Wednesday, 31 March 2010

New(ish) Acquisitions

Well in all the excitement over birthdays and new Allison & Busby Parker novels and Outfit DVDs and the like, I plum forgot to mention a couple of new acquisitions. Namely, this:

a 1978 first UK edition of the third Fletch novel, Fletch's Fortune; and this:

a 1961 first paperback edition of the sixth Bond novel, Goldfinger. I do love these old Pan paperbacks. I've got first Pan editions now of this, Dr. No and From Russia, with Love, plus first re-set editions of Casino Royale and Moonraker, and early editions of Live and Let Die and Diamonds Are Forever too. That last one is next on my list to read, although I've just started Patricia Highsmith's The Blunderer, and also the fourth Parker novel, The Mourner, so I dunno when I'll get to it. Er, and I've started reading Stuart Maconie's Adventures on the High Teas as well. Um, and a graphic novel, Jamie Delano and Jock's Hellblazer: Pandemonium. Uh, and I'm dipping into Eddie Campbell's great big Alec collection, which was another birthday present, and contains a new story. Gah. Too. Many. Books!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

It was just me.

The pictures are back now. In fact they never went anywhere, it was just my internets being half-arsed. Mystery solved, move along now, nothing to see here... except...


...except The List! Which, frankly, is nothing to see either this week. Here's what it looks like:

Rasl #7

Er, that's it. That. Is. Fucking. It. One comic. One comic out of a list of maybe 200. What's that? You don't believe there's 200 comics out this week? There can't possibly be 200 comics out this week, or indeed next week, or the week after that, or the week after that, or indeed every week following that you care to name? Oh, how little you know. Gaze upon the full list of comics for this week:

Whorehouse Madrigals SC, $14.99

Gold Digger Peebo Tales TP, $15.95
Governator #1, $3.99
Littlest Zombie #1, $3.50

Hairy Things #1 (of 3), $3.95

Betty #185, $2.50
Pals N Gals Double Digest #140, $3.99
Sonic The Hedgehog #211, $2.50

Amelia Rules Volume 4 When The Past Is A Present TP (Simon & Schuster Edition), $10.99

Hi Fructose Magazine Quarterly #15, $6.95

Blackbeard Legacy Vs Pistolfist (One Shot)(release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $3.99
Female Force #13 Ellen Degeneres, $3.99
Logans Run #2, $3.99
Political Power #9 Bill Clinton, $3.99
Roger Corman Presents Battle Amongst Stars #1, $3.99
Vincent Price Presents #16, $3.99

Disneys Hero Squad Ultraheroes #3 (Cover A), $2.99
Disneys Hero Squad Ultraheroes #3 (Cover B), $2.99
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep #10 (of 24)(Cover A), $3.99
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep #10 (of 24)(Cover B), $3.99
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep Volume 2 HC (of 6), $24.99
Farscape Volume 1 HC (Limited SDCC Special Edition), $74.99
Incorruptible #4 (Cover A), $3.99
Incorruptible #4 (Cover B), $3.99
Incorruptible #4 (Variant Incentive Cover), AR
Incredibles Family Matters Special Edition Holofoil Set, $99.99
Wizards Of Mickey #3 (Cover A), $2.99
Wizards Of Mickey #3 (Cover B), $2.99

Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #61 (Regular Cover), $2.95

Cereal Geek Magazine #4, $15.00

Rasl #7, $3.50

Streetfighter The Complete History SC, $19.95

Cinefex #121 (Apr 2010)(release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $12.50

Comic Shop News #1189, AR

Dark Horse Capsule Assortment Marvel Heroes Wrist Bands Series #1, AR
Domo 2 Inch Mystery Qee Figures Series 2 Individual Figure, $8.99
Domo 2 Inch Mystery Qee Figures Series 2 Display Case, $134.85
Domo 2 Inch Qee Flocked Classic Brown Figure, $8.99
Domo 2 Inch Qee Flocked Pink Figure, $8.99
Domo 2 Inch Qee Metallic Orange Figure, $8.99
Domo 2 Inch Qee Metallic Rusty Figure, $8.99
Domo 2 Inch Qee Skeleton Figure, $8.99
Star Wars Legacy #46 (Monster part 4 of 4), $2.99
Terminator 2029 #1 (of 3), $3.50
Usagi Yojimbo #127 (The Sword Of Narukami Part 1 Of 1), $3.50

Adventure Comics #9 (Francis Manapul Regular Cover), $3.99
Adventure Comics #9 (Rafael Albuquerque 'Adventure Comics 512' Variant Cover), AR
Astro City The Dark Age Book Four #3 (of 4), $3.99
Billy Batson And The Magic Of SHAZAM #14, $2.50
Blackest Night Poster #1, $8.99
Blackest Night Poster #1 Prepack, AR
Blackest Night Poster #2, $8.99
Blackest Night Poster #2 Prepack, AR
Blackest Night #8 (of 8)(Ivan Reis Regular Cover), $3.99
Blackest Night #8 (of 8)(Rodolfo Migliari Variant Cover), AR
Blackest Night #8 (of 8)(Ivan Reis Sketch Variant Cover), AR
Blackest Night Black Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Blackest Night Blue Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Blackest Night Green Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Blackest Night Indigo Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Blackest Night Orange Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Blackest Night Red Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Blackest Night Violet Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Blackest Night Yellow Lantern Promotional Rings (Blackest Night issue 8 reorder), AR
Brave And The Bold Volume 3 Demons And Dragons TP, $17.99
Creeper By Steve Ditko HC, $39.99
DC Dynamics Aquaman Statue, $195.00
Detective Comics #863, $3.99
God Of War #1 (of 6)(resolicited), $3.99
Gotham City Sirens #10, $2.99
Gotham City Stories Part 1 Batman Statue, $99.99
Jack Of Fables #44, $2.99
Justice League Of America #43 (Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter Regular Cover), $3.99
Justice League Of America #43 (Mike Mayhew Variant Cover), AR
Justice Society Of America #37, $2.99
King Of Cards Volume 9 TP, $9.99
Madame Xanadu #21, $2.99
Oh My Brother Volume 2 TP, $9.99
Oracle The Cure TP, $17.99
Outsiders #28, $2.99
Robin Archives Volume 2 HC, $59.99
Strange Adventures TP, $19.99
Teen Titans #81, $3.99
Unknown Soldier #18, $2.99
Web #7, $3.99
Wonder Woman #42, $2.99
Wonder Woman The Ends Of The Earth TP, $17.99

Talisman Road Of Trials #5, $3.99

Obergeist Essential Edition HC, $29.99

Hack Slash #30 (Cover A Tim Seeley), $3.50
Hack Slash #30 (Cover B Dan Leister), $3.50

Previews #259 (April 2010), AR

How To Seduce A Vampire GN, $12.95
Selfish Demon King Novel, $10.95

John Stanley Library Melvin Monster Volume 2 HC, $24.95

Green Hornet #1 (Dynamic Forces)(Alex Ross Negative Art Cover), $14.99
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 (Dynamic Forces)(Stan Lee Signed), $149.99

