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Friday, January 20, 2017

Comic Cuts - 20 January 2017

I've had quite a fun week dipping into past projects. The job that pays the rent was all packed off to the printers by end of play Tuesday, and I was able to take a look at a package of correspondence sent to me by someone who was involved in trying to put together a Hank Janson TV series back in the 1980s and to relaunch the books. It came to nought, the blame laid squarely at the feet of the copyright owners who wanted too much money.

By coincidence, I've also had some correspondence with a relative of Hank's creator, Steve Frances, and, of course, Telos have just released The Art of Reginald Heade, which I'll be reviewing tomorrow. All this, plus the recent flood warnings that we've had down the east coast of Anglia put me in mind of a rather scarce Hank Janson spin-off, Britain's Great Flood Disaster.

On 31 January 1953, a storm surge whipped up the spring tide in the North Sea, driving water into the channel between England and Holland, breaching sea walls and flooding more than 12,000 homes. 307 people were killed.

Frances and his publisher put together a glossy, 64-page book, filled with photographs of the disaster and the relief operation with the story of the flooding told by Hank Janson through a lengthy article and dozens of captions. It was priced 2/6 and the entire print run was offered to the Lord Mayor's Fund for the relief of the flood's victims. It was refused because they had no way of distributing the title. Other relief organisations also turned the book down, so Reg Carter, of New Fiction Press, arranged his own distribution, and the book was hawked around football grounds and greyhound tracks.

This way the book was able to make a small profit which was fed to various charities. Unfortunately for Carter, what he did with the profits was no concern of the Inland Revenue. Their only interest was taking their share of tax on the profits and what had started out as a charitable gesture to aid people in desperate need ended up costing Reg Carter a considerable sum.

And so to today's random scans, which have the "floody" theme of water. Two Sam Peffer covers, a Heade and one signed Paul, who also did western covers for Badger Books. That just leaves Lonely Water, which might be S. R. Boldero, although I wouldn't swear to it.


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