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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 22 March 2017.

2000AD Prog 2023
Cover: Cliff Robinson
Judge Dredd: Get Jerry Sing by John Wagner (w) Carlos Ezquerra (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Brink: Skeleton Life by Dan Abnett 9w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
Future Shocks: The Best Brain In The Galaxy by Andrew Williamson (w) Tilen Javornik (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Scarlet Traces: Cold War - Book 2 by Ian Edginton (w)  D'Israeli (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Cursed: The Fall of Deadworld by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017



If you look over to the right hand column, you'll see that we have a special offer on two of our latest books from Bear Alley. You can save 25% off the cover price for the next few weeks. This will be your last chance to buy Frontline UK and Arena as our license for these titles runs out shortly and both books will be officially OUT OF PRINT after March 31st.

So if you want copies, grab 'em now. After the end of the month, they'll be disappearing for good.

Frontline UK by William Corderoy, Ian Kennedy & Clemente Rezzonico.
Arena by David H. Taylor & Enrique Alcatena.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Illustrators Special #1: Warren Magazines - The Spanish Artists

A bumper, 144-page issue of Illustrators has been releases alongside the regular issue 17 featuring some of the most stunningly gorgeous artwork from some of Spain's finest artists. The thread running through the whole book is Vampirella, who stars on the cover. In the late 1960s, Josep Toutein the founder of the Selecciones Illustrades artists' agency in Spain, went to New York to offer his services to James Warren.

Warren saw him out of courtesy rather than any desire to do business; his comics were struggling in an overcrowded market and hiring new talent was low on his priorities. Depending on who tells the story, Warren saw the samples Toutain had brought with him and immediately / a week later offered his artists work, most notably putting Jose "Pepe" Gonzalez to work on Vampirella. Over the next few years, Toutain became integral to Warren's success – the science fiction comic 1984 was his suggestion, for instance – and the artists of the S.I. agency produced some of their most memorable work for the company.

This special issue looks at the work of six artists in particular, with an introductory piece on Toutain setting the scene. Both Enric Torres-Prat and Sanjulian (Manuel Perez-Sanjulian Clemente), the first two subjects of this volume, never tackled comic strips (Enric was too slow, Sanjulian was too awful) but became famous as cover artists, using their skills as illustrators to create a formidable body of work. Enric produced 52 covers for Vampirella alone, and Sanjulian produced 60 for Warren, mostly for Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella.

Both artists eventually left Toutain as the latter concentrated on publishing and found employment doing book covers; Enric became notably associated with Harlequin where his beautiful women in long, flowing white dresses and virile young men were perfect for the romantic market; Sanjulian drew dozens of covers for the German western market and film posters.

Inside the covers of Vampirella, Pepe Gonzalez revolutionised the look of the strip. A precocious talent, Gonzalez bored easily and, having made Vampirella his own, he all but abandoned her, disappearing for days rather than working, leaving strips half finished. He could not paint: the iconic Vampirella poster published by Warren signed by Jose Gonzalez was only pencilled by him; the actual painting was done by Enric.

In later life, Gonzalez let himself go completely and was unable to look after himself, let alone work in any coherent way. It was Toutain and, after Josep died, his widow and family who tried to keep Gonzalez working and healthy until his death in 2009.

Luis Garcia was considered the new Pepe Gonzalez when he found his way to S.I. in 1961, aged only 15. He learned technique from those around him in the S.I. studio and soon became a prolific artist of romantic stories for Britain's comics for teenage girls. Visiting the UK a number of times during the Sixties, he embraced the hippy spirit, having then recently experienced life at an artist's commune a few miles outside Barcelona.

His London experience ended thanks to bad LSD and chronic flu, but his desire to not draw any more romances set him on the path to Warren's horror magazines where his ultra-realistic artwork soon became a favourite amongst fans. Garcia soon found work in Pilote, which maintained his Warren connections, as his French strips were reprinted in Vampirella. Garcia subsequently had a varied career as a comic artist (still recognised for his graphic novel Nova-2), as an advertising artist and as an illustrator and painter.

Garcia was a member of El Grupo de la Floresta, where artists would help out each other. One of his fellow artists was Esteban Maroto, four years older and another teenage prodigy. By the mid-Sixties, Maroto was experimenting with radical layouts for his strip 5 x Infinity and Wolff, and he would draw over 100 stories for various Warren magazines in the 1970s and 1980s. Maroto would also draw for DC in America and DC Thomson here in the UK.

Another prodigious artist, Jordi Bernet, is the subject of the final feature. Born into a family of cartoonists and scriptwriters, Bernet gained vital experience assisting Jordi Buxade before approaching Bardon Art, who put him to work on westerns and adventure stories for the British market, mostly for Victor, although also including work for Hornet, Smash!, Tiger and Lion.

