Last week's Beano featured the Pansy Strip Ginger Cat, which I would love to have blogged about but, sadly, I could not find a copy of the Beano anywhere in Edinburgh. I looked in all the shops I passed in the central area, then in every newsagents I passed on the way to my schools in Currie, Colinton and Balerno, but to no avail. One newsagent told me "I think it's finished" and another said "it's not around anymore, you just get it online" (he was thinking of The Dandy. But godammit he is a newsagents. In Scotand). It seems, only an hour away from the home of The Beano, newsagents are not being kept appraised as to its continued existence. I eventually got a copy of last week's Beano thanks to a Socks fan...
Susan, from California, is a Socks fan of some years standing who read my plaintive Tweets about being unable to find a Beano anywhere in Edinburgh so bought me a copy in London and brought it up with her. I paid her, mind. How lovely is that?
My Comic Art Masterclasses, which keep me from flyering but keep the cashflow going (and, we worked out last year, pay the same as the lost revenue from unflyer-attracted bums-on-seats) have also taken me to Portobello (where I found this week's Beano), Craigmillar (which has been totally rebuilt since I last went there and has, in just a few years, gone from looking like a war zone to a shiny area of des rezzes and a big glass library with a Cyberman on the wall), and today I'll be off to Inverclyde. That's right, I'll be driving the entire width of Scotland to teach kids comics, that's how brilliant and hard working I am. Tonight's Socks show will get intensively flyered when I get back.
Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing Pansy Potter in The Beano, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. He's been writing and drawing comics for 25 years, he must know something.