Army Of Darkness Omnibus Volume 1 TP, $29.99
Green Hornet #2 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
Green Hornet #2 (John Cassady Regular Cover), $3.99
Green Hornet #2 (Joe Benitez Regular Cover), $3.99
Green Hornet #2 (Stephen Segovia Regular Cover), $3.99
Green Hornet #2 (Alex Ross Black/White/Green Variant Cover), AR
Green Hornet #2 (Joe Benitez Black/White/Green Variant Cover), AR
Green Hornet #2 (John Cassaday Black/White/Green Variant Cover), AR
Green Hornet #2 (Shared Retailer Exclusive Variant Cover), AR
Legendary Talespinners #2 (of 3)(Grant Bond Cover), $3.99
Legendary Talespinners #2 (of 3)(Nick Bradshaw Cover), $3.99

Buffy & Angel Figure Collection Magazine #4 (Master), $20.00

Classic Pinup Art Of Jack Cole SC, $18.99
High Soft Lisp GN, $16.99
It Was War Of The Trenches HC, $24.99
Penny Century TP, $18.99

White Dwarf #362, AR

Alice In Wonderland A Visual Companion HC, $50.00
Emily The Strange Book 2 Stranger And Stranger HC (resolicited), $16.99

Heavy Metal May 2010, $6.95
Requiem Le Chevalier Vampire Collection Volume 2 Vampire Knight TP (release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $19.95

A-Team War Stories BA #1 (Michael Gaydos Regular Cover), $3.99
A-Team War Stories BA #1 (Photo Variant Cover), AR
Bible Eden GN (New Printing), $17.99
Dragon Age #1 (Humberto Ramos Regular Cover), $3.99
Eternal Descent #1 (Jason Metcalf Regular Cover), $3.99
Eternal Descent #1 (Szymon Kudranski Variant Cover), AR
EZ Street GN, $21.99
G.I. Joe Cobra II #3 (Antonio Fuso Regular Cover), $3.99
G.I. Joe Cobra II #3 (Howard Chaykin Regular Cover), $3.99
G.I. Joe Cobra II #3 (Howard Chaykin Variant Cover), AR
Star Trek The Next Generation Ghosts #5 (Joe Corroney Regular Cover), $3.99
Star Trek The Next Generation Ghosts #5 (Joe Corroney Virgin Cover), AR
Transformers #5 (Ongoing)(Don Figueroa Regular Cover), $3.99
Transformers #5 (Ongoing)(Andrew Wildman Regular Cover), $3.99
Transformers #5 (Ongoing)(Don Figueroa Sketch Variant Cover), AR

Godland #31, $2.99
Image Firsts Walking Dead #1, $1.00
Image Firsts Youngblood #1, $1.00
Impaler #5 (combined with issue 6), $4.99
PvP #45, $3.50
Sword #23, $2.99

Amazing Spider-Man #627, $2.99
Amazing Spider-Man By JMS Ultimate Collection Book 3 TP, $34.99
Captain America Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection TP, $24.99
Cloak And Dagger (One Shot), $3.99
Dark Wolverine #84 (Siege Tie-In), $2.99
Doomwar #1 (of 6)(John Romita Jr. 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Essential Rampaging Hulk Volume 2 TP, $19.99
Fantastic Four #577, $2.99
Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 3 War Of Kings Book 2 TP, $19.99
Incredible Hulk #607 (Paul Pelletier 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Iron Man Extremis HC (Book Market Cover), $24.99
Iron Man Extremis HC (Adi Granov Direct Market Variant Cover), $24.99
Iron Man I Am Iron Man TP, $16.99
Marvel Previews #80 (April 2010 For Products On-Sale June 2010), AR
New Mutants #11 (Siege Tie-In), $2.99
Nomad Girl Without A World TP, $14.99
Prelude To Deadpool Corps #5 (of 5), $2.99
Punisher #15, $2.99
Punisher MAX #1 (Marvel's Greatest Comics), $1.00
Realm Of Kings Inhumans #5 (of 5), $3.99
She-Hulk Sensational #1, $4.99
Spider-Man The Complete Clone Saga Epic Book 1 TP, $34.99
Spin Angels HC (Premiere Edition), $24.99
Thunderbolts #141 (2nd Printing Variant Cover)(Siege Tie-In), $2.99
Wolverine Origins #46, $2.99
Wolverine Origins Romulus TP, $14.99
Women Of Marvel Poster, $8.99
X-Force #25 (Clayton Crain Regular Cover)(X Necrosha Finale), $2.99
X-Force #25 (Clayton Crain Variant Cover)(X Necrosha Finale), AR
X-Men Forever #20, $3.99
X-Men Second Coming #1 (Adi Granov Regular Cover)(Second Coming Tie-In), $3.99
X-Men Second Coming #1 (David Finch Variant Cover)(Second Coming Tie-In), AR

Illuminating Torchwood SC, $35.00

Home For Mr Easter GN, $13.99

99 Classic Movies For People In A Hurry, $9.95

Rough Justice The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross, $30.00
Stone Rabbit Book 4 Superhero Stampede GN (release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $5.99

Geronimo Stilton Volume 4 Following The Trail Of Marco Polo HC, $9.99
Hardy Boys Volume 19 Chaos At 30000 Feet GN, $7.95

Aladdin Legacy Of The Lost #2 (of 3)(Cover A Arthur Suydam), $4.99
Aladdin Legacy Of The Lost #2 (of 3)(Cover B Lucio Parrillo), $4.99
Aladdin Legacy Of The Lost #2 (of 3)(Clayton Crain Variant Cover), AR

2000 AD Pack Feb 2010 (issues 1670 to 1673), $18.00

Pokemon Collectors Sticker Book Johto Edition, $6.99
Pokemon Deluxe Activity Book Region TK Edition, $5.99

Hayate X Blade Volume 6 GN (release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution), $10.99

Johnny The Homicidal Maniac HC (New Printing), $44.95

Solomon Kane Official Movie Magazine, $14.99
Star Trek Magazine #25 (Newsstand Edition), $6.99
Star Trek Magazine #25 (Previews Exclusive Edition), $6.99
Supernatural Magazine #16 (Newsstand Edition), $6.99
Supernatural Magazine #16 (Previews Exclusive Edition), $6.99

Chibi Vampire Novel Volume 6 (of 9), $10.99
Fate Stay Night Volume 7 GN (of 7), $10.99
.hack//4koma GN, $12.99
Happy Cafe Volume 2 GN (of 14), $10.99
Maid Sama Volume 4 GN (of 8), $10.99
Mikansei No 1 Volume 2 GN, $10.99
Mugen Spiral Complete 2 Volume Series GN, $14.99
Red Hot Chili Samuarai Volume 1 GN, $10.99
Samurai Harem Asu no Yoichi Volume 4 GN (of 10), $12.99
Trinity Blood Volume 12 GN, $10.99

