Friday, June 09, 2023

Comic Cuts — 9 June 2023

A nice change of pace this week. I was writing introductions last week and have four to hand, although there is one that I want to revisit once I've had a chance to read an abridged version of the book. Once the text is finished, I need to sort out some covers and once I have a clue as to when the books will be out I'll reveal all. About the books.

I've switched over to designing the next publication from Bear Alley, which is a second motorcycling book following on from And the Wheels Went Round, published back in 2019. That came about because the author, John Chisnall, is my uncle and when he was looking for a way to publish the book, he went through a few online options. When he mentioned the price that these vanity publishers wanted to charge, I (perhaps stupidly) said that I could do it for half the price. And, in fact, I did it for a third of the price.

The book has sold reasonably well for what is essentially a self-published autobiography — John and his co-author Tony are responsible for selling the book, although it is available via Amazon, which I supply — and it inspired a friend of John's  to write his own book.

Back in the 1970s, George took a trip around the world by motorcycle, snapping photos along the way and keeping a daily diary. George began writing up his adventure during the pandemic and had a first draft finished last year. The final version was finished last month and we had a nice lunch to celebrate. In the photo, taken about three weeks ago, you can see John, Mel, George and I and Dillon the dog.

Since then I have put together about 100 pages, with probably another 60 or so to go. I've no idea what the eventual price will be as we are printing in colour rather than the black & white of the previous volume, but it won't be outrageous as I don't think George is motivated by profit as long as he can cover his costs.

In another life, I occasionally collect old 1940s and 1950s gangster paperbacks and recently filled one of the big holes in my collection, the almost impossible to find Deep South Slave by Darcy Glinto. I had to pay quite a bit for it, given that it does not have an illustrated cover — by far what most collectors of those old books are after and by far the main reason why some books now go for three figures, which is way out of my league.

It puts me one step closer to getting back to a project I've long wanted to do, which is to thoroughly overhaul The Mushroom Jungle. That said, I'm not in a position to do it financially at the moment as it would involve quite a bit of time and probably some travel and it would take years to recoup its costs. Let's hope that, by the time I get around to it, books aren't a thing of the past because the nature of the covers means I would probably be arrested if I was to try uploading those old Heade covers directly to your brain!

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