Friday, February 27, 2015

Comic Cuts - 27 February 2015

I've reached a decision with the Don Lawrence Scrapbook to have it printed in China. The details still need to be worked out but the costs of producing the book in the UK in the way that I normally do make it uneconomical. I've had to think long and hard about this and, frankly, it has been a drain on my energy. Now the decision has been made, hopefully I'll be able to pick up my pace and get the book finished.

I did finish the clean-up on the 'Herod the Great' artwork and I will be back on layouts by the time you read this. I'm resizing the book so I'm scrapping everything I've done so far and starting again—so you can understand why this has been such a big decision to take. And frustrating as all hell as I wanted to have the book finished by the end of the month, which isn't going to happen now.

Frustrating for those of you who are looking forward to the book, too. But at the end of the day, the book will be better for the decisions being taken now. The next couple of books from me will come through a lot quicker, I promise.

A couple of books have been brought to my attention that might be of interest. Rich Thomassen has penned En MAZ creƫerde Dick Bos, a 348-page biography of Alfred Mazure, a Dutch artist who moved to the UK, where he worked on a variety of newspaper strips, notably 'Romeo Brown' and 'Jane, Daughter of Jane' for the Daily Mirror. Mazure also wrote three novels.

'Dick Bos' was the character he was most famous for in Holland, a policier series banned by the Germans during WW2 and revived after the war a couple of times. You can find out more at the website of the publisher, Aspekt. (And here's a Google translation of that description for the non-Dutch speakers amongst us.)

Francis Durbridge: A Centerary Appreciation is a self-published book by Melvyn Barnes, surveying the novels and plays penned by Durbridge for radio, television, the stage and cinema. Barnes covers Durbridge's output in great detail, including cast lists and plot summaries. Although not a biography, per se, I do know that Melvyn was able to get biographical details from Durbridge's family, which will hopefully fill gaps in our knowledge of this fascinating writer.

The book runs to 140 pages and costs £10.99. For further information, the author can be contacted at melvyn.barnes AT

I mentioned last week that I was heading out to see Richard Herring last Friday. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I think this is the fifth time we've seen Herring at the Colchester Arts Centre (although it seems like more because we're fans of his podcasts and video releases) and this has been one of his best appearances. His shows of late have tackled some of the bigger questions in life (love, death, sex and religion) but this one is a little looser, a series of shorter, sketchier stories themed around Herring's feelings of inertia about his career. At the same time it celebrates some of the dafter decisions he's made and is a far livelier and funnier show than last year's We're All Going to Die.

Seeing Herring has meant I've been able to complete a lengthy quest to get my copies of Fist of Fun autographed. The first volume was completed a few weeks ago when I  got Stewart Lee's signature. For volume two I set myself the task of getting them to sign one of their catchphrases. You have to know the show to get it, but "Aaaaah!", "No, not 'Aaaaah'!" is hilarious. In context. Honest.

Random scans this week are a quartet of noir crime covers by Oliver Brabbins. I've come back to Brabbins fairly regularly in the four years I've been running these sets of scans. (Four years???? I think I started some time in 2010, so we must be coming up for the fifth birthday of this feature some time soon.) But about Brabbins... he was a superb artist, at his best on a series of crime novels published by Corgi Books in the late 1950s. I love his use of colour.

I'm planning to write a little more about Brabbins over the next few days, so there should be more examples of his fine cover art to look forward to. For now, I'll leave you with these excellent examples of the man at his best.


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