Friday, October 15, 2021

Comic Cuts — 15 October 2021

Another good week on Action, with the first draft reaching 8,000 words so far. I'm into the stories now, discussing Hook Jaw, Dredger and Hellman, adding to my notes by reading 'Hell's Highway' yesterday, with 'Kids Rule OK' lined up to be read next. My notes have reached 30,000 words and I have no idea how long the final piece will be — not all these quotes and notes will reach the final draft, but I'm still writing a lot of inter-connective material.

There have been one or two frustrations along the way. I have been trying to get in touch with a number of people who were involved in the comic who have not been interviewed in the past and it would be nice to get their perspective on the comic. I'm thinking of Probationer! artist Tom Hirst as an example. I know he drew for Action and he was involved in a fanzine put together by Fleetway employee Milton Finesilver, but I know nothing else about him. This was one of the strips that disappeared from Action during its "re-appraisal" period, so it deserves to be looked at closely.

Similarly, the strip's author, Stewart Wales, also seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet. He was a sub-editor of Look-In and Valiant who later worked with Dez Skinn on Junior Quizzer, went on to work for Byblos, Marvel UK (Blake's 7), and Attic Books. He often worked with Geoff Kemp when it came to writing.

Any clues to his whereabouts would be welcome.

It is a shame that so many people have slipped through the net and disappear before some record of their career in comics can be recorded. One such is Tony Jozwiak who was an art assistant at IPC who contributed a few strips to 2000AD. I went searching for him yesterday and I believe he died last year without any mention of his passing appearing. I'm convinced that I met Tony once at the Cheshire Cheese, but the memory is vague and nebulous and I might be misremembering.

With only 40 or so days to go before Christmas, our walks in the morning are starting mostly in the dark or under overcast skies. Earlier this week we were treated to a couple of mornings with spectacular sunrises and views of low mist over the Colne and the fields on the far side of the river.

There have been a couple of exciting moments when we have seen the seal that (so it's said) is a regular visitor to the river. We have known about the seal for some years — Mel even saw it once when she was having a pub lunch at The Anchor in Rowhedge (the village across the river). I said earlier this year that I hoped to see otters and the seal during our walks. Well, I can cross the latter off the list.

Last Sunday week (the 3rd) we were walking along the road that runs parallel to the river because the footpath along the river was muddy when we bumped into an acquaintance who said she had just seen the seal. We rushed down the road to see if we could see anything and, sure enough, a head ducked back under the water as we arrived. I had the camera out and snapped a picture, but all you can see is a blurry, grey river with the slightest hint of a ripple.

Fast forward to Thursday morning (the 14th): as we made our way along the quay, we thought we saw something bob back into the water. A couple of minutes later a snout appeared and disappeared. A definite sighting, which we mentioned to a couple who were walking towards us giving us quizzical looks (we both had our cameras out, aimed at what was by then a still, mucky-looking river). All four of us waited patiently until we had a second snout sighting about 30 yards further up the river. It lasted so briefly that I didn't get a chance to focus the camera.

So you'll just have to believe me when I say we've now seen the seal twice. But I'll post some pics of the sunrise and mist. That I can prove... and I hope you approve.


  1. Talking of people who slipped through the net, I've just been informed that Kevin Brighton, one of IPC's art assistants (on 2000 A.D. and other titles) passed away on 5th September. Are you familiar with his name and do you know anything about him? Such as, what did he do after Maxwell destroyed the Youth Group? I think he was too young to have worked on Action, but you never know.

  2. Sorry to hear that. I think he continued to work for Fleetway on various titles as art assistant on a variety of titles, latterly 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine until 1999. His last credit, as far as I can see, was in 2000. After that I have no idea. Do you know where he lived? I think he must have been 60 or 61 if he died recently.

    1. I only know that he lived in England somewhere, which isn't much help, though I assume he couldn't have been too far outside of London for him to travel in every day when he freelanced for IPC. I just wondered what he did for a living in the last 20 years, as he was quite a good cartoonist in his own right. Such a shame, as his IPC pal Derek Pierson died only around 5 years back.

    2. I managed to track down his obituary and Kevin actually died on the 8th, not the 5th as I was told. I think he was living in Wales, but couldn't say when he moved there.

    3. From the funeral notice it looks like he died from cancer, aged 61. A bit of further digging shows that he was born in Romford, Essex, and was living in Cornwall in the early 2000s, which may be why he stopped working regularly for the Megazine.

    4. Too young at 61, such a shame. I have quite a few photos of Kevin I took in KRT back in the '80s, so I might do a post about him in the near future.

  3. Continuing last week's discussion of swipes, the second cover in the column header has a swipe of Motörhead's emblem warpig/snaggletooth. Inside the prog, Tharg attempts to salve his conscience by printing a letter referencing an interview with Lemmy.
    Circa 2010, Lemmy appears in a couple of story pages.



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