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Thursday, August 30, 2018

John Armstrong (1923-2018)

John Armstrong, whom Pat Mills once described as "the Brian Bolland of girls' comics," died peacefully on Tuesday, 28 August 2018, aged 94. He is best known for such strips as "Cherry and the Children" (1960-68), "Bella at the Bar" (1974-84), inspired by the huge popularity of Russian gymnast Olga Korbut, and his contributions to the girls' horror comic Misty, including "Moonchild" (1978), some of which have been recently reprinted by Rebellion.

Armstrong's greatest talent was his ability to capture emotional subtleties in the faces of his characters, and, in his gymnastic and ballet stories, the energy of every leap and spin. This was achieved by using photo reference: Armstrong had a passion is for ice-skating and for many years he used young fellow-skaters as his models thanks to a convenient photo-booth, and these photos were used as reference for the faces and facial expressions he drew into his comic strips. Bella was based on the niece of his then girlfriend, who grew up with the fictional character.

Of his forty-five years drawing comics he later said: "All in all, thanks to all the writers and editors who have provided the inspiration for my artwork, my life seems to have been one long holiday, just being absorbed by my favourite pastimes!"

Born in Middlesbrough in October 1923, he was the fourth child of John Armstrong, an antiques dealer, and his wife Lilian (nee Kelsey), who had married in 1917 and already had three daughters. Although keen on drawing whilst attending infants and secondary schools – horses were a favourite subject – his first lessons came at a deserted palace outside Rangoon while he was serving in the Army, started as a way to keep troops busy.

On demob, Armstrong attended Middlesbrough's Constantine College, passing his Intermediate Arts and Crafts and gaining National Diplomas in Design in both painting and illustration. On the advice of the college's principal, Armstrong spent a year in Teacher Training College, although his interest in comics meant he could entertain his students by drawing Tarzan in the style of Burne Hogarth.

He found work with a Newcastle advertising agency, meeting commercial artists for the first time. After a year, he travelled to London armed with a folder of samples, a copy of the Writer's and Artist's Year Book and an A to Z. After vising 40 studios, publishers and agents, he was offered work with Chamberlain's Art Studio, who had offices opposite St. Paul's ("great for watching the Lord Mayor's show"). His first freelance commission was from Putnam Books Education Department for a poetry book.

After a year Armstrong acquired an agent and left the studio for freelance work. His first comic strip was "The Mystery Ballerina" in Girls' Crystal (1954). For the same paper he drew stories of school girls, young film stars, treasure seekers, skaters, pop stars and others, honing his abilities over a period of almost a decade.

"Cherry and the Children", for a time the cover stars of Girls' Crystal, followed the adventures of Cherry Bryant who, unlike many of the stars of Girls' Crystal, lived in a council house with her two siblings, Tim and baby Sue, and their Mum, who struggles to get by on the wages paid by the local cigarette factory. Over the years, stories ranged from battling nasty neighbours who want them to get rid of their puppy, Boxer, and discovering that Cherry's friends are skipping netball practice to hang out at a coffee shop to being stranded on an uninhabited island, menaced by a pair of crooks searching for gold. Cherry's adventures proved so popular with readers that she survived two mergers, between School Friend & Girls' Crystal in 1963 and June & School Friend in 1965.

Armstrong also contributed to Schoolgirls Picture Library, Glamour and Girl before finding himself one of the mainstays of June, Sally, Tammy and Sandie in the 1960s and 1970s. It was in Tammy that he launched "Bella at the Bar" in June 1974, the story of Bella Barlow, an ambitious gymnast living in a seedy terraced house with her over-demanding uncle Jed and Aunt Gertrude, who treat her as nothing more than a skivvy. However, her natural athletic talents lead her to competitions, training and, eventually, a place with the British team.

Between drawing thousands of gymnastic poses for Bella, Armstrong was also drew the notorious "Becky Never Saw the Ball" (Tammy, 1974) and Carrie-inspired "Moonchild" and various other strips for horror comic Misty in 1978-79.

Following the demise of IPC's comics in the 1980s, Armstrong drew "Grange Hill" for BEEB (1985) before transferring to D C Thomson's girls' titles where he could draw on his thirty years of experience for such strips as "The Secret Gymnast" (Bunty, 1993-94), one of dozens he drew for that title until retiring in 2000. For the first time he was able to draw in colour for annuals and for his year-long stint as Bunty's cover artist.

In later years he revived his interest in painting and he began producing portraits of his skating friends in oils and providing artwork for the Ice Rink Pantomimes. His love for skating, both ice and roller, never diminished.

In 2003, Armstrong accepted an invitation to attend the Raptus convention in Bergen, Norway, and in recent years his artwork began to receive recognition from fans as interest in recording the history of girls' comics has grown.