He was introduced to Spirou in the 1960s and notably drew 'Paul Foran' for almost a decade. He went on to work for the American, German and Italian markets. When Josep Toutain began publishing magazines rather than agenting artists, Bernet created 'Torpedo' with writer Enrique Sanchez Abuli, which was a success around the world. Bernet has also worked successfully with Antonio Segura (Sarvane, Kraken) and Carlos Trillo (Cicca Dum-Dum, Calra de Noche) and has worked occasionally for DC Comics, most notably on Jonah Hex. Unlike some of his contemporaries, he continues to draw comics to this day.

The production on this special edition cannot be faulted. The artwork on show is spectacular, representing some of the best work of these immensely talented artists. Each essay gives context to characters and comics you may not have seen before and it is this discovery of whole new worlds of comics that makes the book so easy to recommend.

The Illustrators Special Edition is available directly from Book Palace, as are current and back issues of the regular Illustrators magazine.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Illustrators #17 (Winter 2016)

The latest issue of Illustrators contains three main subjects who couldn't be more diverse. The issue leads with Mort Küntsler, American artist who may nowadays be best known for his paintings of the American Civil War but who spent the Fifties and Sixties painting covers and illustrations for the thriving men's magazine market and the Seventies doing illustrations for the better paying magazine markets and film posters.

Küntsler's pulpier illustrations are beautiful. The men's magazines were full of salacious thrills dressed as stories of soldiers in battle or thrillseekers fighting sharks or hero cops fighting gangsters. It didn't matter where these tawdry tales were set, there were always busty women in peril, usually facing that peril at best in a bra or more often topless, their arms carefully posed for modesty's sake. It made as little sense as the metal contraptions women wore in space on science fiction pulps. While it's easy to deride the subject matter, you cannot fault the artistry and talent that went into the images.

From the Eighties on he has made his name for painstakingly researched Civil War and historical art which have been gathered in numerous books and made available as prints. Küntsler is, thankfully, still with us and, although he's ninety this year, he's still painting. His book The New Nation was published as recently as 2014.

Francisco V. Coching might not be as familiar a name but in the Philippines he was the one of the leading lights in the local komics industry, leaving school in 1934 at the age of 15 to begin drawing professionally; he continued to draw comics for four decades, retiring in the 1970s. So popular was Coching that the majority of his comics characters were turned into movies.

Writer Diego Cordoba calls him "perhaps the best comic book creator you've never heard of," and based on the examples seen here that could be true. His artwork owes much to his inspirations Hal Foster and Alex Raymond and his apprenticeship to Tony Velazquez, one of the pioneers of Filipino komics.

Gustave Doré was featured in issue 11, but a second article is welcome to show off more of his astonishing artwork. Professionally published at the age of 13, Doré illustrated some of the greatest books of all time, from The Bible to Don Quixote. He lived through some of history's bloodiest times, including the Crimean War and the Franco-Prussian War, inspiring some of his darkest works. One of his finest works was London: A Pilgrimage with text by William Blanchard Jerrold, which recorded London's slums in all their grisly honesty.

An interview with children's illustrator Zac Retz completes the issue in fine style.

For more information on Illustrators and back issues, visit the Book Palace website, where you can also find details of their online editions, and news of upcoming issues. Issue 18 will feature Mort Drucker, Ernesto Garcia Cabral, Becky Cloonan and the early years of Puffin Books.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spaceship Away #41 (Spring 2017)

The latest issue of Spaceship Away is out now and launches a whole new Dan Dare yarn, so it's a great jumping on issue if you haven't tried the title before now.

Tim Booth has been central to the success of Spaceship Away, having painted a series of new old-style Dan Dare yarns for many years. His long-running 'Parsecular Tales' storyline has finally come to a conclusion after 28 episodes – and as there are only three issues per year, that particular strip has been running since 2010 – and a new story begins, with eight pages of the new 'Shakedown Cruise' getting his latest yarn off to a good start.

Four graduates from Astral College are selected to join Dan, Digby and the crew of the Discovery on a training mission that will begin with a trip to Far City on the dark side of the Moon.

This issue has a second, complete Dan Dare tale from the pen of John Freeman, still probably best known for his editorial stint at Doctor Who Magazine and as publisher of the online Down the Tubes comics' news site. 'Martian Menace' was written back in 2013 when it was hoped that the Freeman-edited Strip comic would be allowed to run new Dan Dare material. After creating a bible for the new strip, work began in 2014 only to grind to a halt when payments due did not arrive.

Thankfully, John's hard work was picked up by B7 Media when they came to producing audio adventures of Dan Dare recently – the second tranch of stories is due shortly – and the strip, drawn by Joe Pimentel and gorgeously coloured by John Ridgway, had finally made its way into print.

Another Ron Turner strip completes the comic compliment this issue, a bit of pulpy fun that fits the Spaceship Away formula beautifully.

Articles this issue include a look at Bruce Cornwell's artwork for Express Annual and a piece by David Ashford on two artists you might not expect to have contributed to the Dan Dare saga in the original Eagle: Jack Daniels and Norman Williams.

