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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bob Bartholomew (1923-2013)

Bob Batholomew, circa 1949, in his red Singer Le Mans sports car.

Bob Bartholomew, best know to the comics' world as the editor of Eagle and Boys' World in the 1960s, died on Wednesday, 9 October, at the age of 90. Bob had been kind enough to share his memories of his days working at The Amalgamated Press, Odhams and IPC over the years. I first spoke to him when I was putting together a history of the old Fleetway educational magazines (Look and Learn and the like) and he was very generous with his time, offering a unique insight into the latter days of The Children's Newspaper, which he helped to re-shape for a new generation. As a sub-editor to Sydney Warner, he introduced a sports page as Warner attempted to make the paper more attractive to children with pop features and fiction.

Bob took over The Eagle during a dark and troublesome time as far as fans of the paper are concerned. Following the Mirror Group's purchase of Odhams, which put Leonard Matthews in control of the Odhams' comics department, it is generally agreed that changes made to update the papers (in Eagle's case the introduction of reprints and the removal of Dan Dare from the front cover) failed miserably. With sales falling, Bartholomew was brought in and tried to regain some of the old style of the Eagle in its heyday. The first strip he helped introduce was 'Heros the Spartan', considered one of the finest strips ever to appear in British comics.

Born in Eltham, South London, on 25 August 1923 and educated locally at Gordon School, Eltham, Leslie Robert Thomas Bartholomew was a keen reader from an early age, sometimes 4 or 5 books a week, with an aptitude for English. He joined the Amalgamated Press as a junior at the age of 14, working on The Children's Newspaper where he mostly running messages, but was able to write the odd paragraph of news, for which he received an additional half a crown. He continued his education with a three year Associated Insitute of Mechanical Engineering Course at the South-East London Technical School, and later studied Maths and French in order to join the Air Force as a pilot. He scored 100% in maths at his entrance exam, and was offered a navigator's training, but insisted that it should be pilot training, although he subsequently served in Liberators as a navigator circling the Atlantic looking for U-Boats.

On his return to Amalgamated Press after five years, Bartholomew worked on The Children's Encyclopedia, scanning the thousands of pages for entries that needed updating and writing for The Children's Newspaper, eventually writing the weekly leader, front pages, sports pages, interviews and whatever else was required.

In 1962, Bartholomew took over The Eagle as editor, and tried to recapture some of the elements of the original paper's prestige, but found his efforts thwarted as decisions were made to bring the paper in line with other Fleetway comics. Bartholomew was also editor of Boys' World  (1963-64), worked on various other Odhams and Fleetway papers – including World of Wonder and World of Knowledge – until 1981. He left IPC in August 1981 to concentrate on freelance work, mostly Disney characters for Gutenberghus, the Danish publishers of Disney Magazine. He retired in 1992.

Bartholomew only wrote a few scripts during his editorial days, including the Dan Dare story ‘Underwater Attack’ (1967-68) and the last few scripts for ‘The Guinea Pig’ (1968-69). He was, however, a regular compiler of crosswords for The Times; it was a Bartholomew-compiled set of cryptic clues that appeared alongside the wrong grid one Easter morning around 1991.

Bob was married to Joyce Theresa Wates in 1950; she died in 2002 but he is survived by their three children: Andrew, Paul and Joanna.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection review

Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection is a huge hunk of a book that takes me back to my childhood, right back to the late Sixties, when I was just starting to convert my pocket money into weekly comics. First Valiant, then Joe 90: Top Secret when it launched in January 1969 because it had The Champions and Land of the Giants, which were two of my favourite TV shows of the time.

I was also picking up TV21, which meant I caught the tail end of the Frank Bellamy run on Thunderbirds. Now, Thunderbirds was my favourite of all the Gerry Anderson shows, so to have new adventures, in colour, was mindblowing. Later, I could appreciate the skill with which Bellamy depicted the characters and the action, telling the story through an intricate jigsaw of jagged-edged panels, but when I was seven the story and the colour were the key issues.