Tomarts Action Figure Digest #187, $5.95

Silent Mobius Complete Edition Volume 3 GN, $14.99

My Life With Charlie Brown by Charles M Schultz HC, $25.00

Tezukas Black Jack Volume 10 TP, $16.95
Ode To Kirihito Part 1 SC (by Osamu Tezuka), $14.95
Ode To Kirihito Part 2 SC (by Osamu Tezuka), $14.95

Butterflies Flowers Volume 2 GN, $9.99
Haruka Beyond The Stream Of Time Volume 7 GN, $9.99
Pluto Urasawa X Tezuka Volume 8 GN (of 8), $12.99
Vagabond Volume 31 TP, $9.95

Escape From Wonderland #6 (of 6)(Cover A Rich Bonk), $2.99
Escape From Wonderland #6 (of 6)(Cover B Daniel Leister), $2.99
Waking #2 (of 4)(Cover A J. Scott Campbell), $3.99
Waking #2 (of 4)(Cover B Eric J), $3.99
Waking #2 (of 4)(J. Scott Campbell Sketch Variant Cover), $15.00
Wonderland Pint Glass Set, $24.95
Zenescope Shooter Set, $15.99

And you know the worst thing? That's not even including all the other comic-related shit that's out this week. Shit like this:

Wizard Magazine #224 (Iron Man 2 Cover), $5.99
Wizard Magazine #224 (Marvel Ultimate Universe Cover), $5.99

Dawn 20th Anniversary Trading Card Binder (Dynamic Forces), $29.99

Cards - TOPPS
Topps 2010 Finest MLB Trading Card Box, AR

Upper Deck 2009 10 Champs NHL Trading Card Box, AR
Upper Deck 2009 Prominent Cuts Trading Card Box, AR

Ablaze Board Game, $20.00
Eco Fluxx 2009 Ed Card Game, AR
Goblins Card Game, $26.00
Nuns On The Run Board Game, $35.00
Zombie Ninja Pirates Card Game, $17.95

Crystal Translucent D6 10 Pc Set Aqua, $9.80
Crystal Translucent D6 10 Pc Set Blue, $9.80
Crystal Translucent D6 10 Pc Set Clear, $9.80
Crystal Translucent D6 10 Pc Set Green, $9.80
Crystal Translucent D6 10 Pc Set Purple, $9.80
Crystal Translucent D6 10 Pc Set Red, $9.80

Warhammer 40K Dark Heresy RPG Ascension, $49.95

Yu Gi Oh TCG 5ds Absolute Powerforce Se Box Dis, AR

Lone Wolf Multiplayer Gamebook, $19.99
Paranoia RPG None Of This Is My Fault, $12.99

Games - PSI
Homesteaders Board Game, $39.95
Mage Awakening RPG Night Horrors Unbidden (resolicited), $27.99
Terra Prime Board Game, $39.95

Axis & Allies Naval CMG War At Sea Starter Set, $24.99
D&D Hammerfast, $14.95
Gold Dragon Codex, $9.95

Brightest Day Symbol T-Shirt LG, $17.95
Brightest Day Symbol T-Shirt MED, $17.95
Brightest Day Symbol T-Shirt XL, $17.95
Brightest Day Symbol T-Shirt XXL, $20.95
Doctor Who Martha Jones Jacket MED, $249.00
Doctor Who Martha Jones Jacket SM, $249.00
Doctor Who Tenth Doctors Coat LG, $299.00
Doctor Who Tenth Doctors Coat MED, $299.00
Doctor Who Tenth Doctors Coat SM, $299.00
Doctor Who Tenth Doctors Coat XL, $299.00
Halo ODST Logo Zip-up Hoodie LG, $49.99
Halo ODST Logo Zip-up Hoodie MED, $49.99
Halo ODST Logo Zip-up Hoodie XXL, $49.99
Tokidoki X Marvel Capt America Juniors T-Shirt LG, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Capt America Juniors T-Shirt MED, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Capt America Juniors T-Shirt SM, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Capt America Juniors T-Shirt XL, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Hulk Juniors T-Shirt LG, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Hulk Juniors T-Shirt MED, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Hulk Juniors T-Shirt SM, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Hulk Juniors T-Shirt XL, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Human Torch Gray T-Shirt LG, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Human Torch Gray T-Shirt MED, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Human Torch Gray T-Shirt SM, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Human Torch Gray T-Shirt XL, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Spider-Man White Juniors T-Shirt LG, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Spider-Man White Juniors T-Shirt MED, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Spider-Man White Juniors T-Shirt SM, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Spider-Man White Juniors T-Shirt XL, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Thor Black T-Shirt LG, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Thor Blk T-Shirt MED, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Thor Black T-Shirt SM, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Thor Black T-Shirt XL, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Wolverine Yellow T-Shirt LG, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Wolverine Yellow T-Shirt MED, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Wolverine Yellow T-Shirt SM, $28.00
Tokidoki X Marvel Wolverine Yellow T-Shirt XL, $28.00

Bakugan DVD Chapter 1, AR
Lord Of The Rings Animated Deluxe Edition Blu-Ray, AR
Lord Of The Rings Animated Deluxe Edition DVD, AR
Neo Angelique Abyss DVD Season 2, AR
Ray Harryhausen Wrath Of The Titans Motion Comic DVD, $14.99
Tayutama Kiss On My Deity Complete Collection DVD, AR
Twilight New Moon Blu-Ray, AR
Yozakura Quartet Complete Collection DVD, AR

