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Friday, May 10, 2013

Comic Cuts - 10 May 2013

There's little to report this end. There was more work involved in the Look & Learn job than originally thought, so it is taking a little longer than I at first budgeted. It's paid work, so I'm not complaining, but my original hope of getting the Boys' World book out in June is slowly slipping away. July now look more likely.

Having a bank holiday on Monday didn't help speed things up and my Mum was over on Tuesday. We also have a persistent slow leak from a water pipe under the kitchen sink. We're soaking up the puddles with towels and waiting, waiting, waiting for the f*cking plumber to arrive. Let's see how much of this post I can write before he turns up. [I've finished the whole thing and cleaned up three paperback covers... and I'm still waiting!]

We went to see Iron Man 3 last weekend, which was a fantastic film. Thoroughly enjoyed it, as I had the first two films in the series. I'm not a huge Marvel fan but the recent run of films has been terrific. Even films I was not looking forward to, like Thor, turned out to be a lot of fun.

When I read American comics I was always more of a DC fan, having followed artists like Dave Gibbons and Brian Bolland and writers like Alan Moore into the growing number of comic shops that sprang up in the UK in the 1980s. My pal John Clark drove us over to Colchester from Chelmsford and we visited a tiny shop called Ace Comics, tucked away near Colchester Castle.

There I was directed to Swamp Thing when I said I read 2000AD and aimed at a couple of other titles that 2000AD creators had worked on. My memory isn't perfect these days, but I'm pretty sure I picked up two or three issues of Swamp Thing that day (a Friday). And then took the train back to Colchester the next day to buy the rest of the run. It was a few years later that I moved to Colchester, but that was for work purposes, not so I could live nearer a comic shop. Honest.

Like many, I grew up on Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animation films. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and Clash of the Titans were the three I saw at the cinema when I was a kid/teenager, although it doesn't feel like more than 30 years since the last one appeared – perhaps because they were so often shown on TV, perhaps because many of the actors and actresses seem to pop up in TV shows so regularly (Claire Bloom from Clash of the Titans had a major role in a recent Doctor Who episode, for instance).

Ray has featured her on Bear Alley a couple of times thanks to Jeremy Briggs, who penned a series about his comic strip appearances in the UK. You can read part 1 and part 2 by following the links. Obituaries have appeared in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and on BBC News.

Random scans today are a trio of titles from thriller writer Robert Vacha. He only wrote eight novels in total; the five he wrote for Star Books all featured Colonel Robert Craig of British Intelligence, a couple of them set in the near future. Is it just me or is the guy on the cover of The Proton Plot a dead ringer for Six Million Dollar Man actor Lee Majors? [Update: Thanks to Shaqui, who has identified the original source, which is indeed Lee Majors... and, in fact, comes from another Star Books title! I've added a cover pic.]

Next week sees the conclusion of the latest Lesley Shane adventure. Hopefully I will have some news about publishing more Lesley Shane yarns soon. And this weekend I will be posting something extra. It was written last week and I completely forgot to change the setting from draft to live! D'oh!

A call-back to Iron Man 3: if you've never seen it, go out and beg, steal or borrow a copy of Shane Black's previous film with Robert Downey Jr., Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is just brilliant. You won't regret it. Guess how I spent my lunchtime!


  1. Yes, the guy on the front of The Proton Plot is drawn directly from a still of Lee Majors in one of the Six Million Dollar Man films. One very like it is used on the front of one of the novels:

  2. Another novel by Robert Vacha is 'Phantoms over Potsdam' (1973). See here:

    I've got a Dutch translation of that novel called 'Het oog van de naald' ('The eye of the needle').