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Friday, June 17, 2016

Comic Cuts - 17 June 2016

We had something of a mad dash to complete the issue of Hotel Business on time, thanks to the late arrival of a clutch of advertorial material. Material promised for Friday arrived on Monday and some material due Monday didn't arrive until after five in the evening, with one item arriving on Tuesday morning.

As Tuesday was our day to send everything off to the printer, this didn't leave much time to get pages designed, proofed out, sent back to the advertisers – not just that one late arrival but everyone else in that section – for them to sign off or submit any corrections (and newcomers often feel they have to submit something or someone might think they're not doing their job), corrections submitted to our design department, pages proofed out again and the proofs returned to advertisers to be signed off. (Phew!) If someone is in a meeting, or has the day off, this can mean I'm unable to sign off on a page for days  with maybe one tiny corner of a page holding up the whole section and the whole magazine.

In this instance, we signed off at 5:31 pm. That was the end of my involvement, but the studio still had to produce the final high resolution pages and upload them to the printing company's servers. So while I was watching Mr Robot (a cyber-hacking thriller that has just been renewed for a second season), swapping my computer screen for a TV screen for an hour, some poor sod was waiting on an FTP connection to the print house.

Tuesday was particularly busy as I was keen to put together an obituary for Derek Pierson, which I finished around 4:00 pm, and finish copy-editing the Wednesday episode of 'Perry's Picture Post'... so that put my nice relaxing evening in front of the TV on hold.

Filled with the urge to just write something for myself on Wednesday, I spent most of the day trying to track down and authenticate information about a Spanish artist I particularly like, Alfredo Sanchis Cortes. He was one of the Valencian artists who made British comic strips look so gorgeous in the 1960s and has intrigued me ever since I spotted his signature on a strip in Tiger many years ago.

Trying to discover information on artists is hard enough, but try it in a foreign language and that's twice as tough. After spending most of the day writing up even a relatively short piece, there are still questions that I need to find answers to.

The latest visit to the dentist on Thursday involved good news and bad. The good news is that I don't have to go back over the next few weeks for further work on a root canal treatment and crown. The bad news is that the tooth, a back molar, can't be saved and they're referring me to a specialist to have it removed. My last experience wasn't one I'd care to repeat as it involved three different dentists all desperately trying to remove a tooth that didn't want to come out. I won't repeat the story, but if you're not faint-hearted you can read it here.

The referral could be local or not so local as you don't get to choose with the NHS. What's also interesting is that, given the problems last time and the fact that this tooth removal is going to be even harder, I was given the option of a local anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic plus a secondary drug that they drip into your arm, described to me as "to reduce anxiety". So if I end up having the tooth extracted in Clacton, which is about a 40-minute bus ride away, I could be stoned off my tits trying to get back to the bus station in Clacton in order to get the number 74 back to Wivenhoe, which will drop me off about a mile from home. Oh, joy!

Oh, and the washing machine stopped working on Sunday and the very heavy downpours we've been having have added another leak into the utility room. The two events are not connected as far as I know. The latter I was able to fix with a Heath Robinsonesque device consisting of a plastic carton with a hole in the bottom which caught the drips and guided them into a tin which rested on the window sill. Into the tin was drilled a hole out of which the collected water dripped. Unfortunately, plastic trays and old tins are no substitute for a blown motherboard, so I couldn't jerry rig the washing machine.

That was my week. How was yours?

Random scans this week are a selection of recent issues of Commando that I've picked up, covers by Ian Kennedy (our column header), Davis, Ken Barr, Sanfeliz, Buccheri and Ian Kennedy (again).


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