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Friday, June 01, 2012

Comic Cuts - 1 June 2012

It's in the nature of my work that there are weeks where I have little to say about how things are going, especially if I have more than one project on the boil. This has been the case through most of April and May where I've been working on four or five different things since the release of the Gwyn Evans book. The news tends to come in waves... nothing... nothing... nothing... a hint of something... something! something! something!... nothing...

Part of the problem this time around is that I grouped two projects together because I want to get proofs for three books printed at the same time to save myself a bit of cash.

But, at last, I have some news to report!

I finished the London is Stranger Than Fiction layouts on Tuesday, although there is a little finessing to do still as this is something I'm co-producing with Look and Learn Ltd. Then there are two Sexton Blake annuals that are now finished and with the printer, all ready to go. These were completed on Wednesday but I'll be releasing them one at a time. The first will be the 1940 annual which contains stories by Gwyn Evans, G. H. Teed, Rex Hardinge and two stories by Anthony Skene, one entitled 'Zenith the Albino' (guess who features in that one!). There are also reprints of two early stories, one by Blake's creator, Harold Blyth, and one from Michael Storm (Ernest Sempill) which introduced the character of George Marsden Plummer.

I've chosen this one because it's such a good introduction to the character — there are some nice little articles which will bring you up to speed if you're not a die-hard Blake fan and the stories are by some of Blake's most popular authors.

I will be putting up a pre-order page for this one shortly and the book will be out next month, as will Peter Jackson's London is Stranger Than Fiction, which reprints all the strips from Jackson's two books, London is Stranger Than Fiction and London Explorer. As I mentioned above, I'm producing this in association with Look and Learn who are custodians of the Peter Jackson London Collection of over 20,000 images — which is what I was working on last year and the early months of this year. Look and Learn struck a deal with the owners of the Jackson books which has made this reprint collection possible. The four Blake annual reprints are the result of another deal of which all I'll say is that I need to work on my negotiation techniques, as it involved writing out a rather large cheque up front with no guarantee that I'll actually sell any books!

Let's change topic before I talk myself into a panic. Over at the Book Palace, they're gearing up for the release of the new quarterly magazine Illustrators. The first issue is due out in August and its 96 pages contains features on Denis McLoughlin, Badia Camps and Cherie Herouard, alongside interviews with Ian Kennedy and Mick Brownfield. Head over to the Book Palace website for a preview.

Our random scans this week are a selection of Badger SF yarns by authors other than Badger regulars Lionel Fanthorpe and John Glasby. William H. Fear was, I guess, an early regular as he wrote a fair number of the early Badger SF output, including the pseudonymous Quest of the Seeker by James T. Elton. But he soon gave up (not surprising, as pay rates rarely rose above 10 shillings a thou.) and others arrived to take his place, including a number of reprints and a single novel by the indefatigable Victor Norwood.



Robert V. Engle (Pyramid G339, 1958)

Henry Fox

Next week we have a full five days of World of Wonder. I hope you're enjoying these trips down memory lane; we're almost a third of the way through the run (not, I should note, that I have a full run) and I'll hopefully get another batch of these finished before the month is out although putting these galleries together is particularly time consuming.

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