Friday, March 26, 2021

Comic Cuts — 26 March 2021

Finally, I feel like I'm making some progress with some of the projects I'm working on. I sidelined myself from work on BAM! after Christmas because I needed to sort out a few technical problems; also, some comics landed in my lap late last year that I needed to work on for some planned features. I actually ended up with a vast collection of material that arrived in three huge boxes (thanks, Peter!) and I have been doing a deep dive into them since February.

Indexing all of this material has been time consuming and trying to make sense of some of the baffling publication details has also had me scratching my head for days at a time. I managed to complete one of a series of articles I'm trying to write, and also I've started doing the layouts for a set of books that I'm putting together that will compliment the feature I'm working on.

Writing is a little like putting up a building because you don't see much happening while the groundwork is being prepared, digging around underground to lay the foundations for the structure that you're going to build. Research and scanning have taken most of the last few weeks. With that prepared, I opened up In Design on Tuesday and, with furniture designed and artwork already cleaned up and resized, dropped 70 pages of comics strips into place... and then I did the same on Wednesday and I'll be doing roughly the same on Friday.

Once the walls are up, there's a lot of decorating still to do while I write introductions, design the 'about the artist' feature (based on the piece just completed) and add some bonus material, but at the end of it all, I'll have three (maybe more) books ready for publication. Fingers crossed.

To celebrate the anniversary of lockdown, we watched our first Zoom comedy gig with sitting down stand-up Rob Beckett and free-styling musician Abandoman. We had tried Zooming a couple of ticketed events a year ago with not very good results as I was trying to use my rather tiny tablet, the only device we could use in the living room without upending everything. Long story short, it didn't work very well and the screen was so small we weren't able to see much. We've upgraded our internet since and using Mel's computer, with its far larger screen, meant we could both enjoy the gig.

The gig was a thank you for staff put on by those nice folks at D C Thomson and was "attended" by over 400. Beckett was a friendly, funny presence, but I'm always amazed by Abandoman, who improvises songs around the briefest of discussions with members of the audience. It's the musical equivalent of close-up magic, because you know there must be a trick to it but you can't see how he can instantly turn a list of random things into an accessible, funny set of lyrics in his head while he's singing the lines.  It's an astonishing talent (shared by Wayne Brady on Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and we're in awe of it.

(* Abandoman image by Idil Sukan Draw HQ)

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