This might be why I quickly went off the strip after TV21 and Joe 90 merged. As far as I was concerned, Valiant was the most consistently exciting paper I was reading and I drifted away from TV21 when Thunderbirds and Joe 90 disappeared in the summer of 1970, probably so I could spend the money I was saving on icecreams and at the penny arcades of seaside towns we visited.

So re-reading these yarns is like rediscovering a little bit of my childhood that I haven't stumbled across in some while. Ravette reprinted at least some of these stories back in the early 1990s, but I was too busy with other things to pick up every volume. That makes this current collection a real joy: it doesn't contain every story published, but it is a very solid run of strips published between September 1967 and April 1970, with 14 of the 16 stories painted by Frank Bellamy. The remaining two stories by John Cooper from TV21 & Joe 90 have been newly coloured in a style that makes the stories fit perfectly into the book.

The other big bonus is a run of three Lady Penelope stories from 1965 plus on story from that year's TV21 Summer Extra (wrongly credited as Lady Penelope Summer Extra here, and on the story credited to Eric Eden rather than its true artist, Frank Hampson, who is correctly credited on the contents page; while we're noting errors, one of the Lady Penelope stories is wrongly credited to Frank Bellamy when it is actually by Eden).

For the most part the integrity of the colour is pretty good: working from printed copies can be a pain (believe me, I know!) as delicate colouring can easily be lost as you remove the smoky yellow cast caused by age. Volumes where artwork has been restored or rescanned from original boards can give us a far better chance of the colours remaining true in a printed book. But I think Egmont, bar the occasional glitch (e.g. pages 54-55), have done a pretty good job.

Apart from 200 pages of Thunderbirds and 60 pages of Lady Penelope, there are also some very neat features from Graham Bleathman, who provides cutaways and details of launch sequences for all of the craft that can be launched, and a nifty look at how Thunderbird 5 was constructed in orbit, as well as revealing details of both Tracy Island and Lady Creighton-Ward's stately home. These provide a nice break from the helter-skelter action of the stories.

The pricetag for this chunky book is an equally chunky £25.00. But many shops will have the volume on offer and Amazon are offering the book with a 35% discount.

Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection. Egmont ISBN 978-1405-26836-3, October 2013, 288pp, £25.00.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Comic Cuts - 25 October 2013

I haven't much to report on the work front. I'm still plugging away at one or two things that I'll be promoting shortly. One will be the Gino D'Antonio book, which I want to get back to as soon as possible. I had hoped to have it out by the end of the month, but the month has rather gotten away from me.

So... I figured out that the stomach problems I was having wasn't irritable bowel but must have been – must be, as it hasn't quite cleared up – a pulled muscle. I eased back on the exercise I was doing and things have been slowly improving. I'm still on a mixture of walking and using an ancient exercise bike and still burning up roughly 2,000 calories a week above what I used to burn sitting around all day in front of the computer. I haven't weighed myself for a month, so it'll be interesting to see if the bike has made any difference. I might be able to find out in a couple of weeks.

I have been to two gigs since last week's Comic Cuts: we went to see Lucy Porter on Friday. This was her first tour in some years as she has taken time off while her children were very young. It's great to have her back and her Northern Soul show is at least as much fun as her 2008 show, 'Love In'. The narrative had the audience engaged from the moment she walked onto the stage and we learned a lot about the attitudes of her father as she grew up in Croydon, the daughter of a Northern Irish shop owner. We learn, too, why Lucy wanted to attend Manchester University, what it was like working for Richard & Judy and what happened to her when she began on the comedy circuit. There are plenty of laughs to be had as teenage Lucy tries to find her place in the world after deciding that, although born in the south, she is spiritually a Northerner.

If Lucy Porter still hasn't found her place by the end of her tour, maybe she'll consider Colchester. We're not like the rest of Essex. (That should be the town's motto!)

