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Friday, May 20, 2016

Comic Cuts - 20 May 2016

There's no more pitiful sight than me with an adjustable spanner. There's no authority in that image at all. I don't own the adjustable spanner—it owns me. I have no "I can do this" spirit when it comes to repairs and that lack of confidence usually reveals itself when I find myself delaying the inevitable.

We've had a small but persistent leak from the pipe connecting the water supply to the cistern of our downstairs loo. Despite being aware of it, our landlady hadn't done anything about it, so I thought I'd better tackle it myself. Hence the adjustable spanner, borrowed especially for the occasion. I've always shared houses with more practical people who own such things and, whilst I have a toolbox with plenty of smaller spanners, this was something I'd never had to own.

Anyway... armed with an adjustable spanner like some fleshy Bob the Builder and, with my nuts tightened ready to face the challenge (gentlemen will know what I mean), got down to business.

The end result was a more regular drip and a phonecall to our landlady demanding a plumber. Please.

He turned up the next day and spent five hours trying to figure out why, every time he fixed the leak, the drip kept coming back. First everything was taken apart, a perished washer was replaced, and everything was put back together again. Still the steady drip. So everything was taken apart, every joint was sealed, and everything was put back together again. Still the steady drip. Eventually our plumber found a hairline crack in the thread of the plastic pipe in the cistern that connected to the outside pipe. This was contributing most to the leak and, once he'd bought a replacement and sealed everything up again and put everything back together again, it worked. No more leak.

All of which proved one thing. I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near an adjustable spanner. A cautionary tale certainly. I'm not sure if there's a moral . . . maybe something simple like leave it to the experts, or that even experts have their off days.

On a more positive note, I finally have a proof that I'm happy with for Iron Mask. The rather long-winded tale has been told before, so I won't bore you with the tedious tale of how the printers have been mucking about with pagination. What I've ended up with is a 44-page book with 42 pages of text and illustrations, plus two blanks. I'm happy with it and have my initial order on the way. Normally with POD books I never see them... in this case I'll have ten copies to hand which I'll sign should anybody want to order one.

The order page over at Bear Alley Books is now live and waiting for your order.

Random scans this week are a mixed bunch. I managed to find a copy of UFO 2 by Robert Miall last Saturday, a book I've been after for some time as I have had the first volume for many years.I picked up another Miall novelisation last year, The Adventurer, and I already have his Jason King novelisations. I've included only one of the latter below as my copy of the other has a cover so very poor it's beyond repair. Miall—actually John F. Burke under another of his pseudonyms—also wrote a novelisation of The Protectors, which I don't think I have.

Next week we will be continuing our serialisation of Roger Perry's memories of his days taking photos for comics and annuals, and I'll try to squeeze in whatever else I can.

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