Friday, September 10, 2021

Comic Cuts — 10 September 2021

If life was a computer game, I think I would have had the klaxons honking and the lights flashing for "Expert Level Achieved" a few times this week.

A few hours after last week's Comic Cuts was posted, I had an appointment with the doctor for my regular check up. This was delayed because my original blood test date was cancelled and moved by a fortnight, so it came a week after my diabetic eye screening. Then came the face to face with Claire, who I've now known for some years. After the usual prodding and poking the verdict is that I'm now recovered from my diabetes. My liver and kidney functions are top notch, cholesterol levels OK, blood pressure where it should be, and weight... well, we won't go into that. I'm a lot slimmer than I was three years ago,  but being sat in front of a computer all day doesn't keep me fit. The walks we take in the morning and the evening are enough to keep my weight level, but the poor weather this summer has meant that I haven't lost the four pounds that I put on during the winter. I have an idea for a solution... we shall just have to see how it goes.

My eye screening results showed no sign of any diabetic eye disease, so that won't be causing me any problems in the near term. I had already had a letter to that effect, but it was brought up by Claire and set up a joke I'd thought of beautifully:

Claire: There's no sign of diabetic eye disease from your eye screening.
Me: That's great news. I was a bit worried when they sent me my letter in Braile.

You had to be there...

On Saturday we took to the streets as part of a local march on behalf of Extinction Rebellion. There were 150 or so people peacefully wandering up the High Street and crossing the road at the crossing and not even stopping the traffic. It didn't feel particularly rebellious, what with the little kids dressed up in costumes and a guy beating a drum as we followed a little group carrying a model of the burning Earth on a wooden frame. If it wasn't for the latter, you might have thought it was a scene from The Whicker Man and we were just off to burn a few strangers.

We gathered on a little green used chiefly by dogs to do their business for a short rallying call and there was meant to be a guest speaker, local writer A. L. Kennedy, but she hadn't shown up, so the question was raised, did anyone else want to talk. All 150 of us shrank about three inches and broke eye contact. So we all wandered off.

We made the local paper but you can't see Mel or I in the photos.

I should add that we're not particularly political and we don't always agree with the way protests are conducted. But at the same time we have friends with kids and it's up to us to hand over the planet in as good a condition as we can.

I finally got all my accounts and various other bits of admin sorted out. I know it's irrational but I go through this every year... a crushing fear that I'm going to add up something wrong and end up with a tax bill I can't pay. I've managed to fill out the forms correctly for thirty or so years, so I know it's as daft as being afraid of common house spiders here in the UK, or phasmophobia (fear of ghosts). I suffer from neither, but I am convinced I'll balls things up with my accounts.

It's called atelophobia, apparently. I don't quite fit the definition, because I don't obsess about mistakes per se, but I do imagine mistakes I might make in certain situations. And it definitely causes  overwhelming anxiety and a lot of avoidance.

y, it's all done now, and I can now get away with not doing my accounts until January 2023 if I want to.

Then it was back to writing about Action, although I don't seem to have written much about the comic, more about children's education and trying to dig out biographical information on a number of Argentinean artists.

Which brings me to a pair of delightful books that landed on my doormat a couple of weeks ago, the 2-volume Las historietasw de Patoru Zito: Una Guia Ilustrada by Carlos A. Altgelt. What, you may ask, is Patoru Zito and why does it deserve an illustrated guide? The answer is "Es una neuva publicatcion de la Editorial Dante Quinterno para los ninos y para los grandes que sean amantes de las aventuras."—"It is a new publication from Editorial Dante Quinterno for children and for grown-ups who are adventure lovers."

Dante Quinterno was an Argentinean artist who in 1928 created the hugely popular character Patoruzu, a tribal prince with superhuman strength. Patoru Zito was an adventure comic launched in 1945.

Now, my ability to read Spanish is zero, but that doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed the books. It's a delight to turn a page and find a strip by Alberto Breccia or Leandro Sesarego or Jose Luis Salinas or Carlos Freixas. And tucked away in volume two are notes on a number of British comic strips that were translated, including Tug Transom, James Bond, Rick Random, Ace O'Hara, Wells Fargo (as drawn by Don Lawrence) and various pocket libraries. Fascinating just to look at, I imagine it is exponentially better if you can also read it!

It was good to see names like Sesarego and Breccia turning up as these were the self-same artists I was looking for information on. My attempts to contact some surviving artists hasn't achieved much so far, but I'm ever hopeful. The people I would really like to contact are Geoff Kemp, Stewart Wales and John Smith, but no luck so far. Kemp is thought to have moved to France, but isn't in the French phone book.

Ah, well, I'll keep digging.

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