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Friday, January 17, 2014

Comic Cuts - 17 January 2014

With luck and a good tail wind we should have The Man Who Searched For Fear out by the end of the month. I've set the release date as 31 January 2014.

It has been a week of fiddly jobs finally coming to an end. I finished the cover on Monday — that's the finished front cover at the top of the column — and completed work on the internal art on Tuesday. By the end of Tuesday, these disparate elements were starting to look more like a book and I had my first PDF run-through to make sure I had all the pages in place. I started writing and designing the introduction pages on Wednesday, a job I finished on Thursday.

There are plenty of other fiddly jobs involved in putting a Bear Alley Book together. One is to update the Bear Alley Books web page with information; even creating the buttons so that you can order the books via PayPal in one simple click takes time.

The results of the week's work is that I have a book I'm happy with; I'm now waiting on a printed proof, which I'll hopefully have in my hands by next Friday. If anything needs correcting, I should be able to turn an updated version around quickly enough for the second proof to be in my hands before the release date.

You can pre-order your copies of the book now and I'll make sure they're the first copies to ship out.

There's no rest for the wicked, or for me. I'll be back to working on the Countdown/TV Action index and hopefully that will be out before Bear Alley Books celebrates its third birthday in March.

The latest issue of Jeff Hawke's Cosmos has landed. Volume 8 number 2 contains five stories which were originally published in the Scottish Daily Record newspaper. The star of these strips was Lance McLane, but a decision was made to syndicate the strip as Jeff Hawke, who looked slightly different as Lance sported a beard and had dark hair, while Jeff was blonde and clean-shaven. So there were two versions of the strip, one with Jeff, reprinted here, and one with Lance.

The stories were generally shorter than the old Jeff Hawke yarns in the Daily Express. The tales reprinted here ran for between eight and ten weeks and you get a full year's worth, from late November 1978 to early December 1979, in this volume. Lance ran for twelve years, so there are plenty more stories to look forward to.

As always, editor William Rudling packs in plenty of extras around the strips, including Duncan Lunan's story notes, a trip to an aero-museum in Gothenburg, a brief look at the Fireball XL5 Annual and the 2013 Dundee Comics Day, where Syd Jordan was one of the guests.

Subscription rates are £26 for three issues here in the UK (£28.50 via PayPal) and £31/38/41 for overseas subscribers, payable in a variety of ways. You can find more details (and back issues) at the Jeff Hawke Club webpage or by contacting william AT

The first of this week's random scans is from David Ainsworth, who provides the following information. The publisher was The Queensway Press, New Chevron series no. 77, published c.1939/40. The book was a translation of Leon Groc's "La maison des morts", originally published in France in 1930.

The next three are all from Muir Watson, the Glasgow-based publisher run by John Watson; all three are from the collection of Morgan Wallace. Bullets at Bar-K is by Nick Wolff (the cover is too tightly trimmed!) is by John Russell Fearn; Lannigan's West, although credited to W. J. Hanson thanks to a typo, is by Vic J. Hanson; and finally, a silhouette cover for one of Muir Watson's gangster novels by Hans Vogel, this one penned by Norman Lazenby.

Next week... um... I'm really not sure. Depends what I can get done at the weekend.


  1. That's a pretty nice designed cover, Steve.
    I'm a buyer!

  2. Bullets at Bar K is NOT by Fearn.

  3. All I can say about the authorship of Bullets at Bar K is that it was Phil Harbottle's contention that Fearn was the author, Phil being the owner and executor of Fearn's estate. Perhaps he has since changed that position or discovered who the author was.

    Perhaps you could reveal the source of your information that Fearn didn't write the book.