with The Steel Claw, Bunty with The Four Marys, Tiger with Roy of the Rovers and 2000AD with Judge Dredd.
If are more are ever issued it would be good to see The Trigan Empire, Charley's War, Mytek the Mighty, Kelly's Eye, Blackhawk and The Spider.