The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

When ‘Good Enough’ is Good Enough

Posted by BigWords on April 7, 2016

There are things which are plausible enough in and of themselves to pass for an explanation, and there are things which demand explanation in order for some clarification beyond the Shrug of God. Then there are things which you can drop in with no thought other than the cool factor – and those are the most interesting references. For me, whenever there is something thrown out there that suggests foresight, there’s always a tingle of excitement that the universe lined up things just right.

Okay, this is stretching the original text, but just read the subtext:

It is the great prerogative of Mankind above other Creatures, that we are not only able to behold the works of Nature, or barely to sustain our lives by them, but we have also the power of considering, comparing, altering, assisting, and improving them to various uses. And as this is the peculiar privilege of human Nature in general, so it is capable of being so far advanced by the helps of Art, and Experience, as to make some men excel others in their Observations, and Deductions, almost as much as they do Beasts.

Robert Hooke; Micrographia (1665).

And while we are at it…

The next care to be taken, in respect of the Senses, is a supplying of their infirmities with Instruments, and, as it were, the adding of artificial Organs to the natural.

Robert Hooke; Micrographia (1665).

Doesn’t that just scream transhumanism? Am I the only one who sees that?

Consider this a challenge of sorts – don’t settle for merely repeating the same quotes seen peppering the text of every other novel. Dig deeper, read works which you wouldn’t otherwise consider, take the time to understand the message you are delivering, and (the really important part) bring something new to the table. Originality isn’t a requirement, because we all know where striving for that leads, but at least carve out something new.

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The Thing I Can’t Talk About

Posted by BigWords on April 6, 2016

Towards the end of the month, in a shade over two weeks from now, there’s going to be an announcement which goes a little towards explaining exactly why I have trekked halfway across the UK to get internet access, but right now, sitting the wrong side of the official kick-off, I can’t go into any details on what is going on. The plan, as it was, began with a request to jump in with an established group doing… well, that part is hugely complex.

The skinny on why I went in a different direction, and joined with the folks I am currently producing words for, is that the other options all required things I didn’t have easy access to. Or any access to. The option of doing what I wanted, rather than conforming to other requirements, was too strong an enticement, and – the important part – I was getting to bring a lot of my work to the table. I have a lot of material which has never been seen in any way, ranging as far back as scripts from the 90s. There’s plenty to play with.

There’s many things which I am changing in the process of making material which can sell easily – some essays are being repurposed into fiction, a television proposal for a sitcom is being heavily altered, and I’m having to get used to the idea that the lack of equipment can be as much of a push towards solutions as it is a pain in the ass. It won’t stop me complaining abut ancient software and terrible hardware, but if all goes well I will be able to upgrade when the money starts coming in again.

The only way that the Thing I Can’t Talk About is having any effect on my day-to-day life is the time everything is taking. I had planned out a lot more I wanted to do before things got close to the announcement, but there’s a hundred and one things which need immediate attention (and I am on point all the time, apparently). I haven’t done this much design work or editing in years. I’ve even been doing small amounts of CGI in aid of moving projects forward, which – on a computer over six years old – isn’t the most relaxing activity.

It also means I can’t take on any other work while things are so busy. Which kinda sucks when I’m mostly in this gig for the green. I still haven’t seen anything which is meant to come out in the first wave of material, but it should be fine given the nature of the folks who I’m dealing with. Anything that sucks? Hell, I can take the blame for anything which isn’t polished and shiny – as long as there isn’t any throwing of vegetables and fruit, which I don’t approve of. Throw candy my direction instead.

As soon as I get info, I’ll link it here.

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Really, People? Just Stop It.

Posted by BigWords on April 5, 2016

I had hoped to cover all the moronitude (it is so a word, and it is mine, all mine) in one post. Unfortunately y’all managed to come up with so much that a single post couldn’t contain all of my thoughts on what’s been happening the last couple of years, and (importantly) what is happening now. Case in point, the continuing mess which is the EU. Not that anyone really cares about the agreements any more if the verbal sparring going on is any indication.

It might be something which crops up every twenty years, but this antagonism seems to be rooted in a handful of people deciding what millions of people ought to be doing without, as a point of interest, actually asking those same people what they want. It makes no sense to have a body of people who can wreck businesses, destroy lives and complicate things just because they can. The taxes imposed on certain things aren’t the main objection I have, but it certainly isn’t helping endear them to me.

