Friday, October 26, 2012

Comic Cuts - 26 October 2012

Not much in the way of news this week. I have spent most of it scanning and aching – scanning because I'm trying to get together scans of unidentified artists to send out to friends to see if they can i.d. them and aching because the little twist round to the scanner and having to press down to keep the books on the scanner has caused stabbing pains in my back. The back pain dates back almost thirty years, so I'm used to it. Doesn't make it any less painful but it's not unexpected and it will wear off over the next few days.

This is the research phase for the next index. A few new names came to light a while back and I'll post a few examples over the next couple of days as we lead up to the Recent Releases and Upcoming Releases columns that will run next week. A lot of artists in the 1950s had a rather bland, uninspiring style and I'm not always confident in saying for sure that a particular page is by a particular artist – hence spreading around the scans.

That's not to say that all artists were nonedescript. I've actually discovered a couple of artists, like the guy who drew 'Flying Saucer Over Africa', that I rather like and hopefully I'll highlight some of them in the finished book.

So that was my week... painful, distracting, a bit depressing punctuated with a few moments of intrigue, interest and then another stab of pain which will pull me up sharp. I'm going to keep this short so I can go out for a walk.

Today's random scans were sent over by Richard Sheaf, who picked up a little run of old Hutchinson & Co. related titles published in the 1940s. The titles were published by a group of publishers in a uniform edition, including Grout, Hutchinson, Hurst & Blackett, Hodder, Jarrolds, John Long, Andrew Melrose, Rich & Cowan, Readers Library, Skeffington and Stanley Paul. (Phew!)

One of the most interesting things about these early books is that they printed sales information on the covers. First printings, for instance, often ran to around 30-40 thousand copies. The first paperback printing of No Orchids For Miss Blandish was 16 thousand and there were printing noting 56th thou., 81st thou., 106th thou., 164th thou., 189th thou., 217th thou., 242nd thou., 367th thou. and 470th thou. Amazing sales over a period of only a couple of years.

We have some "little known artists" columns coming up over the weekend and, as previously mentioned the recent and upcoming releases columns. Get your orders in for Christmas now!

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