Friday, December 16, 2011
Comic Cuts - 16 December 2011
Anyone who knows my work will know that I usually tend towards writing more than I need to. You can see this in many articles that appears on Bear Alley because I'm often writing about obscure authors and obscure things that will need explaining to the casual reader, or I'm trying to lay out evidence of why I'm making a certain statement. There's a similar problem when writing for a foreign publication: you can't presume that people will know anything about a particular comic or strip. Mention Roy of the Rovers and you'll probably know who I mean, but to anyone outside the UK you have to explain that the character is footballer Roy Race of Melchester Rovers. This might seem a trifling point, but when you're working to a very tight letter count it can cause problems: "Roy of the Rovers" is 17 characters, including spaces; "footballer Roy Race of Melchester Rovers" is 40, over double the length. When it comes to trimming down an article — say, for instance, the obituaries I write for The Guardian — it's usually those extraneous details that can easily be lost. Unfortunately, they're vital to non-UK readers because otherwise they won't know what the heck you're talking about.
Random scans: I was searching around last night for a theme and the first picture I opened up related to Africa. As it was gone midnight and I was sitting in my freezing little office (ex-garage, no insulation at all), it seemed like a nice idea to think of somewhere warm. These aren't exactly typical 'Africa' images, but that's "random" for you: they were the first four books I found set in that continent. Maybe next time I'll try to find covers with a wildlife theme.