Friday, September 16, 2022

Comic Cuts — 16 September 2022

I'd have to say that this hasn't been a great week. It started on Thursday with some bad news that was unrelated to what was happening in Scotland involving the volume of books and magazines currently residing in the living room.

We've always had a space problem. Back in the previous property we rented, I had a lot of stuff stored in the attic, which I haven't got access to here because I had to move everything out in order to have the house insulated. The house is smaller and.... well, when all's said and done, I have collected way too much over the years and stuff has come into the house faster than it has left the house. During lulls when my income has trailed off from freelance work, I have always been able to fall back on eBay and selling odds and ends in order to stop my savings from hemorrhaging, but that takes time and a lot of effort—photographing or scanning images; uploading them to eBay; writing descriptions; weighing/measuring items to get the correct postage—and, of course, there's no guarantee that the item will sell.

I'm also (as I've mentioned here a couple of times) thinking of moving myself out of my office (an ex-garage, thin, flat roof, no wall insulation) and into the living room ahead of the winter in the hope that we will be able to shave a bit off the cost of our energy bills over the winter.

I'm thinking of tucking myself away at the back of the living room near the French windows. Hopefully that means light during the day and it also benefits from any heat generated in the kitchen of an evening.

Unfortunately there's what's technically known as a fuck-ton of boxes that I need to sort through and for the most part dispose of the contents between now and the end of October. Some can be moved into the garage once my desk, computer and my shelf of reference books has been moved out. But to do that, I have other boxes of books and magazines that need to be removed, like a sliding squares puzzle game.

We got off to what I thought was a good start using a couple of companies that buy books. We sorted through about 400 and the two companies bought just over half, which I boxed up and arranged collections for. The first, on Monday, went off without a hitch. The second, on Tuesday, didn't. I had five boxes, which DPD came to collect. Annoyingly, the driver's instructions said that he was collecting three boxes and he refused to take the other two, leaving behind two-fifths of what they had agreed to take—about 60 books. They're still sitting in the living room while we wait to see if we'll hear anything back from the company and whether it is worth dealing with them again. [UPDATE: We have finally heard back and arranged for the last two boxes to be picked up next week.]

I'm also planning to slim down the vast number of DVDs I've got sitting around, some of them unwatched for years, but I have dealt with a company that takes them before and hopefully they'll take some more.

Bizarrely, my best day was Wednesday, which started off nervously as I had a visit to the dentist lined up. Just a check-up, but I defy anyone to tell me that they honestly don't feel a deep sense of foreboding as their dental appointment approaches. I don't know why... I've not had any trouble with my teeth for years, and my previous check-up went fine. In fact, I commented in that week's Comic Cuts about how he was earning the equivalent of £150 an hour. Well, things are even better for him now—I was in the chair for 2½ minutes and most of that time was the chair being lowered to horizontal and then back up again. I figure he earned the equivalent of £714 an hour from my visit.

My problems don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world (to quote Humphrey Bogart). The news has been dominated by the death of Queen Elizabeth and the accession to the throne of King Charles III. I'm not the most loyal royalist, but if I was to Marie Kondo the monarchy, the same way as I'm doing to my DVD collection, I think they spark enough joy for me to want to keep them. I like a good pageant and nobody does pageantry like the royals.

I dug back into the collection of The Children's Newspaper to see how the last "changing of the guard" was covered by the paper, which also had a changing of the guard between the King's death in 1952 (editor Hugo Tyerman retired soon after) and the Coronation in 1953 (covered by his replacement, Sydney Warner). It was interesting to see that the editors commissioned pieces from authors Edward Lanchbery, Henry Treece and Malcolm Saville, who could give the readers a sense of both wonder and historical perspective.

Charles, of course, featured on the front cover of the very first issue of Look and Learn, so his credentials as a star of juvenile magazines dates back to at least sixty years. I have no doubt that his Coronation will be alluded to in The Beano at the appropriate time and he will be menaced in an appropriate way by Dennis.


  1. Please sell on any unwanted "new" copies of the many out-of-print books you've worked on, e.g. Commando collections.

    1. I was rarely sent more than a single copy of any of those books. The days of getting a box of "author's copies" seems to have long gone.



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