You can find out more about the magazine, buy back issues and subscribe to the latest issues at the Spaceship Away website.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Comic Cuts - 17 March 2017

More good progress on the Valiant index. I had three uninterrupted days early in the week that I spent reading Mytek the Mighty, Legge's Eleven and a bunch of Spanish science fiction yarns. Mytek is one of the strips I remember from my youthful days as a Valiant reader in the late 1960s when Bill Lacey was the artist, but the early yarns I was reading were drawn by the mighty Eric Bradbury at his finest.

Legge's Eleven, on the other hand, was new to me. I don't know what you're like as a collector, but my early Valiant's weren't picked up in order, so I tended to look at them but not really take in the storylines. Once I had a run of copies, I'd read my favourites (The Steel Claw, Wild Wonders and a few others) but ignore the strips I wasn't so interested in, which would usually be the sports strips.

So I read the story of Ted Legge and his efforts to put together a football team and it was actually pretty good. Yes, it was silly in places, but it also had heart and humour. That shouldn't have surprised me... after all, it was written by Fred Baker who was behind Billy's Boots, which was a masterclass in how to keep a storyline compelling despite the repetitive nature of the plot's basic premise. Roughly every three weeks, Ted Legge would lose a team member and would have to find a replacement; the untried player would play a match and would be useless in the first half; Ted would figure out a tactic that would work for the newcomer and the match would be won... but tears turn to tragedy as Ted Legge would lose a team member and would have to find a replacement... and repeat the process ten times to make up the eleven-man team. During the football season they would battle to rise from the Fourth Division to Third... to Second... to First (the strip ran from 1964 to 1968), with a break each summer for another adventure.

You can see the same cycle in plenty of other sports strips. Billy needed his boots to play well and score, so the writer's chief job was to find ways for Billy and his boots to be separated before a vital match. For American comics' fans: it's why Kryptonite exists.

There's still a long way to go... I'm currently looking at copies from the 1964-66 period, so there's a decade of reading still to come. I have a feeling this might be the longest introduction yet because there's just so many great strips to talk about!

Sales of Frontline UK and Arena have spiked nicely since I dropped the price. Just to be clear, these two titles were licensed from DC Thomson a couple of years ago and the license period has run its course. I have a brief window to sell off unsold stock, after which I'll have to stop selling the two titles. There won't be any more printed, so grab 'em now while you can. I think they're really nice books and I put in a lot of effort to make sure that there was some interesting introductory material for both.

If you want to grab them, you can still get 25% off the cover price – here for Frontline UK and here for Arena – but only for two more weeks. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can pay by cheque – just drop me a line at the e-mail address you'll find below the photo, top left.

Quite a few of the titles published by Bear Alley Books are under license, ranging from five years to open-ended. I'll just have to write some more to fill the gaps.

Talking of which, I'm still trying to chase down some annuals for the Valiant index. I don't have the Valiant Book of Conquest of the Air nor the three editions of the Valiant Book of Sport. I have covers for all four, but if anyone has scans of the books or can type up the contents of the books for me, that would be fantastic. These are the last four books I need now, as I've tracked down all the other summer specials and annuals for inclusion.

As we've been talking sport and football in particular, that gave me the theme for this week's random scans. And an interesting point: there seems to be a common misconception that we Brits only call the sport football while everyone else calls it soccer. Well, here are a few books from the forties, fifties and seventies which disprove that "fact". We are, however, the only people to call it "The beautiful game".


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Rebellion releases for 15 March 2017.

2000AD Prog 2022
Cover: Ben Willsher
Judge Dredd: The Grundy Bunch by Arthur Wyatt (w) Tom Foster (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Sinister Dexter: Better The Devil by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) John Charles (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Kingmaker by Ian Edginton (w) Leigh Gallagher (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
The Order:  Wyrm War by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Kingdom: As It Is In Heaven by Dan Abnett (w) Richard Elson (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Judge Dredd Megazine #382
Cover: Jake Lynch
Judge Dredd: Big Meg
by TC Eglington (w) Boo Cook (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Anderson, Psi Division: Dragon Blood by Alan Grant (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Havn by Si Spencer (w) Jake Lynch (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Lawless: Long-Range War by Dan Abnett (w) Phil Winslade (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Features: Interrogation - Kim Raymond, New Comics - Howl of the Werewolf, Interrogation - Ben Wheatley
Bagged reprint: The Best of Tharg's 3rillers Vol.2

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Murray Ball (1939-2017)

Cartoonist Murray Ball, who has died at the age of 78, was best known for the cartoon series 'Footrot Flats', which was New Zealand's most popular comic strip. Starring farmer Wal Footrot and his intelligent, devoted, if somewhat cowardly, border collie named Dog, Ball produced more than 5,000 episodes and the strip ran in up to 125 newspapers around the world between 1976 and 1994; it was collected in a series of over 40 books which have sold over six million copies and was produced as a stage musical in 1983 and, in 1986, an animated movie: Footrot Flats: A Dog's Tale, directed by Ball. It's theme song ("Slice of Heaven") was a huge hit in New Zealand and Australia.

