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Friday, April 15, 2016

Comic Cuts - 15 April 2016

It was my birthday mid-week, and frankly it felt like a valve had been given a twist to relieve the pressure that had been building up over the previous week. The good news is that we managed to get the latest issue of Hotel Business out on time, despite things looking precarious during the week approaching our print deadline.

Easter holidays meant getting advertising and editorial together was a pain in the bum, especially as I can't allow myself to assume that some of the space will be filled by advertorial material. It usually is, but I can't risk leaving spaces just in case nobody wants them. So I have to commission and/or write enough material to fill the whole mag. with features of different lengths in each section, some of which may or may not be dropped—although it's rare that anything goes to waste as themes within the various sections are repeated throughout the year and something that can't be used now can be used later unless it's time-sensitive.

So I managed one whole day off before heading into the office the next day for our forward planning meeting to discuss what we will be doing over the next couple of issues. To give you a flavour of the excitement I'm going to be facing over April/May/June, we'll be commissioning features on badges & uniforms, tablewear, spa treatments, laundry and refrigerators.

Suddenly cat poo sounds like a topic of burning interest, but all I will say on the subject is that our cat-repelling devices seem to be doing their job and there have been no jobbies from the neighbouring shittens... sorry, kittens...

I did find some hedgehog poo and I'm thinking that anyone spying on my internet history, especially recent Google Image searches, is going to be in for a ghastly surprise.

We do have a few things to look forward to that isn't related to work. We're off to see Mark Watson in a week or so, and we've already booked to see Sara Pascoe and Josh Widdicombe later in the year. And there are others (Mark Steele and James Acaster being two) that we will do our best to get tickets for when they become available.

Also, our landlady has agreed to have some of the trees chopped back and other chopped down entirely. We have two leylandii fir trees that have spread out so far that one is now obscuring next door's upper window (see the photo at the top of the column) that need to be removed entirely; we also have two Yew trees and a Sycamore at the front that need to be chopped back by a third to bring them under control. I'm hoping that the front of the house gets a bit more sunlight once it's done and I think the neighbours will thank us... once we fix the fence (which you can also see in the photo).

I mentioned last week the habit of modern cover designers to place silhouettes of people walking away from the reader. I'm posting a brief Tom Rob Smith cover gallery below which includes some examples.

We have more Ace O'Hara next week, and the debut storyline is coming to a climax. I should apologise for the quality of some of the strips. I'm taking these from very poor scans made from bound copies of newspapers that are over sixty years old. But Ace is a fun strip that deserves to be saved from obscurity and, until now, there has only been a handful of samples available (via my mate John Adcock's website), so while the standard is poor, quality isn't my chief concern here. I'm just pleased to be shining a light on something that's worth rescuing.

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