The “2nd internal email”

11 Aug

This email was unfortunately featured in School Of Bitches, Issue 3 (featuring Virtues Chronicles Part Three) (FIRST EDITION)  printed by UK COMICS for School Of Bitches. (ISSN:2053-034x)


From: <email address omitted>
Sent: 29 April 2014 13:54
To: <full name omitted>
Subject: RE: Guarding that account…
I propose taking a more supervisory role on the account, and I just hand this, in body at least, over to a junior acc ex. – they love this kind of shit – and they don’t actually seem to do anything else, not even wash cups. (With the cloth.) They could report directly to me, it’d be useful experience for them, well as useful as running around after a pair of self-proclaimed ‘artists’ as they stumble from one city to the next, can be. It needs youth and patience. Of which I have neither. It really also needs a female – this whole thing would work if there was an actual ‘bitch’ in the School Of Bitches. It would make them 100% more marketable. What’s that junior acc. who worked with us on their press package last year, Jaymie? Amy? She’d be good – they liked her…
For the most part, they just need someone to babysit them until they realize they only thing they’re really getting is, into a financial and emotional kind of debt – of which neither they can afford. Outside of being present for that epiphany – I’ll still be there to offer the relevant advice and guidance.
It’s not like I haven’t done my bit.
They got national newspaper coverage in Malta, their most favourite event, (which of course has to also be one of the most remote Comic Cons locations ever fucking conceived!) we’ve had meetings about marketing, demographics. (…don’t even get me started on their perceptions of a target demographic.)
They don’t seem to think any of this staple bread and butter kind of PR matters, shrugging it off, like my entire profession has no relevance because they’re product is such a fucking winner, it will literally sell itself. Now it did of course, cross my mind that maybe their self-assurance in their product was not unfounded and perhaps their periodical (of which there are now two iterations) is ‘the next big comic of the ages’. What with me being grown up and not into Lego anymore perhaps it was making me less objective then I should be.
So I tried to get them into prominent UK comic events, but they insist on writing their own applications and fuck them all up, trying to make themselves sound like some sort of professional outfit, “ … a collective of emergent artists, and writers” – my ASS!!! WTF?!
Batman & Robin look like they’re in a constant state of emerging out of bed, they’ve never made it to a single fucking con on time, scrap that, any single public appearance ever, and if it is a full weekend, well – DON’T expect to see them before midday on the Sunday. And what professional fucking anything calls themselves School Of Bitches??? They insisted on sticking with the stupid name, which has no relevance to anything at all, and just serves to instantly piss people off. I’ve seen it with my own eyes!!! Literally seen parents pull their children away from the table, like they used to do when people believed in God. What is more frustrating about it all, is it’s not even for the propensity to appear edgy, it’s as some damn ode to a comic that Stealth did back in school. He goes on like keeping this name was the foundation for all of his other principles, what kind of fucked, deluded sense of reality must he have?… Well thanks to you I have a much larger insight into that perception, for all the time I’ve clocked up sat in a room with these retards. School Of Bitches. It’s just so damn stupid, it makes me want to head-butt the fucking computer screen every time I see their dumb logo.
It’s no surprise really that Lakes replied with a heartfelt “we’re so sorry… but no fuck off” and ThoughtBubble shortly after that did the same. Instead of taking some time to reconsider their lives, as I recommended, they instantly dismiss two independent rejections from respective well-established British comic events, simply stating, “Fuck them, we’ll never apply again.”
The arrogance of these two is outstanding.
You know how I feel about working with those arty types at the best of times, but these rock-stars have such a thin grasp of reality, they think they can just fly to the top on a cocktail of class A drugs and ego.

These idiots (not including Adam) seem to think it’s hilarious that they don’t ‘like’ the comic scene – that they’re trying to break into – denouncing it; like a pair of self-righteous atheists turning up to church, grinning and waving inanely at the fucking vicar from the front row.
Their only saving grace is Adam, a pleasant mild mannered guy, who seems to have a genuine passion and understanding of the medium. His eternal ‘part-time’ status means he steers the project as best he can – but like a plane with no engines, all he can really do is aim to avoid any densely populated areas. This imminent crash probably explains his part time status; a conscious and considered effort – like his nickname – a predetermined betrayal, quickly disposing liability and allowing him to eject the moment the other two lock the cockpit door from the inside.
Now this guy I could work with.

Away from this project.

Objectively speaking the only positive steps I can recommend is to stick Ren & Stimpy in rehab and when they get out, get them some help with an application form for Jobseeker’s Allowance; and as for Adam – just tell him they were killed in a car accident.