The mess made of the Greek economy, the influx of refugees everywhere, and the utter lack of compassion in some circles for people fleeing for their lives is frustrating to watch. The Conservatives are losing any credibility with their insistence that they can shred wasteful payments, and pointless aggressive overtones. I’m reminded of children throwing tantrums, which isn’t the image I want to have when talking about the current ruling party in the UK.

North of the border the SNP are just as reprehensible as they have always been, with Nicola Sturgeon apparently unaware of what the word “no” means. Maybe she should watch some of the ridiculously inappropriate adverts running on television at the moment – no means no. The thuggish shits in the SNP who want a “day of reckoning” couldn’t be more unappealing if they added anti-Semitic rhetoric to their repertoire. Oh, wait – they did that? Shit. Honestly, how did we get here? Is this the Mirror Universe or something? Bizarroworld?

And about the ad running right now… Does anyone want to explain to me how I am meant to respond when Zoe asks why people want to send naked pictures to each other? I have no problem with PSA’s running, but the very least I expect from broadcasters is checking WHEN they run, and what programs are on when they are running. I’m thinking that having access to television isn’t the best thing these days as everything makes me annoyed or saddened at the state of what is being shown.

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So… That Happened?

Posted by BigWords on April 4, 2016

full-res-car2go-0004

The car you buy when you have given up on ever having sex again. And given up on life in general. Via Eco Car Blog.

While I was otherwise occupied, with things that don’t really relate to this post, a lot has gone on in my absence that doesn’t really make any sense. I’m gonna raise my hand right off the bat and admit that there is a lot which doesn’t make any sense to me anyway (the proliferation of stupid little cars being one – smart cars? Ugh, please…) but everyone should be really proud of themselves. While I was offline you guys raised the bar. The level of crazy really went off the scale, and coming to it after the fact makes it no less mad.

I’m still completely at a loss to comprehend the Sad Puppies, even though a fair few posts written over the last couple of years mentioned the fools those people. I’ve a few guesses at what’s making them sad, though to the best of my knowledge there’s no known cure for distemper. Also, nobody mentioned whether the puppies who were attempting to fix the Hugo Awards have themselves been fixed. Something to ponder, I suppose…

Then there is the mess which is being made of current politicians, policies and political parties, which probably deserves more words here, but I can’t bring myself to watch more than a few seconds of footage at a time. I honestly don’t know what the point of Nigel Farage is, other than to be a perfect character in some revived Spitting Image series, and there isn’t a single member of the SNP who doesn’t make my skin crawl. The US is, thankfully, much worse, so at least I can say “Guys, chill – we don’t have it so bad.”

I apologize to US readers, and suggest you start, y’know, calling out the racist, sexist, homophobic, isolationist bigots who are being ridiculous. Or take up rifle practice. Just sayin’. Any other time I would have found a perfect song to accompany that, but I’m really busy at the moment and Googling “Delaney Plaza comedy theme tune” is too much like hard work.

Despite not having the internet, I have been hearing some of the new songs being put out, and I can happily say that there isn’t anything ground-breaking there. Where is this generation’s Great Big Moment tunes? Hell, the sixties and seventies brought us a wealth of songs which continue, year in and year out, to be used in films, television and radio as great songs. It isn’t just nostalgia (though that is a part of their success), but the unity of lyrics, accompaniment and imagery. I’m saddened at the prospect of a disposable musical heritage being cultivated by people whose concept of “timeless” lasts just long enough until the next album gets squeezed out.

What little television I’ve seen has been punctuated by my feeling like I would rather read, or take a long walk, or anything other than being insulted by rehashed versions of things I never missed in the first place. The first show I saw – from the first episode – since getting back to a semi-stable situation was The Aliens, which isn’t exactly original. Actually, the word “original” shouldn’t even be used in the same paragraph as that show, so diluted is the plot. And the shell suits make me think of The Scousers. Harry Enfield is probably waiting on the call to make a guest appearance.

The biggest mystery to me is Gogglebox. People have talked about it as if television had a massive shift in ideology, and NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. I don’t get it. I mean… I watched an episode on the Channel 4 website, and I read some of the reviews people have written, but the idea makes no sense to be at all. Why do I want to watch a bunch of people I don’t know, who are watching television shows I don’t watch? The fact that such a series can get greenlit is probably a sign that nothing will ever be the same again… We have, as a people, given up on television as a medium. Thanks.

