Friday, May 27, 2022

Comic Cuts — 27 May 2022

Full-pelt seems to be my default setting these days, with another job arriving just as the last one was out the door. I'm sorry to say that my claim that I never miss a deadline is slightly blemished as I'm still finishing off three volumes that should have been completed mid-May. The bulk of the work is done on all three and I have a couple of excuses to run by you... let me know if you think they fly.

Firstly two of the volumes were much bigger than originally planned. When the Spider volumes were originally floated, the fact that each episode ran to five pages was not known to the people planning them, so there have been a few changes to the planned line-up. The same problem has meant that Mytek the Mighty (where episodes ran an extra half page) is, again, a much bigger book. (For me it means three scans rather than two, so half the work again.)

There was also a slight snafu with another book which overran by a page and would have required another sixteen page signature and an impossible, deadline-busting hunt to fill the other fifteen pages. That was solved with a slight reshuffle between the contents of this and the next volume, and a couple of late nights scanning another story that was a page shorter.

Between the scanning I have been writing about Superman creator Jerry Siegel and his background, and also a short history of robots in science fiction in about 300 words. Tonight I'm watching a documentary about King Kong to get me into a "giant ape" frame of mind and will hopefully finish off at least one of these introductions tomorrow. That leaves  next week free to work on the next Steel Claw volume.

Researching the introductions is probably the most fun part of the job at the moment because I'm in new territory, having never written about Siegel or Mytek, although I did do some story breakdowns for the upcoming (eventually) Valiant index. Siegel's back story is fascinating and I can recommend Gerard Jones' book Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book. Shame I can't find an equally good reference book on robot apes... and, no, I'm not offering to write it.

Talking of books, the first volume from Editorial Cosmo is due out any day now. This is the first of two volumes collecting Breccia's western strips for Fleetway, to be followed by volumes featuring the works of Ruggero Giovannini, Sergio Tarquinio, and what I'm calling the Storia Del Oeste volume featuring Gino D'Antonio, Tarquinio and Renzo Calegari. I desperately want to do others featuring Arturo Del Castillo and Jesus Blasco, but we will just have to wait and see how these ones go. Keep your fingers crossed!

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