Friday, June 07, 2024

Comic Cuts — 7 June 2024

I've had a bit of a low energy week, despite receiving a proof copy of the next Bear Alley book.I'm working on another (secret) project before I get a second proof, but hopefully that one will fix a couple of very minor problems – although the spine lettering was fine  on the proof copy, some of the lettering rather filled the whole spine and if future printings slip by a millimeter, the lettering would have wrapped around onto the cover or back cover.

A minor problem, easily fixed, but I'm not going to the expense of ordering just one book. So I'm working on a couple of other things that I can get finished promptly and the cost of postage can be spread over a few books rather than just the one. I'll also do a mini re-stock to bring the costs down even more: getting copies posted to me can add £1.50 and more to my costs per book, but I have to ship books to the house because it's the only way I can fill Amazon and Ebay orders in the time they allow.

The original model for Bear Alley Books was to use print on demand so that I didn't have to carry stock, but changing buying habits mean I've had to adapt – where I used to have maybe £50 worth of books in a box, as Bear Alley Books has added more titles and had to carry more copies, I now have at least £1,500 tied up in stock in boxes and on shelves.

And I'll soon have more once the new book is out. So here's the lowdown: HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES reprints three stories drawn by Jesus Blasco: two based on Jeffery Farnol's pirate novels Black Bartlemy's Treasure and Martin Conisby's Vengeance and one based on H. Rider Haggard's Montezuma's Daughter. I should note that the comic strip of Martin Conisby's Vengeance was renamed 'Martin Conisby's Revenge', just in case you think I've made an awful error on the cover.

The book is 134 pages – about the same as the two Longbow volumes I published a few years ago. There are the usual bunch of essays that I like to cram into these books, so you'll find an introduction, plus biographical pieces on Farnol, Haggard and Blasco. I've slipped them between the comic strips so you can have a breather between them.

More news once I've got my second proof. I'll post some examples of the strips next week.

I've managed to attack the garden once again and have finally started putting down grass seed and also some wild flower seeds at the far end of the back garden. The photo above is what the garden looked like a year ago, covered with Alkanet and ivy. Below is a picture of how it looked yesterday; there's grass in most places and the ivy has (for the most part) gone.

I've put a mixture of grass seed and wild flowers at the far back in the hope that they will help keep the weeds at bay. I'm going to be mowing the lawn more regularly (rain allowing) to help out (sorry No Mow May – I had too mow twice!) and with luck between that and digging out the Alkanet wherever I see it we will eventually have a regular lawn again.

That's enough gardening. More book news next week.

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