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Friday, April 20, 2018

Comic Cuts - 20 April 2018

Nothing much to report as I've spent part of the week looking for work and the rest getting another essay written for what will be Volume 4 of the Forgotten Authors series. I've a short list of people that I've been meaning to write up – some of them for years – and I've been doing at least one of them in each volume. Bracebridge Hemyng in the second volume was based in part on something I'd written back in 2003; I'd been meaning to write up the Anonyma series of novels for a decade before getting the opportunity to include the anonymous writer in Volume 1; and the chance to write up the mysterious Michael Storm and then include three other authors hiding behind the same name for Volume 3 was too good an opportunity to miss.

I'm zeroing in on a couple of names for this next volume that I've never tackled before. The one just finished was meant to get me back into the swing of writing 1,000 words a day again. The next one will take a bit of researching before I can even start as the story begins in Australia before we get into a lot of publishing fun in the tens and teens of post-Edwardian Britain. It's a delightful tale of blackmail, fraud and obscenity... perfect for a Forgotten Authors essay!

As I've been writing about books and authors for the last ten or so months, it might seem that I've left comics behind. Not true, although I haven't had much chance to write anything for ages. There's the Don Lawrence book coming up from Book Palace in the next few weeks and there are a couple of other books that we could be doing. After that it might be a while before I can get any more books out, but we shall just have to see what I can manage.

As I write I'm enjoying listening to Arthur Ranson interviewed by Mike Molcher on The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast – over 2 1/2 hours of interview over two parts. Arthur has always been one of my favourite artists, his work appearing primarily in Look-In and 2000 AD here in the UK, plus a period working on Batman and various X-characters for Marvel. Following a period of illness, Arthur retired a decade ago, but has kept busy writing regularly on his website.

Other podcasts I'm listening to at the moment, include James O'Brien's Unfiltered, where he interviews politicians, comedians and others on a variety of topics; and Danielle Ward's Any Stupid Questions has just returned for what I hope is a new, long series. Each episode features an expert on a certain topic – the NHS, Brexit, economics, cyber security – and tries to answer some of the questions we might all have about the subject. It's well worth listening to some of the earlier episodes. News Roast is an often interesting podcast with a single guest. Again, it's worth having a look through the back-catalogue.

I usually try to keep politics off this blog but these are podcasts discussing topics that will affect you whatever your political leanings are.

If you fancy something funnier, there's still Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (RHLSTP) (RHLSTP), the latest episode featuring the insane Brian Blessed. You can stream video of this one at YouTube. And every week there are new episodes of No Such Thing As A Fish and The Bugle. Go support them and have a laugh along the way.

Random scans are a few books I've picked up over the past few weeks. I've not included the latest novels by Robert Harris and John Le Carre as I found hardbacks and haven't scanned the dust jackets. So these are just the paperbacks... a rather thin couple of weeks, thankfully, as I'm keen to get some stuff out of the house rather than trying to find ways to pack more in!


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