Tributes to Armstrong and his work have been published by John Freeman (Down the Tubes) and Lew Stringer (Blimey!); my reviews of recent Armstrong reprints: Misty Vol.1 review; Bella at the Bar review.

Pat Mills has posted a tribute at his Millsverse website.

Comic Cuts - 30 August 2018

Although there wasn't any warning, Google/Blogger has not been sending me notification of any comments for a couple of weeks. Although I don't receive that many – I had to switch to allowing only Google account holders to comment because of the vast amount of spam I was having to deal with every day – it was becoming noticeable that I wasn't receiving any comments.

Robert Kirkpatrick pointed out that one of his articles on artists had a weird Arabic message, which I believe was spam. I deleted it, and noticed that I'd had a couple of other similar comments, which I also deleted. More annoyingly, I'd had messages from readers with information, or asking for information, that I'd received no notification for.

I suspect the problem was caused by new data protection reforms that started back in May with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation across the EU. With the problems highlighted subsequently with Facebook, Google and others, new protections are being brought into effect and, somehow, notification of comments on Blogger has been caught up in them.

I was fiddling around with the settings on Wednesday morning and didn't solve a thing. However, I did get an email from Blogger later that day asking if I wanted to resume receiving notifications, so hopefully the problem has now been resolved.

The river had a weird bloom of green algae a couple of weeks ago. Nothing exciting, just unusual
With that problem resolved, maybe, on to the next one. We're having our ancient gas and electricity meters replaced with a smart meter on Thursday afternoon. Normally that would be when I write this, so I've had to bring it forward and it's about 11:30 am. I'm juggling my time between writing this and trying to research the works of John Armstrong so I can put together an obituary. Whether it gets written in reasonable time to be run depends on how long we're going to be without power. I'm out of the house tomorrow for a trip into town to visit the dentist (a pre-arranged visit to the hygienist), and there's a ton of stuff that needs doing around the house that might disrupt the usual flow of writing.

UPDATE:  About an hour later, the fitters arrived to fit the new meters. As both meters are in cupboards and every cupboard in the house is stuffed to the gills with hefty boxes of books, magazines and comics, I'd had to hump the boxes out of the way. Everything was ready and they arrived earlier than expected while I was eating lunch. The guy took one look at the electricity meter and said, "Sorry, we can't fit anything today. We need to get in touch with the electricity board." Apparently some wire is meant to go into some thing (a block?) before it goes into box with the whirly thing.

So now we have to wait for the electricity board to fit something before the smart meter can be fitted, and, as it's not an urgent problem, it could take anything up to three months to fit, after which the meter fitters can come back and do their job. Can they do the gas meter while they're here? No. They have to do both at the same time.

Let's hope my trip to the dentist tomorrow doesn't turn into a similar mess.

For reasons that will now be obvious, I'm keeping this short and posting a day early. That means that our random scans for the week are also "short" in one way or another.

 
 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 29 August 2018.

2000AD Prog 2096
Cover: Neil Roberts
JUDGE DREDD: THE BOOTH CONSPIRACY by TC Eglington (w) Staz Johnson (a) Abigail Bulmer (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SURVIVAL GEEKS: SLACK N' HASH by Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
THE ORDER: THE NEW WORLD by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
MECHASTOPHELES // TRUE FAITH by Gordon Rennie, Lawrence Rennie (w) Karl Richardson (a) Simon Bowland (l)
GREY AREA: OBJECTIVES by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Sniper Elite: Resistance #1
By Keith Richardson & Patrick Goddard
Cover: Patrick Goddard / Quinton Winter
Based on the global best-selling Rebellion videogame, Sniper Elite: Resistance comes this adrenaline-fuelled thrill-ride 3-issue combat mini-series!
    In occupied France, Allied Special Operations Executive hero Karl Fairburne parachutes into the town of Angouleme in a bid to stop the shipment of a new German anti-aircraft weapon - the situation is more complex, and dangerous, than he could ever have imagined.
  The first issue has two equally-orderable variants by Goddard and Sniper Elite videogame artist Edouard Groult!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Joe Haldeman cover gallery

NOVELS

War Year (New York, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1972)
(no UK paperback)

The Forever War (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1974; London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1975; revised, New York, Avon Eos, 1991)
Futura/Orbit 0860-07882-5, (Mar) 1976, 236pp, 60p. Cover by Patrick Woodruffe
----, 1976;
----, (Oct) 1976, 236pp, 65p.
----, (Aug) 1977, 236pp, 65p.
----, 1978.
----, 1984, 236pp, £2.25.
----, 1986.
----, 1990, 236pp, £3.50.
Millennium 1857-98808-6 (SF Masterworks 1), 1999, 254pp, £6.99. Cover by Chris Moore
----, 2000, 254pp, £6.99.
----, 2004, 254pp, £6.99
Gollancz 0575-07908-8, (Aug) 2006, x+271pp, £7.99. Cover by Marc Adams
Gollancz 978-0575-09414-7 (SF Masterworks), 2010, xi+234pp, £7.99. [tpb]