Dog was voted New Zealand's best-loved fictional character and, along with Wal, he was imortalised in a 350kg bronze statue made at Weta Workshop which was temporarily located outside the H.B. Williams Memorial Library in rural Gisborne, on the North Island, where Ball lived, in time for his 77th birthday in 2016. Gisborne's mayor, Meng Foon, has said that the life-sized statue will be found a permanent home in the city.

Ball's creation was admired by Charles M. Schulz, who wrote in an introduction, "The dog is definitely one of my favourite cartoon characters of all time . . . Being a fanatic about comic strips, I am always impressed by good drawing, or saddened by poor drawing. I love the way Murray draws these animals. I love the relationship among all of the characters, and am especially fond of the absolutely original approach to the humor."

Murray Hone Ball was born in Feilding, Manawatu, New Zealand, on 26 January 1939, the son of Nelson "Kelly" Ball (1908-1986), a former All Black rugby player, and his wife Meg. He grew up in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa where he attended Parktown Boys' High School. Kelly and Meg Ball had emigrated to South Africa in 1948, but Murray returned to New Zealand ten years later in the hope that he, too, could make a career in rugby.

He played for the Junior All Blacks, as well as the Manawatu region against the touring British and Irish Lions team in 1959, but he was unsuccessful when he trialled for the All Blacks in 1960.

He found work as a cartoonist, contributing to the Manawatu Times and the Dominion. It was whilst working on the latter in 1963 that he heard of his mother's death and he immediately returned to Durban, where his father ran a beachfront amusement park, Kenilworth Showland. In Durban, the newly installed assistant dodgem car operator met Pam, a recent emigré from England; they were engaged after three months and married, in Surrey, in 1964, before flying to New Zealand.

The newlyweds found accommodation in Hamilton and Ball began a one-year crash-course at Hamilton Teacher's College. This allowed him to find work as a primary school teacher at Whitianga, where he completed a three-year bond. During this period, Ball had his first book, Fifteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest published by A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, in 1967.

With Pam pregnant with their second child, the Balls came to the UK, finding a house on the edge of Exmoor, where he spent a year drawing cartoons for various magazines without success. His fortunes turned when Punch accepted a strip featuring 'Stanley', a bespectacled caveman, struggling to make sense of life in the Palaeolithic era. It went on to become the longest-running strip in Punch's history.

Soon after, 'Bruce the Barbarian', featuring a colonial ruffian, began appearing in the Labour Weekly and Punch commissioned a second strip, 'All the King's Comrades'. At the same time, Ball found regular work with D.C. Thomson's comics, drawing for Topper, Dandy, Bunty and various annuals.

Ball returned to New Zealand in 1974, where he drew 'Nature Calls' before producing his best-known cartoon strip, 'Footrot Flats', which began appearing in Wellington's Evening Post in 1976.

Although he retired from drawing in 2010, his books remained incredibly popular in Australasia. Six of the Best (Hodder Moa Boosk, 2009) contained examples of six of Ball's strips, including 'Stanley', 'Bruce the Barbarian', 'The Prophet', 'The Doctor', 'Nature Calls' and 'The Kids''. Upstart Press produced a 288-page collection of The Essential Footrot Flats in 2014, gathering 450 strips handpicked by the Ball family, and a 2015 Calendar, both released in time for the strips' 40th anniversary. A website dedicated to 'Footrot Flats' was launched on Ball's 78th birthday in January 2017

Ball became an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for his services as a cartoonist.

Ball, who had been in poor health battling Alzheimer's for the past eight years, passed away at his home on 42-years in Gisborne on the morning of Sunday, 12 March 2017. He is survived by Pam and their three children.

Ball was the subject of the 1988 book Murray Ball – What Is It Like To Be A Cartoonist?, part of a series profiling successful New Zealanders, in which he described his career, the development of his cartoons and what constituted a normal day.

His passing was noted by New Zealand's Prime Minister, who said "Saddened to learn of the death of Footrot Flats creator Murray Ball, a thoughtful NZer who took our unique sense of humour to the world." (@pmbillenglish, 12 March 2017)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Anne McCaffrey cover gallery

Anne McCaffrey is probably best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, set on a distant planet colonised by humans where deadly spores (threads) descend regularly from a neighbouring planet. The human colonies are protected by genetically manipulated fire-breathing dragons and it is the life long relationship between dragons and their riders that is central to the series.

The early stories in this series won McCaffrey both Hugo and Nebula Awards, the first of dozens of awards she would win, culminating in being named the 22nd Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2005 and her induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.

Her output was prolific — over 100 novels — and many were bestsellers. I had the good fortune to meet her once, way back at Seacon '79, and somewhere I probably still have the badge she gave me: "Get on the dragon wagon". See the links below for more information.

She died on Monday, 21 November 2011, following a stroke, aged 85.

Obituaries: The Guardian (24 November), New York Times (24 November).
Further information: SFE, Wikipedia.

Note: The gallery only covers books by McCaffrey alone and does not include her many collaborations with Todd McCaffrey,  Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Margaret Ball, Elizabeth Moon nad others.

