Friday, January 13, 2023

Comic Cuts — 13 January 2023

I have been wondering over the past couple of weeks whether I should set up a Substack account to publish material to. I'm not necessarily looking at the subscription side of it, although that would be worth looking at in the future, but as a way to publish content that people can receive by e-mail. I only subscribe to one Substack (Pat Mills) and it strikes me as an easy way to get things like the weekly Comic Cuts column out to people.

We shall see. I have been on Blogger for 16 years and have never quite understood how the information gets out to readers. Take this week, for example: the most popular post for the last seven days is one about Bruce Cornwell, which received one hit on Sunday, followed by 169 hits on Monday and nothing since. I'm guessing somebody posted a link somewhere. The Comic Cuts column, meanwhile, received 125 hits. Not bad, as long as it isn't all robots parsing the post for Google, Bing and other search engines.

Over its lifetime, Bear Alley has had 5.7 million hits, the most popular post clocking in at 37,900. The most popular author is Norah Burke (6,600 hits) and the above obituary of Bruce Cornwell has been viewed 5,300 times. I have 118 followers!

I revisit my cover galleries regularly when I stumble across additional covers. I added one to the Alfred Bester Cover Gallery yesterday and a photo of Eardly Beswick earlier in the week. But nobody would know if I hadn't just mentioned it. Perhaps setting up a Substack will encourage me into updating some of these old posts and getting them out to readers again. Putting together my book list (published a few days ago) made me realise that I have tons of published stuff that people will never have seen. I have also been turning up quite a lot of unpublished stuff. For instance, when I did the introductions for the Karl the Viking books, I also wrote a history of Vikings that, because the pagination was changed at the last minute, had to be dropped. I have the first few essays for another Forgotten Authors book, biographical sketches written over the years for various projects, lists of old paperback publishers and partial indexes to various comics that won't see the light of day until I can fill the gaps — but, even incomplete, they're still going to be useful.

Somewhere on the computer are partly finished books about Action, Valiant, 'Pirate' publishers, drafts of interviews... I have transcripts of interviews I did back in the days of Comic World and PBO, even some surviving audio from interviews. I'd love to get this out somehow.

(You can tell I'm in a "sorting stuff out" mood at the moment!)

I shall ponder on all of this while I'm scanning more pages next week. I have done a few hundred over the past week, working on the principal that while I have a comic on the scanner, I may as well scan other strips that I'm going to need during the next few months or maybe later. I think I now have the necessary scans for two of the books I'm working on, and I'll be completing the third next week, hopefully. At that point I might stop scanning and start cleaning up and restoring some of the scans I already have.

... which seems to be a good point to bring this to a close and get back to the scanning.

(The pics are some of the covers that have recently been added to various cover galleries.)

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