Tonight, I wrapped up the last bits for Comic Shop News #1099 and began doing some work for CSN #1100. Such is the nature of a weekly: I never have a clean break between issues, because while I'm finalizing the material for one issue, I'm organizing info and sending out questions for the next and making arrangements for cover stories for the issue after that... There is no time when I can truly say "I'm finished for the week" and take a few days off before I start on the next issue; weeklies just don't work that way.
Nice round numbers like 1100 give rise to a little rumination; basically, that means that I've been writing Comic Shop News for a tad over twenty-one years now. That's more than two decades of weekly production with no missed deadlines--and with no off weeks. When you produce a weekly, there's no vacation as such; the best you can do is to try to do most of your work a week ahead, so that you only have to do late-breaking and/or last minute work the week that the issue goes to press.
As I told Neil Marks of Virgin during a chat yesterday, "If I weren't doing this for Comic Shop News, I'd still be tracking down info on comics--but instead of being a reporter, I'd just be that crazy fan who keeps bugging everyone." That's the best part of Comic Shop News: it gives me a professional reason to cater to my incessant desire for more information.
I mentioned last year that I was surprised to find several key issues of Comic Shop News saved in Mom and Dad's scrapbooks; it never occurred to me that my parents might have actually been pleased that I was making a living doing things that I enjoyed so much, like owning a comic shop and publishing a fanzine that makes some money. I don't know if they still remember those high school years when I was doing apazines and writing letters of comment and contributing pieces to other fanzines--and I don't know if they ever imagined way back then that I'd find a way to do this on a weekly basis for a larger readership than the average issue of the Rome News-Tribune.
1100 issues. Who'da thunk it? Certainly not me!...