Friday, January 28, 2022

Comic Cuts — 28 January 2022

Regular readers of this column will realise that my working life is rather dull and one week is very much like the last when I am working on a single project, which can last for months. A complex book like the Countdown to TV Action and the current Action history takes six months to write if I'm to do the best job I can. There are indexes to prepare, artists' biographies to research (trickier if half of them are European or South American), and images to sort out.

What I'm saying is that there's no real news this week: I'm still writing around 1,000 words a day, and cruised through the 40,000 words milestone on Tuesday... and still quite a lot to write, although I'd guess that I'm four-fifths of the way there, I have some biographies already written relating to the most popular strips, and the various checklists are almost complete. I still have a lot of spin-offs to cover, but the main ones (the holiday specials and the annuals) are done.

I was sorting out invoices this week and one was for a publisher based in Palma, Mallorca, and thought I'd check them out, and instantly I've sidelined myself looking at the average temperatures to be found in Palma at this time of year (15.4°C) and an average of 167 hours of sunshine for January. We walked in the cold, pre-dawn dark this morning and I'm looking out of the window at an expanse of grey, unbroken cloud cover. It's not bitterly cold today, which it can get because my office is a converted garage with no insulation, but I miss the sunshine.

Anyway, it looks like the publisher Dolmen Editorial is reprinting some other classic British strips, including my favourites Zarpa de Agero (Steel Claw), Spider and Imperio Trigan in nice hardback formats, using the same covers as the UK Treasury of British Comics editions. They're the publishers behind the reprints of Patty's World.

I've also just started on a second book for an Italian publisher, Cosmo Editoriale, who publish everything from Snowpiercer to Superman, classics like Lieutenant Blueberry and even out very own Doctor Who (translating the various Titan comics). My little scans are going to be in good company.

These are new collections, not reprints of the ones I did for Carlton Books. The first two concentrate on the works of Alberto Breccia, after which... who knows. Well, the editor knows and it will probably be a well-known Italian western artist like Ruggero Giovannini or Sergio Tarquinio. I have my scanner ready to go the moment we can confirm something.

I'm keeping this short because I'm hoping to get a couple of things reviewed and I need to set aside a bit of reading time. For anyone interested, Breccia has supplied out column header again and he might be back next week because I have a couple more of his books to scan. It's quite a fun way to pay the rent for a change!


  1. Both Steel Claw and Kelly's Eye were reprinted in Spain before as six hardcover volumes for each series by Planeta de Agostini in 2010. Would love to see more of Solano Lopez's British series reprinted.

  2. I remember them... I did some scanning for the Kelly's Eye volume and also for a Janus Stark volume, although I never received copies of either.

  3. Steve, I’m looking forward to your Action book. The cover for the first issue is in my possession and I can see there’s a small white dot in the middle of the O in the logo where presumably the “76” part of the original title was affixed. That tallies with someone’s research who reported some time ago that the comic was advertised as Action 76 in one of the digest titles of the day. Frustratingly I don’t know the title or number.

  4. I have a copy of the 76 logo. Would it be possible to get a scan of the artwork? I'm trying to find interesting illustrations to accompany the text.



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