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Friday, March 11, 2016

Comic Cuts - 11 March 2016

I'm very close to having the Harry Bensley book finished... close enough for me to put up a cover over there in the right hand column as "coming soon". I've had a proof copy and Mel has kindly gone through it looking for typos, but I had another problem that needed to be resolved.

This is a saddle-stapled A4 booklet which means the pagination must divide by four as that's the way it is printed. The text ran comfortably to 41 pages and I didn't want to pad it out with extraneous text, oversized pictures or adverts and it took me a little while to figure out what to do. What was missing was a route-map of Harry's journey.

Finding a map of the UK of a high enough resolution that you can make use of without infringing copyright is almost impossible. It took me until Wednesday to sort one out that I could use in print and I'm still drawing out the route that "Iron Mask" took on his tour of the country... well, his tour of a bit of the country. But even in that bit he may have visited over 100 towns and cities, many of which aren't shown on the map, so I'm having to put them in. It's a painfully slow job. A bit like every aspect of this book seems to have been!

Part of the reason things are moving so slowly is because I've also had to start work on the next issue of Hotel Business, so I'm fielding e-mails and phone calls and commissioning features for the next issue. Each issue consists of about 50 small features, some of which I write, although most are put together by PR companies which I usually have to rewrite to cut them down to the required length. The two phrases I hear more often than any others: "It's written but I'm just waiting for it to be signed off" to explain why the feature is late, and "It's a bit longer than you asked for...".

Anyway, hopefully I'll have the map finished over the weekend and I'll send off for a second proof; with luck I'll have the payment page up and running just in case anyone wants to actually order the book!

I've been working on a few more Ray Theobald covers. These are scans from other folks, so I've done my best with them, but they're not up to the usual scratch. They are, however, good examples from Theobald's days at Modern Fiction in the mid- to late-fifties.


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