Friday, July 30, 2004

layout weekend

It's been a long, slow process, spanning over a year, but I think I'll be ready to take Issue #1 of "Scutmonkey" to Kinko's tomorrow to be printed up. (When I say "Kinko's," I really mean "Office Depot," but I find that saying "Kinko's" is just universally understood to mean "Copy Store," just like people say "Kleenex" or "Band-Aid".) I have the covers assembled, I have the master printed and pasted, all that remains to be done is a little double-sided copying, folding, and long-necked stapling. It's a home-grown effort, but if I may say, it will be a handsome booklet when finished. More updates on Issue #1 and ordering information to come soon.

Laying out the comic, I was reminded of my high-school days working on my school paper. The nostalgia came from using Microsoft Publisher to lay out the pages, which, while not a terribly sophisticated program, is straightforward enough for even the computer novice, and the only publishing program with which I'm even remotely familiar. We used to spend entire "layout weekends" to get the school paper ready for press, oftentimes spending the entire weekend ingratiating ourselves on the hospitality of Phil and his family. Phil one of the tri-editors-in-chief, the only one who lived in Manhattan and conveniently had parents with a refreshingly laissez-faire attitude. At least more laissez-faire than my parents, which, I guess, isn't really saying all that much. We would stay up most of the night on these "layout weekends," taking shifts sleeping in Phil's hammock (which his parents had strung up in the living room), thinking up creative filler or pictures for the empty spaces between articles and ads, and generally acting as goofy and juvenile as any high-school students at what amounted to a two-day co-ed parent-approved sleepover. We would make deli-runs, take kung-fu movie breaks, and laugh at things that weren't really that funny because, at 3:00am and on your 28th page of copy, anything is funny. Especially when you're sixteen.

In retrospect, "layout weekends" were a little bit like being on call in the hospital, but for a key difference. We did "layout weekends" because we wanted to, we take call because we have to. And that may be the single and most marked downside of medical training--the loss of freedom. Where a day off becomes the most exciting thing in the world, because it means that you can use your time however you want.

I keep in touch with most of my good friends from high school, but my friends from the school paper somehow got lost. And I do hate losing people. There's something very special about keeping in touch with people who were close to you when you were young. So I'm going to harness the mighty power of Google and put the beacon out there. Phil Sphicas, Gillian Hodler, and Paul Nguyen, I'm thinking about you guys. If you ever do a search on your own names and find yourselves here, e-mail me and say hi. I would love to catch up on the last ten years.

Currently reading: "Running with Scissors." Still. But I may pop into Borders after my Kinko's (Office Depot) expedition tomorrow and browse for something new.

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