Mindbridge (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1976; London, Macdonald & Jane's, 1977)
Futura/Orbit 0860-07932-5, (Aug) 1977, 185pp, 75p. Cover by Josh Kirby
----, 1979, 186pp, 85p.
----, 1984, £1.95.
Gollancz (SF Collectors) 0575-07114-1, (Jun) 2000, 185pp, £9.99. [tpb]

All My Sins Remembered (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1977; London, Macdonald & Jane's, 1978)
Orbit 0708-88025-8, 184pp, 85p. Cover by Peter Jones
----, 1981, 184pp, £1.25.
Gollancz 0575-07281-4, (Oct) 2003, 184pp, £9.99. Cover by Chris Moore [tpb]

Star Trek: Planet of Judgement (New York, Bantam Books, 1977; London, Corgi, 1977)
Corgi 0552-10622-4, 1977, 152pp.
Titan Books 1852-86531-8 (Star Trek 7), 1994, 151pp.

Star Trek: World Without End (New York & London, Bantam Books, 1979)
Bantam 0553-12583-4, 1979, 150pp.
Titan Books 1852-86538-5 (Star Trek 12), 1995, 150pp.

Worlds (New York, Viking Press, 1981; London, Macdonald, 1982)
Futura/Orbit 0708-88090-8, (Feb) 1982, 262pp, £1.75. Cover by Peter Jones
----, 1984, 262pp,  £2.25. Cover by John Harris
New English Library 0450-57405-9, (Nov) 1992, 239pp, £4.99.
Gollancz (SF Collectors) 0575-07361-6, (May) 2002, 239pp, £9.99. Cover by John Harris [tpb]

Worlds Apart (New York, Viking Press, 1983; London, Futura, 1984)
Futura/Orbit 0708-88121-1, (Aug) 1984, 227pp, £2.25. Cover by John Harris
New English Library 0450-57406-7, (Nov) 1992, 227pp, £4.99.
---- [2nd imp.] 1993.
Gollancz 0575-07361-6, 2002, 239pp.

There Is No Darkness, with Jack C. Haldeman (New York, Ace Books, 1983; London, Futura, 1985)
Futura/Orbit 0708-88145-9, 1985, 245pp, £2.25. Cover by Peter Elson
----, (Mar) 1986, 245pp, £2.25.

Tool of the Trade (New York, William Morrow & Co., 1987; London, Gollancz, 1987)
Futura/Orbit 0708-88278-1, 1988, 261pp, £3.50.

Buying Time (New York, William Morrow & Co., 1989; as The Long Habit of Living, London, New English Library, 1989)
New English Library 0450-51189-8, (Oct) 1989, 288pp, £6.95. [tpb] Cover by James Warren
New English Library 0450-53536-3, (Nov) 1990, 300pp, £3.50.

The Hemingway Hoax (New York, William Morrow & Co., 1990; London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1990)
New English Library 0450-55195-4, (Oct) 1991, 155pp, £3.99.

Worlds Enough and Time (New York, William Morrow & Co., 1992; London, New English Library, 1992)
New English Library 0450-57404-0, 1993, 332pp, £4.99.

1968 (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1994; New York, William Morrow & Co., 1995)
New English Library 0340-63984-9, 1995, 381pp, £5.99. Cover by Bill Gregory

Forever Peace (New York, Ace Books, 1997)
Millennium 1857-98899-X, 1999, 351pp, £5.99. Cover by Chris Moore

Forever Free (New York, Ace Books, 1999; London, Gollancz, 1999)
Millennium 1857-98931-7, 2000, 277pp, £5.99. Cover by Chris Moore

The Coming (New York, Ace Books, 2000)
(no UK paperback)

Guardian (New York, Ace Books, 2002)
(no UK paperback)

Camouflage (New York, Ace Books, 2004)
(no UK paperback)

Old Twentieth (New York, Ace Books, 2005)
(no UK paperback)

The Accidental Time Machine (New York, Ace Books, 2007)
(no UK paperback)

Marsbound (New York, Ace Books, 2008)
(no UK paperback)

Starbound (New York, Ace Books, 2010)
(no UK paperback)

Earthbound (New York, Ace Books, 2011)
(no UK paperback)

Work Done For Hire (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
(no UK paperback)

NOVELS AS ROBERT GRAHAM

Attar’s Revenge (New York, Pocket Books, 1975)
Mews Books 0452-00077-7, Mar 1977, 127pp, 55p. Cover by Colin Andrew

War of Nerves (New York, Pocket Books, 1975)
(no UK paperback)

OMNIBUS

Peace and War (contains: The Forever War, Forever Peace, Forever Free) (London, Gollancz, 2006)
Gollancz 978-0575-07919-9, (Nov) 2006, 697pp, £7.99. Cover by Dominic Harman