Dragonflight (New York, Ballantine Books, 1968)
Corgi Books 0552-08453-0, 1970, 254pp, 25p.
Corgi Books 0552-09236-3, 1973, 253pp, 35p. Cover by Bruce Pennington
---- [xth imp.] 1975, 253pp, 65p. Cover by Bruce Pennington
Corgi Books 0552-10773-5, 1979, 253pp, 85p. Cover by Bruce Pennington
---- [xth imp.] 1980
---- [xth imp.] 1981
---- [xth imp.] 1982
Corgi Books 0552-08453-0, 1984, 254pp, £1.75.
---- [xth imp.] n.d., 254pp, £2.50.
---- [xth imp.] 1990, 254pp, £2.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978-0552-08453-6 [xth imp.] n.d., £6.99. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] n.d., £7.99

Dragonquest (New York, Ballantine Books, 1971)
Sphere 0722-15904-8, 1974, 304pp, 40p. Cover by Eddie Jones
Sphere 0722-15906-4, 1976, 304pp.
Sphere 0722-16004-6, 1980, 303pp, £1.25.
Corgi Books 0552-11635-1, 1982, 325pp, £1.75. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] 1983, £1.95. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] 1989, £3.50. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] 1993, 412pp, £4.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978-0-552-11635-0, n.d., £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

Dragonsong (New York, Atheneum, 1976)
Corgi Books 0552-10661-5, 1978, 176ppp, 75p. Cover by David Roe
---- [?2nd imp.] 1978, 80p; [?3rd imp.] 1979, £1.00.
---- [xth imp.] 1987, £1.95; [xth imp.] 1993, £3.99.
Corgi Books 978-0552-10661-0 [xth imp.] n.d., £6.99. Cover by Les Edwards

Dragonsinger (New York, Atheneum, 1977)
Corgi Books 0552-10881-2, 1978, 251pp, 85p. Cover by David Roe
---- [?2nd imp.] 1979; [?3rd imp.] 1980, £1.50; [xth imp.] 1982; [xth imp.] 1984, £1.75; [xth imp.] 1986, £2.50; [xth imp.] (date?), £3.50
---- [xth imp.] 1994, £4.99
Corgi Books 978-0552-10881-2, n.d., £7.99. Cover by Les Edwards

The White Dragon (New York, Del Rey, 1978)
Corgi Books 0552-11313-1, 1980, 477pp, £1.50. Cover by David Roe
---- [xth imp.] 1981, 477pp, £1.95. Cover by David Roe
---- [xth imp.] 1983, 477pp, £1.95. Cover by David Roe
---- [xth imp.] 1993, 475pp, £4.99. Cover by David Roe
Corgi Books 978-0-552-11313-7, n.d., 475pp, £7.99. Cover by Les Edwards

Dragondrums (New York, Atheneum, 1979)
Corgi Books 0552-11804-4, 1981, 223pp, £1.25. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] 1982, £1.50; [xth imp.] 1985, £1.75; [xth imp.] 1987, £2.50; [xth imp.] 1993, £4.99
Corgi Books 978-0552-11804-0, n.d., £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern (London, Severn House, 1983)
Corgi Books 0552-99050-7, 1984, 410pp, £3.95. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 0552-12499-0, 1993, 412pp, £4.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978-0-552-12499-7, n.d., 412pp, £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

Nerika's Story (New York, Del Rey, 1986; as Nerika's Story & The Coelura, London, Bantam Press, 1987)
Corgi Books 0552-12817-1, 1987, 191pp, £1.95.
---- [xth imp.] 1988.
---- [xth imp.] 1995, 192pp, £4.99. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] n.d., 255pp, £6.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978-0552-12817-9, n.d., 255pp, £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

Dragonsdawn (London, Bantam, 1988)
Bantam 0593-01610-6, (Jun) 1989, 386pp, £6.95 [tpb]. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 0552-13098-2, (Jan) 1990, 473pp, £3.99. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] 1996, 473pp, £5.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978- 0552-13098-1, n.d., £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

The Renegades of Pern (New York, Del Rey, 1989)
Bantam (UK) 0593-02122-3, (Oct) 1990, 384pp, £7.99 [tpb]. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 0552-13099-0, 1990, 383pp, £3.99. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [2nd imp.] (Mar) 1991,
---- [xth imp.] 1996, £5.99. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] n.d., £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

All the Weyrs of Pern (London, Bantam, 1991)
Bantam (UK) 0593-02225-4, (Mar) 1992, £8.99 [tpb]. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 0552-13729-5, (Sep) 1992, 477pp, £4.99. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [2nd imp.] 1992; [3rd imp.] (Nov) 1993.
---- [xth imp.] 1996, £5.99.
Corgi Books 978-0552-13729-4, n.d., £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall (New York, Del Rey, 1993)
Bantam (UK) -593-03573-9, (Jun) 1994, 256pp, £8.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 0552-13913-0, (Nov) 1994, 283pp, £4.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books  978-0552-13913-7, n.d., £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

