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Friday, January 04, 2013

Comic Cuts - 4 January 2013

Welcome to twenty thirteen, two thousand and thirteen or two zero one three, however you want to say it. This is the first Comic Cuts of the new year and the first chance I've had to say that I hope you've all had a merry Christmas and didn't suffer too much of a hangover after the new year celebrations.

Me? I had a fine Christmas but went down with a cold which I'm only just getting over. It didn't stop me celebrating seeing the fireworks at midnight but it has meant a very odd sleep pattern of waking up at three, four and five o'clock in the morning ... gradually creeping towards my usual time for getting up of around six-thirty (don't ask me why, I've always been an early riser).

Most of the past two weeks have been pretty relaxing, with family and friends around to entertain me and keep me away from the computer. I haven't been completely idle: a little group of us have been ironing out some last-minute details for the Lion book. A proof has been proofed and, because it's such a big book, I'm going to get a second proof done, just to make sure everything is as good as I can get it.

Which is the long-winded way of saying that Bear Alley Books is now open for pre-publication orders of the Lion book. As always, I'm offering regulars 10% off the cover price if you  order ahead of the official publication date, which is Friday, 18 January.

I'm working on a couple of smaller volumes to give myself a bit of a breather, so the next couple of books from me are likely to feature Boys' World and possibly Ranger. I'm already working on the former, as you may have guessed from my comments a couple of weeks' ago.

Before I get too carried away with plans I ought to take a minute for a little reality check. The simple fact is that Bear Alley and Bear Alley Books are fun for me to do but they don't make me a living. Things have been tough the past year and I need to sell four or five times the number of books I sell to make a living; I just don't see things improving that much in 2013. Paying jobs have been thin on the ground and the only solution may be a real-world job. I notice with some sadness that Lew Stringer has had to bring his Blimey! blog to a close so it isn't just me hurting.

My slim and peculiar set of skills at least means that I'm able to make a little money during lulls in jobs that pay enough to pay the rent but I have to confess that I'm getting a little fed-up having to scrimp and make-do.

I was saddened to hear about the death of Charles Chilton. I had been thinking how fortunate we were not to have had the huge roll-call of deaths in the last quarter of 2012 that we had in 2011. I posted a little piece yesterday (below) based on something that appeared here on Bear Alley back in October 2006.

In honour of Chilton, today's random scans are six colour plates from the Riders of the Range western annual published by Juvenile Productions Ltd. All are, I think, by James E. McConnell, although only two are signed. The cover is, I suspect, by the book's main artist, Frank R. Grey, who provided most of the illustrations.

Over the weekend we have a couple of short articles, including a review of the new Serial Thrillers book. Next week I'll be playing catch-up on things like the upcoming releases column; I also have a couple of interesting oddments that I came across while researching other things, including a parody of The Eagle from 1950.


  1. I'm really looking forwards to the Lion book. I'll be ordering a copy as soon as I get some cash!

  2. I hope you can grab one while you can get the discount. Given the choice, I wouldn't have launched the book so soon after Christmas and new year, but I need some income this month. I spent two months earning nothing while I was writing the book and the rent and bills need to be paid!