War Stories (contains: War Year, 1968) (San Francisco, CA, Night Shade Books, 2006)
(no UK paperback)

Marsbound; Starbound; Earthbound (London, Gollancz, 2013)
Gollancz 978-0575-12901-6, (Jul) 2013, xii+506pp, £18.99. Cover by Chris Moore

COLLECTIONS

Infinite Dreams (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1978; London, Futura/Orbit, 1979)
Futura/Orbit 0708-88056-8, (Nov) 1979, 278pp, £1.25.Cover by Peter Jones

Dealing in Futures (New York, Viking Penguin, 1985; London, Futura/Orbit, 1986)
Futura/Orbit 0708-88197-1, (Mar) 1986, 277pp, £2.50. Cover by Tony Roberts

Vietnam and Other Alien Worlds (Franingham, Massachusetts, The NESFA Press, 1993)
(no UK paperback)

None So Blind (New York, William Morro/AvoNova, 1996)
(no UK paperback)

A Separate War and Other Stories (New York, Ace Books, 2005)
(no UK paperback)

The Best of Joe Haldeman, ed. Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe ( Subterranean Press, 2013)
(no UK paperback)

VERSE

Saul’s Death and Other Poems (San Francisco, CA, Anamnesis Press, 1997)
(no UK paperback)

OTHERS AS EDITOR

Cosmic Laughter: Science Fiction for the Fun of It (New York, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1974)
(no UK paperback)

Study War No More (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1977; London, Maxdonald and Jane's, 1978).
Futura 0708-88054-1, 1977, 323pp, £1.25. Cover by Vincente Segrelles

Nebula Award Stories Seventeen (New York, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1983)
(no UK paperback)

Body Armor: 2000, with Martin H. Greenberg (New York, Ace Books, 1986)
(no UK paperback)

Supertanks, with Martin H. Greenberg (New York, Ace Books, 1987)
(no UK paperback)

Spacefighters, with Martin H. Greenberg (New York, Ace Books, 1988)
(no UK paperback)

Future Weapons of War, with Martin H. Greenberg (New York, Baen Books, 2006)
(no UK paperback)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Wal Paget

Wal Paget
by
Robert J. Kirkpatrick

Much like H.M. Paget, the work of Walter Paget (sometimes known as Wal Paget) has been overlooked in favour of that by his brother Sidney, best-known for his Sherlock Holmes illustrations in The Strand Magazine between 1891 and 1904. Walter is probably best-known as the illustrator of the first editions of ten of G.A. Henty’s novels between 1893 and 1904, and for his illustrations for an edition of Robinson Crusoe in 1891. But he also illustrated many boys’ and girls’ adventure, historical and war stories, and several re-issues of classic novels, as well as contributing to several periodicals.

He was born on 26 January 1862 (and not in 1863 as several sources claim) at the family home at 60 Pentonville Road, Clerkenwell, and baptised as Walter Stanley Paget at St. Mark’s Church, Myddleton Square, Finsbury, on 11 October 1863. His father, Robert Paget, born in Rodborough, Gloucestershire, in 1820) was the Vestry Clerk at St. James’s and St. John’s churches in Clerkenwell. His mother, Martha (née Clarke), born in Atherstone, Warwickshire, in 1830, was a Professor of Music. They had married on 2 June 1853 in London, and went on to have ten children between 1854 and 1872, including the future artists Henry Marriott Paget (born in 1856) and Sidney Edward Paget (born in 1860).

Walter was educated at the Middle Class School at Cowper Street, Finsbury, from where he was awarded a studentship at the Royal Academy Schools in 1881. He went on to exhibit there in 1884, 1885 and 1886. (Henry and Sidney Paget also attended the Royal Academy Schools, with Henry exhibiting 11 times between 1879 and 1894, and Sidney 13 times between 1879 and 1904).

In late 1882 Walter, along with his brother Sidney and several other artists, was commissioned to illustrate a story by Paul Meritt, “The Hidden Million”, in The Pictorial World. Just over two years later, in February 1885, whilst he was still a student, and living at 19 Lloyd Square, Clerkenwell, he was commissioned by The Illustrated London News to provide illustrations of the mission to relieve Major General Charles Gordon at Khartoum, Sudan, which had begun the previous year. He returned to England at the beginning of July, having missed the fall of Khartoum but witnessing the British forces retreat to Egypt.

On 24 April 1889 he married Sophia Borgnet Grenfell at St. Andrew’s Church, Calstock, Cornwall. Sophia, born in Calstock in 1867, was the daughter of Thomas Grenfell, a coal merchant’s agent, and his wife Elizabeth. Walter and Sophia immediately moved to Hertfordshire (initially to High Street Farm, Watford) where they had three children: Joan (born on 10 May 1889), Robert Ferrand (21 September 1893) and Thomas Humphrey (13 August 1893).

