The clean up effort continues here at Stately Beat Manor, and we’re uncovering all kinds of forgotten wonders — a complete run of Fiz(z) magazine; a near complete run of Escape (both digest and magazine sized); a run of Drawn & Quarterly magazine, which we didn’t even remember EXISTED.
We’ve also discovered some real puzzlers. An old notebook (nearly 30 years old) disclosed a startling find — a series of charts from the years 1978-1985 notating the very young Beat’s comings buying habits. We’ve attached one of them above (click for a larger version) and what’s really startling is that we have absolutely no idea what the fuck it means.
Clearly it meant SOMETHING, as we kept identically carefully notated charts for the entire period. The effort put into this was considerable for the time — nowadays we use Excel, but in the olden days we would take a ruler and create our own charts! and we loved it — we LOVED it.
Anyway while it’s clear that the amount of Marvel we read would make us a prime candidate for the Marvel Essentials line (and in our defense, as soon as Raw showed up in the comics shop championed by the Comics Journal, we were buying it so it doesn’t show up on this chart) what it means isn’t. The “A” column is definitely for “Annual” but what do the numbers mean? At first we thought it referred to the week of release (in the olden days of the direct sales market, comics each week would have a different color strip at the top) — but then what does 5 and 6 mean? And what does “51, 62, 62 etc.” mean in the Iron Man column???? Why does the January issue of Tomb of Dracula have an arrow to February???
Seriously, we have absolutely no memory of this or why we did it. And since we had no friends at the time, there is no one else who could possibly know either.
It is a mystery for the ages.