Today I finished reading my copy of Lion King Of Picture Story Papers by Steve Holland, who writes the Bear Alley blog which I've linked at the end of the post. The book covers everything, and so much behind-the-scenes stuff that you wouldn't know just by reading the comic! As usual, I shall start with the negative, as I prefer to get those out of the way and move on to the many positives!
The only negative I have about this book is the error from pages 41 - 44. Page 41 ends with the sentence "It was the..." and I expected this sentence to be continued over the page, but instead I was greeted with a new chapter! Page 43 featured a full-page comic strip, of which there were many throughout the book, and the sentence was concluded on page 44. However, whether this is just a printing error in my book or in all of them I don't know, but it does make reading a little confusing. But that's the negative out of the way, let's move on...
The book is one of the most wonderfully written and researched pieces I have ever read. Each page goes into great detail about even minor things (such as where Royman Browne had his fatal heart attack (in the lift at Fleetway House)). In the hands of someone less capable, the book could have proved to be a boring read, but Steve keeps every single page interesting and fresh, instead of just firing the facts at the reader!
Lion was inspired by Eagle which was launched two years earlier (which amazingly merged into the Lion later on), but unlike its inspiration which has had countless books devoted to itself and its characters, this is the time a book has been produced dedicated to the history of "The King Of Picture Story Papers"! I'm surprised no books have been published on it before, but it has been well worth the 61 year wait since it was launched, as this is a book that stands out well!
At the back of the book is a very useful index, which lists all of the staff, characters, annuals and specials that appeared over Lion's 22 year life. Undoubtedly this index will prove useful, and I will more than likely be returning to it many times!
Lion King Of Picture Story Papers is a book which needs to be read and re-read to take everything in, due to the amount of information crammed into its seemingly short 262 pages. I highly recommend this book, and it now sits proudly on my shelf in-between The Art and History Of The Dandy (By Morris Heggie, 2012) and Encyclopedia of Comic Characters (by Denis Gifford, 1987).
Overall, the book is fantastic and kept me very entertained during a long car journey! You can buy the book for £25.99 + £4.00 postage from:
Bear Alley blog: