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Friday, November 18, 2016

Comic Cuts - 18 November 2016

What a mixed week it has been. There has been moments of hilarity and one or two of agony, and times where I think I'm doing pretty well and one major moment of idiocy. On the plus side, there have been some nice surprises along the way.

Let's untangle this. The research on the Valiant index is going well. I completed another lengthy trawl through copies of the paper to check where some strips appeared or dropped out, completed my checklist of The Crows reprints – somebody had to compile one... turns out that poor sod was me – and I'm now working my way through Captain Hurricane. For the latter I now have a reprint index, and I'm working alongside David Roach and David Slinn trying to spot who was doing fill-in art on some episodes. It's quite a long haul but more fun than I expected. Roylance, Captain Hurricane's main artist, wasn't one of my favourites even as a kid, but I'm starting to appreciate the effort he put into the strip.

So the good news is that Rebellion have already started work on collecting some of the material they've recently bought from Egmont, and one of the first books out of the gate will be a collection of One-Eyed Jack from the very pages of Valiant that I was flicking through over the weekend. The book will be out next July and that's the promo art for it at the top of the column.

More good stuff: We went to see Gary Delaney at the Arts Centre on Tuesday. He's an incredible joker, a master of the one-liner, as you can see from this little snapshot from his twitter feed:

I'm not the greatest fan of one-liner comedians, and whilst we have seen (and I've thoroughly enjoyed) Milton Jones and Stewart Francis in the past, I tend to prefer something a little more structured. However, by breaking his stride so it's not pun after pun, Delaney managed to hold everyone's attention for a full hour, making good use of a Mac and a big screen to show off some funny photos and Wikipedia trolling, and a clipboard or two of new jokes that he was trying on the audience (well, that's what he told us).

This week's big surprise came on Wednesday night when Mel announced that we'd managed to secure tickets to see James Acaster on Thursday. We were caught out by how quickly his gig sold out earlier in the year, but had our names down for any returned tickets. And it worked. Was it worth it? You'll have to wait until next week to find out as I'm writing this before we go so it can be lined up for posting first thing in the morning.

On the negative side... my feet hurt. Or specifically my left foot hurts. I thought it was just wear and tear on one shoe that was causing it to rub, perhaps, but the problem wasn't solved by insoles, switching back to an old pair of shoes with which I'd never had any problems, or even buying new shoes, which, if I'm honest, I needed to do anyway.

As the problem hasn't gone away I finally took a trip down to see our GP, where the problem was diagnosed as Morton's Neuroma. This turns out to be a bit of a misnomer as it is not a neuroma (a non-cancerous tumour); what it is is a thickening and swelling around the nerve that runs between the bones of the foot and toes.. Nobody's 100% certain what causes it, but it appears that pressure on the nerve plays a part.

I'm hoping the new shoes will help, although I was walking for roughly 14 months in the previous pair without any signs of a problem; I'm using high-impact insoles and also a pad which is, hopefully, relieving the pressure on the nerve. It doesn't seem to have had much effect so far, but I'll keep using it.

I'm still able to take my daily walks, which, as it's the only exercise I get these days, I don't want to give up on. I did get a bit of a run on Wednesday as, half way around my walk, at about ten past eight, I suddenly remembered that I had a dental appointment at nine. I was 15 minutes from home and the bus takes 25 minutes to get into town, plus it's a 10 minute walk to the dentist. Add that up and I realised there was a chance I could actually make it in time – or not long after.

I checked in at three minutes past nine!

And there I had my teeth cleaned without an anaesthetic and a small filling, so I was aching at both ends by the time I left.

Guess what the subject for this week's random scans is going to be...

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