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Friday, January 11, 2013

Comic Cuts - 14 January 2013

This will be a briefer column than usual as I'm juggling one too many tasks at the moment – writing one book, planning the next, doing some metadata and desperately trying to have a life as well. We finally got to see The Hobbit last weekend (not as bad as I feared, although a bit bum-numbing in length) and we're off to a birthday party this Saturday.

Our TV schedule has been knocked for six in the past week and we have a lot of programmes building up on the box ... so while everyone else is probably chatting about them, I've still to see the new series of Borgen or the latest Attenborough, Africa. The murders in Ripper Street and Death in the Sun won't be solved for a while and Stargazine Live is going to be far from live by the time we get around to it. And next week, the Beeb are launching a new series called Blandings, based on P. G. Wodehouse, so we might get to see that ... one day.

The latest book from Bear Alley Books is on schedule. I should be receiving the second proof today (Friday) and if I can't spy any errors, I will start processing the pre-orders over the weekend. I'll keep the pre-publication order offer open, so you can still get 10% off if you order before next weekend. I'm pleased to say that orders have been coming in fairly steadily over the past week and it looks like I might match Pages from History for pre-publication orders, that being the current record holder.

Followers of Bear Alley may recall the problems we're having getting the house insulated, detailed here back in November. Back then, I left on a hopeful note that the company we had contacted still had its funding. We were measured up and got everything signed, sealed and delivered as far as permission from our landlady was concenrned. So we were just waiting to hear from the company who had said they would be able to do the job in early January.

Instead, we've now heard that they, too, have had their funding cut. There is a grant available, but it will still cost hundreds to get the job done. We've also, during December, had two quotes done for a new boiler. And this week we had yet another guy come around to give a quote. So my hope that we would have a nice cozy house before Christmas has disappeared like heat though an uninsulated attic and it's beginning to look like we may not get sorted before the snow starts to fall ... if anything gets sorted at all. Or will this be like the radiator in the bathroom, which hasn't worked since we moved in despite the problem being pointed out the morning after we moved in back in July 2010!

Only two random scans this week. The first is an old SF anthology, this from 1962 in a Panther edition. The second is a book I picked up a few weeks ago because I liked the look of it. I'm very slow when it comes to picking up on new authors and new books – I have so many old authors and their old books to get through! – but this one took my fancy as it has that old 1930s pulp aesthetic and I loved the 1990s Sandman Mystery Theatre series, which also featured a guy in a gas mask.

Over the weekend I'm running a checklist of creators who worked on Lion and its associated annuals and summer specials, plus a cover gallery of thriller writer Henry Porter. Next week may see the start of a new comic strip – I haven't quite decided yet.

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