Not that it's perfect . . . and this is a bit of an aside . . . because the council have been screwing around with the bus services again. The latest changes, I suspect, are down to an ongoing problem they had: a dozen different bus routes converged on a single bus stop located just after a point where traffic met from two different directions. At the top of the hour, at least three buses were due and only two could fit into the indent into the pavement where buses were meant to pull in. This, too, was where bus drivers changed, so buses would often sit, unmoving, for five minutes while the third bus waited, blocking all traffic, until it, too, could pull in to deliver or collect its passengers.

So now I have to walk twice the distance to catch a bus back to Wivenhoe from Colchester. It's not a major problem, although I did notice the other day that they've stuck in another bus stop about thirty yards further down the road from the original (still active). Quite how this is meant to help I don't know because there's not enough room to get a car or bus around the parked bus if it stops.

Anyway, back to gigs. Robin Ince would appreciate the irony that I've just looked up the name of his tour on the ticket and it just says The Importance of. Of what, damnit? Aaaaagh!

Of being interested, that's what. Ince asserts that we should never lose interest even if what you're doing seems mundane because that's how things are discovered. Twenty years ago, Richard Feynman spent a happy day snapping uncooked spaghetti and counting the pieces because he noticed that, when bent out of shape, spaghetti doesn't just snap into two pieces, as you would expect, but fragments into three, four or more pieces.

Richard Feynman is one of Ince's heroes: he helped develop the atomic bomb during WWII and helped develop our understanding of quantum physics. Here's his page on Wikipedia where I've just learned that he didn't speak until the age of three. "Why speak now, son?" his parents asked. "Because until now the wheels on the bus would have gone round and round as you described..." replied Feynman. . . no he didn't, it's a joke about Germans adapted for physicists.

Ince's jokes about physicists are better, I promise. He has energy and enthusiasm and a set of slides to present, some of which he has to dash through to fit the show into the allotted time (and it was still a long show). Like the PowerPoint presentation, the subject matter jumps around as each slide sends him off on a topic, whether it is Charles Darwin or naked mole rats. Ince's 5-year-old son, Archie, is a running, and I should say legitimate, meme throughout the show as Ince compare's his own reactions to Archie's. Anecdotes are accompanied by impersonations of Feynman, Mr Magoo, Brian Cox and others, a bit of shouting and a lot of passion. One of the strength's of the show is that Ince throws complex ideas into the mix without feeling the need for complex explanations. The ideas can be marveled at for what they are. I suspect that Robin Ince spends a lot of time marveling at things and we should all be grateful that he tours around the country letting us all have a glimpse at them.

OK... the photos... I tried taking a photo of Lucy Porter but there wasn't a single usable picture. Instead, meet Lucy the cat who I see every day as I do for a walk; and I managed to forget my camera when we went to see Robin Ince, which is annoying as we hung around after the gig and had a brief chat. As I don't have a picture of a Robin to hand, this is Fluffybum, who popped in for a visit a couple of weeks ago. I tend to carry the camera around with me and end up taking photographs of all sorts of rubbish. For instance, the road has been closed off nearby so some new pipes can be laid. I have photos of the road closed sign, the trench that was dug... why? Who knows. Every now and then I get a shot I'm happy with, such as the graveyard shot taken this (Thursday) morning. There was a low mist which layered the gravestones. It just looked nice.

The column topper was a series a four photos taken out of the upstairs window of a bus on Saturday... there's a lot of building going on around Wivenhoe and it's nice to see that there are still some views that are unbroken. Shame the weather wasn't better. We do get some big skies in Wivenhoe. The photo above was taken earlier this month down at the quay.

