Friday, January 21, 2022

Comic Cuts — 21 January 2022

News is a bit slim today. I was working on two things in parallel and have one job finished. That was the scanning job I mentioned last week. I was then waiting on feedback to some suggestions I had put in, was knocked back on a couple, given more positive news on another couple and the rest was "we like it but we'll have to look into it".

It is a lot easier being your own publisher. Books come out when they're finished, rather than eighteen months after they've been through the hands of editors, lawyers, sensitivity readers, designer and the publicity department. I still have to do all of those things, but the whole process is condensed, and while it may seem to you, dear reader, that books only come out intermittently from Bear Alley Towers, I promise you that the process from writing the first words to you reading them is a lot, a lot, quicker than it would be through a regular publisher.

On the negative side, I'm a one-man band, so slipping off to earn the rent money or even just taking Christmas off slows down the whole process. Writing these histories involves a lot of reading and research. I'm double-checking everything that has been written before to get as close to the true story as is possible over a gulf of time, and trying to find some unique illustrations that you won't have seen before.

The one bit of admin that I've decided on is that it should be a single volume, and not split into two across issues of the upcoming (promise!) magazine. That does leave me with an Action-sized hole in the first issue, but I have a couple of other features written that should fill the gap. Hopefully that means there won't be a six month gap between publications... but I'm not promising anything because that would be asking for trouble.

The next step with Action is to begin reading the second run of 50 issues, a total of 1,600 pages less maybe 100 pages of advertising. No wonder it is taking me so long to get through Pat Mills' latest book, thoroughly enjoyable as it is. I'm also looking forward to getting back to reading Martha Wells' novella, Artificial Condition, which I was just about to start when I decided the Mills took precedence. My fiction reading these days is incredibly limited — only a handful of books a year. It's so much easier to watch some TV on my laptop rather than reading. (Currently I'm watching the last season of The Expanse. The books are great, but they're bricks and I've only managed to read the first two.)

Our column header is one of the projects that didn't make the cut, not because the publisher didn't want to do it (which they did), but because the rights are already with a rival publisher. Shame, because I'd been involved with a Spanish translation of the books. I'm in a bit of "coals to Newcastle" situation because the projects getting the green light (subject to approval by the copyright owners, of course) are a selection of strips by Italian artists who worked in the UK, now being published in Italy.

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