Friday, June 21, 2024

Comic Cuts — 21 June 2024

I mentioned last week that I was juggling a couple of projects. Well, I'm pleased to say that the problems I was facing with one were fairly quickly resolved and the second is completed.

The latter is something I want to keep close to my chest for the moment as it involves licensing some material, but I'm very excited about it.

The other is by a collector friend and is about female detectives in early crime fiction (1841-1920) and my involvement has been glancing, just shepherding the book through from 460 or so pages of heavily researched text, to printed copy. Whether I have been successful or not is still up in the air as I've arranged for a proof to be sent to the author. Whether the book becomes generally or privately available will be up to him, but I will say that it's an amazing bit of research.

Because I wanted to spread my costs, I was waiting for the other book to be finished before I put in a print order for some restocks and the second print proof of HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES. Proofs can take a while to come through, so I have been pottering around doing some research into old paperback publishers, or, more specifically, the backgrounds of some of the people who ran the publishing houses. Sounds easier than it proved to be as I spent the whole of Tuesday afternoon and into the evening trying to find the family connection between the founder of Scion Ltd. (B Z Immanuel) and its later manager (Lou Benjamin). I always thought they were brothers-in-law, but that isn't the case. (What a place to bring this astonishing anecdote to an end! All I can say is that the familial link will be revealed one day.)

I've had a couple of books arrive from overseas. The first is a collection of a delightful animal/nature strip by Eduardo Teixeira Coelho — who drew a few strips in the UK in the late 1950s — entitled A Lei da Selva [The Law of the Jungle]. This is a recent (2016) reprint by Libri Impressi from the Portuguese children's magazine O Mosquito in 1948. I have to confess that my Portuguese is limited pretty much to recognising Coelho's name, the magazine the strip appeared in and the date it appeared. But it's one of those stories with a block of text under the pictures, so I can get the gist of what looks like the story of an orphaned lion cub that grows up to join a pride. I think.

I'm on safer ground with ¡Combate! by Aitor Marcet. It's in Spanish and I'm as lost with Spanish as I am with Portuguese, but I had a small part in the book, so I know that it is about Spanish artists who worked for British war comics. There have been 100+ Spanish artists who worked for War, Battle, Air Ace and Commando — with artists like Vicente Alcazar, Carlos Pino and Manuel Benet still drawing regularly for the latter.

The fact that I recognise a lot of the names makes looking through the text interesting. So Air Ace artist Juan Abellan gets a mention, an artist I knew nothing about, but I can understand some of his career, his education interrupted by the Civil War, working in the 1950s for titles like Chicos and for the UK via Seleciones Illustradas. There's information on dozens of artists, which makes me wish that there was an English-language version of the book.

The book ends with a series of interviews carried out in 2023, the artists including Alcazar, Pino, Benet, Amador Garcia, Josep Nebot, Lopez Espi, Luis Collado Coch, Isidre Mones, plus some bloke called Steve Holland.

There are a couple of hundred pictures over the book's 130 pages, which amply illustrate the artists under discussion and more. We need more books like this... preferably in a language I can read!


  1. How can I contact you sir?

  2. At the address in the left-hand column.

  3. Hi, 'A Lei Da Selva' looks great. How do I get hold of it?

  4. I've contacted my contact, and hopefully they'll get back to me with some contact details.

  5. Here's the book: and you can order by contacting the publisher Manuel Caldas on



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