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Friday, April 20, 2012

Comic Cuts - 20 April 2012

A shorter column than usual this week as I'm off to London for the day to see if I can drum up some work to keep me in Polo mints — of which I've been getting through a couple of packets a day since giving up smoking. Something else I'm going to have to ween myself off at some point. I'm still not smoking — two whole weeks now and it's only just starting to get a little easier. I'm still taking the occasional puff on the electronic cigarette, but I'm trying to keep that to a minimum as I don't want to swap one addiction for another.

I thought I would see some improvements but all I've noticed so far is that I'm feeling more tired and more easily distracted. Part of the problem was that, over the first two days, I deliberately screwed up my routine in order to avoid the habitual cigarettes I've been smoking for 20+ years; now that I'm trying to get back onto my normal work schedule again I'm finding it difficult. Mel described it as jet lag and I can't think of a better description.

In between lapses of concentration, I've managed to get the new book out and all the advance orders should be filled by the time you read this, depending on the post... although copies will obviously take a little longer if you're not in the UK. I'm about to begin work on the next Bear Alley Books publication, which will be the Sexton Blake Annual. I'm a big fan of Blake, so I'm looking foward to getting started. I'll probably release these every six weeks or so and, with a good tail wind, I'll have more books on offer over the summer and autumn. That's the plan anyway. Our column header is the 1938 edition.

As regular readers know, the money I'm saving by giving up smoking is going into what I'm calling my Kindle Fund, raising money to buy a Kindle. And the fund currently stands at...

Kindle Fund: £69.22

Our random scans for today begin with three covers I was missing from the John Wyndham cover gallery. These have been sent in by Richard Sheaf and I'll be adding them to the Wyndham gallery shortly. The last two are by two artists favoured by most collectors of British paperbacks, namely Ron Turner and Reginald Heade. The Turner is a Badger classic, Supernatural Stories issue 6 from 1955; the Gardner is a hardcover dustjacket, Cassell, 1944. This is what the internet was made for: Heade and cats!

Our comic strip continues over the weekend as I'm away up in London today and have to do some shopping and scanning tomorrow. With luck I'll have a new cover gallery for you next weekend.


  1. Ron Turner drew some classic Dalek strip stories and was I believe drawing right up to his death a few years ago.

  2. Just to let you know - the new book arrived today, in Australia! I've read a couple of pages so far but it looks fabulous. If concorde weren't gone, I'd think that it came on that!
    Cheers, Daniel

  3. Did you know you can download the Kindle software to your PC (and, apparently, smart-phone, should you have such an infernal device).

    I was completely oblivious to this until an American friend published a book on Kindle-only.

    On there is a button 'for your PC' and that led me to the page (which is where my account is0 and lo and behold - a free download of Kindle software.

    Apparently it synchs with your real Kindle - So you have a back-up copy of the books you buy.

    Good idea, methinks!

    Of course, try and find a link to it on and you're in for a merry dance! Obviously they don't want we brits knowing about it yet.

    But anyway, so far as I'm concerned ... I don't need a Kindle now, I've got one on me laptop : )


    John Ashbrook

  4. Hi John,

    Yes, I'm aware of the free Kindle software for PCs, but I'm after the full Kindle experience... my laptop is at least 10 years old and not something I want to lug around town when I'm doing my shopping on a Saturday.

    All this talk of Kindle doesn't mean I'm giving up on paper books, by the way. I'm just looking at ways of getting my back catalogue into print again and getting to places where maybe the cost of postage is putting people off buying physical books.

  5. Simon Clark wrote an excellent sequel to The Day of The Triffids a few years ago.

  6. You've already got one buyer for the full set of annuals!

  7. Hi Mike,

    Glad to hear it. I should have some news about them shortly.