In the meantime, Walter had begun contributing to other periodicals, including Little Folks, The Magazine of Art, The Woman’s World, Cassell’s Magazine, and The English Illustrated Magazine. He had also begun illustrating books, initially for Cassell & Co., with his first-known book illustrations appearing in Lost Among White Africans by David Ker, in 1886; and then, in a completely different vein, for Ernest Nister, with a series of books with a religious theme. In 1891, he provided 120 illustrations for an edition of Robinson Crusoe, published by Cassell & Co. This initially appeared in monthly parts before being re-issued in book form, and it was subsequently reprinted numerous times, both in the UK and abroad.

In the same year, the story goes that W.H. Boot, the Art Director of The Strand Magazine, chose Walter Paget, on the strength of his earlier periodical work, to illustrate the first six of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. However, not having Walter’s first name, he simply addressed a letter to “Mr Paget, the illustrator.” It was opened by Sidney Paget who, not surprisingly, accepted the commission. The story also goes that Sidney modelled his portrayal of Holmes on Walter – certainly, there are clear facial resemblances between Walter and Holmes (after Walter’s death many newspapers referred to Walter’s “acquiline face, with its deep-set eyes and high forehead”), although his brother Henry Marriott Paget told James Donald Miller that the assertion that Walter, or any other person, served as a model for Holmes was incorrect (Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 Supplement). In the event, Walter did eventually draw for The Strand, providing four illustrations for a Conan Doyle story (“The Dying Detective”) in December 1913.

Walter had, by then, been contributing to several other periodicals, including The Quiver, The Queen, The Graphic, The Pall Mall Magazine, Young England, The London Magazine, The British Workman, The Family Friend and The Windsor Magazine. Most importantly, in 1899 he had begun a long association with The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, for which he provided illustrations up until 1933, and in 1900 he joined the staff of the newly-launched The Sphere, to which he contributed until 1914. He had also continued his career as a book illustrator, continuing to work with Cassell & Co. and Ernest Nister, and also with Blackie & Son, A. & C. Black and S.W. Partridge & Co. (For Cassell & Co., he was one of many artists commissioned to illustrate part-works such as Battles of the Nineteenth Century and Cassell’s History of the Boer War).

Amongst his specialities were boys’ adventure, historical and war stories, illustrating books by authors such as George Manville Fenn, F.S. Brereton, Percy F. Westerman, Herbert Hayens, Tom Bevan, Frederick Harrison and Herbert Strang, and most notably G.A. Henty. He also illustrated a handful of school stories, by Ascott R. Hope and Dorita Fairlie Bruce, and several re-issues of novels by H. Rider Haggard, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott, Charles Kingsley and W.M. Thackeray. It appears that, unlike many of his contemporaries, he was rarely asked to supply illustrations for children’s annuals, with the notable exception of Cassell’s Christmas annual Yule Tide, to which he contributed for several years. (His work also appeared in bound annual volumes of periodicals such as Young England, and in Mrs Strang’s Annual for Girls).

At the time of the 1901 census, Paget and his family were living at Beeches Grove Cottage, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. Ten years later, they were at “Bentley”, Stanhope Avenue, Finchley, with their son Thomas recorded as an art student. A year later, on 11 February 1912, Sophia Paget died.

During the First World War, Paget illustrated over a dozen children’s war stories, mainly for Blackie & Son. He did comparatively little work after the war, with his last works being for a series of books in the “Junior Bookshelf” series published by Edinburgh House Press, on life in different countries.

He subsequently moved to Devon Cottage, 7 Belvedere Road, Burnham-on Crouch, Essex. This was his home address when he died, on 29 January 1935, at The Clock House, Fockbury, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. He left a small estate valued at just £121 (just over £7,000 in today’s terms – a pitiful reward for his efforts), with probate granted to his brother Frederick Reginald, a tea dealer.

Of his two sons, Robert became a mechanical engineer, and Thomas became a coin and medal designer, and was awarded the OBE in 1948.

Paget was well-respected as an illustrator, especially early in his career. In 1892 M.H. Spielman, writing about his Robinson Crusoe drawings in Cassell’s Magazine of Art, declared that “He is an excellent figure draughtsman, with a strong poetic feeling for landscape. His composition, nearly always good, is sufficiently unconventional to be invariably fresh; his power of expression, characterization, and grouping is unfailing; his facility of execution, refreshing; and his knowledge of costume and accessory, consummate.” Other critics were equally as impressed, although his later work was little different to that of many of his contemporaries, with Brigid Peppin and Lucy Micklethwait commenting, in their Dictionary of British Book Illustrators: The Twentieth Century, that “he worked in a reliably conventional vein.”


PUBLICATIONS

Books illustrated by Walter Paget:
Lost Among White Africans: A Boy’s Adventures on the Upper Congo by David Ker, Cassell & Co., 1886
Cassell’s History of England, Cassell & Co., 1886-1887 (part-work) (with other artists)
King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard, Cassell & Co., 1887 (re-issue)
She by H. Rider Haggard, Cassell & Co., 1887 (re-issue)
Sir Walter’s Ward: A Tale of the Crusades by William Everard, Blackie & Son, 1888
Christmastide in Prose and Poetry, Ernest Nister, 1888
Grandma’s Memories by Mary D. Brine, Ernest Nister, 1888 (with other artists)
The First Christmas: “The Infant Jesus” by Frederick William Faber, Ernest Nister, 1889
Easter Dawn: Choice Hymns Selected from Easter Carols, Ernest Nister, 1889
The Slendid Spur: Being Memoirs of the Adventures of Mr John Marvel, etc etc, by A. Quiller-Couch, Cassell & Co., 1889
Year In, Year Out: A Book of the Months by Helen Maud Waithman, Ernest Nister, 1890
Immortality: A Dainty Book of Eastertide Poetry by Alice Reed and E. Dawson, Ernest Nister, 1890
Shakespeare Pictures, Ernest Nister, 1890 (with H.M. Paget)
Tennyson Pictures, Ernest Nister, 1891 (with Herbert Dicksee)
The Strange and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Cassell & Co., 1891 (re-issue)
A History of Modern Europe by C.A. Fyffe, Cassell & Co., 1891-1892 (with other artists)
Out of the Fashion by L.T. Meade, Methuen & Co., 1892
For Fortune and Glory: A Story of the Soudan War by Lewis Hough, Cassell & Co., 1892 (re-issue)
Condemned as a Nihilist: A Story of Escape from Siberia by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1893
The Black Dwarf, and The Legend of Montrose by Walter Scott, A. & C. Black, 1893 (with Lockhart Bogle) (re-issue)
The Man in Black by Stanley John Weyman, Cassell & Co., 1894 (with H.M. Paget) (re-issue)
The Story of the Sea ed. by Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cassell & Co., 1894-1895 (part-work) (with other artists)
In Market Overt by James Payn, Horace Cox, 1895
The Splendid Spur by Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cassell & Co., 1895
Austin Elliot and The Harveys by Henry Kinglsey, Ward, Lock & Co., 1895 (re-issue)
Blue Eyes and Cherry Pies: A Volume of Stories by various authors, Ernest Nister, 1895 (with other artists)
Battles of the Nineteenth Century, Cassell & Co., 1895-1896 (part-work) (with other artists)
A History of the Scottish People, Blackie & Son, 1896 (with other artists)
The Voice of the Charmer by L.T. Meade, Cassell & Co., 1896 (re-issue)
A Legend of Montrose and Castle Dangerous by Walter Scott, Ward, Lock & Bowden 1896 (re-issue)
Cosy Corner Stories: A Volume of Stories by various authors, Ernest Nister, 1896 (with other artists)
Merry Hearts: A Volume of Stories by various authors, Ernest Nister, 1896 (with other artists)
With Frederick the Great: A Story of the Seven Years’ War by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1897
With Moore at Corunna: A Tale of the Peninsular War by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1897
At Agincourt: A Tale of the White Hoods of Paris by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1897
Shakespeare’s Heroines: Characteristics of Women, Moral, Poetical and Historical by Anna Jameson, Ernest Nister, 1897 (re-issue)
Under Wellington’s Command: A Tale of the Peninsular War by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1899
French and English: A Story of the Struggle in America by Evelyn Everett-Green, T. Nelson & Sons, 1899
A Mystery of the Pacific by William Henry Oliphant Smeaton, Blackie & Son, 1899
In the Grip of the Spaniard by Herbert Hayens, T. Nelson & Sons, 1899
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, Cassell & Co, 1899 (re-issue)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Cassell & Co., 1899 (re-issue)
The Surgeon’s Daughter, and Castle Dangerous by Walter Scott, A. & C. Black, 1899  (with Paul Hardy) (re-issue)
With Rifle and Bayonet: A Story of the Boer War by F.S. Brereton, Blackie & Son, 1900
The Good Shepherd: A Book of Religious Stories by L.L. Weedon, Ernest Nister, 1900 (with A. Dudley)
Cassell’s History of the Boer War, 1899-1901, Cassell & Co., 1900-1901 (part-work) (with other artists)
Britain’s Sea Kings and Sea Fights, Cassell & Co., 1900 (with other artists)
Living London: Its Work and Its Play, etc etc., ed. by G.R. Sims, Cassell & Co., 1901- 1903 (part-work) with other artists)
Tales from Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb, Ernest Nister, 1901 (re-issue)
At the Point of the Bayonet: A Tale of the Mahratta War by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1902
A Gallant Grenadier: A Tale of the Crimean War by F.S. Brereton, Blackie & Son, 1902
A Soldier’s Love by Alfred Barrett, Ward, Lock & Co., 1902
The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Scribner’s Sons (USA), 1902 (re-issue)
The Treasure of the Incas: A Tale of Adventure in Peru by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1903
With the British Legion: A Story of the Carlist Wars by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1903
Through Three Campaigns: A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1904
With the Allies to Pekin: A Tale of the Relief of the Legations by G.A. Henty, Blackie & Son, 1904
