This editorial, “Strange Maven’s Diary,” originally appeared in Strangehaven issue #5, November 1996.
Well, what a summer that was. England’s footballers once again eliminated from the final stages of a major competition by an inferior German team, and the usual dismal failure at test cricket and Olympic Games.
The turmoil of the direct market continues. Diamond Comics’ acquisition of Capital Distribution in retrospect was almost inevitable, but still took many in the industry by surprise (including myself). It shouldn’t affect your ability to purchase Strangehaven in any way, but has caused me some additional cash-flow problems and subsequently another glitch in my frequency.
Some of my other problems – large and small – may not have been so lucky, but I can assure you that I will continue to make every effort to ensure the availability of this magazine.
My best wishes go out to the editorial staff at Capital and Advance Comics, in particular Wayne Markley who has always helped and encouraged my project with his usual enthusiasm.
THE GLASS IS HALF FULL
Despite all that’s happened, I remain optimistic at the prospects for Strangehaven and the future of the comic artform in general. Distribution companies like Cold Cut are opening up new possibilities and opportunities for mature comics; retailers who are ditching the superhero in favour of more mainstream material are having unqualified success – Strangehaven has experienced a continuous sell-through at stores like Page 45, Ace, Gosh!, and Nostalgia & Comics in the UK and Tony Yordan in Puerto Rico. Positive reviews continue to appear at a a alarming rate. Thanks to all who have been spreading the word.
FAME AT LAST
I was both astounded and flattered to learn that I have been nominated for not one, but two Awards since issue Strangehaven #4 was published. I didn’t expect this kind of recognition for a while yet, especially not in a category like “Best Ongoing Title” (alongside Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage) for a Comic Creator’s Guild Award.
My other nomination – for the Russ Manning “Most Promising Newcomer” Award led to my first ever trip to the USA and the San Diego International Comic Convention. Such an impression it made on me, you’ll find a special feature later in this issue.
I also gate-crashed Alan Davis and Mark Farmer’s signing at The Edge of Forever in Kent to convert a few Clandestine fans to the wonders of Strangehaven; although the biggest thrill was being chauffeured around South London in Comics International‘s publisher Dez Skinn’s shiny new Jaguar X16.
HOSPITALS AND AIRPORTS
On a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone (inside and outside the industry) for their support and understanding during the past few months which have been a particularly traumatic time for me – and my family. Your good wishes are very much appreciated. Illness, bereavement and a broken relationship have all compounded to make this a rather miserable summer for me personally, but the continuing success of Strangehaven has certainly helped me through.
Hopefully, these bad times are behind me and we can all look forward to seeing Strangehaven on a more regular and timely basis in future – starting with issue #6 which should be in stores in February 1997.
I must say special thanks to Brenda, Tony and Kathy for pitching in and helping get this issue out, better late than never. And extra special thanks to my brother David.
Next time, if you are lucky, I’ll tell you about the fun you can have with dental floss.
Hasta la pasta, baby.