Friday, September 15, 2023

Comic Cuts — 15 September 2023

You may have noticed from the constant mentions I've made of the fact to everyone, everywhere (and probably all at once) that The Trials of Hank Janson is out and available to purchase. I'm pleased to say that a few people have actually bought the book and I have a couple of other customers waiting on hardback copies to arrive so they can have them signed. As of Monday, I should also have some paperback copies to sign, too.

Most of the week has been spent sorting out all the things you have to do when you swap your writer's hat (a battered old flat cap) for my publisher's hat (a silk top hat, of course) and sorted out uploads to printers, writing a payment page for the Bear Alley Books website, digging out some reviews for the original edition of the book, and putting together a short, 30-second promotional video for the book (above).

I have also been involved in producing a second book which is coming close to publication. I had a meeting with author George Coates on Friday and we're both close to signing off on the book; with proof copies to hand we have found a couple of typos that need to be sorted out, but we're almost at the point of pressing the "print" button.

Tuesday we went to see Urzila Carlson at Colchester Arts Centre, a birthday present from Mel that I have been looking forward to since April. She's a South African living in New Zealand, best known to the wider world for a Netflix special (Overqualified Loser) and maybe her podcast (That's Enough Already). We first saw her on the NZ panel show 7 Days, a kind of Kiwi Mock the Week but funnier. Urzila was also a regular on Have You Been Paying Attention and was in the second season of Taskmaster NZ — please don't ask how we're watching all these shows, but there's almost no panel shows in the UK these days that compare for series length (many have 20+ episodes a year) and quality (however much I like Have I Got News For You (and I do!), an episode of 7 Days has five or six times the laughs).

I love seeing live comedy shows because there are always moments that will never be repeated elsewhere. Urzila's surprise at doing a gig in a de-consecrated church, or spotting a woman in the second row waving around a dildo (it wasn't, it was a fan); magical in-the-moments unique to that gig. We laughed for a solid hour and forty minutes without a break.

The good news is that there is a full-length live gig on Youtube if you want to see what she's like. I have yet to watch it, but there's likely to be some language and content that you'll be spending quite some time explaining to your kids; so no children in the room if you want to avoid that.

Back at Hank Janson, I'm planning to answer a few questions about the book and how I came to write it, so if there's anything you'd like to know, just drop me a line, here or on Facebook. At the same time I'm trying to sort out a small backlog of books that I've had for sale for a while but never managed to put up on Amazon — whatever you might feel about them, they are the world's biggest marketplace for books and if I'm to make a living I have to embrace them, albeit in a manly, backslapping way of barely touching and backing away quickly. More news on that as and when as there are some time-consuming hoops that you need to jump through to get a book in front of readers.

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