The Dolphins of Pern (London, Bantam UK, 1994)
Bantam (UK) 0593-03750-2, (Apr) 1995, 300pp, £8.99 [tpb]. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 0552-14270-0, (Sep) 1995, 319pp, £4.99. Cover by Steve Weston
----, [2nd imp.] 1996; [3rd imp.] 1996.
Corgi Books 978-0552-14270-0, n.d., £6.99. Cover by Steve Weston

Red Star Rising (London, Bantam UK, 1996; as Dragonseye, New York, Del Rey, 1997)
Bantam (UK) 0593-04081-3, (Jan) 1997, 355pp, £9.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 0552-14272-7, (Jun) 1997, 415pp, £5.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978-0552-14272-4, n.d., £6.99. Cover by Steve Weston

The Masterharper of Pern (London, Bantam Press, 1998)
Corgi Books 0552-14274-3, (Dec) 1999, 463pp, £5.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978-0552-14274-8 [7th imp.] n.d., £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

The Skies of Pern (London, Bantam Press, 2001)
Bantam (UK) 0593-04337-5, (Aug) 2001, 447pp, £9.99 [tpb]. Cover by Les Edwards
Corgi Books 0552-14631-5, (Feb) 2002, 587pp, £6.99. Cover by Les Edwards

Dragon's Kin, with Todd McCaffrey (2003)
Dragon's Fire, with Todd McCaffrey (2006)
Dragon Harper, with Todd McCaffrey (2007)
Dragon's Time, with Todd McCaffrey (2011)
Sky Dragons, with Todd McCaffrey (2012)

To Ride Pagasus (New York, Ballantine Books, 1973)
Sphere 0722-15905-6, 224pp, 55p.
Sphere 0722-15908-0 [2nd imp.] 1977, 223pp, 85p. Cover by Peter A. Jones
Sphere 0722-15971-4, 1980, 224pp, £1.00. Cover by Chris Achilleos
Corgi Books 0552-14180-1, (Jun) 1994, 284pp, £3.99. Cover by Paul Young
---- [xth imp.] (Nov) 1999, 283pp, £5.99. Cover by Paul Young
Corgi Books 978-0552-16280-8, (May) 2010, 288pp, £8.99.

Pegasus in Flight (New York, Ballantine Books, 1990)
Bantam (UK) 0593-02221-1, (Sep) 1991, 318pp, £7.99 [tpb]. Cover by Paul Damon
Corgi Books 0552-13728-6, (Mar) 1992, 318pp, £3.99. Cover by Paul Damon
Corgi Books 978-0552-16376-8, (Nov) 2010, £9.99.

Pegasus in Space (New York, Ballantine Books, 2000)
Corgi Books 0552-14630-7, 2000, 519pp, £5.99. Cover by Paul Young
Corgi Books 978-0552-16378-1, 538pp, £9.99.


Dinosaur Planet (London, Orbit/Futura, 1978)
Futura 0860-08948-1, 1978, 188pp, 75p. Cover by Melvyn Grant
Orbit/Futura 0860-08948-1 [2nd imp.], 1981, 188pp, £1.25. Cover by Tim White
---- [3rd imp.] 1984, £1.95.
Orbit 0857-23090-6 [4th imp.], 1992, 188pp, £4.50.
---- [5th imp.] 1999, 189pp, £5.99. Cover by Mark Salwowski

Dinosaur Planet Survivors (New York, Ballantine Books, 1984)
Orbit/Futura 0708-88129-7, (Dec) 1984, 281pp, £1.95.
Orbit 1857-23089-2, (Apr) 1992, 281pp, £4.50
---- [xth imp.] (Feb) 1999, 281pp, £5.99.


The Crystal Singer (London, Severn House, 1982)
Corgi Books 0552-12097-9, 1983, 301pp, £1.75.
---- [?2nd imp.] 1986, 301pp, £2.50.
Corgi Books 978-0552-12097-5, n.d., 302pp.

Killashandra (New York, Ballantine Books, 1985)
Corgi Books 0552-12556-3, (Sep) 1986, 346pp, £2.95. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [?2nd imp.] 1991, 346pp, £3.99.
---- [xth imp.] 1994, 346pp, £4.99.

Crystal Line (New York, Ballantine Books, 1992)
Corgi Books 0552-13911-4, (Oct) 1993, 349pp, £3.99.


The Rowan (New York, Putnam/Ace, 1990)
Bantam (UK) 0593-02339-0, (Mar) 1991, 335pp, £7.99 [tpb]. Cover by Romas
Corgi Books 0552-13763-4, (Sep) 1991, 334pp, £3.99. Cover by Romas
---- [xth imp.] 1992.
Corgi Books 978-0552-16683-6, (Oct) 2011, 320pp, £9.99 [tpb].

Damia (New York, Putnam/Ace, 1992)
Bantam (UK) 0593-02375-7, (Sep) 1992, 365pp, £8.99 [tpb]. Cover by Romas
Corgi Books 0552-13764-2, (Mar) 1993, 380pp, £4.99. Cover by Romas Kukalis
Corgi Books 978-0552-16364-4, (Nov) 2010, £9.99 [tpb]. Cover by Romas

Damia's Children (New York, Putnam/Ace, 1993)
Bantam (UK) 0593-03501-1, (Sep) 1993, 264pp, £8.99 [tpb]. Cover by Romas Kukalis
Corgi Books 0552-13912-2, (Feb) 1994, 335pp, £4.99. Cover by Romas Kukalis
Corgi Books 978-0552-16201-2, (Feb) 2010, 336pp, £8.99.

