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Friday, August 23, 2013

Comic Cuts - 23 August 2013

I'm writing this on Thursday afternoon and hopefully by the time you read this the order form for the Boys' World book will be up and working and you will be able to get to it by clicking the link above.

So that means the book's finished, right? Well... my estimate of three days work remaining that I confidently put forward last week proved to be a little optimistic. As it turned out, we nailed down the introductory text around seven o'clock on Wednesday. It wasn't substantially different to an earlier draft I was using to get things started and it didn't take too long to realign the text with the images. I still have a few piddling little jobs to do, but as of this moment I have 180 pages laid out and about ten to do.

This is thirty pages longer than the Ranger. But because we don't have thirty or so pages of comic strips, there's actually about 20,000 words more introductory text. The total is about 50,000 words once you add in the index to the weekly, the listings for the annuals, the creators index, the title index and an appendix revealing the payments made on three issues, which explains why this one has taken quite so long to compile.

I'm confident that I'll have the last few pages wrapped up in the next day or two and then we have to wait for the proofs to come in, so I've set the release date provisionally as 2nd September.

Frank Hampson's former home, Bayford Lodge in Epsom, is up for sale. It has been extensively remodeled over the years and, ironically, the twin attractions of space and light would probably suit a budding artist. Unfortunately, the asking price is £1,425,000, which is so far out of my price range, they may as well be offering to sell Mars or Jupiter.

I was pleased to see quite a few British comic characters appearing in the Guardian's comment thread asking who do you think is the greatest comic book character. From the Beano's Dennis the Menace to Slaine from 2000AD, the number of British characters receiving praise was—at least when I last looked—at least equal to the stars of American comic books. Hopefully the Guardian will compile the information into something a little easier to read than the current comment format.

Elmore Leonard died on Tuesday of complications following a stroke he suffered a few weeks ago and I have only the following to hand—and the first of these was recently sent by Nick Jones, who had been running some pieces on Leonard on his Existential Ennui blog. Leonard wrote a number of westerns before turning to urban crime novels. Two of his westerns are considered classics: Hombre and 3:10 to Yuma, both filmed, the latter twice.

As soon as the book is complete, I'm planning to take a couple of days off to catch my breath before I start work on the next one. So if you don't see any posts over the next few days, you'll know I've got my feet up.


Norman Boyd said...

CONGRATULATIONS Steve. I'm really looking forward to this one. Your books are so interesting even if I never read the original comics - in this case I did but around 40 years after they were published!

Mike Deller said...

Well done on finishing - I have been looking forward to this book ever since you first mentioned it.