Thursday, February 4, 2010

Two Tangos: too much?

Well, it's been a month and a half or so since the big double Tango launch, and it's time to have a bit of a look back at that night and more generally at doing two big books in the one small year.

Night of the launch, 10 December 2009, making some comment that's making Mirranda Burton wince. Probably a pun.
Photo: Peter Jetnikoff

At this point I can say that I'm very proud of both books, but I have to admit that by the time Tango9 rolled around, rose up on its haunches and became the 350 page behemoth that it is today, it had outgrown my capacity to handle, muzzle, or restrain it. The sheer volume of pages and number of contributors flipped a switch somewhere in the tiny tinny little administration centre in my noggin. Mistakes were made. (And still are: only yesterday Greg Holfeld, author of the excellent 'Homefront' (page 124), emailed to say, "Um, could I please have my contributor's copy?" Oh, gosh.)

But the most significant errors on my part were to leave out stories which I had said were in. Yes, that's right. Two stories had been selected for the book, the authors informed, and then, in the utter madness of the final book assembly, I ... misplaced them. One of these, 'Interview with the Dictator's Mother', was a collaboration between Mark Scillio and myself (yep) - I realised it was missing the night before we went to press, and couldn't at that point change things. With the other story, Justin Woolley and Brendan Hayday's 'In the Trenches', it was only on the night of the launch, that this situation was revealed. To these three gentlemen, Mark, Justin, and Brendan, I offer my sincere apologies - I am terribly sorry. What happened with your stories was really the opposite of what I set up Tango to do.

But here's the silver lining: both stories are now available to be read on the Tango9 page on the Cardigan Comics website, here. Thanks to Justin Caleo for making this happen.

Hey look! It's dapper Neale Blanden!
Photo by Peter Jetnikoff

And thanks to brother Luke, it's now possible to buy Tango via Paypal on the website, here. Tango9 sells there for $25 and earlier Tangos for $10, and hey, psst! If you've ever wanted to fill in a hole in your Tango shelf or even if you just have fingers that twitch for a bargain, I'd get in now and make a purchase before I work out how to add a postage amount there.

That's right Tango fans: get in quick while you can, and order your books postage-free!

Animated David Blumenstein and Jovial Jo Waite, skylarking.
Peter Jetnikoff took the picture

And hey. Let's not forget that other fine Tango of last year, 'The Tango Collection'. It has not escaped my attention that having two of us (viz: Elise Jones and I) working the editorial angle of that book meant that it worked out a lot more smoothly. And yes, you're right, it's published, marketed and distributed by Allen and Unwin, too, (all of which is magnificent) but I'm focussing on the administrative aspect here, and I'm thinking that for 'Tango10: Love and Music' (planned for 2011), I will assemble an editorial team...

ANYway, if you're a Melbournite, you should really buy The Age this Saturday (all 16 kilos of it) and open the A2 section and check out the 'Books' section: the word on da street is that there will be a review of 'The Tango Collection' there. Please, stain it with coffee and croissant crumbs, for me.

And cry huzzah!

Finally, himself. Peter Jetnikoff, I think photographed here by David Blumenstein, next to a copy of Peter's biography and his portrait from 'The Tango Collection'. The rest of the group of photos of the launch from which the ones in this post were selected can be found here.


Bobby.N said...



Anonymous said...

Between this post and the equally candid podcast you did with John Retallick about the year of two Tangos, I've learned a lot more about you recently. I'm looking forward to the arrival of Cardigan Comics #1 in September. Another huzzah!

Owen said...

Not that I particularly want to add another mistake to the list, but on the Tango9 page on the Cardigan Comics website, is it possible to restore the second 'n' to my surname?

That aside, the two books are a mammoth project, and you've put in a herculean effort that vastly overshadows the slip-ups. Congrats!

Owen Heitmann

Anonymous said...

That was a pretty damn fun nite. That was a great speach Bernard, you sure do have a unique personality. Australian comics need a ringmaster/mad evangelist! Very inspirational,cheers!
ps The books are great too.