My second full week on doing layouts. I'm writing this Thursday morning, having spent the first hour proofing text for the next section I'm putting together. As of last night I'd completed 85 pages, including the first 45 pages of the Introduction, the Annuals section, the Title Index and two sections of story précis. Will I have the book finished by next Friday, which is when we'll be celebrating our 7th anniversary? Er... I really don't know. But I should be able to put together a pre-order form over on the Bear Alley Books site so you can order your copy. I don't want to blow my own trumpet—well, not too loudly—but I think this will one of the best-looking books we've done to date.
I'm sad to say that the series Del Tebeo al Manga: Una Historia de los Cómics from Panini Comics in Spain has come to an end after ten volumes. This is a series of books edited by Antoni Guiral covering the history of comics around the world across an astonishing 2,096 pages. This isn't the first attempt at a global study of comics: The World Encyclopedia of Comics edited by Maurice Horn was probably the first and I was one of the writers involved in The Essential Guide to World Comics a few years ago, but these are both single volume books. Del Tebeo al Manga [From Comic Book to Manga] has taken an all-encompassing look at comics of all types—from adventures strips to humour to strips for the very young.
Random scans this week are a selection of the books I've picked up over the past few weeks. Actually, the first cover is an old one. One Man's War bought John Scalzi to the attention of many fans when it was published in 2005. It was published in the UK in 2007 and three follow-ups (The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony and Zoe's Dream) followed in 2008-09. Redshirts is not part of that series but, rather, is a humour novel about a worrying situation on board the space ship Intrepid where low-ranked crewmen keep dying on Away Missions.
Neal Asher is a fellow Essex-born writer. I don't know him, but I thought I'd give his books a try, so I've picked up a couple. It is going to be ages before I get around to reading them, but I'll get around to them. The cover shown is by Jon Sullivan.
And finally, Philip K. Dick's Time Out of Joint. It's one of the books that I got rid of a decade ago when I downsized my paperback collection... and I've probably spent nine of the past ten years picking up books I used to have.