Friday, February 03, 2023

Comic Cuts — 3 February 2023

Not much in the way of news this week. I was hoping to have a batch of artwork finished for the next Steel Claw reprint in Spain and to have written the introduction. However, I had a message from the folks at The Guardian asking me to write a piece for them about Beano artist Donald Sutherland. (Seriously, that really was what they asked for. An easy typo to make, but it made me smile!)

Most of the other broadsheets had already published their obituaries of David Sutherland. Thankfully they're all behind paywalls, so they don't really influence what I'm writing. Since British comics are my thing (yes, really!) I try to go the extra mile and produce something beyond what you might get from rewriting the Press Association press release that made it in some shape or form into a number of papers. Also, I try to check everything to make sure mistakes aren't perpetuated or silly mistakes slip in. The Mirror, for instance quoted the editor of The Bean, and there being no sub-editors these days, it hasn't been corrected. See my comment above about easy typos... but this is the website of a national newspaper that ought to be a trusted news source. Typos in correspondence is acceptable. Typos in a blog are likely to happen  because mine at least is often written with some haste and I have nobody else here to cast their eyes over it. Typos in a national newspaper shouldn't happen and speaks volumes to the state of our national and local newspapers. Says the man who writes for the Grauniad.

I usually do a day of research, reading and listening to any interviews I can find (nothing like getting information from the horses mouth), and putting together a stripography if I don't already have one. Check reference books for information and insight. At the end of the day I usually have the whole planned out, with the most memorable things about a person's life noted – their biggest achievements, if you like – followed by biographical details of their life and other works. Sometimes finding out the commonly introduced details, like a mother's maiden name or how many siblings a person has, can take ages to discover.

I pull all of this together on day two, by the end of which I usually have a draft that could be twice the length asked for. Thanks to cuts in the number of pages dedicated to obituaries in newspapers, they tend to be a lot shorter than they used to be and may skimp on details. So I then trim, trim, trim until I have something in the region of the right length.

As this was David Sutherland, I also dug out some illustrations (Bash Street, Dennis the Menace, The Great Flood of London) and scanned them. Read through the final draft a couple of times and the whole lot was sent off on Thursday morning.

In between I have been dipping into the artwork that needs cleaning up so that I wasn't left with a hundred pages to do at the end of the week. I ended up with about forty, half of which I've worked through this morning. I should have them all done by end of play tomorrow, including the second pass that I give them. Not bad... I was hoping to have the artwork clean and the introduction written, but I've effectively done the volume of  work, albeit replacing the introduction with an obituary.

That leaves the introduction for next week. I'm thinking of talking about the history of invisibility in fiction and have a few bits and bobs to read on the subject. Hopefully the results will be better than this list which concentrates on ancient and literary texts and doesn't mention Sue Storm or Predators once.

Somewhere in this mix I'm hoping to have my laptop sorted. We had to give up on using a separate drive for the transfer and ended up copying direct from my PC last weekend. And that's where we're stuck. The laptop still needs all the programmes, settings, and bookmarks copied which I have no idea how to do. But I can play videos on it, and the 14" screen is better than my busted tablet's 10" screen, so it hasn't been a waste of money even if I can't actually work on it. In the meantime, everything I write and every file I download I'm having to store in a folder labelled "New Stuff", which I'll have to remember to copy across at some point. Now I come to think of it, I'd better make sure I have a back up of all the notes, scans and the two versions of the obituary I wrote this week, just in case...

No comments:

Post a Comment


Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books