Friday, November 14, 2014

Comic Cuts - 14 November 2014

It feels like it was a long time coming but finally I can reveal that the next title from Bear Alley Books will be. I've been hanging onto this news for weeks now, wanting to blurt it out but just managing to hold my tongue. I think I let slip to one person... but that person was sworn to secrecy and they didn't let me down.

Why the delay? Well, there are two reasons. Firstly, natural caution—if you can be confident about one thing in the publishing industry it's that something will go wrong. We are home to Sod's Law and Murphy's Law.

The second reason is slightly more practical and boils down to this: when you pay for a license from a copyright holder you're only renting the property, not buying it. Take Arena as an example. My license means that I am printing 'X' number of copies and I have 'Y' number of years in which to sell them. For the copyright owner it means the property isn't tied up for an unlimited period.

With Arena, the selling period began on 1 July when we signed up to do the book, but the book wasn't released until 6 October, so I have effectively lost three months' worth of selling time. I didn't want the same problem with the latest book, so I have been cagy about the title until I knew the paperwork was going through. If I can publish promptly, it will give me the full period to sell the new book in.

As you can see from the above, the book is Frontline UK, reprinting the complete series from Bullet where it appeared back in 1976. The original artist was Ian Kennedy, who should need no introduction, with a second series—also included in the book—by the hugely talented Clemente Rezzonico, who is now almost eighty but still drawing for Commando. Some of us old folk will remember his work in Warlord, where he drew "Spider Wells" and "The Loner" amongst others.

I'm aiming to have this out on 1st December, in time for any last-minute Christmas presents you need to buy for your pals.

I've run out of time to chat. I've been busy writing the introductory material but we had a day without any power on Tuesday, which set things back a little. Remember what I said about Sod's Law a couple of paragraphs ago? As a consequence, all my planned work has taken a day longer than expected. I did, however, get a good chunk of a rather fat novel read (Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton) so the day certainly wasn't a dead loss.

Random scans. Some more Roger Hall.

I haven't got anything planned for next week at the moment and I may have to take a couple of days off to complete the introduction and get the design of the book nailed. I have an opening spread that I'm happy with but the rest... well, I haven't written it all yet, so we'll just have to wait and see. I may post a page or two on Facebook during the week.

However, I will have a Peter F. Hamilton cover gallery up on Sunday. And I'll have a dig around for something for tomorrow... I'll just see what I can find.

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