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Friday, September 18, 2015

Comic Cuts - 18 September 2015

For long-time readers, you may recall that I managed to break a tooth recently on some fresh, crispy bread. The NHS swung immediately into action and, nearly three weeks later, I'm off to get an x-ray to see if the root needs to be dug out, which isn't going to be pleasant. I also need some work done on another tooth where a filling has come out, so if you don't see any activity from me for a while, don't worry—I'm probably just feeling sorry for myself.

Or still working on the October issue of Hotel Business, which was due to be sent off to the printers on Tuesday, but didn't quite make it. The delay was planned, so not unexpected, but while I'd hoped to have everything completed before disappearing today, there are still a few stray bits that need tidying up. Something for the weekend, perhaps, as we're going to need some proofing time Monday and Tuesday before we sign everything off.

And the joy of all this is that we now only have three weeks to get the next issue out. I haven't been sitting on my hands all week and a few bits have already started to trickle in. I've also started commissioning things for our December issue, so we don't run into any trouble with that one. That's the joy of magazines: it's only just autumn and I'm already worrying about Christmas.

I didn't get much opportunity to fill gaps in the Agatha Christie cover gallery; we started the week (last Friday) with four images and now have 21. Hopefully I'll at least get the skeleton of the collections section up in the next couple of days. The James Hadley Chase has improved slightly: we're up to 47 covers. I have quite a few more scanned and I might spend a bit of time over the weekend scanning a few more, as they're forming a teetering pile on top of a box behind me at the moment and constantly threatening to topple over.

I did take one break this week and managed to write up some notes on an old crime writer, just to see what I could dig out. His name, Charles G. Booth, came up in my research into the early days of hard-boiled fiction—the 1920s—and I've seen it suggested that he was an early user of criminal slang in his stories. However, I haven't been to prove that one way or the other, so I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with the results of that research as it appears to be a blind alley.

I'm now looking again at Carroll John Daly, who has always interested me as he is often called the originator of the hard-boiled school of writing. He has also been called unreadable, which I have to disagree with. He was certainly hugely popular in the twenty years before America entered the Second World War and while he was not the most stylish writer and relied an awful lot on repetitive action, readable he most certainly was.

I only have a handful of his books, so I thought that they could be this week's random scans as they're actually sitting on the scanner. The two Harper reprints, second and third below, have really nice covers by Drew Bishop. The first is by Hernandez and Kinstrey. Can't say I've heard of any of the artists, but they've all done a fine job as all three covers are evocative of that early hardboiled era that the books were written in.

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