BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Comic Cuts - 10 February 2017

My first week of freedom / underemployment [delete as applicable] and the weather decides to turn chilly again, making my little office (a former garage with no insulation) cold and uninviting.  But on Sunday I braced myself against the cold and pulled on my thickest winter jumper, wrapped myself up in a dressing gown that I've had since I lived in Chelmsford twenty-five years ago (and it's still snuggly) and got down to writing the introduction for the next Bear Alley book, which will be a major overhaul of the Valiant Index.

At the moment there isn't much of it: on Saturday I'd broken down my listing of the comic's contents so that I had a chronology of when strips started and finished plus various other events in the paper's history. I started writing on Sunday and managed over 1,000 words (which was my target)... and, apart from some odd bits of research, that's where the work finished. On Tuesday I spent the day on a fruitless search for some photocopies that I know are in the house... but where??? Somewhere amongst the photocopies might lie the answer to a question that's bugging me.

Now, of course, the bigger question that's bugging me is... where are the photocopies? The search did turn up another, different set of photocopies that I was wondering about six months ago, so what I need to do is look for something else and with any luck the information I'm after will turn up.

On Wednesday and Thursday I was working on a couple of articles that will help towards paying the rent. They're on topics I'm utterly unfamiliar with, namely finance, but you can soon become a mini-expert on certain topics if you can find three or four good sources of information on the subject. Just keep your fingers crossed that those writers weren't desperate freelancers who had the same idea and simply looked for three or four online sources of their own.

As I was writing about financial statements, I did actually do some original research and looked up some annual returns for a few companies. What I found was that trying to understand what the numbers represent is like trying to decipher hieroglyphics without a Rosetta Stone. That said, I think I got there in the end. We shall see what happens when I send them to the editor.

I'm back on the book until the middle of next week, so hopefully I'll be able to update you next Friday. And just because I'm reading old comic strips that I've loved since I was a kid, don't think this isn't work. It's tough having to write about all these stories rather than just read them.

This week's random scan theme just had to be about money and finance.


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