Well, that was a chatty column. We should have a book review tomorrow and we're back with those Magnificent Men and Their Flying (Saucer) Machines next week.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Commando Issues 4647-4650

Commando issues on sale 24 October 2013

Commando No 4647 – Dead Shot

Young Jason Stringer was an excellent shot. Almost as soon as he joined up his potential to become a top sniper was immediately spotted…and carefully nurtured.
   Such was his skill that he soon became a propaganda figure — the almost mythical “British Bite”. A quiet man, Jason wanted no fuss and to keep his identity secret. But that would prove impossible when the Germans set their own super sniper against him.

Story: Dominic Teague
Art: Vila
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4648 – Crash Dive!

In 1943 there wasn’t a single matelot in the Royal Navy who hadn’t heard of HM Submarine Dauntless. She’d sent more Japanese ships on the downward trip to Davy Jones’ locker than any other vessel in the Pacific.
   Skipper of the Dauntless was the legendary “Mauler” Mathieson — tough as the plates of steel that welded his sub together, and surly as a wounded bear.
   So when young Harry Barton was posted to the Dauntless, he reckoned he was just about the luckiest lieutenant in the Navy. But that was before he found out there could only be one officer aboard the Dauntless…“Mauler” Mathieson himself!

Introduction

The front cover of this issue hints at tension and drama underwater but if you’re expecting a suspenseful 63 pages, you’ll be disappointed. This is an action-packed tale that cracks along like a line of Spanish fire-crackers. Perhaps it has something to do with the two Spanish artists whose work you can appreciate her. Chaco did a number of covers — though this is the only one with muted underwater colours — while the black-and-whites are supplied by one of the clan of superb Commando illustrators, the de la Fuentes.
   And don’t forget the story, it’s a real fire-eater.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: Bingley
Art: Fuente
Cover: Chaco
Originally Commando No 87 (Oct 1963)

Commando No 4649 – Blood Red Desert

Stu McBride, decorated war veteran turned prospector, had quite often been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Somehow he’d always managed to get out of it, though.
   But this time was different. This time he was in the middle of a top secret rocket range in the red centre of Australia with the Army and the Air Force after him. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a bunch of heavily armed Soviet special forces men just dying to get their hands on him too.

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Vila
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4650 – Secret of The Sea

The Japanese gunners pushed shell after shell into the red-hot breech of their deck-gun, desperately trying to bring down the huge Mariner flying-boat as it roared in on another attack, machine guns blazing, bombs ready.
   The submarine commander knew he was trapped — caught in shallow water off a coral reef. Yet he had to try to escape, for in his boat he carried a deadly secret…

Introduction

All artists have things that they really like to draw, things that bring out the best in them. Such was the case with Jose Maria Jorge and aircraft. I don’t think there can have been many he didn’t illustrate during at some point in his long Commando career. He would also draw figures in his crisp, precise style and yet impart them with a real sense of movement. The figures running and dodging through the jungle in this story really are dodging and running.
   Allan Chalmers will have been well pleased to see his tale of sea, submarines and secrets so competently realised…as will you when you read the story.

Calum Laird, Editor

Story: Allan Chalmers
Art: Jose Maria Jorge
Cover: Ian McIntosh
Originally Commando No 2154 (January 1988), re-issued as No 3635 (July 2003)

John Bull gallery 7

This is the last John Bull gallery for now. If anyone has copies of John Bull or similar illustrated magazines that they want to donate, drop me a line – my e-mail address can be found under the photo top left. A huge thanks to Mike Ashley for these copies.

Ken J. Petts

 
Edwin Phillips

John Berry

(* John Bull © Advertising Archive Ltd.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jack Williamson Cover Gallery

I was first attracted to Jack Williamson's work by the Legion of Space series which came out in the UK in paperback when I was fifteen, although what really attracted me first were those fabulous Peter Elson covers.