Alice In Wonderland Mad Hatter & Cheshire Cat Kubrick/Bearbrick, $19.99
Alice In Wonderland Mad Hatter Rah, $199.99
Amazing Spider-Man Big Face Messenger Bag, $29.99
Battlestar Galactica Cylon Evolution Of The Cylon Poster, $14.99
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Tooned Up Faith Maquette, $99.99
Bob Marley Buffalo Soldier Funko Force Action Figure, $12.99
Classic Gort Bobble Head, $12.99
Classic Robby Robot Bobble Head, $12.99
Classic Saucerman Bobble Head, $12.99
Darkstalkers Felicia 1/4 Scale Statue, $300.00
DC Heroes Wave 12 Green Arrow Action Figure, $19.99
DC Heroes Wave 12 Power Girl Action Figure, $19.99
Donald Duck & Goofy Kubrick 2-pk, $19.99
Donald Duck & Goofy Kubrick 2-pk, $19.99
Final Fantasy XI Tarutaru Trading Arts Set Volume 1, $24.99
Fraulein Revoltech - Queens Blade Elina Action Figure, AR
Hellboy Fan Toffee Doll, $100.00
Ikkitousen Gg Kanu PVC Figure Pink Ribbon Lingerie, $109.99
Ikkitousen Gg Ryofu PVC Figure School Swimsuit, $109.99
Iron Man 2 Mark VI Nodnik, $7.99
Iron Man 2 War Machine Nodnik, $7.99
Iron Man 2 Whiplash Bobble Head, $11.99
Kingdom Hearts Mascot Strap Axel, $9.99
Kingdom Hearts Mascot Strap Halloween Sora, $9.99
Kingdom Hearts Mascot Strap Sephiroth, $9.99
Kingdom Hearts Mascot Strap Squall, $9.99
Kingdom Hearts Mascot Strap Vivi, $9.99
Jim Morrison Lizard King Funko Force Action Figure, $12.99
Lord Of The Rings 1/1 Scale Lothlorien Bow Legolas, $299.95
Marvel Minimates Series 34 Assortment, AR
Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Bearbrick 2-pk, $19.99
Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse Kubrick 2-pk, $19.99
Mynus Little Ugly 7in Plush, $10.00
Mynus Uglydoll 12in Plush, $20.00
Mynus Uglydoll Clip On, $6.00
Nendoroid Petite Death Note #2 12pc Bmb Disp, $107.88
Phantom Ein Figma Action Figure, AR
Robotech Zentraedi Tactical Battlepod Vinyl Figure, $24.99
Rosario + Vampire Kurumu 1:8 Scale PVC Figure, $94.99
Rosario + Vampire Moka 1:8 Scale PVC Figure, $94.99
Rulilura Ex Model Core PVC Fig Another Color Version, $109.99
Runaway Brain Mickey & Julius Kubrick 2-pk, $19.99
Serenity Blue Sun Travel Poster Set Series 2, $34.95
Shadow Statue, $199.99
Spider-Man Hero & Villain Action Figure Assortment 201003, AR
Stargate SG-1 Goauld Death Glider Replica, $99.95
Strawberry Shortcake Magic Braid Action Figure Assortment, AR
Street Fighter Zangief 1/4 Scale Statue, $375.00
Star Wars Yoda Bronze Statue (resolicited), AR
Tokidoki X Marvel Skateboard Deck, $65.00
Toy Story Lunch Box 12 Pc Assortment, AR
Transformers Mighty Muggs Action Figure Assortment 200903, AR
Transformers Movie Deluxe Action Figure Assortment 201003, AR
Uglydoll Clip on 72pc Assortment, $432.00
War Of The Worlds 1:48 Scale War Machine Special Edition Model Kit, $39.99
War Of The Worlds War Machines Attack Special Edition Model Kit, $25.99
Winnie The Pooh & Piglet Bearbrick 2 Pc Set, $19.99
Wolfman Mez-It, $14.99
World Of Warcraft Murloc Plush, $39.99
WoW Great Dragonflights Stein, AR
X-1 1:18 Scale Model Kit, $39.99

Look at it all. Look at all the fucking crap that comes out every week. Look at what I have to wade through to determine that yes, there is one single solitary comic I would like to buy this week. Just look.

So no, since you ask, I won't be going to the comic shop this week. It's not bloody worth it.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Is it just me,

or are pictures vanishing from some of my posts?

The Outfit

I had a nice surprise on Saturday at my birthday bash – a friend presented me with a DVD of The Outfit, the John Flynn-directed/Robert Duvall-starring movie version of the third Parker novel. It was surprising in two ways: firstly I wasn't expecting a present at all, and secondly The Outfit has never even been released on DVD! Ah, how great it is to live in the Magical Age of Downloading. So thank you Adam (and Sharon). I shall report back once I've watched it. (And I've almost finished the novel now too.)

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Parker Bonanza

Today is my birthday, and in celebration of being, like, really old, I was given (among other things) three Alison & Busby Parker novels! Drum roll please...

The Score
! (1985, Parker #5)

The Green Eagle Score
! (1986, Parker #10)


The Sour Lemon Score! (1986, Parker #12)

Interestingly (er...), The Green Eagle Score is in the same smaller format as The Mourner (1987, Parker #4). Curious. Anyway, it's really nice to have these three editions. Happy birthday to me.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

If more comics looked like this:


I would for damn sure buy more of them. That's Brian Ralph's interpretation of an old Jack Kirby Thor cover. Look at that thing. Those bits of flying rock are almost 3D. Amazing.

(* Borrowed from the brilliant Covered blog, which I have a permanent link to just on the right there.)

Almost forgot: The List!

Not a bad week for comics this week. Here's wot's coming aht and wot I will get:

Captain America #604. Ed Brubaker's Cap is always solid with occasional flashes of brilliance. This current storyline about the 1950s crazy Cap has leaned more towards the former, but I have a lingering fascination with '50s Crazy Cap having read some screed years ago trying to make sense of the fact that there was still a Captain America around well into the 1950s even though it was subsequently established (in the 1960s Avengers series) that Cap got frozen in a block of ice at the end of World War II, and also to address the issue of Cap becoming increasingly anti-Communist during that '50s period (the answer being, he was a different guy, and he was crazy). It wasn't in the comics themselves I read about all this – must've been some magazine thing Marvel published in the 1980s – but the convoluted nature of the explanation really gripped me. I'm weird like that.

Green Lantern #52. Perversely I started picking GL up again at the #50 mark, even though I haven't been buying the Blackest Night miniseries proper. The answer for this being, Parallax is back, and I loved the Crazy Hal Jordan/Parallax run of stories from five or ten years ago. I'm weird like that.

Nemesis #1. This is Mark Millar and Steve Mcniven's new creator-owned series, a kind of 'what if Batman was a cock' sort of affair. I'll give it a go, but with the caveat that it's gonna have to have more going on than just 'what if Batman was a cock' for me to stay with it, as the answer to that question would be, 'he'd be a cock in a cape'. I'm wary like that.

New Avengers #63
. One of my favourite comics. A no-brainer. I'm weird like that.

Orc Stain #2. I'm not even sure I liked the first issue of this, which is the sort of fantasy quest thing I usually steer clear of. But I might get this second issue anyway. I'm stupid like that.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Party Like it's 1999

I used to love Gerry Anderson's Space 1999 when I was a kid in the 1970s. The theme tune was brilliant – a fast piece of wah-wah guitar funk with orchestral and horn breakdowns – and the special effects were pretty well done, Anderson employing the same model techniques he'd used in the likes of Thunderbirds. The only comparison I had at that point was the original Star Trek, and though I loved Trek, Space 1999 seemed somehow more believable. And it was quite polished, at least in the first season (even at the time I could tell the quality had dropped in the second season). But it was also easier to relate to, due to the presence of so many British actors.

Anyway, I was in Tunbridge Wells at the weekend and picked these up in one of the bookshops there:

The first two Space 1999 novelisations. No idea what they're like, but they're nice little paperbacks, and E. C. Tubb was a big name in SF. I vaguely recall reading a Space 1999 spin-off when I was a kid where Maya – a shapechanging alien lass who was the only highlight of the rubbish second season – gets off with Commander Koenig (er, possibly). I think that might've been an early erotic awakening for me.


