It was a scramble getting this issue out the door, but then some months are like that. Actually, most months are like that. We plan, we map things out, but then things have a way of changing and we find ourselves off-roading it, sans map, plans be damned. The cover, for instance. Because our sales team sold a nice, big gatefold ad, we had to close the cover at least a week earlier than the rest of the magazine. The cover is the thing we obsess over the most, so it’s usually the last thing to go. But OK, no problem, we’ll make it work. Marching orders in hand, we set about concepting it, setting up the photo shoot, and designing it...only to be told we don’t have to ship it as early as we’d originally been told. No problem—we’ll take it. (We’ll always take extra time.) We get it done and ship it off to the printer, only to be told (four days later) that the new plant we’re printing at can’t handle more than one spot color—and we’ve got two on the cover. Wow, nobody tells us anything. OK, no problem, we’ll only do one spot color. What’s next? Oh yeah, in the midst of fact-checking Jack Heffron’s piece on our latest batch of locally grown potential Reds players, we find out that Matt Klinker, a solid pitching prospect, has left baseball for good. Apparently he decided this not long after giving Jack a very thoughtful interview about his hopes for landing back on his hometown team’s roster. Wow, nobody tells us anything. OK, no problem, we’ll adjust. His formerly sizable presence in the piece will be reduced to a one-sentence aside and we’ll soldier on.
What else? Well, Barry Manilow’s publicist wants to know what kind of photo we’d run with a short Q&A we’re planning. What she really means is that he’ll only do the interview if we run Barry’s pre-approved photo of himself. We tell her we have a great artist named Pablo who does wonderfully playful illustrations of our interview subjects each month. He will treat the man who writes the songs that make the young girls sing with the respect he deserves. (No really, he will. Pablo’s awesome.) But apparently Pablo’s not good enough for Mr. Manilow. And since we’ve now wasted 10 days on this inane negotiation, we only have a couple left to find someone else, set up the interview, conduct it, file it, edit it, and ship it. Thank God novelist Colson Whitehead is less concerned about his image. And that he’s got such wry things to say about zombies and the uselessness of smartphones and computers come the apocalypse. So we’re really happy to be done with this issue. It turned out alright despite all the stuff we had to go through to get it to you. And honestly, that’s not the half of it...but I won’t bore you with more. Just turn to our “Hidden Cincinnati” feature on page 44 and discover something you didn’t already know about this town. As for us, we’re going out for a drink. We’ve earned it.
Originally published in the April 2012 issue.
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