I'm an unashamed fan of old pulp-style adventure SF; thankfully, when I was in my early teens, a lot of the best of the 1930s and 1940s pulps were being collected. Isaac Asimov; Frederik & Carol Pohl, Brian Aldiss & Harry Harrison, Mike Ashley... they all put out some excellent anthologies gathering some of the best pulp-era yarns. What I particularly liked about Williamson was that he was still very active and writing stories that could have been written by someone fifty years his junior; he continued to write well into the new century when there has been an attempt to classify certain writers as "the new space opera", including Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton, Alistair Reynolds, etc. What goes around, comes around and, if we're lucky, collections like the astonishing Haffner Press volumes gathering Jack Williamson's stories will be there are reminders of what the "old space opera" was like.

The Legion of Time
Digit Books R522, Sep 1961.
Digit Books R703, May 1963.

After World's End
Digit Books R538, 1961; 
Digit Books R671, Feb 1963.

The Reefs of Space, with Frederik Pohl. 
Penguin 0-1400-2778-5, 1969.

Seetee Ship.
Mayflower Books 0-5821-1612-4, 1969.

Seetee Shock.
Mayflower Books, 0-5821-1613-2, 1969.

Starchild, with Frederik Pohl.
Penguin 0-1400-3103-0, 1970.

Undersea Quest, with Frederik Pohl.
Mayflower 0-5821-1779-1, 1970.

Farthest Star
Pan Books 0-3302-4639-9, Feb 1976.

Darker Than You Think
Sphere 0-7221-9166-9, 1976.
Gollancz (Fantasy Masterworks #38) 0-5750-7546-5, 2003.

The Legion of Space.
Sphere 0-7221-9171-5, Mar 1977. Cover by ?

The Cometeers.
Sphere 0-7221-9173-1, May 1977. Cover by ?

One Against the Legion.
Sphere 0-7221-9172-3, Jul 1977. Cover by ?

The Legion of Time.
Sphere 0-7221-9175-8, Sep 1977. Cover by Bob Layzell

The Humanoids
Sphere 0-7221-9176-6, Nov 1977. Cover by Chris Foss

The Early Williamson.
Sphere 0-7221-9167-7, 1978. Cover by Peter Elson

The Power of Blackness.
Sphere 0-7221-9177-4, Apr 1978. Cover by Peter Elson

Star Bridge, with James E. Gunn.
Magnum Books 0-4170-3500-4, 1979.

The Starchild Trilogy (Rogue Star, Starchild, The Reefs of Space).
Penguin 0-1400-5249-6, 1980.

The Reign of Wizardry.
Sphere 0-7221-9185-5, 1981.

Brother to Demons, Brother to Gods
Sphere 0-7221-9179-0, 1981. Cover by Jim Burns

The Humanoid Touch.
Sphere 0-7221-9195-2, 1982.

The Queen of the Legion
Sphere 0-7221-9196-0, 1984. Cover by Jim Burns

Manseed.
Sphere 0-7221-9115, 1986.

Lifeburst.
Sphere 0-7221-9117-0, 1987.

Firechild.
Methuen 0-4131-6330-X, 1988.

Mazeway.
Mandarin 0-7493-0481-2, 1990.