Reverse Errors

Of course, errors in different editions of books cut both ways. I was reading the 1973 Berkley edition of The Outfit and noticed a missing word, which was corrected in the 1988 Allison & Busby edition. So points to A&B.

And then straight after that I spotted a missing letter in the middle of a word in the A&B edition. Points deducted again!

On balance, I'd have to say the '88 edition has more mistakes than the earlier printing.

There've been a considerable number of contenders over the life of this blog, but this really must be the most boring post I've ever done.

Friday, 19 March 2010


I'm currently reading the third Richard Stark 'Parker' novel, The Outfit. I've got two editions of the book (don't ask); this one:

The 1973 Berkley paperback, and this one:

The 1988 Allison & Busby hardback. The paperback I've been keeping in my bag, to read at work or when I get a spare moment on the move. The hardback sits in my bedroom, to be read... well, in bed. But reading two different editions causes one to notice the editorial mistakes that have crept in somewhere down the line.

Boring as it is, I've occasionally wondered where and how spelling and punctuation mistakes find their way into different editions of books from different publishers. Is it at the editing stage? The typesetting stage? Proofing? In the case of The Outfit, the A&B edition has a fair few errors that aren't there in the Berkley edition: a missed indent; a comma instead of a full stop; a 'the' instead of a 'that'. What I don't know is how those mistakes happened, or when. There were perhaps four editions of the novel in between the Berkley and A&B ones, so it's possible that it wasn't A&B who were being sloppy but previous publishers (although A&B still should've spotted them).

I guess things like this are what make every edition of a book unique. I also guess things like this are of absolutely no interest to anyone other than me. So it goes.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Review: Ex Machina #48

This was the best comic I read last week, which in a week where an issue of Criminal came out is really saying something. And the reason it was the best comic I read last week, and possibly the best comic I've read so far this year, was a sequence towards the end of the issue to do with the death of a character, which I am now going to totally spoil. You have been warned.

So Mitchell Hundred, the Mayor of New York and former superhero, has just been informed his mother has been murdered. He's shocked, obviously, but then in true comics form a determined expression comes over his face, and he strides out of the room in a purposeful fashion, and you just know that he's going to track down the killer and deliver some cold hard vengeance. Cut to the final page of the comic, and in a full-page splash we see Mitchell in a toilet cubicle, crumpled on the floor by the toilet bowl, sobbing his heart out.

It's a brilliant subversion of expectations and not something you see in comics very often. It's also a timely reminder of how Ex Machina has been one of the most consistently excellent comics of the last ten years, as it heads towards it's fiftieth and final issue. We may not see its like again. Kudos to Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris.

Boss! Boss! The List!

I didn't think there'd be much out for me this week comics-wise, but there are a few things. Namely:

American Vampire #1
. This is Vertigo's new ongoing vampire series. I guess the main selling point with this one is the presence of Stephen King writing the back-up story, the first time he's actually written a comic, as opposed to having one of his novels adapted as a comic. The lead story is written by Scott Snyder, about whom I know nowt, but the artwork's by Rafael Albuquerque, an artist I first noticed when I was looking for potential artists for a Tank Girl comic I was editing. I think I'd seen his art in Savage Brothers and was impressed. He went on to draw Blue Beetle for DC. Talented guy.

Dark Avengers
#15. Another Siege tie-in, and possibly some more revelations about the Sentry. Only problem is, I couldn't give a rat's twat about the Sentry. He was a potentially intriguing idea when Paul Jenkins first retconned him into Marvel continuity – a 'forgotten' Superman-like character with a very literal dark side – but nobody's found anything interesting to do with him since. And now Bendis seems to have turned him into Jesus. Or God. Or something. I can't tell anymore. Or care anymore. Which begs the question, why will I be buying this comic? Basically, because there's only a few issues of it left before the big Avengers relaunch and I might as well have the complete series. We're a bit weird like that, us comics nerds. And speaking of comics I'll probably buy even though I'm not terribly interested in them...

Siege #3. Well, it's only four issues long, and I've got the first two, so might as well finish it up. Perhaps something really terribly fascinating will happen this issue. Probably not though. Probably just get something like this

again. Yes, that is a character – Ares – being torn asunder by the aforementioned Sentry. Ain't comics neat?!

Aaaaand this week's contender for Comic I Probably Shouldn't Buy Because It'll Be Crap But I Will More Than Likely Buy Anyway Because I'm Fucking Hopeless is Superman 80 Page Giant #1. Cuz it's like eighty pages of Superman. And eighty pages means there's gotta be something in there half decent, something better than the regular Superman titles, which were turning into such an epic snooze that even I, a Superman fan who's been following the regular Supes titles for well over ten years (and on and off for another ten-plus years before that even), stopped buying them, mid-storyline. Right? Right?


Monday, 15 March 2010

A Tour Round the Bookshops of Lewes

Lewes, the East Sussex town where I live, is unusually blessed with second hand bookshops. I know them all pretty well by now, but a visitor from out of town might be slightly baffled by the array and diversity. Fear not, however: let Existential Ennui take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of Lewes, starting here:

Look, that's your train pulling into Lewes Station! Neat. And when you emerge from the ticket hall, you will be here:

The two women loafing on the bench there are prostitutes. Do not speak to them unless you want your bookshop tour to go seriously off the rails. Maybe leave that for another trip... Anyway, when you emerge from the station, go right (or left if you're standing where this photographer is) along Station Road, then turn right at the crossroads down Lansdown Place (thus avoiding the climb up Station Street, which is a bastud of a hill; Lewes is all bloody hills, so any opportunity to avoid them should be eagerly taken). If you're of a mind to combine bookshops with boozing, the Lansdown Arms on the corner here's a good place to start.

Fortified or otherwise, carry on down Lansdown Place until it becomes Friars Walk, then continue down the road, past the big church on the left, all the way until you meet the start of Cliffe High Street, otherwise known as The Flat Bit of Lewes. Turn right here, trundle over the bridge spanning the Ouse, then carry on down Cliffe High Street (possibly stopping at the John Harvey Arms on the way). Keep going until you get near the end, and on your right you'll see this:

This is the Lewes Book Centre, your first port of call. It's largely a military bookshop – which means it stocks books on the military and war, not that it's serving in the military. That would be daft. As we all know, the armed forces enforce a strict 'no second hand bookshops' rule. But for the less military-minded among us it does also stock a selection of cheap paperbacks, some newish crime fiction, a good selection of second hand kids' books (including old Doctor Who Annuals) and various other odds and sods, like old issues of Commando comic. The funny old couple who run it are nice enough, if a bit twitchy, and the books can be slightly higgledy-piggledy, but they're generally grouped into categories, which is always helpful.

