Friday, September 22, 2023

Comic Cuts — 22 September 2023

Firstly, the above video is under two minutes long, so won't be taking up much of your day to give it a watch.

Sales for The Trials of Hank Janson have reached double figures, which might not sound like much, but given the soft launch and the wait for hardcover copies to arrive (which they now have... and copies with my scrawl in them are now in the post) I'm not complaining. Of course, I now need the book to sell more, so I'm ramping things up a little.

One thing I'm doing is ASK STEVE. You can ask me questions about the book, how I came to write it, how I researched it, why was Hank Janson persecuted for his novels... whatever you like. Just make a comment below (you won't see it appear immediately, because I have to filter out the huge amounts of spam that I get... this blog has been running for 17 years, so it's a target), or email me direct, or comment on YouTube or Facebook. I had Mel ask me some questions, so I have a couple of little videos lined up already; I'll put a new one out every couple of days, depending on how many questions I get, and I'll try to keep going as long as the questions come in.

If you're on Facebook or Twitter (sorry ex-Twitter) or other social media platforms, please share the video with your friends; maybe the biggest problem faced by small publishers is letting people know that a book has been published. It's not in the shops, so you don't get passers by seeing it, and getting reviews into papers and magazines is almost impossible these days—review pages have been slimmed down and Trials might easily slip under the radar. And review copies cost quite a bit to send out by the time you've coughed up for printing, getting them here, packaging them up and posting them back out.

I should add that I'm not planning to keep high levels of stock here at home, especially of the hardback, which is expensive to print (but looks gorgeous!). Don't let that stop you ordering... all I'm saying is that if you want a copy to give someone (or receive from someone) for Christmas, get your order in early!

I haven't mentioned the Badger Books history—Beyond the Void—for a couple of weeks. I haven't abandoned it, just taking a bit of time off while I try to give the Hank Janson book the bests send off I can. I have half the book laid out but have left some of the longer pieces still to do. I did it that way around because I didn't want to keep shifting pictures around, so better to start on something brief and use the necessary illustrations and then the longer pieces can mop up all the unused pictures. I'll post some examples in the coming weeks, but for now the above is the first spread I have shared.

Instead, I decided to write something that I could dip in and out of, so I have been having some fun researching the publication of Diana Dors in 3-D, which was a stereoscopic booklet with photos of Diana Dors semi-clothed but never nude but which was still taken to court in 1954. The reason for picking on this was because I had been looking at Curtis Warren and the Camera Studies Club who published DD in 3D shared offices with CW.

I was looking at Curtis Warren for a bit of fun, having recently written about the Assael family in the Badger book; Harry (Hamilton & Co./Panther Books), brother of Samuel (Badger Books) was the partner of Joe Pacey, who set up Curtis Warren. It's interesting to tease out how all these companies were interconnected. Another bit of research found a link between a short-lived post-war publisher and the World of Leather chain of furniture shops.

However, I'm planning to get back to Badger Books as soon as possible, even if only to put some of the piles of Badgers I have dotted around the office back on the shelves where they belong. The last thing I want is an obituary that tells everyone I died tripping over a pile of Lionel Fanthorpe's novels.

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