Sep. 23rd, 2009

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Fifteen years ago, when Franco Urru and I were both trying to start a career in comics - something at which he brilliantly succeeded, and I, well... - I was very impressed with the writing of one Dennis Mallonee, author and publisher of a number of comics based on then-popular gaming superhero characters (Flare, the Huntsman, the League of Champions, etc.) He struck me as taking superhero comics in a psychologically credible and well-conceived direction which resembled some of what I was striving for. I became a vocal fan and eventually wrote - and Franco part-drew - a five-part story for him, set in Italy in 1934. Alas, what I had not yet understood was that Mr.Mallonee, while a writer of talent and originality, was, without exception, the worst publisher in the world. His talent for getting decisions wrong and losing his public proved unparalleled; and his publishing company ceased operations - for the second time - before our strip got to the printers (although a few people somewhere may still have the distributor's list that announced it).

Cut to this year. And to give credit where credit is due, Mr.Mallonee does have one virtue as a publisher: persistency. Guess who announced - for the third time that I know of - the publication of a whole string of new and reprinted comics, including this one: ?

I sincerely wish him the best of luck. I have been paid for the story years ago, I have no complaints about the way he dealt with me down the years (which, where publishers are concerned, is unique!), and I am actually quite happy with the story I wrote for him. If he actually manages to publish it, I shall not be in the least embarrassed. And, as I said, he is a writer of unusual interest and talent, and I certainly do not mean to withdraw the favourable reviews and letters I have written at various times. Even if I did not have an interest, however small and remote, in his success, I would still want him to succeed because his is the kind of writing I want to see more of. And if - per impossibile - he should succeed this time, the story he is publishing includes a character that is my own property, and I should not be unhappy to get back to her.


Sep. 23rd, 2009 06:51 pm
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This - - is without a doubt the best and most important article printed by any British newspaper in months if not years. And Harriet Sergeant is an exceptional journalist - I have seen other items by her, and she is brave as a steel sword. But I regret to say that I foresaw every word of it before I ever started blogging, and described it in my article about the Tony Blair generation two or three years ago.


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