Once you're done here, have a look in some of the antique shops dotted along Cliffe High Street, particularly the multi-floor Lewes Antiques Centre (I think it's called) across the street. Up on the first floor there are all manner of dusty old books, from modern first editions to art books, biographies, more bleedin' military books, you name it. The charity shops are also worth a look, particularly Oxfam, as Lewes people are quite posh and therefore have decent taste in books, so you can often pick up a bargain from their cast-offs (I got a cheap hardback edition of George Pelecanos' The Way Home in Oxfam recently).

Next, wander back along Cliffe High Street towards the bridge. If you're hungry at this point, I'd recommend going here:

Bill's, possibly the best cafe in Lewes. Go for the Bill's Breakfast (served all day). You won't be disappointed. If you can still walk after that, cross back over the bridge and head for the hill you can see in front of you (you can stop in WHSmiths if you like, as they do stock books, but really, you know what lies await in there, and it'll only depress you). This is Lewes High Street proper, otherwise known locally as School Hill, for reasons which continue to elude me, there being no school anywhere near it. Walk up the hill, passing the various clothes shops and cafes (although perhaps stopping in Octave, which is a decent record shop) until you get to Sussex Stationers/British Bookshops. This is essentially Lewes' only 'new' bookshop. There's WHSmiths, and there's another little one we'll come to in a moment, but those aside, this is the place for new hardback novels and the like. It does have a fairly good selection actually, and it's cheap, so you never know: there may be something for you here (I bought a really cheap first printing hardback of Peter Hook's The Hacienda in here earlier this year – and it was signed by Hooky!).

From here, cross over to the war memorial and look back down School Hill. You'll see a lovely view, a bit like this:

only much nicer. The funny obelisk thing you'll be able to see on the Cliffe, er, cliff is not, in fact, another war memorial, but a memorial to the Protestant martyrs who were burned outside the Star Inn, which is now the town hall, just behind you to your left. A nasty business that, but Lewes is a contrary place at the best of times, and where other towns might prefer to forget such an event, the townsfolk here instead use it as the basis for an evening of fun and frolics, marching through the streets hefting burning crosses and setting fire to the Pope. But that's a tale for another time...

From the war memorial, cross over the road and head down Market Street. Turn left onto Market Lane, then right through the car park and you'll find yourself here:

This is the Needlemakers. Here you'll find that other new bookshop I mentioned above, and various boring craft shops. Our real reason for visiting, however, is downstairs in the basement... That's where you'll discover a treasure trove of tat, comprising thousands of old books, magazines, comics, clothes, postcards, posters... It has to be seen to be believed. Lots of first editions down here, as well as old paperbacks (Pan, SF, etc.) and sundry other items. You can easily spend a good hour or so rummaging through the piles.

Once you emerge blinking from the gloom, you can either pop round the corner to Market Street again and have a look in the big flea market there (where you'll find a load of books right at the back, although it's generally rubbish), or stroll back across the car park to Market Lane and carry on the way you were heading, towards Fisher Street. Turn left onto Fisher Street, walk along until you get to the crossroads, then turn right back onto the High Street. A minute or so along on the right hand side is this:

The Bow Windows Bookshop. We're now getting into the hardcore Lewes bookshops. These are yer serious collector emporiums, and all have their own particular (and peculiar) idiosyncrasies. Bow Windows is probably the nicest-looking one, and has the most attractively presented stock, although I have seen said stock described online as "mutton dressed as lamb", which is slightly unkind. It's probably fair to say the books can be kinda pricey, but you get what you pay for. They have a great selection of modern firsts, lots of local interest books, topography, books on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, art books, and more besides. The staff are quite nice, but it can be a little intimidating in there, kind of like a Cecil Court shop relocated to Lewes. Even so, this is one of Lewes' finest.

From here, turn right onto the High Street again, walk another couple of minutes, past the castle on your right, and you'll see this on the other side of the street:

A & Y Cumming. Another big selection of modern firsts, local books and so on here, as well as lots of paperbacks of the Penguin variety. There's also a basement, which they don't really shout about, so ask the person behind the till. Unlike Bow Windows the stock is rather more attractively priced, and you can often turn up cheap book club edition Bond novels and the like, alongside yer Graham Greenes and co. Once you've finished here, turn left onto the High Street again and head towards what's known as the bottleneck, for obvious reasons. Here is the final (or is it...?) stop on your tour:

The infamous 15th Century Bookshop. Well known throughout this part of the world for its crotchety French owner, the 15th Century Bookshop is an utterly ramshackle old place heaving with everything from modern firsts to a massive load of children's first editions, old crime paperbacks, transport, art, biography, all rammed onto shelves and piled high on the floor. The owner gets a bum rap, but he's always been rather nice when I've been in there, although the signs stuck on the shelves telling you "DON'T TOUCH" can be a tad off-putting. Take your time in this one, explore every nook and cranny (not forgetting the shelves behind the till) and you're bound to stumble across something interesting. I bought a first of Kingsley Amis/Robert Markham's Colonel Sun in here for a fairly good price after a spot of light haggling, so don't be afraid to name your price.

And that's pretty much your lot. But wait! There is one more bookshop that, if you're lucky, might be open. From the 15th Century Bookshop, head back the way you came, and when you see Tom Paine's old house (there's a plaque outside it), cross the road and head up the tiny Pipe Passage.

On the right you'll see a little shop with books inside it. This is actually the offices of the local listings magazine, Viva Lewes, but the books you can see are for sale, so if the lights are on, try the door. You'll be rewarded by another nice lot of modern firsts and, upstairs, biographies and the like. Everything is very competitively priced, so give it a whirl.

And that really is that. If you're still not satisfied, there are more charity shops along the High Street, and also Rik's Disks on Station Street, which is a second hand record shop but also stocks a lot of old comics, many of which were sold to the proprietor by me during one of my big clearouts, so I know there's some okay stuff in there. I'll be having another clearout soon, so if you likes your comics, give it a few weeks and have a look. Or just send me a message directly and I'll tell you what I'm selling. Good hunting!

(Apologies for all the photos I nicked for this post. It's all for the greater good, but I'm happy to throw in some links if required.)

(Actually I have forgotten one shop – Bags of Books down the end of Cliffe High Street. But it's a children's bookshop, so unless you have kids or are a passing pervert, I doubt there'll be much there for you.)

Parker Novels Progress Report

My quest to collect as many of the Allison & Busby hardback editions of the Richard Stark 'Parker' novels as I can continues with this, the latest arrival:

The 1984 A&B edition of the second Parker novel, The Man with the Getaway Face. Which was actually the fourth Parker novel A&B published, following Slayground (originally Parker #14), Point Blank (Parker #1) and The Rare Coin Score (Parker #9). God help anyone trying to make chronological sense of the books at the time.

