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Friday, August 28, 2020

Comic Cuts - 28 August 2020



Now, this is the photo that I wanted to have on last week's post. I thought I was being cautious by setting the publication date for the Longbow books as August 21st, but I'd forgotten how slow everything has become during the ongoing Covid crisis—yes, still ongoing, although it's easy to forget that there are still over 1,000 new cases every day the way some politicians talk.

I took my first trip into Colchester last week, as I had an appointment to take an eye test at a surgery the other side of town. As you'll see from the photos, things were quiet, even around mid-day on a Friday. I stopped off at a few of my favourite charity shops for the first time in six months, but I must confess I wasn't in a buying frame of mind and ended up with two DVDs (Dunkirk, which I've seen but which had an extra disc of documentaries, and 1917, which I haven't seen—not a bad pair for two quid!).

The day was a series of firsts in six months—first bus ride, first time out of Wivenhoe, first time visiting a shop that wasn't the local Co-Op... it was quite exhilarating! The trip back wasn't quite so much fun. It wasn't a normal eye test. Rather, I was having my retinas photographed, which meant having eye drops put in (which stung like accidentally putting shampoo in your eyes) to enlarge the pupils. The photos were fine, as was sitting in a darkened room, but although I had been warned that my sight might be blurry for a couple of hours afterwards, nobody had told me to take sunglasses. During the trip in, it was wall-to-wall clouds. When I stepped out of the surgery, the sunlight was blinding. So now I'm blurry-eyed and squinting, trying to find a bus stop in a part of town I've never visited before; I can't read the map on my tablet because it's too bright and the screen too reflective to see anything; and I'm tearing up.

So there I am, this crying, broken, blinded creature approaching two ladies waiting at the nearby bus stop, and the question torn from my heart as I dab at my eyes is: "Do you know where I can catch a bus to the town centre?" Not quite what they were expecting from an emotional wreck, who might be on drugs ("Have you seen the size of his pupils?").

I was quite emotional Monday morning with the latest Windows update, although this was the shouting helplessly at the screen kind of emotion as the blue screen warned me about turning off my computer as it sl-o-o-o-w-ly worked its way towards 100%. Inevitably, it made some unwelcome changes to programmes (nowadays called Apps) and also buggered up my scanner. Every bloody time it updates I have to download new drivers for the scanner.

Tuesday was a considerable improvement as I spent the day looking at brilliant artwork and topped off the day chatting to one of my favourite  artists, John M. Burns, who is our interview for BAM! #1. This was the last large piece of the jigsaw of the the first issue. I now have (or will have when I've written it up) the big interview I wanted, a lengthy historical article, a few shorter pieces, and a comic strip reprint that I'm pretty sure few people will have even heard of. I already have a couple of items in for issues two and one for issue three.

I still need writers, and anyone who wants to put together features on comics from the past seventy years, do interviews or write reviews, please get in touch. I really don't want to have to fill the magazine myself... I'll have nothing to read!

Well, I guess I'd better sign off here and get down to signing those books. I did promise that the first fifty sets of books would be autographed and they're almost sold out. Everyone should receive their copies next week if you're in the UK, a little longer for anyone in America or Australia. I think you'll find they're worth the wait. We've had a couple of excellent reviews so far, and I'm hoping to see a few more as copies are distributed. Oh, and I'll keep the 10% off running for a little longer as I appreciate that some people are only just being paid and it can take a few days for money to reach their accounts.

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