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from no. 420, December 1958

Author unknown; probably W. Howard Baker

Guests at this party include Jack Trevor Story and Nelson Lee. The latter is generally considered to be a fictional character; whether the JTS depicted here is closer to fact or fiction I wouldn't care to judge. Another SBL author, Desmond Reid, is also at the party; he is definitely not real!

I take it that the reference to Die-Hard Collectors looking daggers at Paula Dane is about long-time fans not liking the changes that the New Order of the Bill Howard Baker era brought to the SBL.

The likenesses of the guests depicted in the illustration, real, fictional or otherwise, are extraordinarily stilted, as they have been copied closely from the official portraits which were used often in the SBL. In fact they look as if copies of the portraits have been pasted onto the artwork to save time and effort; especially poor Paula, whose head dose not look comfortable on her neck at all. Below is a detail, with the full illo and key appearing at the bottom of the page.

The illo on the first page of the story is much livelier; it's by the great Eric Parker of course.

— GL, Sept 2005

The cover to SBL 420 illustrates the main story, not the Xmas back-up feature.

The scans have been deliberately left as close as possible to the source pages' appearance, including stains from the SBL's famous rusty staples.


(I note that at least some of the Friends Of Kirby are former cover-girls of the SBL—also probably pasted on!)

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If you have any details about Story's time on the SBL,  please let me know at Guy.Lawley@dsl.pipex.com  Thanks!

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