Anyway, my copy of The Man with the Getaway Face (which I also own in a Coronet edition as The Steel Hit) came from the fair isle of Orkney, of all places. I spotted it for sale online for a fiver. It's ex-library, but it's complete, and in very good condition. The (minor) library stamps inside state that it came from Orkney library itself, so it must have been sitting in the library up there on the (I presume) Orkney mainland for a good many years, lightly borrowed and read judging by the condition, then eventually bought by the Orkney bookshop and held in their stock until I chanced across it. It's unusual to be able to pinpoint the provenance of a book like that. Usually you have no idea as to how many hands a book has passed through. It's almost as if the book was being held by the Orkneys all this time, just waiting for my interest in the Parker novels to ignite. Strange.

The Man with the Getaway Face aside, my Parker hunt has been a little quiet recently. My birthday's coming up, so I've turned the quest over to anyone looking to buy me a present. So all being well, I should get a bumper haul next week!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Parker Spelling Bee

Just came across a nice sequence in The Outfit where Parker's writing a letter – not something he does very often – and has to phone the operator to check how to spell 'grievance'. Which was quite sweet.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Ding Dong Dang, It's Dat Dere List

Crikey, looks like a decent clutch of comics out this week – at least ones that might be of interest to me, anyway. And it's my blog, after all. I care not a jot what anyone else might think. So ner. Let's take a liddle ol' look, shall we?

Batman And Robin #10

Criminal The Sinners #5

Ex Machina #48

Unwritten #11

Those are all definites. Grant Morrison's Batman & Robin kicked up a gear when Cameron Stewart came on as artist on issue #7, and this latest issue begins a new storyline which will culminate in the return of Bruce Wayne (who, if you didn't know, is dead, or at least believed to be dead, although in fact merely lost in time; an easy mistake to make). Criminal is the final part of Tracy Lawless' second storyline, and it's been as fine a slice of tough crime storytelling as you're likely to find this side of Richard Stark, and with lovely lurid colours too. Ex Machina is racing towards its final fiftieth issue, with a fair few revelations along the way, and Unwritten is still holding my interest. Just about.

I'll give these a look too:

Mystic Hands Of Dr Strange #1
Justice League The Rise And Fall Special #1

Twelve Spearhead #1

Doctor Strange continues to hold a strange appeal, despite the fact that I've never read that many Doctor Strange comics, and indeed have abandoned one or two Doctor Strange miniseries after their first issues. I think it's residual memories of being into The Defenders when I was a kid in the '70s/'80s. I think lots of kids were into The Defenders back then, despite the comics not being that great. I suspect that's simply because it was better distributed in the UK than other comics. We knew no better.

The big question on Justice League The Rise and Fall Special is, why do I keep getting suckered into buying rubbish Justice League comics when I know they'll be rubbish? It's either a masochistic personality defect, or a continuing disbelief that James Robinson has completely lost it as a writer (he has, clearly), or a lingering fondness for Grant Morrison's JLA and a dwindling hope that the Justice League can ever be that good again. In fact it's all of these things, and I need to take myself out the back and give myself a good kicking until I see sense.

Twelve Spearhead is a fill-in issue for the MIA J. Michael Straczynski/Chris Weston The Twelve maxiseries, which was supposed to be twelve issues long but stopped at #8 a few years ago and hasn't been seen since. I really liked The Twelve, and Spearhead is drawn and written by Weston, so I think I'll give it a go.

So that's five, possibly six, maybe seven if I'm really weak, comics this week. Hell's teeth. It's almost like the bad old days again.

(Parker Progress Report) The Man with the Getaway Face

This is the second of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake's Parker novels, and I polished it off at the weekend (although the edition I was reading was actually a Coronet paperback from 1972, which bears the alternative title The Steel Hit). It's a great book, but what really struck me about it was Westlake's deadly dry prose – much more so than with Point Blank/The Hunter. The methodical planning of the heist and subsequent double-cross(es) and the occasional bursts of violence are laid out in such a matter-of-fact, unfussy manner that it's almost like reading a police transcript of events.

That's not to say it isn't gripping; it is. It's just that Westlake doesn't feel the need to over-elaborate. At one point a bar is described as an oblong, and that's almost as much detail as you get. And of course you don't really need much more than that. The characters are briefly sketched, but they still manage to come alive. Parker himself is utterly focused on the job in hand to the exclusion of everything else, so that when a wrinkle arises in the shape of a character from elsewhere in his life, he simply locks them away until the job is done.

After all the planning and build-up, the heist itself takes only a few pages, and the double-cross even less. That's all they need, however, and are all the more effective for it, particularly one killing, which basically takes place while our heads are turned. Brutal, perfunctory, perfect. And once again there's a nice twist at the end, a final, stinging slap in the face after all Parker's efforts.

Next up it's The Outfit, which apparently is where the series really gets going.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Progress Report: The Richard Stark 'Parker' Novels

The other package I was waiting for turned up yesterday, containing this:

The 1987 Allison & Busby UK hardback edition of Richard Stark's fourth Parker novel, The Mourner. It came in the same package as this:

The 1986 A&B paperback edition of the sixth Parker novel, The Jugger. And straight away something struck me as being odd about The Mourner. I looked at it in my hands, looked at the paperback of The Jugger, looked over to the other A&B Parker hardbacks on the shelf, looked back to the book in my hands... and realised it's smaller than the other hardbacks, about the same size as The Jugger, which is larger paperback size. At first I wondered if A&B started publishing the hardbacks at a smaller size from 1987, but that can't be right 'cos I have a 1988 A&B edition of the third Parker novel, The Outfit, and that's at the same larger size as the other ones. And it can't be that A&B dropped the size to fit in with later Parker novels they'd already published (A&B published out of sequence, remember), because my copy of the A&B edition of the eighth Parker novel, The Handle, which they published in 1986, is the larger size again.

Still with me? No? Good.

Well anyway, granted, in the grand scheme of things this isn't exactly earth-shatteringly important, and is probably of no interest to anyone other than, er, me. But it does leave me with two unanswered questions:

1) Why did Allison & Busby change the size of their Parker hardbacks? The logical course for them when they were republishing the novels in the eighties would have been to keep them all at the same trim size, thus creating a uniform library. So why the change?

2) Which of the A&B Parker hardbacks I haven't yet seen are in the larger size and which are in the smaller size? (I only have five of the sixteen hardbacks, and it's going to take me a fair while to acquire the rest, so I can't see this one being answered anytime soon.)

Oh, and one other book turned up yesterday:

A 1972 Coronet reprint paperback of the ninth Parker novel, The Rare Coin Score, with one of those nifty double covers. That'll tide me over till I can find an Allison & Busby hardback edition.