Pendennis by W.M. Thackeray, G.D. Sproul (USA), 1904 (re-issue)
Shakespeare’s Heroines by Mrs Jameson, Ernest Nister, 1904
Trapper Dan: A Story of the Backwoods by George Manville Fenn, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1905
Two Barchester Boys: A Tale of Adventure in the Malay Sea by K.M. Eady, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1905
From the Tales of a Grandfather: A History of Scotland from the Early Times to the Union of the Parliaments by T.D. Robb (condensed from Walter Scott), Blackie & Son, 1905
Sydney Lisle, the Heiress of St. Quentin by Dorothea Moore, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1905
The Arabian Nights by William Henry Denham Rouse, Ernest Nister, 1905
The Betrothed by Walter Scott, Macmillan & Co., 1905 (re-issue)
The Iliad of Homer by Alexander Pope, Cassell & Co., 1906 (re-issue)
Under the Roman Eagles by Amyot Sagan, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1907
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1907 (re-issue)
A Book About Yorkshire by J.S. Fletcher, Methuen & Co., 1908 (with Frank Southgate)
Uncle Mac the Missionary, or More News from Korea by Jean Perry, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1908
Runners of Contraband: A Story of Russian Tyranny by Tom Bevan, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1908
The Lady of Blossholme by H. Rider Haggard, Hodder & Stoughton, 1909
Twilight Stories by E. Nesbit and others, Ernest Nister, 1909 (with other artists)
The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1909 (re-issue)
The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for My Children by Charles Kingsley, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1909 (re-issue)
Hereward the Wake by Charles Kingsley, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1909 (re-issue)
Dryden’s Aeneid of Virgil, ed. by Professor A.J. Church, Cassell & Co., 1910
The King’s Scouts by William R.A. Wilson, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1910
The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, Cassell & Co., 1910 (re-issue)
Stories from Dickens by J. Walker McSpadden, George G. Harrap & Co., 1910 (with other artists)
Harold, the Last of the Saxon Kings by Edward Bulwer Lytton, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1911 (re-issue)
Houses of Clay by Lillias Campbell Davidson, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1912
The Little Duke, or Richard the Fearless by Charlotte M. Yonge, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1912
Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by R.D. Blackmore, S.W. Partridge & Co., 1912 (re-issue)
The River Tramp by John Comfort, S.P.C.K., 1913
Pioneers in South Africa by Sir Harry Johnston, Blackie & Son, 1913
Pioneers in India by Harry Hamilton Johnston, Blackie & Son, 1913
Nobby: A Son of Empire by John Comfort, S.P.C.K., 1913
For England! For France! A Story of the Days of Waterloo by Frederick Harrison, S.P.C.K., 1914
Jack, the Englishman by H. Louisa Bedford, S.P.C.K., 1914
The Crew of the “Silver Fish” by E.E. Cowper, S.P.C.K., 1914
Fruitfulnees by Emile Zola, trans. by Ernest Alfred Vizitelly, Caxton Publishing Co., 1914
At Grips with the Turk: A Story of the Dardanelles Campaign by F.S. Brereton, Blackie & Son, 1915
Nefert, the Egyptian: A Tale of the Time of Moses by J.A. Staunton Batty, S.P.C.K., 1915
With Our Russian Allies by F.S. Brereton, Blackie & Son, 1916
The Unknown Island: A Tale of Adventure in the Seychelles by Bessie Marchant, Blackie & Son, 1916
On the Road to Bagdad: A Story of Townsend’s Gallant Advance on the Tigris by F.S. Brereton, Blackie & Son, 1917
Freda’s Great Adventure: A Story of Paris in Wartime by Alice Massie, Blackie & Son, 1917
A Lively Bit of the Front: A Tale of the New Zealand Rifles on the Western Front by Percy F. Westerman, Blackie & Son, 1918
Margot: The Adventures of Her Voyage from South Africa by Nancy Millicent Chastel de Boinville, A. & C. Black, 1918
A Dangerous Mission: A Tale of Russia by Bessie Marchant, Blackie & Son, 1918
Tom Willoughby’s Scouts: A Story of the War in German East Africa by Herbert Strang, Oxford University Press, 1919
Under Foch’s Command: A Tale of the Americans in France by F.S. Brereton, Blackie & Son, 1919
Charlie’s Mascot by H.C. Cooke, A. & C. Black, 1919
A Transport Girl in France: A Story of the Adventures of a W.A.A.C. by Bessie Marchant, Blackie & Son, 1919
Schoolboys of Other Lands by Ascott R. Hope, A. & C. Black, 1919
The Aussie Crusaders: With Allenby in Palestine by Joseph Bowes, Oxford University Press, 1920
Gerard’s Scottish Adventures by Ascott R. Hope, A. & C. Black, 1920
Don’s Doings: A Tale of the Rockies by John Comfort, S.P.C.K., 1921
The Senior Prefect by Dorita Fairlie Bruce, Oxford University Press, 1921
Dimsie Moves Up by Dorita Fairlie Bruce, Oxford University Press, 1921
If I Lived in Africa by Cicely Hooper, Edinburgh House Press, 1927
If I Lived in Japan by Gwendoline R. Barclay, Edinburgh House Press, 1928
Adventures Afloat in Missionary Ships by A.R. Headland, London Missionary Society, 1929
If I Lived in Palestine by Mary Entwistle, Edinburgh House Press, 1929
If I Lived in India by M.L. Christlieb, Livingstone Press, 1930
If I Lived in China by Lilian E. Cox, Edinburgh House Press, 1933

