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Friday, October 16, 2015

Comic Cuts - 16 October 2015

I have spent a week on my own while Mel was in America for a friend's wedding and thought it was going to be an opportunity to catch up with a load of things that I haven't got around to doing over the past couple of months. There are some boxes of paperwork that need sorting, some magazines that need putting into some sort of order, and into some sort of container and into some sort of place that's both tidy and accessible.

Didn't manage any of that. I did get some other magazines out of a couple of boxes that were tidy and accessible and scanned some of the pages. Haven't quite finished with them, so they're filling up floor space. Then there was the notion that I'd get my James Hadley Chase gallery finished with a blitz on scanning the last fifty or so covers... didn't quite get to that, although the gallery currently (as of writing) stands at 127 covers and might have had a few more added before the day is out. I was also busy writing up a couple of threads of the Caught In The Act project but had to sideline myself to get the latest issue of Hotel Business finished as there were some last-minute changes needed.

To give you an example: an advertiser asked what themes we were covering in each of our sections and then seemingly (or at least it seemed to me) picked one at random, saying they wanted a half-page of editorial if they were to book an advert. This isn't unusual, but their product had bugger-all to do with the section chosen. Their publicity department eventually – on Friday – get back to us to say they're struggling to create some editorial relevant to the section. Now, Friday is already a week after the editorial deadline and we really should have everything designed and back out to clients to see if they need any corrections done.

Since they can't get their square product to fit into the round hole of this month's theme, their solution is to send what they have to me and ask that I put something together because we all know that having someone with no clue about the product and no access to anyone who does know about it is the best person to write 500 words promoting it. There's an awful lot of detail can be fitted into 500 words. And this piece of irrelevant tosh was supposed to replace two relevant features that I had already lined up and cut into the texts of two others.

Thankfully, at 5:15pm on Friday a possible solution popped into my e-mail box. Someone else at the firm sent over a note asking whether we could make sure we mentioned that there was a special offer on at the moment. Which to my mind meant that we could legitimately run this as a news item and not as an irrelevant feature in one of the sections. I cobbled together the text on Sunday and waited for a response to my idea that we move it to the news. We were given the OK at around 11.30am on Monday and, thanks to another couple of late-comers turning in their copy, we managed to get everything into the studio.

We didn't get the finished designs until Tuesday afternoon because of problems with another advertiser and a late-running supplement. Then two advertisers decided that they wanted to change the images that they had supplied up with, so we spent most of the afternoon dicking around with that. Oddly, that's one of the reasons why I managed to fill do many gaps on the Chase gallery, because there were lulls while we were waiting for people to get back to us that I spent either whizzing through some of the 190 unanswered e-mails that had built up or pulling up a scan for cleaning, which was actually quite satisfying because it was something that I had control over, that I could complete without interference from others. It's actually quite relaxing.

We got there in the end. We should have sent everything off to the printers Tuesday but we were given an extension as there was still ad material that needed to be passed before the gaze of the advertisers. The final approvals came through, the final corrections were done and we signed off at 10:30am, giving me 30 minutes to get ready for another trip to the dentist to get the stitches out of my gum from my ghastly trip to the dentist two weeks ago.

This time it was a far more relaxed visit and only took a matter of minutes. However, that's not the end of it by a long shot and I have more dental appointments to come next month.

But while I was in town I dropped into a charity shop that was offering five books for £2 and, as they had some older paperbacks, I picked up a handful. Including the Telzy Amberdon novel by James H. Schmitz, which I haven't read since the late Seventies. I love that Tim White cover. But I was thinking that the Telzy novels would make a great series of movies.

I've only just caught up with the Divergent series of films, watching Divergent and Insurgent over a couple of evenings. The one thing that struck me was that Divergent was a metaphor for going to boarding school, although here you where you were surrounded almost entirely by students with almost no adult supervision, which was provided by the sixth formers. If that's not the case, the romance between student Triss and teacher Four takes on a whole new and rather sinister aspect.

But my point is that the film is all about finding out how you fit in and wanting to gain control over your life so that you can make your own choices. Oh, and romance and fighting against the system while you run around with your new-found friends jumping off trains and buildings. It's not the best of the recent run of post-Twilight dystopias – that would be The Hunger Games – but it's not bad and it will be interesting to see where the third film takes the story.

But my favourite viewing of the week has been Daredevil, the Netflix series released back in April. I was looking forward to this as DD is probably my favourite Marvel character and Marvel have had an astonishing run of incredibly good shows and movies these past few years. Well, Daredevil didn't disappoint. It retains the darkness of the DD 1998 reboot and the feel of those Brian Michael Bendis or Ed Brubaker series' that appeared in the 2000s. The characters are all integral to the story... Foggy isn't just a comedy sidekick to be wheeled out when the mood needs to be lightened; Karen Page isn't just wheeled out when the story demands a screaming woman for DD to save; and their actions have consequences, sometimes deadly. I'm really looking forward to the next season.

The rest of my purchases on Wednesday are my random scans for today.


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