And for no one's benefit other than my own, I shall now list, in order of original publication (i.e. the sixties/early seventies dates) the Parker novels from the initial run I now own (and the edition I have 'em in), and the ones I still need to track down. Here's what I got and ain't got:

Point Blank/The Hunter (Allison & Busby HB, 1985; also Coronet PB, 1967)
The Steel Hit/The Man with the Getaway Face (Coronet PB, 1971)
The Outfit (A&B HB, 1988; also Berkley PB 1973)
The Mourner (A&B HB, 1987)
The Score/Killtown (still to get)
The Jugger (A&B PB, 1986)
The Seventh/The Split (still to get)
The Handle/Run Lethal (A&B HB, 1986)
The Rare Coin Score (Coronet PB, 1972)
The Green Eagle Score (still to get)
The Black Ice Score (still to get)
The Sour Lemon Score (still to get)
Deadly Edge (still to get)
Slayground (A&B HB, 1984)
Plunder Squad (still to get)
Butcher's Moon (still to get)

All of the ones I don't have are going to be tricky to find at affordable prices, but Deadly Edge, Plunder Squad and Butcher's Moon are going to be frickin' impossible. I don't think Allison & Busby even published those last two. In fact, I'm not sure they were ever published in the UK at all.

Ah, the thrill of the chase.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

(Revenge of) This Week's Comics

Just realised I haven't done one of these for a while, so let's take a look at what I done got in that there ol' comic shop:

Crossed #9
Invincible Iron Man #24

Er, that's it. I've seen comments on the web that this is a quiet week, but I never seem to buy more than two or three comics most weeks these days anyway, so it's a standard week for me. I toyed with getting Valerie D'Orazio's PunisherMax one-shot Butterfly, but I read a preview online and it slightly bored me. Plus, y'know what? It's Just Not Garth Ennis (Slight Return). I did, however, pick up the new Doctor Who Magazine for 20p because the woman in WHSmiths gave me the wrong change. Result.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Slayground (Reprise)

Book publishers love movies. If a publisher can tie a book into a film somehow, they will. You can see why: the publicity generated by a movie (so the reasoning goes) can only benefit sales of a related book. If it's a film based on a novel, the publisher can shout about that fact on the cover or, even better, license a still or the poster from the movie for the book's cover. It almost doesn't matter if the film's any good or not. If it's a good film, stands to reason people will want to seek out the original novel. If it isn't, well, the publisher can simply spread the word that, hey, the movie might be crap, but the original novel's great! (I saw this in action for myself whilst working at Titan when the film version of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came out. The film turned out to be a dog, but the graphic novel sold gangbusters off the back of it.)

I mention all this because I've just checked out the back flap of Slayground (see previous post) and consequently have answered my own question as to why Allison & Busby decided to publish the fourteenth Parker novel first: there was a film out. As the flap text states, "Richard Stark has written fourteen novels featuring his coldly methodical anti-hero Parker [actually it was sixteen by this point – Plunder Squad and Butcher's Moon followed Slayground in the early seventies – but anyway...]. Peter Coyote is the fourth to take the role in a major film [er, actually he was the sixth by this point, although I guess that depends on how you define "major film"; Made in USA, Point Blank and The Split all get a mention in the text, but surely The Outfit qualifies too...?] – Slayground."

And here it is:

And yes, that bloody face in the background is indeed Mel Smith, of Alas Smith & Jones and Not the Nine O'clock News fame. I haven't seen Slayground, but the review at Violent World of Parker (which is a terrific website) ain't great. And they should know.

Anyway. Another question answered.


I'm back. And the package I was worrying about had arrived, containing this:

The 1984 Allison & Busby edition of Richard Stark's Slayground. It has a 2cm tear to the front of the jacket and the spine's a bit faded, but considering what I paid for it (not very much) I can't complain. And it's arrived, which is the main thing. (Of course, there's still the other outstanding package... but that's a worry for another day.)

Slayground is the fourteenth Parker novel, but curiously it appears to be the first one A&B published, before Point Blank even. No idea why that's the case. Perhaps the rights weren't immediately available on the earlier ones... Or maybe they figured they'd start with a really good Parker (Slayground is supposed to be one of the best in the series). We may never know.

The Sickness

You know what? Further to the previous post, I'm going to go home at lunchtime and see if I've had a delivery.

If anyone does know of a good psychiatrist, feel free to leave details in the comments section.

The Anguish of Home Deliveries

I get the books I order delivered to my home address for two reasons: a) because there's always the chance of a book I've ordered turning up at the weekend, and I hate the thought of it not being delivered because I've had it sent to my work address instead; and b) because I can't be arsed to change my delivery address. But this does give rise to a certain anguish when a book I've ordered doesn't turn up when I expect it to.

For instance, at the moment I'm fretting over one (and possibly two) packages. One of them I got an email notification on Friday that it had shipped... but today is Wednesday and it still hasn't arrived. I think the package will be too big for the letter box, and I'm at work, so it'll probably go back to the delivery office and I'll have to go and pick it up. But what if the postie just leaves it outside, and someone nicks it? Or what if someone else throws away the delivery card? Or what if it just goes mysteriously awry?

I expect it'll be fine. I can't do anything about it now anyway. But still. These thoughts prey on my mind.

So the questions is... do I need psychiatric help?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Point Blank (Slight Return)

Today's Richard Stark delivery (or rather yesterday's; the postie tried to deliver it yesterday but I was at work, so I had to go pick it up this morning) was this:

The 1984 Allison & Busby UK first edition hardback of Point Blank (a.k.a. The Hunter). A novel which, regular readers might recall, I already own in this edition:

The 1967 Coronet paperback. Is that a bit weird? Buying a book twice? I mean, the A&B edition's really nice, with its silver title and bullet holes, and my copy is a particularly good one, getting on for near-fine I'd say (excellent condition dustjacket, cream pages)... but even so. I now own two editions of the same book. Well, three editions if you count my signed bookplate edition of Darwyn Cooke's graphic novel adaptation of The Hunter:

Yeah, OK. It's a bit weird.

Anyway. I've started reading the second Parker novel now, The Steel Hit (I'm reading the seventies Coronet paperback edition; its original title is The Man with the Getaway Face), and it's promising thus far. Although I can see the heist going wrong already...

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson

I powered through this, probably Jim Thompson's best known novel (along with The Grifters I guess) over a few days, and it is a disturbing read. The narrator, Lou Ford, is compelled to kill, preferably women, but really he's not too choosy. There are a couple of twists, but mostly it's a straightforward tale of the sickness inside Lou, his compulsion to kill. It's not terribly gory, but it doesn't need to be; Lou's accounts of his murders are sickeningly mundane. One in particular lodged in my brain: he punches a woman in the stomach so hard his knuckles can feel her spine, which is an awful, memorable image.

God knows what Michael Winterbottom's film will be like. Apparently it's faithful, right down to a period setting (the 1950s), so I can see why, reportedly, there were walk-outs at one screening. The Killer Inside Me isn't a novel I'll soon forget, and not in a good way. Then again, maybe that was Thompson's aim, like Michael Haneke's stern cinematic lectures (Benny's Video, Funny Games, etc.): to confront the reader (or viewer) with something so vile they question their motives in reading (or watching) it.

Of course, as with Haneke, that's likely a simplistic reading. As with Haneke's films, I think there's a lot more going on in The Killer Inside Me than mere finger-wagging, although I'm not sure what yet. One to digest, then.