There are more ugly magazine covers than ever in the shops, with logos that are somehow worse with each passing iteration, and – presumably – revamped interiors which are just as aesthetically challenged. I can’t bring myself to look. Actually, I have glanced at some of the material on the shelves and I am glad to see the intellectually vapid “lads mags” have finally imploded in the critical mass of their own egos. Took long enough, mind you.

I completely missed everything that the BBC was going through, and I can’t say – with a straight face – that it was worth sticking through everything to watch. BBC3 is gone? Meh. Maybe if, y’know, the shows weren’t skewed so hard to the twentysomething market I may have raised an eyebrow, but it is no great loss. Letting go of Clarkson, however, is more of a quandary. I know he’s an asshole on the show, but it is largely a character he is playing. The new show seems to be making an effort to be as bland and unwatchable as possible, so it may not last the year. Here’s hoping…

Something else happened during my time away, and I’m not sure if it is completely pointless or only marginally stupid. In any event: Gotham. I know there are probably a thousand things that matter more in the world right now, but the very concept of a series which sets out the prehistory of Batman seems, to me, to be a colossal waste of time. The only thing I can foresee enjoying is the parallels the show will bring between Bruce Wayne and Wrath. As long as it doesn’t go all Watchmen and weird…

To be continued.

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Language,Words & Power

Posted by BigWords on April 3, 2016

There’s a long-held notion among varied peoples that words, specifically names, have a certain power – that by naming a thing you can exert power over the object itself. There’s a short story (Vernor Vinge, if memory serves) which has avatars in a Dungeons & Dragons type environment using words as spells, and NewWho has used the notion in “The Shakespeare Code” to rather spectacular effect. It’s interesting that so many cultures, across vast distances and throughout history, have come to the same ideas in amazingly similar descriptions.

Yet there’s something about that notion, the simple act of naming, which bothers me. For the last eight or nine years I have kept a little Latin grammar book near me. It is a reminder of an era in which these books used to be much more useful. I love the soft leather cover, the neat, orderly columns, the dainty, playful typeface which belies the utility of the text. It isn’t a flash book, or a particularly obvious text, but I love it all the same. Likewise, not three feet away sits a German dictionary from (I think) the fifties. Sturdy and utilitarian, it is everything that the Latin book isn’t – intended to be used for its purpose and no more.

I got my hands on an Italian phrasebook a few years ago which had the beautifully simple notion of illustrating words, and it was most likely the act of placing names to things in other languages which kicked off the trail towards a question which I still haven’t found an easy answer to: Is naming something the act of power, or is it the name? See, names are just a collection of sounds (or letters, which are illustrated depictions of sounds) which assist in everyone understanding that which needs to be communicated.

Lets back up a moment – the words you are reading here use the Roman alphabet, which comes to us through the Romans (no surprise there) who got their letters from the Etruscan people, who took inspiration from a flavor of the Greek alphabet, who got their letters from Phonecian texts. The words which the letters form are in English, which has a history that will make your head explode if you attempt to fully understand all of the various ways in which we got from Chaucer to here. Along the way we picked up arbitrary rules, style guidelines and (eventually) deconstructionist tendencies in *ahem* certain quarters.

Which is to say: the words we use, day to day, aren’t ours. Not on a personal level. We share these words, and combine them; we play with words and see how far we can move them until they break. The World Wide Web isn’t a web, the Internet isn’t a net (and isn’t it rather amusing that both webs and nets catch things?), but we accept these words to describe that which has no physical presence. And as we name these things, we take control over them.

While we share certain words with other languages, and accept translations, we are no closer to true names. Unlike those who posit Latin names as being authentic (no, they are the scientific names), and despite attempts by some at tracing the roots of words back to the earliest forms, I am still not convinced that anything we can use now has the power which supposedly comes from the naming convention.

Which raises the question: what kind of a name would inanimate objects call themselves? For that matter, do animals have names they call each other? Is an arbitrary name imposed externally as valid as a name which something innately possesses?

