Friday, January 14, 2022

Comic Cuts — 14 January 2022


Last week was all dogs, but this week it has been all work. I'm still working on the Action history, but I've had to pause for a couple of days to earn a bit of money doing a bit of scanning for a publisher in Italy. I've worked on quite a few books that have appeared across Europe and Scandinavia in the past — not huge numbers but even one every few years mounts up if you've been in the business for forty years!

I'm keen to get the Action project finished but I'm still wondering quite what to do with it. I'm weighing up splitting the book over two issues of BAM!, but that might not be ideal. The other options are to publish it as a straight up Bear Alley Books index, or to do it as a BAM! Special.

For some while I've favoured splitting the book in two just to get BAM! on the presses, but the sensible place to split the book is probably two-thirds of the way through the story and I'm now wondering whether that would cause more problems than it would solve. It's very long (you know me: everything including the kitchen sink goes into these books!) and wouldn't leave me much space for other features.

I'm now swaying towards doing it as a one-shot special under the BAM! brand. I could then get a wider mix of features into the first issue, some long, some shorter. I think that's the smarter option. You'd think that after eighteen months of pondering over this I'd be laser-focused on one path, but decision-making isn't my forte. I'm very jealous of people who can make a decision and stick with it. I'm usually pretty quick to decide on something, but if it's something that takes time to happen, I'll start tinkering around the edges and before you know it, I'm reassessing everything. (It's one of the reasons why I try to write these columns quickly and why they often sound like I've just poured a bunch of words into the keyboard. This is what my inner monologue is like all day!)


The main news is that we got our oven fixed. It was installed on around the 2nd of November and we noticed a problem immediately — as I mentioned at the time:

[The oven] has a small metal spur close to each gas ring which is meant to heat up to show that the flame is lit. You have to hold the gas knob down for ten seconds to give it time to warm up before releasing the knob. If it hasn't warmed sufficiently, it shuts off the gas flow to that ring.
    Unfortunately, it is taking far too long to warm and sometimes we're stood there holding the knob down for 30-40 seconds and, when you let go, the flame goes out as the hob cuts the gas flow. It's touch and go which rings will work and sometimes we're trying to heat the smallest saucepan on the biggest ring and I've had to make a big pan of stew on a smaller ring. Not the most efficient way to do it. And the grill is burning off... well, something... each time we try making toast it sets off the fire alarm even before the toast has fully toasted.
    We spotted the first fault when the gas was connected and we're now ten days on and still no news of when the fault will be repaired. The gas inspector has given them a nudge, so hopefully we'll hear something soon.
We continued to have this problem all the way through Christmas and you cannot imagine the utter frustration of trying to get everything to cook so that each part of the meal is ready to dish up at the same time. There was one evening where it took minutes to get two rings on the hob to light so I had potatoes cooked five minutes ahead of the veg. Meanwhile, the pie in the oven was starting to char and the gravy was starting to cool. I pride myself in running a kitchen like a military operation with everything coming to the boil at the right time.

Anyway, the man from Beko arrived on Wednesday, acknowledged the problem, told us it was an alignment issue, fitted a couple of washers and was out of the house within twenty minutes, most of which time he spent fiddling around in his van trying to find the washers. And, touch wood, the hob has worked perfectly ever since. If only he'd turned up two months ago!

I mentioned working on various foreign editions above. I've dug out a few so I have some illustrations this week. This isn't all of them, as I've been involved in publications that have appeared in France and Germany, I'm sure I've done Spider and Kelly's Eye scans for Spain and there have been a few projects that came to nothing, including a Battler Britton volume for Germany. The latest has been Patty's World for Spain and now I'm working on a Breccia volume for Italy, having already done a bit of work on a Spanish volume collecting his war stories. I'm sure there have been others over the years.

The Steel Claw reprint and the Robin Hood and Air Ace collections were all for Egmont in Finland, just in case the language isn't something you're familiar with.

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