Friday, August 24, 2018

Comic Cuts - 24 August 2018

As promised, the Iron Mask book is now available, updated and at a slightly cheaper price, via Amazon. The first (A4) edition is now officially out of print. The text is also available on Kindle. The update tidies up the text, which was potentially confusing in places thanks to people sharing the same names (I've included family trees in the book to make things clearer); discusses a couple of incidents that I've only recently discovered; and weeds out a couple of errors that had crept in (a Dorothy had become Doris; the same couple of sentences quoted in two different places).

I'll set up links to the paperback and Kindle versions of the book on the Bear Alley Books page. I should have the Kindle links up shortly... still waiting to hear about the paperback. I'll put in an update here when everything is live. UPDATE: You can now visit the Bear Alley Books page to find out more, plus links to the paperback and Kindle editions.

Not much else to report. We've been trying to catch up on a number of TV shows and we're currently being utterly baffled by Legion season two. Its like Noah Hawley, the show's creator and executive producer, has agreed that we can come along for the ride, but only if we can cling on to the side of a clown car that is randomly shedding bits of itself.

Thankfully we've had Gotham to finish off, an everyday story of a police detective tracking down escapees from an asylum in America's crime capital with the aid of an utterly corrupted police force, a stroppy teenage billionaire and his butler. It's consistently one of the best shows on TV. Next season (season five) will be the last, which means the show will hopefully go out on a high rather than having the arse dragged out of it. I'm not sure that we need a spin-off show about Alfred, but with Bruce Heller in charge (who did The Mentalist before Gotham), it might turn out OK.

On a different tack altogether, I really enjoyed Picnic at Hanging Rock, which adapted the novel beautifully. I had wondered whether they were going to continue the story into the excised final chapter that author Joan Lindsay was persuaded to drop ahead of publication and, from what I can gather from Wikipedia, there are elements taken from that final chapter (the removing and throwing away of corsets) but the TV show sensibly retained the ambiguity of the novel (as originally published) and the film adaptation.

During the week we also reached the end of Unforgotten with the wonderful Nicola Walker, who never seems to put a foot wrong in her choices of roles. If she's in it, the show is probably worth watching. I think I've probably seen most of her appearances on TV for the past twenty years and Mel has been a fan since her electrifying appearance in Scott & Bailey.

Since I published the list of upcoming releases in Rebellion's Treasury of British Comics, they have announced that they will be doing a 250-copy limited edition hardcover of The Thirteenth Floor, which will be available through the 2000AD shop. It will be released on 17 October.

Also due in October is another bookazine from D C Thomson celebrating the 65th birthday of Minnie the Minx. It can be pre-ordered from the DCT website, which is sparse on details – it's 68 pages and £6.99 and DCT promise "We cover everything from the story of her creation in 1953, to the artists who have illustrated her adventures, and finally to her rise to Beano cover star today! With behind the scenes secrets and specially selected reprints from the archive, this is the definitive story of the world's most famous Minx!" Nigel Parkinson has said, "Expect some Leo Baxendale, a lot of Jim Petrie, a little Ken Harrison, Tom Paterson, Paul Palmer and something from me." This should also be available from W H Smiths from 3 October.

The random scans this week are a couple of books by Australian author Jon Cleary and a handful of books that I've added to various past cover galleries recently. I try to update galleries whenever I get a chance to buy copies of books (usually in charity shops) or stumble across new covers on the net. The galleries concentrate on British paperback editions for each author and the best way to find out if I've covered a particular author is to do a search for the author's name and "bear alley". That's usually how I find out if I've done a gallery or not... my memory is definitely not what it was!