PUBLICATIONS

Novels (series: Cuckoo’s Saga; Jim Eden; Legion of Space; Seetee; Starchild)
The Legion of Space (Legion). Reading, Pennsylvania, Fantasy Press, 1947; London, Sphere, 1977.
Darker Than You Think. Reading, Pennsylvania, Fantasy Press, 1948; London, Sphere, 1976.
The Humanoids. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1949; London, Museum Press, 1953; expanded, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1980.
The Cometeers (and One Against the Legion) (Legion). Reading, Pennsylvania, Fantasy Press, 1950; published separately as The Cometeers, New York, Pyramid, 1967; London, Sphere, 1977; and One Against the Legion (with novella ‘Nowhere Near’), New York, Pyramid, 1967; London, Sphere, 1977.
The Green Girl. New York, Avon, 1950.
Dragon’s Island. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1951; as The Not-Men, New York, Belmont Tower, 1968.
The Legion of Time (with After World’s End). Reading, Pennsylvania, Fantasy Press, 1952; as Two Complete Novels: The Legion of Time, After World’s End, New York, Galaxy Megabook, 1963; London, Sphere, 1977; published separately as The Legion of Time, London, Digit, 1961, and After World’s End, London, Digit, 1961.
Undersea Quest, with Frederik Pohl (Eden). New York, Gnome Press, 1954.
Dome Around America. New York, Ace Books, 1955; London, Faber & Faber.
Undersea Fleet, with Frederik Pohl (Eden). New York, Gnome Press, 1956.
Undersea City, with Frederik Pohl (Eden). New York, Gnome Press, 1958.
Star Bridge, with James E. Gunn. New York, Gnome Press, 1955; London, Sidgwick & Jackson.
The Trial of Terra. New York, Ace Books, 1962.
Golden Blood. New York, Lancer Books, 1964.
The Reign of Wizardry. Lancer, 1964; London, Sphere, 1981.
The Reefs of Space, with Frederik Pohl (Starchild). New York, Ballantine, 1964; London, Dobson, 1966.
Starchild, with Frederik Pohl (Starchild). New York, Ballantine, 1965; London, Dobson, 1966.
Bright New Universe. New York, Ace Books, 1967; London, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1969.
Trapped in Space, illus. Robert Amundsen. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1968.
Rogue Star, with Frederik Pohl (Starchild). New York, Ballantine, 1969; London, Dobson, 1972.
The Moon Children. New York, Putnam, 1972; Morley, Yorkshire, Elmfield Press, 1975.
Farthest Star, with Frederik Pohl (Cuckoo). New York, Ballantine, 1975; London, Pan, 1976.
The Power of Blackness. New York, Berkley, 1976; London, Sphere, 1978.
Brother to Demons, Brother to God. Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill, 1979; London, Sphere, 1981.
The Humanoid Touch. Huntington Woods, Michigan, Phantasia Press, 1980; London, Sphere, 1982.
Manseed. New York, Ballantine, 1982; London, Sphere, Apr 1986.
Wall Around a Star, with Frederik Pohl (Cuckoo). Ballantine, 1983.
The Queen of the Legion (Legion). New York, Pocket Books, 1983; London, Sphere, 1984.
Lifeburst. New York, Ballantine, Dec 1984; London, Sphere, Mar 1987.
Firechild. New York, Bluejay, Aug 1986; London, Methuen, Mar 1988.
Land’s End, with Frederik Pohl. New York, Tor, Aug 1988.
Mazeway. New York, Ballantine, Apr 1990; London, Mandarin, Oct 1990.
The Singers of Time, with Frederik Pohl. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, Feb 1991.
Beachhead. New York, Tor, Aug 1992.
Demon Moon. New York, Tor, May 1994.
The Black Sun. New York, Tor, Mar 1997.
The Fortress of Utopia. Brooklyn, New York, Gryphon Publications, May 1998.
The Silicon Dagger. New York, Tor, Apr 1999.
The Stone from the Green Star, introduction by Philip J. Harbottle. Brooklyn, New York, Gryphon Publicaitons, Oct 1999.
Terraforming Earth. New York, Tor, Jun 2001.
The Stonehenge Gate. New York, Tor, Aug 2005.

Novels as Will Stewart (series: Seetee in both)
Seetee Shock. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1950; Kingswood, Surrey, World’s Work, 1954; as by Jack Williamson, Lancer, 1968.
Seetee Ship. New York, Gnome Press, 1951; as by Jack Williamson, Lancer, 1968.

Omnibus
Seetee. New York, Jove, 1979.
The Starchild Trilogy (contains: The Reefs of Space, Starchild, Rogue Star). Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1977; London, Penguin, 1980.
Three From the Legion (contains: The Legion of Space, The Cometeers, One Against the Legion). Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1981.
The Saga of Cuckoo (contains: Farthest Star, Wall Around a Star). Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1983.
The Undersea Trilogy (contains: Undersea Quest, Undersea Fleet, Undersea City). Riverdale, New York, Baen, Jun 1992.

