BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Comic Cuts — 28 May 2021


I have been noodling around this week trying to finish off four books that I'll be publishing through Bear Alley Books. These are, for the most part, lockdown projects that I should have had out months ago, but which drifted in the same fashion that other projects have drifted during the past 14 months. My 2020 projects all ran late, with the four Gwyn Evans books arriving in January of this year and the launch of BAM! pushed back due to a mixture of eye strain, the need to earn a bit of money, and work on some other projects getting in the way.

Now that I'm vaccinated and can see what I'm doing (thanks, science!) I'm trying to pick up the threads. A promised French language edition of And The Wheels Went Round — to be titled Les Roues de la Fortune — is now almost finished, with co-author Tony Davis proofing the text as I write this. As some of you will know, the subject of the book is the motorcycle racing career of John Chisnall, or Uncle John as I like to call him.

The other three books are reprints in trade paperback format of a trio of Victorian short story collections. Credited to Andrew Forrester, Jun., the author was, in fact, J. Redding Ware, his identity only revealed in 2008. Only one of the books he wrote as Andrew Forrester, Jun., has been reprinted — The Female Detective, which was one of the early British Library Classic Crime titles, which described its heroine as "the first female detective". Was she? The Bear Alley edition of the book will include a biographical essay on Ware which I believe proves that she wasn't.

There were two earlier Forrester titles, Revelations of a Private Detective and The Secret Service, which will be published in the same format at the same time. If you're reading this on Friday, I'll hopefully be uploading the texts and covers so that I can get proof copies of the three books printed. And they should be available in a few weeks.

After that I'm back onto the comics. There is another little project I want to finish involving some wartime comics, after which I'm going to be working on the magazine. Now that I've had a little time off from it, I can see some faults, so I'm having a rethink about my approach to it. The end results will be better than my original plan, so the delay is for the good.

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