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Friday, September 14, 2018

Comic Cuts - 14 September 2018

For reasons unknown to me, I keep waking up early and then spending a couple of hours in a daze somewhere between sleep and awake. It's not unusual for me to wake around 5.30 am, but this week it has been 2.30 and 3.30.

I find it difficult to get back to sleep, so I keep my laptop by my bed and will quietly play something. An audio book will often let me drift off fairly quickly. A couple of months ago, when the same thing was happening, I found copies of Hugh Fraser reading Agatha Christie would send me right off to sleep again. There are still a couple of novels where I barely got to the murder, let alone the solution. This week it was an audio version of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. I think I was still in the Prologue before I dropped off. Didn't even get as far as the Overlords invasion.

Although I can usually doze off, it's frustrating not to get a full night's sleep. I'll doze off after lunch and lose half the afternoon if I'm not careful.

Waking early does have some advantages. I'm listening to Dan Dare's audio adventures from B7 Media which were recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra [the second and third are now on the iPlayer]. And very good they are too. Although each story is named after the stories that appeared in the original Eagle, they've made some substantial changes while keeping the tone of the originals. The three main leads – Dan, Digby and Peabody – are all turned up a notch from their Eagle characters; audio Dan is more Daniel Craig than Pierce Brosnan and audio Digby is more Pierce Brosnan than Roger Moore; meanwhile Peabody is more Samantha Bond than Lois Maxwell.

An appearance by Hugh Fraser in the second episode didn't send me off to sleep!

My other early morning listening, and keeping to the Eagle theme, has been Where Eagle's Dare, a monthly podcast by Peter Adamson and David Ronayne about the 1980s Eagle. It follows the same format as the Space Spinner 2000 podcast, which covers a months worth of issues at a time, which gives the storylines a little space to develop and speeds you through the stories at a pace where they won't outstay their welcome.

Peter and David are Kiwis, both huge fans of the New Eagle when it came out in the Eighties, and their enthusiasm for the characters shines through. I'm relishing each episode as they revisit the heady days of Sgt. Streetwise, Joe Soap and Doomlord. Properly critical of some of the photo strips (Adventures of Fred) and occasionally stumbling across material that today would be problematical, the two presenters keep things light and the whole thing bubbles along in a thoroughly entertaining way.

A project that might interest folks who enjoy the Dick Barton style of radio adventures is Filthy '47, which its author (Richard Raymond) describes as "a Hitchcockian comedy thriller in the vein of The Lady Vanishes about two Land Girls who team up with a couple of demobbed fighter pilots to foil a sinister post-War plot." There's a trailer available as well as a 4-minute excerpt, which sounds quite fun. Hopefully there will be more shortly.

Random scans this week are on the subject of sleep and sleeping...

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