You can probably tell, by these posts, why it isn’t wise for me to be alone with my own thoughts for a prolonged period of time…

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Considering the Sun

Posted by BigWords on April 2, 2016

It is rather surprising where, precisely, the thought process behind an idea begins. Not just the usual nonsense trotted out every so often when someone asks “where do you get your ideas” (which is superbly pierced by “There’s a P.O. box in Schenectady…”), but instead the dot-to-dot of process. It is most like hitting YouTube to watch Voyage Voyage by Desireless, and somehow – two hours later – you are watching, mouth agape, as someone does parkour with a perilous drop one missed footstep away.

Here’s a challenge: find a jaw-dropping WHAT THE HELL, DUDE video which doesn’t have the standard YouTube comment how the fuck did I get here added beneath it. Go on. I’ll be waiting.

That is pretty much the best way I have of describing my thought process. I start at point A and work through multiple strands until I end up somewhere unexpected and surprising even to myself. Which is how a conversation about something entirely mundane ends up with me dropping an idea which raises more questions than answers: how the hell did I, of all people, come up with a plausible answer to why the surface of the sun is so hot? I mean, c’mon.

The before part, where I was in my thoughts before, is not important. It has been so long that I’m not sure if I’ll ever come up with the steps again, but the idea seems “not dumb” in a way that many other answers… Just don’t. Before we go much further, I’ll explain the idea here.

The material ejected from the sun – the constant push of material off from the surface, in the form of light and matter – is only as effective as the speed it can attain. Whatever is not fast enough to escape the mass of the sun, what is trapped by gravity, can’t fall “back to the surface” because there is no surface. Gas, remember. So there’s this chaff, whatever waste that is being pushed on from below, and is being heated, while not attaining the necessary speed to be blown off into space.

I’ll admit that I haven’t probed that notion at all, mostly for fear of finding a flaw, but as an easy answer to the problem I am incredibly pleased with myself. Does it work? I am not entirely sure I want to be dissuaded from the answer, as it is awesomely simple. The sun is crusty. There was a couple of weeks that I actually considered writing it up with diagrams and in a far more technical language, but I don’t want to spend the next decade getting into serious science.

Despite the story which that was going to appear in being… less than stellar (hey, a joke) it stands as a neat reminder that when I put my mind to something I can come up with surprising answers. Even if they are half-baked (two jokes for the price of one, kids) and not necessarily correct.

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Being “not dead” and all…

Posted by BigWords on April 1, 2016

Man, has the last couple of years sucked. I won’t go into all the detail, because–well, it would depress everyone, and I would have to explain so much that it would make me depressed. Anyway, the time spent thinking wasn’t a complete wash. There’s an announcement that is likely going to make no sense whatsoever set for the end of the month, though my involvement will initially be minimal. Which is, in a roundabout way, the prompt for me busting my ass to get back online, even in a marginal form.

While I was thinking, and there are weeks when all I did was ponder questions, the good graces of Polyhymnia, Calliope and Melpomene shone upon me. So many weird thoughts. The following few posts may skew towards more heavy lifting than would ordinarily appear on this blog, but there are things in the Really Intelligent Notions which aren’t entirely my own.

What do you have to look forward to? Well, there’s a possible answer to a physics question that people have been pondering for years, though I doubt I have all of the pieces to do it justice, there’s some linguistic things that have cropped up, and there’s other… IDK. Stuff. It has all been percolating in my brain, and getting it out here may help others – but if anyone gets a Nobel Prize or anything, I want a name-check. ‘Kay.

For the reasons in the first paragraph, commenting is off.

The following posts are scheduled to run daily, so check back for the thoughts that have kept me (mostly) sane for the past couple of years.

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Subliminal Advertising?

Posted by BigWords on November 26, 2013

subliminal
Not that I *just* got back online to make a crass cock reference, but…

I couldn’t have been the only person to notice that, could I?
Nothin’ to see here. Off you go.

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Celebrity

Posted by BigWords on November 9, 2013

People say that you can tell a lot about a society from its treatment of animals, but I’ll wager that a better gauge of a society’s standing is by looking at the celebrities de rigueur. Go look at the covers of this month’s magazines – take your time poring over the glossy, airbrushed covers, often overlaid with impenetrable acronyms such as HIMYM and TOWIE, as if by speaking in Tweets they are going to appear fashionable rather than desperate and pathetic. I would offer to buy the publishers of such atrocities a dictionary, but I’m not entirely sure that some of the authors of those lines would know what to do with one. Seeing the dull, vacant eyes of our “national obsessions” staring out of the magazine racks like women in the windows of Amsterdam brothels, my first feeling is one of pity. Then embarrassment on their behalf.