Collections
The Girl from Mars, with Miles J. Breuer. New York, Stellar, 1929.
Lady in Danger. London, Utopian, 1945.
The Pandora Effect. New York, Ace Books, 1969.
People Machines. New York, Ace Books, 1971.
The Great Illusion, with others. Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, Fantasy Booklet, 1973.
The Early Williamson. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1975; London, Sphere, 1978.
Dreadful Sleep. Chicago, Weinberg, 1977.
The Best of Jack Williamson, introduction by Frederik Pohl. New York, Ballantine, 1978.
The Alien Intelligence: Jack Williamson—The Collector’s Edition, Volume I. New Orleans, P.D.A. Enterprises, 1980.
The Birth of a New Republic: Jack Williamson—The Collector’s Edition, Volume II, with Miles J. Breuer. P.D.A. Enterprises, 1981.
Author’s Choice Monthly Issue 5: Into the Eighth Decade. Eugene, Oregon, Pulphouse, Feb 1990.
The Prince of Space [and] The Girl from Mars. Brooklyn, New York, Gryphon Publications, Jun 1998.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 1: The Metal Man and Others, foreword by Hal Clement. Royal Oak, Michigan, Haffner Press, May 1999.
The Ruler of Fate and Xandulu. Brooklyn, New York, Gryphon Publications, May 1999.
The Iron God (with Tomorrow by E. C. Tubb). Brooklyn, New York, Gryphon Publications, Jul 1999.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 2: Wolves of Darkness, foreword by Harlan Ellison. Michigan, Haffner Press, Sep 1999.
The Blue Spot and Entropy Reversed, introduction by Philip J. Harbottle. Brooklyn, New York, Gryphon Publications, May 2000.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 3: Wizard’s Isle, foreword by Ray Bradbury. Michigan, Haffner Press, Sep 2000.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 4: Spider Island, foreword by Edward Bryant. Michigan, Haffner Press, Apr 2002.
Dragon’s Island and Other Stories, edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Ed Gorman. Waterville, ME, Five Star, Aug 2002.
Seventy-Five: The Diamond Anniversary of a Science Fiction Pioneer, edited by Stephen Haffner & Richard A. Hauptmann. Foreword by Connie Willis. Introduction by Arthur C. Clarke. Royal Oak, MI, Haffner Press, Aug 2004.
The Man From Somewhere. Portales, NM, Cacahuete Press, Mar 2005.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 5: Crucible of Power, foreword by Frank M. Robinson. Michigan, Haffner Press, Mar 2006.
The Worlds of Jack Williamson: A Centennial Tribute (1908-2008), ed. Stephen Haffner; foreword by Frederik Pohl; introduction by James Gunn. Michigan, Haffner Press, 2008.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 6: Gateway to Paradise, foreword by Frederik Pohl. Michigan, Haffner Press, 2008.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 7: With Folded Hands ... And Searching Mind, ed. Stephen Haffner; foreword by Robert Silverberg. Michegan, Haffner Press, 2010.
The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume 8: At the Human Limit, ed. Stephen Haffner; foreword by Connie Willis. Michigan, Haffner Press, 2011.

Non-fiction
Science Fiction Comes to College. A preliminary survey of courses offered. Portales, New Mexico, privately printed, 1971; expanded editions, 1971-72.
Teaching Science Fiction. Portales, New Mexico, privately printed, 1972; expanded editions, 1972-75.
H. G. Wells, Critic of Progress. Baltimore, Mirage Press, 1973.
Teaching Science Fiction: Education for Tomorrow. Philadelphia, Owlswick Press, 1980.
Wonder’s Child: My Life in Science Fiction (autobiography). New York, Bluejay, Aug 1984; revised, introduction by Mike Resnick, Dallas, TX, BenBella Books, Sep 2005.

