It is ‘transfurs’, isn’t it?

As I write, 7% of the Vworp Vworp! PDFs are with the printers. The little transfer bar’s barely moving – this may take a while…

12% It’s an odd feeling to finally relinquish something I’ve been working on for so long. I’ve just checked, it was on July 6th last year when Gareth first invited me onboard. The previous designer had been forced to drop out (busy working for Big Finish or some fool nonsense) and, as I’d proved myself reasonably capable by coming up with some flyers and posters for Gareth’s pub, The Lass O’Gowrie (“The best pies in Manchester!”), he wondered if I fancied “taking on design duties”? I thought about it for at least a second before agreeing.

19% Now, I doubt many of you will remember my previous tentative step into the world of Doctor Who fanzines. It was a thing called Circus that ran for nine issues and was quite popular for a time. The last issue came out around 2001, with me cursing bitterly that the internet was killing the good old printed fanzine. By 2009 I was really missing editing and designing fanzines, so, with me having been made redundant one day after returning from my Christmas hols and no new job on the horizon, Gareth’s proposal couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m not sure he realised the monster he was taking on though – within weeks I was already suggesting new articles and interviews, questioning some of the old ones, and bringing the whole ‘Thirtieth Anniversary of DWM‘ angle into the mix – what should have been a couple of months’ work stretched on. And on. And…

26% (26%! I’m already thinking, worrying. What if there’s not enough bleed? What if the page numbers aren’t readable? What if converting from RGB to CMYK renders the whole thing unreadable? Did I remember to spell poor old Richard Bignell’s name right this time? Will DWM sue us? Will the transfers actually work?)

31% So anyway, I’ve not done much designy stuff in colour before, certainly not an entire 48-page magazine (because that’s what it was back then. Haha, naïve young fools!). I’d designed my fair share of wine labels, newsletters and flyers, and had been trying for years to persuade Big Finish that I could whip up a mean CD cover (to no avail), but the thought of assembling an attractive magazine in full colour, with no design elements in place, filled me with apprehension. Plus there was the small matter that – whisper it – the Doctor Who comic strip had, until then, never held much interest for me. I didn’t tell Gareth that, of course. And don’t worry, I bloody love them now (what was I thinking?!).

45% It’s been fantastic. I’ve come into contact with lots of amazingly talented people – we’ve interviewed Dave Gibbons, for goodness’ sake! I’ve spoken to cartoon creators whose stuff I grew up with: Tim Quinn and Dicky Howett, for example, whose first ‘Doctor Who?’ cartoon appeared in my first issue of Doctor Who Monthly. Leighton Noyes, who I’d always assumed was merely an anagram, not the really friendly, really generous and really real person I spoke to. On the other hand there was Baxter Sullivan, who I assumed was a real person and turned out to be someone else entirely.

66% And it’s been incredibly rewarding collaborating with Gareth too. I’d always been a bit of a one man band with Circus, so I was initially a little worried whether the arrangement would work out. I can be a stubborn bugger some times, but having someone there to point out that my way might not be the best way has taught me a lot, most of all humility. Best of all, the final product is, I think, far better than either of us ever imagined. It’s certainly the most rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in, and much of that is down to m’colleague. You never know, we might ever meet up one day…

74% And don’t get me started on the genius that is Ben Willsher. Or “Brillsher” as I call him. I’ll write another blog post about the covers soon, but until then I’ll just say that the multi-Doctor cover could never have happened without him (and some initial help from the ridiculously busy Roger Langridge).

79% I’m beginning to gush like RTD in one of his Production Notes. Without the wit. (We tried to get him in Vworp!, you know. He never replied. Just because he was off being a hugely successful scriptwriter in LA! Some people…) Vworp Vworp! Volume One contains the words “interregnum”, “Waxman” and “Busby”. And no others.

86% Ah yes, “Volume One”. Gareth’s thread on the Gallifrey Base forum still has “one-shot” in the title. For a couple of months it was indeed intended to be a one-off, then, because I was rather enjoying myself and knew we’d have enough material to fill several issues, with lots of juicy interviews promised to us (not least Dave Gibbons on his Davison strips and Steve Moore on Abslom Daak), I dropped the bombshell that Vworp Vworp! HAD to be an ongoing zine. I could almost hear Gareth choking on an exquisite pie from 200 miles away, but he soon agreed. So we’ve already started work on Volume Two, with lots more exciting stuff lined up. We’ve got Steve Parkhouse! John Ridgway! Mike McMahon! David Lloyd! More articles and comic strips and, if everything works out, another stunning cover!

94% Nearly there. This is it, no turning back now. I remember my dad buying me a Star Wars comic in the early 80s. Emblazoned in huge, loud type across the top were the words “FREE BAGDE”! If that little gem got past countless editors, what chance have we got with long words like ‘Celebrate’ (imagine it: “WE CELIBATE 30 YEARS OF DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE!”) on the cover? How many “DELGARDO”s and “DAVIDSON”s have we missed? Surely there must be at least one hugely embarrassing typo within, some massive clunker that escaped our loyal band of proof-readers? Oh God, 99%, there’s still time to hit cancel…

100% Oh.

8 comments on “It is ‘transfurs’, isn’t it?

  1. Graham Kibble-White on said:

    Can I take your comments cherry by simply stating, I’m really, really, REALLY looking forward to reading this fanzine? Thank you.

  2. Chris Halliday on said:

    I’m genuinely excited about Vworp Vworp! It’s obviously a labour of love, and it’s great to see the comic strip getting the recognition it deserves. Much as I love DWM and the weekly before it, if I’m honest I buy it for the strips first, and the articles second. Long may it continue to be so!

  3. Simon Mills on said:

    Speaking of typos… Did you spot the one on the Dez Skinn interview, at least it’s in the JPG preview? How do you spell “Kavanagh”? Do I win a prize? :-D

    Looking forward to receiving my copies – couldn’t decide which cover to go for so bought both!

    –Simon.

  4. Ken Shinn on said:

    This looks truly brilliant – a real masterpiece – and rest assured, my order will be with you in short order. Caricature cover for me, I think – a lovely piece of work!

  5. Draculasaurus on said:

    Looks great.
    What a brilliant project!
    This gets the Draculasaurus Seal of Approval.

  6. Walter Dunlop on said:

    Looks absolutely wonderful. Just put my order in – I don’t mind which cover I get, both of them look ace. Good luck with this – you deserve all the success there is for this.

  7. Pingback: Colin Brockhurst Design/Words/Things · Vworp Vworp! Volume One

  8. Walter Dunlop on said:

    My copy arrived this morning. Oh, my lord. What a *beautiful* thing. Epic amounts of praise to all concerned. Thank you very much for all the effort this has obviously taken – it has paid off in spades.

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