One of the major problems, when standing staring at those magazines, is that nothing stands out. Magazines have becomes clones of each other, with no originator to follow. Pod-people publications; uniform in appearance. It is no surprise that some people are moaning and griping about slipping sales. When standards slip, sales slip. It is almost an inevitability that random purchases aren’t going to be followed up by regular purchase or (as some are praying for) a subscription, just by looking at the covers. If the highest level of “celebrity” you can bag is some non-entity, fart in the wind who will be an unknown in a couple of years time, then maybe, just maybe, it is time to throw your hands in the air and say “fuck it, run the pic of the two-headed cat.” Or anything. To make a statement with covers beyond “we are shallow and unimaginative.”

So, the covers. I can’t say that I recognize the majority of faces. The anorexic blondes all look the same to me, and even the male “celebrities” are becoming rather alike. The days of stars with character in their faces… Tura Satana, Theda Bara, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson… even that old louche Sinatra – those days are gone and buried. We have pod-people personalities posing for pod-people publications, and nobody seems to find the mundanity of it all bothersome. It is a different age – these people aren’t distant icons. They aren’t mysterious, nor (in a great swathe of cases) all that interesting. The faces on at least two covers are people whom I could easily imagine tweeting about their bowel movements, which removes any incentive to read what comes out of their mouths.

Warhol got it wrong – we aren’t going to witness masses of people attain fifteen minutes of fame. What we are witnessing, at this present moment, is the slow death of celebrity culture. People wrung out like sponges, every moment of their lives scrutinized, then discarded once they have seeped out every last detail of their personal lives.

The covers I commissioned for the monthly were in gouache. There is something about great paintings which speaks volumes, and I have always had an affinity for the boldness that a painted cover brings. You can strip away so much of the ornamentation which is expected, retaining the essence of identity through subtler means. I don’t think I asked for any major alterations – I know that on one painting I suggested that the sky ought to be two shades darker, though that is hardly the most extravagant of demands. Despite everything that happened after, and all the negatives which went with losing the title, I still have those on my wall. Not the cheapest paintings ever purchased, all things thrown into the cost, but much more satisfying to look at than a nondescript photograph.

And on celebrity again, for a moment – I spent a little time putting together a list of names of people I found interesting enough to warrant running features on, but the first thirty names (the choices which I would have ran first) met with blank stares from nearly everyone. I nixed the idea, desperate to keep from turning the open-to-all nature of the title into a closed-off community of geeks with long memories. One of these days, when there’s less possibility of things going completely tits-up, I’ll come back to some of that material, which I still think has the potential to do interesting things. At the very least I would love to see some of the daguerreotypes preserved in print, as a few of them are starting to look very sorry for themselves indeed.

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Focus

Posted by BigWords on November 8, 2013

Homogenous
adjective
of the same kind; alike: consisting of parts all of the same kind.

While I am on the topic of the contents, I may as well share a little of what I have tired of in most current – and, for that matter, past – publications. The very word “magazine” carries with it the suggestion of a range of disparate topics, spread over various styles and with conflicting views on display, but this is only so because most magazines are abysmally conceived. The lack of focus in any issue of a regularly-published magazine is one of the reasons which keep them from achieving greater things, bogging overall quality down in a miasma of hopeless confusion. Special issues, dedicated to a single idea, are better examples of what magazines should be aiming for, but these can be… well, I ain’t gonna be pushing any single magazine as a paragon of quality.

There are titles I like, for various reasons. I’ve never though that they went all-out, went completely to the core of the matter at hand. If something is worth doing well, it is worth going all in. The hand behind a title should be throwing all available energy into the compilation of material, so that nothing is left in doubt about the competence of the people behind the work. The magazines which I had sitting for people to look at – to see how the idea and the execution left a space of nebulous degrees – were a haphazard lot, gathered over the years, and kept due to their coming so very, very close to being great. Which brings me to the strata of magazines which I had pondered at numerous times, and codified into four groups.

General magazines of low focus.
General magazines of high focus.
Specialist magazines of low focus.
Specialist magazines of high focus.