Lyon's Pride (New York, Putnam/Ace, 1994)
Bantam (UK) 0593-03586-0, (Aug) 1994, 316pp, £8.99 [tpb]. Cover by Romas Kukalis
Corgi 0552-14218-2, (Feb) 1995, 347pp,p £4.99. Cover by Romas Kukalis
---- [xth imp.] n.d., 346pp, £6.99. Cover by Romas Kukulis 
Corgi Books 978-0552-16731-4, (May) 2012, 352pp, £9.99 [tpb].

The Tower and the Hive (New York, Putnam/Ace, 1999)
Corgi 0552-14629-3, (May) 2000, 395pp, £5.99. Cover by Duane O. Myers
Corgi Books 978-0552-16050-6, (Nov) 2009, 400pp, £8.99.


Freedom's Landing (New York, Putnam/Ace, 1995)
Corgi Books 0552-14271-9

Freedom's Choice (London, Bantam UK, 1995)

Freedom's Challenge (New York, Putnam/Ace, 1999)

Freedom's Ransom (London, Bantam UK, 2002)

Restoree (New York, Ballantine Books, 1967)
Corgi Books 0552-08344-5, 1970, 223pp, 25p.
Corgi Books 0552-10161-3, 1976, 223pp, 60p. Cover by Angus McKie
---- [xth imp.] 1977, 268pp.
---- [xth imp.] 1980, 223pp, £1.25. Cover by Angus McKie
Corgi Books 0552-08344-5, (Nov) 1982, 268pp, £1.50.
---- [xth imp.] 1983; [xth imp.] 1984; [xth imp.] 1985; [xth imp.] 1986; [xth imp.] 1988, £2.75' ]xth imp.] 1989; [xth imp.] 1990; [xth imp.] 1991, £3.99; [xth imp.] 1992; [xth imp.] 1993; [xth impp.] 1994, £4.99; [xth imp.] 1999.
Corgi Books 978-0552-16682-9, 272pp, £9.99.

Decision at Doona (New York, Ballantine Books, 1969)
Corgi Books 0552-08661-4, 1971, 221pp, 25p. Cover by Bruce Pennington
---- [2nd imp.] 1976, 221pp, 65p. Cover by Angus McKie?
---- [xth imp.] 1977, 221pp, 75p.
---- [xth imp.] 1980, 221pp, £1.25.
Corgi Books 0552-11789-7, (Dec) 1981, 221pp, £1.50. Cover by Bruce Pennington
Corgi Books 0552-08661-4, n.d., x+221, £1.95. Cover by Mark Harrison
---- [xth imp.] 1984, x+221pp, £3.99. Cover by Mark Harrison
---- [xth imp.] 1986; [xth imp.] 1987; [xth imp.] 1989; [xth imp.] 1991, £3.99.


The Ship Who Sang (New York, Ballantine Books, 1969)
Corgi Books 0552-09115-4, 1972, 206pp, 30p. Cover by Gianetto Coppola
---- [2nd imp.] 1976, 205pp, 65p. Cover by Angus McKie
---- [?3rd imp.] 1978, 206pp, 80p. Cover by Angus McKie
Corgi Books 0552-11936-9, 1982, 206pp, £1.50. Cover by Bruce Pennington
Corgi Books 0552-09115-4, 1986, 205pp, £1.95.
---- [xth imp.] 1995, 205pp, £3.99.
---- [xth imp.] 1999, 333pp, £5.99. Cover by Chris Moore
Corgi Books 978-0552-15964-7, 336pp, £9.99. Cover by Chris Moore


The Mark of Merlin (New York, Dell Books, 1971)
(no UK Paperback)

Ring of Fear (New York, Dell Books, 1971)
(no UK paperback)

The Kilternan Legacy (New York, Dell Books, 1975)
Troubadour/Futura 0708-81582-0, (Sep) 1979, 269pp, 95p.

Stitch in Snow: An Adult Make-Believe Tale (San Francisco, CA, Brandywine Books, 1984)
(no UK paperback)

The Year of the Lucy (San Francisco, CA, Brandywine Books, 1986)
Corgi 0552-12818-x, (Feb) 1987, 333pp, £2.95.

The Lady (New York, Ballantine Books, 1987; as The Carradyne Touch, London, Macdonald, 1988)
Futura 0708-83717-4, (May) 1989, 416pp, £3.99.

