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Friday, May 29, 2015

Comic Cuts - 29 May 2015

After the chaos of last week, we're in the calm of the post-storm clean-up. The magazine is at the printers and I've caught up on some sleep, some work and Mad Max: Fury Road, which I finally got to see on Wednesday evening.

What a fantastic film. It's a glorious, brain-fryingly trashy movie, loud and visually arresting. Well-worth immersing yourself in it for two hours for a full-on experience. I loved it.

For most of the rest of the week I've been trying to finish off the Harry Bensley story and tidy up. Bensley, some of you might recall, was the other man in the iron mask, a conman who walked around the South Coast claiming that he was undertaking a bet to walk around the world. Well, I've greatly expanded my original article, which I ran here some months ago, and I'm just waiting on one last bit of information before I put the whole thing together as a little booklet. I'm not expecting to sell many, but the text will also be available on Kindle for anyone interested.

The tidying up has taken a couple of interesting turns. My first thoughts were that I probably had half a dozen boxes which were full of old paperwork. So far I've found sixteen and the far end of the lounge looks like a bomb has hit it, reminiscent of when we moved in—as you'll see from the photo above. Worse than that, I had a visitor from the past today (Thursday) who brought around some old magazines, so overall I've gained more junk today than I've disposed of.

The visitor was Graham Baldock, who was the designer on Comic World. I haven't seen him for fifteen years since we worked together on another magazine called Science Fiction World in 2000. He's retired now, although he still does a few bits... now why doesn't that surprise me? He always was a workaholic. He's now living in glorious Shropshire, not far from where Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine novels were set.

Graham was only briefly visiting Colchester and it was great fun to catch up. I never got to ask him about an old board I found with an early design for Comic Collector magazine, but now I have his e-mail address, I'll try to get his comments.

I've stumbled across a pile of over fifty film promo posters from around 2001. We were going to the cinema quite a lot back them and these were giveaways. They seem to have disappeared in recent years, which is a shame because they were nice.

I'm finding some fascinating stuff while I'm turfing through these boxes so I'm confident that there will be some weird and delightful things turning up on Bear Alley over the next week, including what I think might be the first short story sold by Leslie (The Saint) Charteris, which I'll post tomorrow, and the solution to one of my long-standing "mysteries that have me mystified" as the author behind the pen-name Justin Atholl is finally revealed.

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