None of those categories describe the quality of the contents, but merely explain what is within the pages. Additionally, it doesn’t cover runs of titles, but must be undertaken on an issue by issue basis. Splitting markets into two main groups (general and specialist) goes to the market a title is aiming for, with specialist covering automobiles, computer games, sport, yachting… It doesn’t really matter what the subject is, as long as there is a particular niche which can be identified immediately. General is different, and more complicated to deal with. I threw everything else in there precisely because it is pointless to discuss fashion magazines, television listings titles and other things. It is all the same. Vogue or Radio Times, the mixed nature of what is within the pages immediately places those in low focus, and I have little interest in those titles.

Yeah. There’s the qualifier to the two main groupings. High and low focus. That is simpler to get to grips with, and it is the very thing I instilled in everyone who took the time to get to grips with what I was doing. Now, even though these posts as “why the hell not, lets get everything out in the open” I still feel a bit uncomfortable picking on titles, or those involved with them. Folks working on magazines are, overall, intelligent and creative. It is the fault of companies publishing magazines that there has been so little movement in the medium since… IDK, the 1940s? 1950s? Even Wired has elements which could have been bodged together way back in the 70s. The bigger the company, the smaller the motivation to be spectacular. Think of it in terms of sports – those giant guys in the World’s Strongest Man competitions versus the lithe athletes running at great speed, or gymnasts.

Not that small companies are inherently better. You get your money regularly, and a degree of (irrelevant) kudos for snagging a gig at one of the big companies, even if the work you produce is unmitigated shit. Wow, I’m back to talking about FHM again. Weird… Anyways. *cough*

There’s a Dark Side Magazine special which is entirely about zombies. This is focus. And tight focus, at that. It is far from perfect, and has a few head-scratchers in the text, but it ain’t the worst thing I have ever read. The regular title suffered greatly from its’ low focus on so many aspects of “horror” (articles on things which were horrific to watch don’t count as horror. Just sayin’) that I rarely encouraged people to read it. Instead, I have always cited Samhain as being the single best magazine of horror ever published. Yes, it was butt-ugly at times, but it had the best articles, and John really, really did try to do something with it. I’ll ignore Fangoria, as… Well, I simply like to ignore that title as much as possible.

And yeah, I realize that I am talking about specific titles now. Guess I really don’t care. *shrugs*

About Fangoria, specifically – there was (is?) a trend that saw articles split in two, with the odd page, or part of a page, presented much farther back into the issue than necessary. In order to read some of the pieces, there was (is?) the need to flip past thirty or so pages to get to the final few sentences. It is lazy and incompetent design work, and something which should never be seen in a “professional” magazine. Not that I think it is very professional anyway. And of Dark Side, the most irritating and (still) unexplained decision – so few of the numerous photographs presented in the title were captioned that it was always an annoyance to read. Most images in features obtained some explanation beneath their presentation, but the letters page? Ugh.

Focus. That’s what I’m talking about, so I should be doing it.

Focus is all about keeping a single thread of thought throughout the span of the issue. And it isn’t necessarily the obvious thought. In the most simplified form, it is the grouping of facts on a single page – fifty things about Christmas, or about Halloween, or… anything, really. When the entire raison d’être is a single event, or place, or person, there is a feeling of comfort in reading – which can be spoiled entirely by a single out-of-place element. Taking this to an extreme, molding an entire issue around the fewest pieces, is something which is incredibly powerful. This is something which hasn’t been attempted to a great degree, and I can see some of the arguments against it, but most arguments hinge on tradition. Fuck tradition. Tradition is as good as astrology when it comes to predictions.

I used small facts at the top of each page in order to bind the more obviously unconnected pages. Unlike every other title which has done this, I made sure that there was a common element running the length of the magazine – for the first issue, that subject was firsts. The “first” examples also had to tie in to what was the main focus of each page – a greater feat than you might imagine. Also, the big difference fro what others were doing with the idea was that each of the facts ran to three lines of text rather than one line of large text, and most had a web address at the end so that people could learn more about what was given in brief. I trusted the intelligence of readers enough to use more complicated language in these small snippets of text.

Keeping an idea, whatever that idea may be (as long as it ties the title together) present from the opening salvo through to the final pages is one of the most satisfying things to see actually working. Properly working. Not half-assed, throw-any-fact-on-the-page style. Gods, this is going to make me horribly depressed if I have to point out all of the things I had to watch get ripped from my grasp…

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