Friday, August 19, 2022

Comic Cuts — 19 August 2022

After last week's holiday (Clacton got a 5-star review!), I'm back at work, slogging through the last few chores on another book (doing the final bits of tidying up the artwork) before settling in to write an introduction (which is much more fun!). I'm hoping to have the whole thing finished Friday.

I'm then copy-editing a book that will be the next release from Bear Alley Books, a memoir by George Coates about his trip around the world by motorbike. It won't be out for a few months, but I'm getting started on it between other jobs. I have a fourth book due for the publishers in Spain, but I'm waiting on some scans. So George's book will keep me busy... no rest for the wicked... except, of course, the week off I've just had proves definitively that I'm not wicked whatever you hear to the contrary.

I mentioned Jon Peaty as being an artist who contributed to Swift Annual way back in 2007 and was subsequently contacted by David Peaty. I heard from David again when an exhibition of his father's work was planned for 2020... which was, of course, cancelled due to the pandemic.

The good news is that the exhibition, a retrospective of paintings, drawings and designs, is back on and will run between the 10th and 30th of September at The Skyway Gallery in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.

David also tells me that he will be launching a website dedicated to his father's work in the near future. Details to follow.

Betty Larom is another artist I wrote about briefly in 2007, and I was pleased to hear from Carol, her daughter, about an exhibition that is running now at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books in Newcastle upon Tyne, which celebrates the work of both Betty Larom and Neville Main.

Carol says, “My brother and I are delighted that Seven Stories are exhibiting our mother and stepfather's books and artwork. The exhibition showcases a brilliant era for the development of children's books and comics, in which they both had a major involvement."

The exhibition includes original and facsimile items from both Betty Larom and Neville Main’s archive which is in the Seven Stories Collection, a commentary from Molly Goddard, as well as interactive elements for children.

"I have made sure that a good part of the exhibition is about the children's comic era. i.e. T.V. Comic, Pippin, Playland etc.," Carol tells me. "I have sent Seven Stories a lot of Mum and Neville's archive material i.e. storyboards, scripts, comic, annuals etc." The plan is to rotate the exhibition and Carol hopes that will allow her to also promote the Gordon Murray era.

Molly Goddard, incidentally, is a fashion designer, who has used images by Betty Larom to create a t-shirt, top and dress as part of her autumn/winter '22 collection. The t-shirt has become incredibly popular, thanks to Harry Styles, who appeared in one while singing 'Boyfriends' on the YouTube channel The First Take, which has had over 6 million views.

Seven Stories has its own range of merchandise based on Betty Larom's artwork.

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