Friday, September 01, 2023

Comic Cuts — 1 September 2023

Remember last week when I was talking about the dull distractions that fill my life? I mentioned that we were having to buy a new lawnmower after 20+ years because the motor had finally given up the ghost on our Flymo.

Well, we bought a new one and it lasted less than 2 minutes. It took longer to put together than it lasted on the lawn. We bought this Flymo-alike from Black & Decker, so not a brand you would expect shoddy goods from, choosing it because they were doing a deal for a mower and strimmer together. Long-time readers will know I have been trying to fix a patchy lawn and one area we have now filled with nice lush grass butts up against a wall, which meant that the old Flymo couldn't quite cut right to the edge. There's also a pond in the back garden where the grass will be easier to cut with a strimmer rather than try to weave a lawnmover around it.

The new lawnmower arrived during last week, but various circumstances—work on the new book, a family funeral, overnight rain—meant it stayed in the box until the bank holiday on Monday. Once we managed to screw various together, we took both strimmer and mower into the back garden. Strimmed some of the longer grass around the edges of the lawn, which went fine. Switched on the mower, which was notably quite flimsy compared to the old one and had an odd (to me) pair of small plastic "blades", each about two inches long, rather than the single large blade of the old mower.

The plastic blades were held on with two steel pins either side of the rotating head of the mower. Well, they were for about a minute, because as I pulled the mower over the grass, there was a CRACK! and, when I turned the mower over, the plastic housing for the pin had broken and both pin and "blade" had spun away into the grass.

There was no way of fixing it, so I cleaned everything up and both mower and strimmer were back in their box within an hour of leaving it. Both were picked up the next day and I've had my money refunded.

So much for going for a "name brand" mower. Fortunately, we've been offered one by a friend which we know will do the job.

I spent the rest of the week working on the Badger book, Beyond the Void, which is really beginning to take shape. I had some rewriting to do on Wednesday, but that should be the last of it (he said confidently) and I had a nice folder of scans sent to me by my pal Rian Hughes; Badger collector Shane Agnew answered the call for a missing illustration and I'm pretty sure I now have everything I need to get the book finished.

One of the pieces I have been working on is the Lionel Fanthorpe interview, which has to be the centrepiece of anything written about Badger Books. I wanted it to look good and struggled for a day or two wondering what to do. I then found a very nice book to use as a large illustration and decided that, as a background, I would heap up all of my Lionel Fanthorpe Badger SF novels on the kitchen floor and photograph them, precariously leaning over them on a rickety chair. And here's the result... a selection of Fanthorpes for your enjoyment.

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