Comic Strips
Beyond Mars, with Lee Elias. El Cojon, California, Blackthorne, 2 vols., 1987-88.

About
Jack (John Stewart) Williamson, Child and Father of Wonder by Gordon Benson Jr. Leeds, Galactic Central Publications, 1985.  
The Williamson Effect edited by Roger Zelazny. New York, Tor, 1996.
The Work of Jack Williamson: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide by Richard A. Hauptmann. NESFA Press, Aug 1998.
In Memory of Wonder's Child: Jack Williamson: April 29, 1908-November 10, 2006, ed. Stephen Haffner. Michigan, Haffner Press, 2007.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Comic Cuts - 18 October 2013

If you discount the grumbling from my stomach—possibly an irritable bowel—it has been a fairly quiet week.The cold snap caught me out and I think I picked up a chill at the weekend. Monday and Tuesday were low-energy days, Wednesday was better and Thursday (today, as I write) has been a lot better.

I've had plans for some time to get more things up on Kindle and, eventually, available on other e-book formats, but I've not had a chance to sit down and put together any material. As it was roughly the sixteen-month anniversary of me putting up a single article (The New Order of Detectives: The Origin of Sexton Blake), which went up in September 2012, I'd spend a week putting up a few more pieces. With Mean Streetmaps out of print, I thought it would be nice to make some of the essays from that available. So I've posted three so far: Zenith: Prince of Chaos is a study of one of Sexton Blake's most formidable enemies and the author behind him; I've expanded it slightly to take in additional information about author Anthony Skene (George Norman Philips); next up is Waiting In Darkness, about the crime novels of W. R. Burnett, whose novels Little Caesar and The Asphalt Jungle are amongst the finest hardboiled novels ever published; and a shorter essay, 'Raffles and Richard Allen', which begins with George Orwell's classic essay 'Raffles and Miss Blandish' and asks whether Orwell would have liked Richard Allen's Skinhead creation Joe Hawkins. These are all priced between a pound and two pounds, so they're dirt cheap. I'm hoping to have more features available over time. The Blake article hasn't exactly set the world on fire—Kindle only pays out when you reach £10 and I've received one payment in sixteen months!

Apart from that I've been working up more chapters in the 'Men Behind Flying Saucer Review' series, which will return short, and starting the research required for the next comic index from Bear Alley Books. It won't be a huge chunk of a book like the last few so hopefully it will be out before Christmas.

Time for a few random scans—yes, I actually managed some this week. I've started picking up some of the Masterworks books published by Gollancz over the past fifteen years. It's no secret that I'm an idiot and I got rid of quite a few of these books about ten years ago when I needed a bit of space and a bit of money. I waved goodbye to around 400 SF books and, like anyone in that position, I've regretted it ever since. Hence the desire to reconstruct my old collection.

The Book of the New Sun is the first volume in what was voted into the top three fantasy series of all time by Locus. The cover is by Jim Burns. Meanwhile, Steve Stone provides an intriguing cover for Michael Moorcock's The Dancers at the End of Time. Fred Gambino provides a startling cover for Brian Aldiss's Non-Stop and Michael Whelan draws Elric for another Michael Moorcock collection.

Next week... hopefully we'll have some more chapters of the 'Men Behind the Flying Saucer Review' plus whatever my grumbling guts allow.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Woman's Pictorial - 23 July 1927

Here's a nice gallery from the women's magazine Woman's Pictorial. The cover is muted, the paper and printing is very nice, the illustrations classy, the authors popular... what a difference 85 years makes. I can't imagine Woman's Pictorial would have ever considered publishing an article under the title "This Weird Statue Got Me Pregnant" (see the final pic).

Albert Bailey



Peres

A. W. Sindall



(* All pictures © IPC Media except Take a Break © Bauer.)