Saturday, 28 March 2015

Borderline Press Blog #31 - Sod's Law

"We've had our fair share of setbacks," was a nice line aimed at me from Ben (Santa Claus) Dickson - who I'm glad to say thinks of himself as part of our little publishing family - and frankly I'm pretty amazed we're still here at times.

Setbacks and problems are part and parcel of this kind of venture, you just don't expect them to happen as you approach the end of Trading Year 2 - you would have pretty much cut all your teething troubles out by this point. Yet printers of a variety that would make Butch Cassidy proud, staffing troubles and ill health were just three things that were sent to try me in 2014 and 2015 was only going to get better...

Except we're at the end of March and I have nothing scheduled at the printer before the summer and yet again the reasons have been beyond my control. To say that it would be unwise of me to spotlight the recent debacle is an understatement. You don't walk into your only pub for 50 miles and call the landlord a See You En Tee and then punch his wife, especially if you're an alcoholic and that colourful metaphor pretty much sums up the situation I find myself in at the moment. I simply cannot tell you who's fucked up this time because I'd like to carry on trading/publishing.

Suffice it to say this latest setback is beginning to feel like someone somewhere has got it in for me, or perhaps some karma has found its way back to me - after all, I've been pretty scathing about comics for years, so anything that can go wrong was probably a nailed on certainty...

The whole thing has become a worry because I'm suddenly faced with a situation I'd not bargained for - a cash flow crisis. We pretty much knew this first quarter of 2015 was going to be a very important time; the orders from Previews were going to determine the next quarter and we were, effectively, going to become a publisher working on what we make rather than from investment. But, more than that I cannot say (I think I've dropped enough hints).

On top of all of this my health has been poor; my mobile phone is knackered while O2 are obfuscating like a Tory MP trying to offset the blame elsewhere. My search for a job to preserve my sanity hasn't been fruitful and I'd talk about depression but I wouldn't want people thinking I'm going to fly a plane into someone's house or a mountain...

On a positive front. I'm personally chairing a panel about self-publishing (which seems odd considering I'm not a self-publisher per se) at the Sunderland GN Expo in May and I'm also doing something with the extremely clever Dan Mallier - who was the brains behind one of the convention hits of 2014 with his extremely well patronised Leamington Spa Con - on Free Comic Book Day, if we can work out the logistics, etc.

However, for the few positives, having no cash has meant that I'm struggling to fit Borderline Press into conventions this year; although given the pointlessness of many of them perhaps this could be viewed as a money saving exercise... Plus it's annual returns time and at the moment if I could find a convenient stone to crawl under I would. With my 53rd birthday less than a month away everything is beginning to feel like a chore. I just feel sorry for my creators, they probably deserve more than me.

Maybe next month I'll have something good to tell you.

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