One of the first big jobs I did in 1985 was to update The Harrison Ford Story. At the request of Maxim Jacobowsky of Zomba Books I wrote a lengthy chapter on Harrison Ford's work in the second Indiana Jones film, The Temple of Doom, and the book headed for a second impression.
But other than that, work was thin on the ground. I was having a spectacular lack of success interesting publishers in any further movie book ideas.
I used the same theory for book submissions that had worked throughout the Starburst years. I simply came up with ideas for books that I'd want to read myself.
Sequelmania: A book on movies that were so successul they became series.
Kung Fu Fighting: A history of Hong Kong martial arts movies.
The Great Black and White Movies: A coffee table illustrated book on the glossy style of the 1940s noir and "women's" movies.
Apparently, these ideas were way ahead of their time, because though there were no takers in 1985, they've all since been done - several times.
In the meantime, I did manage to eke out some kind of living researching pictures for other people's movie books, mostly for Multimedia Publications. Many of the pictures in Peter Nichols' Fantastic Films (Dodd Mead, 1984) had come from my collection of film stills, and I sought to repeat that with other film books. I supplied picture material for Directors - the All-Time Greats (Neil Sinyard, Gallery, 1984), and for Hollywood Tricks of the Trade (Multimedia Books, 1986), for which I also supplied two-thirds of the text, specifically the section on physical and photographic special effects.
Then, in 1986, a publisher approached me to write a book they'd pre-sold to an American publisher. The unwieldy title? How to Draw and Sell Comic Strips for Newspapers and Comic Books.