Bear Alley books...

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colcool007
Mr Valeera
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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by colcool007 » 14 Jun 2009, 06:49

My ignorance is showing. What was the Queen Of The Seas about?
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!

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Peter Gray
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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by Peter Gray » 14 Jun 2009, 08:46

ImageImage
an epic Jonahish from Smash! by Ken Reid..


klakadak-ploobadoof stop guessing...anyway your wrong so far...maybe those will be done another day..

Steve needs our help if you have complete runs of comics...50's...60's...70's..80's..and have a scanner and time..
or maybe you can loan them to him..basically this project is huge so if anyone is willing to help him in any small or big way email him now..
I've offered my help and am doing something for him and so has Lew...thanks Lew...
he has something for you to do But was worried that you might be too busy...
But it shows how kind you are Lew..

Come on everyone lets help Steve..
Lets see these books..

he might just need you to do an introduction for a book..

His email is at his blog

Steve Holland

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by NP » 15 Jun 2009, 22:59

klakadak-ploobadoof wrote:
The problem with Queen of the Seas is that later chapters were in full colour on the back page, and Odhams' colour process was often crap. (Off register colours etc.) That said, it'd be a fantastic collection to put into a book, even if those later pages were in greyscale.
1972 reprints in Buster&Jet were all bw and looked really nice and sharp, so perhaps it would be better to use scans of the reprints rather than the originals in Smash.
While the Buster reprints are in black and white, they have been tampered with! Strange moustaches, spectacles, hats and beards have been crudely drawn on to characters faces for no earthly reason I can see. And the larger, 'squarer' Smash! pages have been adapted to the smaller, narrower Busters with consequent panel-enlarging and truncating. So care would need to be taken. Also 70s Buster's pages are generally more prone to yellowing than 60s Smash!.

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by Digifiend » 16 Jun 2009, 00:22

Couldn't they have kept them at the right ratio and run a newspaper style single line strip underneath instead? I know some were used in The Beano to fill the space left by taking captions out of a reprinted Shipwrecked Circus tale (they were moved inside the pictures, so that's another example of tampering), so I see no reason Buster couldn't have done the same.

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by NP » 16 Jun 2009, 09:48

Digifiend wrote:Couldn't they have kept them at the right ratio and run a newspaper style single line strip underneath instead?
Ah, but you're forgetting, this was the Boom Years of comics, 1971/2, and IPC had dozens of wannabe artists with time on their hands whose days were filled with re-sizing and extending panels for reprints! I ought to know, I spent a miserable two days doing just that at the other end of the Seventies for Mickey Mouse comic!
The same reason also applies, probably, for those added details; just giving some kid the chance to draw something (badly) in a comic. I only hope they were drawn on the bromide stats and not on the original art boards but knowing John Sanders' reign at IPC I wouldn't bet on it.

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by Digifiend » 16 Jun 2009, 22:34

Wouldn't those artists have preferred to do something original - what I suggested is exactly that. I'll never understand why they butcher artwork, it's understandable if they colourise a black and white strip (or in the case of Classics from the Comics, the opposite), but altering something which remains monochrome? I just don't get why.

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by NP » 17 Jun 2009, 00:07

Digifiend wrote:Wouldn't those artists have preferred to do something original.
Sure they would, perhaps eventually they did - but they were staff artists sitting in Fleetway house and later Kings Reach tower doing what they were told to do. A touch of over-manning, really, but this was the 1970s not 2009 when everything is UNDERstaffed!

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by philcom55 » 17 Jun 2009, 00:38

Also it's worth remembering that there was no such thing as Photoshop in those days. 'Image editing' was a 'hands on' job that either involved the use of expensive bromides or physically altering a piece of original art! :roll:

- Phil R.

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by colcool007 » 17 Jun 2009, 13:32

Digifiend wrote:Wouldn't those artists have preferred to do something original - what I suggested is exactly that. I'll never understand why they butcher artwork, it's understandable if they colourise a black and white strip (or in the case of Classics from the Comics, the opposite), but altering something which remains monochrome? I just don't get why.
Also the artwork was considered as a resource, not as a holy grail. (Which is our take on it) And as a resource, if all it does is sit in a storage area somewhere, then it's not helping the company very much, whereas if the publisher could take out of store some old style artwork, get a staffer to re-jig it then it becomes a valuable page filler helping to keep the cost of the next episode down. And most of them would probably have preferred to have been producing their own artwork rather than being considered only worthy to ghost someone else's work.
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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by Lew Stringer » 17 Jun 2009, 17:45

Digifiend wrote:Wouldn't those artists have preferred to do something original - what I suggested is exactly that. I'll never understand why they butcher artwork, it's understandable if they colourise a black and white strip (or in the case of Classics from the Comics, the opposite), but altering something which remains monochrome? I just don't get why.
Considering how some IPC management at the time thought Ken Reid's Odhams work was too vulgar (hence why The Nervs was never reprinted) it's possible they added hats, specs and facial hair to make the characters look less grotesque or some similar ridiculous reason. Only a guess mind you.

Lew
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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by tony ingram » 17 Jun 2009, 19:57

Lew Stringer wrote:
Digifiend wrote:Wouldn't those artists have preferred to do something original - what I suggested is exactly that. I'll never understand why they butcher artwork, it's understandable if they colourise a black and white strip (or in the case of Classics from the Comics, the opposite), but altering something which remains monochrome? I just don't get why.
Considering how some IPC management at the time thought Ken Reid's Odhams work was too vulgar (hence why The Nervs was never reprinted) it's possible they added hats, specs and facial hair to make the characters look less grotesque or some similar ridiculous reason. Only a guess mind you.

Lew
I think altering even a frame of Reid's work is tantamount to sacrilege, but then I'm a bit obsessive about certain artists. 'Vulgar'? The man was a genius!

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by Digifiend » 17 Jun 2009, 22:29

Thankfully that wouldn't happen these days, now they can digitally alter things, or at least modify a scan instead of the original (this must be what Classics does when decolouring causes text sound effects to be lost, for example).

I agree, defacing artwork by Ken Reid, Dudley Watkins, Leo Baxendale or Davy Law would be sacrilege, they were the big four artists at Thomsons in the 50s, and of course Reid and Baxendale produced plenty for other companies later on. Legends. Reid in particular, you don't see his like these days. Artwork is often more open, with less panels per page. Laura Howell said (in The History of The Beano: The Story So Far) that when she struggles to fill a page, she feels like a namby pamby whinger, because of how full Reid could make his pages. When even one of today's talents is in awe of him, you know he must be good. Nowadays probably only Ken Harrison and Dave Sutherland can be compared to the 50s giants. Reid would've been so dismayed to see that modified version of Queen of the Seas, I'm sure of that. Presumably if the original artwork was altered, only the altered version will be reprintable, which would be a real shame.

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by Peter Gray » 11 Jul 2009, 18:15

You can order the two books now by paypal.......go to bear alley books blog now..

shame the postage has been added on I thought it would be £16 not £19.25..
have to save up..

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by Digifiend » 11 Jul 2009, 18:48

:soapbox: Tsk. I do wish websites would include P&P in the advertised price. In this case it's irrelevant, but when something is cheaper online, but not by the amount the P&P costs, it can actually be cheaper in the shops. And you can't have a different policy just because you can't buy an item in the shops, so online retailers should always include P&P in their advertised pricing. :x

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Re: Bear Alley books...

Post by philcom55 » 11 Jul 2009, 19:07

Of course, if you can make it to one of the London Marts where Steve has a table you can pick up a signed copy without needing to pay any postal charges.

- Phil R.

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