Friday 20 September 2013

Heros The Spartan—A Peek Inside

A week ago I posted that advance copies of the eagerly awaited 'Frank Bellamy's Heros the Spartan' had arrived at Book Palace Books HQ. Having shared the photos of the book's covers that we received from our printer, we have been looking forward to sharing with you some of the contents of this publication and that moment has now arrived.

Both editions of this book are a delight to hold, the smell and feel of the matte archival paper makes leafing through the book a real pleasure. The sewn binding again just exudes quality and means that the book will open and reveal all of the pages right into the gutter. This is something which other books attempting to reprint spreads from UK comics have often made problematic, with crucial dialogue and artwork often becoming irretrievably lost in the process. In the case of 'Heros', our printers Prolong Press, went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the signatures of pages butted up cleanly and precisely with each other so that all of this extraordinary strip was visible to the reader.

As regards the print quality, I am pleased to say that the weeks of painstaking restoration work has been really well realized by virtue of superb repro from our restorations and the matte archival paper ensures that not one line of Bellamy's pen work has been obscured in the process as these close-up photos reveal.

The penultimate photo shows one of the 11 original boards that appears in the sumptuously bound red leather edition with gold blocking, of which there are only 120 copies.

I won't witter on any more about these books, other than to say, that we feel that this book is the best book we have produced so far and response to it has been tremendously positive with over half the entire print run sold before publication day. On the subject of which, we had another notification from our printer to say that we could expect to take receipt of these books on 15th October, they are still at sea but getting ever closer to these shores.

Here again are the links if you would like to order copies of the book:

More pictures can be seen on the Marvel Masterworks Fan Site:

Tuesday 10 September 2013

The First Photos of Book Palace Books 'Frank Bellamy's Heros the Spartan'

I am delighted  to say that we have just received  these mouth watering photos of the long awaited Heros, direct from our printer in far away China:

They are sending out two copies of each book via FedEx tomorrow so that by next week when we have received them, we should be able to post more photos, including the insides.

The main consignment is scheduled to arrive at Book Palace HQ on October 10th.

The waiting is nearly over and many thanks for you support and forbearance, whilst we fine tuned this epic production.

Here's the link if you feel the urge to place an order, we have already pre-sold a sizeable chunk of the print run.

The regular edition is limited to a print run of 600 whilst the leather edition is 120:

Monday 2 September 2013

Heros the Spartan—On It's Way!

We have sensibly sat on our hands over the last few weeks before making any further announcements about the eagerly awaited Book Palace Books edition of 'Frank Bellamy's Heros the Spartan'. But I am pleased to be able to say that the problems our printer was experiencing with certain aspects of the production of the leather edition of this monster  book have now been resolved to everybody's satisfaction and barring typhoons, tsunamis, krakens or Somali pirates the container vessel with several palettes of 'Heros' will be arriving on  these shores early next month and is slated to arrive at Book Palace HQ on October 10th.

But while we are on the subject of 'Heros', I thought I would share with you some of the restorative work that went into preparing the scans we made of the original comics ready for publication.

Although the firm of Eric Bemrose who printed the Eagle and all of Bellamy's work on 'Heros' were rightly regarded as being the best in the business when it came to printing photo gravure comics and periodicals, they did slip up from time to time and aside from the ever present problem of out of register colour pages, some of their work towards the latter part of 'Heros' run did suffer a bit as can be seen in these examples, where in the spread that occurs near the start of 'The Axe of Arguth', you can see that the colours have over saturated (particularly the yellow) to the point where a lot of Bellamy's line work is getting obscured by the resultant murk. If you look at the close up head you can see this occurring.

What we had to do was to haul back a bit on the colour and where detail had been lost, carefully select the black line and create a separate layer for the line so that the art could be successfully restored and Bellamy's work seen as he intended it.

Similarly later in the same story there is a sequence where over printing of black has created a rich and dense black as the artist would have intended, but where there is no over printing the black appears greyed out. Again we had to carefully select the affected areas and reintroduce the missing elements to make the black as rich as intended, thereby removing the distracting patchiness which is particularly evident on the detail of Heros in extremis.

I won't bore you by showing you all the stages of the restoration involved in each of the spreads but this epic comic strip is, we believe, worthy of this attention to detail.

Sometimes the best endeavors are worth the extra wait.