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Friday, August 26, 2016

Comic Cuts - 26 August 2016

We finally put Hotel Business to bed  on Tuesday, just under the wire with some last minute changes landing on my desk at 4 o'clock when we were due out of the door that morning to allow our studio time to run high resolution files of the finished pages. While I was finished by 5:30, some poor bugger was probably still there through part of the evening transferring the files over to the printer.

While waiting for corrections to proofs, I started reading The Mighty One, Steve MacManus's story of his years in charge of the 2000AD Nerve Centre, which I've now finished; you can read my review of the book tomorrow. Talking of books, I managed to negotiate a little deal to get my Iron Mask book stocked in the local bookshop, with an initial order of half a dozen copies. Clearly we're not talking big numbers here, but every penny helps. That's enough profit to buy me and Mel fish, chips and a battered jumbo sausage down the local chippie. Talk about the high life!

Main source of entertainment this week was a trip out to the Mercury Theatre to see Josh Widdicombe, who escaped a life in comics to become a comedian. The Last Leg star used to be a sub-editor on Dora the Explorer, writing stories, poems and puzzles for this and other GE Fabbri nursery titles Angelina Ballerina and Mr Bean's Amazing A to Z. He talked about it briefly on an episode of The Graham Norton Show back in April 2015, sitting alongside Mark Ruffalo, Elizbabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner...

He's the second of the three Last Leg presenters we've seen live (following Adam Hills way back in 2007). He's picking up his latest tour from last year, warming up for the recording of his next DVD, and easily packed out the Mercury.

A very nice bonus was to have Matthew Crosbie as his support—we're fans of Pappy's and have been hopeful that the trio would make it to Colchester at some point. A couple of years ago, the Wivenhoe Funny Farm announced Crosbie would be appearing... but I think they must have forgotten to tell him, or indeed book him. So to have him bound onto the stage unexpectedly at the Mercury was fantastic. The day before he'd been on our tele, now here he was live.

Anyway, it was a fine evening all round. I tend to forget that we've been following Josh Widdicombe since Stand Up for the Week... only four years ago, but it feels like he's been around a lot longer,  appearing on Live at the Apollo and every panel show going from Mock the Week to QI; I was even a listener to his XFM show (which introduced us to James Acaster and Nish Kumar).  We seem to have had a Widdicombe Week, thanks to his appearances on (repeats of) Mock the Week and Taskmaster.

Random scans today are a handful of books by Evan Hunter. I'm working on a cover gallery for Hunter (a.k.a. Ed McBain), but it may take some time to put together, so I thought I'd use these here... in other words, I haven't had time to clean up any other covers. That's life.

Next week: everything you ever wanted to know about W. Keppel Honnywill, plus some stuff you didn't know you wanted to know about him.

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