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Friday, May 19, 2017

Comic Cuts - 19 May 2017

After my production slowdown of last week, I've managed to pick up the pace somewhat, with some actual, honest-to-god paying work being squeezed in alongside my various projects.

Chief amongst the latter, of course, is the Valiant index, for which I've still got to think of a title. At the last count my notes for the introduction ran to 37,000 words, which is way beyond what I was anticipating. Admittedly Valiant ran to many more issues than some of the titles I've tackled over the past few years (Ranger, Boys' World, Countdown), but I was expecting the text to run to around 40,000 total, not with five years history still to cover. It does at least explain why it is taking me so long to put together.

I had hoped to have the book out in time for the arrival of One-Eyed Jack, the Rebellion reprint, but I'm definitely going to miss that deadline by a mile. Could I have the book out in time for the release of The Leopard From Lime Street, which follows on the 12th of July? I very much doubt it, as the longer text also means more pages to design, more words to proof, etc. But hopefully by July I'll be getting close.

Rebellion, incidentally, have released a new cover image and also announced a 200-copy limited edition hardcover which will include a numbered bookplate and art print. You can pre-order the books via Rebellion's new Treasury of British Comics website.

There are a number of other British comics reprints on the horizon and not limited to the titles announced by Rebellion back in March. Titan are also publishing a new Dan Dare volume, continuing the series of earlier titles, in October. I'm not sure what the precise contents will be but the volume seems to pick up from the last (Trip to Trouble, published in 2010) in the middle of Eagle volume 11 (1960), so I'm guessing it might include "Mission of the Earthmen" and "The Solid Space Mystery", the latter reintroducing Dan's nemesis, The Mekon.

At the moment, the promo cover has a slight error, giving the title as "Mission of the Earthman" (singular) rather than the "Earthmen" (plural) of the original Eagle strip. An easy mistake to make, but it will hopefully be fixed before the book goes to print. At the moment, the book is due out on 24 October 2017.

The Amazon entry for the book unhelpfully lists the authors as Frank Hampson and Frank Bellamy, neither of which had anything to do with the strips at that point. Don Harley and Bruce Cornwell were the chief artists for the next couple of years, with Eric Eden writing scripts.

A month before that, on 12 September, we should be getting Hook Jaw: The Complete Original Collection, which is described as running to 160 pages... so it will certainly be more complete than the previous Hook Jaw collection from Spitfire Books, which ran to only 96 pages. I'm not sure if the book will include any strips from annuals or holiday specials, of which there were quite a few.

Rebellion have Marney the Fox out in September, too, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these titles will all do well and we'll start seeing a few more reprints of old British comics on the horizon.

Random scans. I picked up a couple of books by comedians recently, then realised I had a few others from months gone by already scanned, so to lighten your day...


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