Black Horses for the King (New York, Harcourt Brace, 1996)
Corgi Books 0552-52973-7, (Jun) 1997, 224pp, £3.99. Cover by Kevin Tweddell

Nimisha's Ship (Norwalk, CT, Easton Press, 1998)
Corgi Book 0552-14628-5, (Dec) 1999, 448pp, £5.99. Cover by Chris Moore

Get Off the Unicorn (New York, Ballantine, 1977)
Corgi Books 0552-10965-7, 1979, 316pp, £1.25. Cover by David Roe
---- [xth imp.] 1980.
Corgi Books 978-0552-10965-9, n.d., 316pp, £6.99. Cover by David Roe

Nerika's Story & The Coelura (London, Bantam (UK), 1987)
Corgi Books 0552-12817-1, 1987, 191pp, £1.95.
---- [xth imp.] 1988, 191pp, £1.95.
---- [xth imp.] 1995, 192pp, £4.99.
---- [xth imp.] n.d., 255pp, £6.99. Cover by Steve Weston
Corgi Books 978-0552-12817-9, n.d. £7.99. Cover by Steve Weston

La Dame de la Haute Tour, compiled by Elisabeth Vonarburg (France, Presses Pocket, 1993)
(no UK paperback)

The Girl Who Heard Dragons (New York, Tor, 1994)
Corgi 0552-14436-3, (Jan) 1996, 383pp, £4.99. Cover by Steve Weston
---- [xth imp.] (Feb) 1996; [xth imp.] (Mar) 1996; [xth imp.] 1997, £5.99.
Corgi Books 978-0552-16371-2, (Nov) 2010, £9.99. Cover by Steve Weston

Friday, March 10, 2017

Comic Cuts - 10 March 2017

After a couple of weeks where my work rate has been rather patchy, I can finally say that I've had a pretty good few days and actually made some progress with the Valiant index. After a frustrating dental appointment last week (involving some costly exploratory work through which we discovered that a previous dentist had screwed up a filling) I was looking forward to a lazy weekend, the highlight of which would be a trip to see Richard Herring at the Colchester Arts Centre.

This is a "best of..." show featuring routines from some of Herring's previous 12 shows, although not always the longer ones which are often the most memorable—although he did threaten the audience with a 40-minute Yoghurt routine at one point. the elements from his older shows were woven together seamlessly, and where they weren't seamless a gag could be made of grinding gears and motoring through.

I'm a fan—I think all freelancers, especially the broke ones like myself, owe him a debt for his countless free podcasts and vodcasts—so don't expect objective criticism, but I seriously believe that you won't be disappointed if you catch him on tour and there are plenty of other ways to support the free stuff by buying a badge for £1 or one of his DVDs for not that many more pounds. (He also sells DVDs after his shows, so you can save on postage... it's like getting a couple of quid off your ticket!)

I took my annual photographs while Herring was signing, which I've been doing for the past few years. One of them even made it into the charity tour brochure he produces each year. Snatching a photograph while people are busily signing books isn't the best way to get a good photograph so I was quite chuffed when one turned out quite well a couple of years ago. Now I'm even more chuffed that it has been published... possibly my first published photograph? With certain conditions attached... I've published some myself in various books; even the Iron Mask book cover was a photograph of a postcard; and I seem to remember running around town one day looking for examples of cracked paintwork to accompany an article I wrote for a magazine called Period Homes (I filled-in as sub-editor for two months while the real sub recovered from a skiing accident)... but this might be the first time someone who wasn't me picked one of my pictures for publication.

The bulk of the weekend was taken up digging through episodes of 'The Leopard from Lime Street', Buster's long-running superhero yarn about a young lad, scratched by a leopard receiving radioactive treatment, who develops the strength and agility of a big cat. He spends the next 470 or so episodes sleeping for up to 24 hours a day, leaving chewed up mice and voles on the doorstep of his Aunt and Uncle's house and being easily distracted by wool, laser pointers and courgettes.

Actually, it was a lot of fun. I've now read quite a few episodes, although there were some substantial gaps where I had no issues, and there were at least six artists involved over the years. But an interesting and fun strip that I hope will do well when Rebellion reprint it in the summer.

On Monday I took the decision that I really needed to get some writing done on the Valiant index, so I spent the whole of Monday through Wednesday on it, cranking out about 5,000 words but more importantly working out the structure to the early section of the book. With the last index, Countdown to TV Action, I described more of the actual storylines than I had in any earlier book and I thought it worked very well. So I'm doing the same with Valiant... only Countdown/TV Action ran for 132 issues and Valiant ran for over 700. Some strips lasted for over a decade and it's not my intention to info-dump every storyline in one huge block. So I'm having to find ways to weave the storylines of various strips in and out of the text as I write the introduction, so I can be writing about (say) Kraken and his time machine and then switch seamlessly to discussing Kelly's Eye and from there to The Man Called 39.

It will be some time before you find out how successful I've been... I'm still writing about strips from 1963. Only another 13 years to go!

You'll be pleased to hear that someone (thanks, Bill!) has sent me all the missing summer specials that I needed to complete that part of the index. I still have some of the spin-off annuals missing, but I'll list those at a later date. However much I love listing things, it can get a little dull... reading the comics is far more fun.

I should really save this week's random scans theme until I finish the book, but hopefully I'll find some others before I complete it.