Let him move on with his life, and let me with move on with mine.

Please Derek for the love of God.


<full name omitted>________                           _   

Senior Account Executive, Clearview Public Relations

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The “1st internal email”

7 Jun

The contents of this post are subject to change.


FWD: Do not FWD this to the client FFS

11 May

“An internal email from the PR Guy”, we’re the exact words used to describe what would feature in the next ‘revolutionary’ issue of School Of Bitches in an interview conducted in December.
That made me angry.

Ever since I’ve been involved with these clowns, I feel like my professional career is being undermined; as if it has cancer, and for as long as I put off the surgery I increase the chance of it spreading. Until one day it’s too late, I lay lifeless in a room somewhere, and they write,
School Of Bitches” all over my face and clothes in permanent marker, presenting me as some sort of time-based art piece – as was always their intention. Although that is awarding them a considerable amount of cunning that I personally think none of them possess, alas I cannot help but feel infected by their pseudo-anarchical nonsensical point of view.
So anyway, what I did not expect is for the mistake that landed the “internal email” in their hands in the first place, to be repeated albeit to greater effect.
Having some of my most uncensored feelings towards a client carelessly forwarded to them, would usually result in a PR disaster of which I am more than capable of cleaning up myself, with typical complaints regarding representing a client not usually amounting to much more than a difference of opinion. Not with these fools though.
I categorically stand against everything that they uphold as a value.

Idealist temperments that border on the fringes of multiple personality disorders, young and rebellious to boot, they’re not only difficult to represent because of their attitude, but because they think it’s funny to be all of those things. They have a massive problem with the concept of inside jokes, or at least the reality that nobody else is laughing. Not even some of those on the inside.

Case and point, the (now 2nd) “internal email”  of which I refer to, instead of causing any kind of offense as would be the typical response by any normal person reading such an unrelenting and personal character assasination, is celebrated and goes on to replace the original internal email they were going to use.
I don’t think they were hugged as children. Or maybe at all.


An interview with ‘my favorite comic book heroes…’

5 Jan

“The back matter is interesting too.  It’s written by some guy named The PR guy and it itself is an engaging essay.  All in all, Genesis feels less like a comic and more of a rock  band kind of feel. with the talents involved jamming out an album inside of an issue.  The styles clash, mesh and create something worth reading.  I highly recommend it.

I contacted the crew on Twitter and managed to convince the entire creative team to do an interview, keeping up with the jam session style that these four individuals create for themselves.  I”m glad I did.  All four of them are bright, charming and passionate individuals.  Even their names feel like classic rock or metal.  I introduce to the world Alan Steath, Dhalia, J and the Pr Guy.  They are the School of Bitches.

Joshua Pantalleresco: Introduce yourselves and what you contribute to the comic

Alan Stealth: Well I am the resident artist, creator, and lead on the project. I contribute pretty much my entire life to the comic. Like a sacrificial lamb… who is also somehow actually in charge.

David Dhalia: They call me Dhalia. But that’s not my real name. I can never quite describe my part in all of this, but I’m often credited as a Letterer/Writer.

AS: Even though you haven’t wrote anything.

DD: Nothing that’s been released…. *trails off*

Judas: They call me Judas. My contribution is small, yet effective.

PRGUY: I’m actually the only person here with a real job. I work in Public Relations, and handle their public relations. Although I would just like to state for the record, I am not necessarily responsible for all the of the relations with the public these guys participate in.

PRGUY: I feel like I’m in court. This will probably be used in court.

JP: I never judge on the first interview.  Second one, maybe.  Why the name School of B*tches?

J: *Looks to left, at Stealth*


AS: I guess I should answer this one. The name is taken from a comic strip that I started to draw back in 1998. I was still at school at the time. This comic is no longer public domain, but the events that take place in that comic are continually referenced throughout the story of Genesis, and almost all of the main characters resurface, albeit older now. School Of B*tches now primarily refers to the collective responsible for the storytelling, as opposed to the title of the comic itself. Essentially School Of B*tches “publish” the works, and Genesis and the Chapter are the title. The idea in keeping the name, is the essence of the original comic remains, I’ve just got a bit older and smarter.

PRGUY: Well apparently not as you still have b*tch in the title. Which makes it a hard sell for kids and er, ‘bitches’.

AS: That’s not true.

PRGUY: It sounds derogative. Hell, it is derogative. It’s a stupid name… its misleading, as it is offensive.

PRGUY: As you can probably tell, I had nothing to do with the name. I thought it was some niche porn website. I think iGenesis would actually sell better… or if it had zombies in it that might help…. or I don’t know some actual ‘b*tches’.

DD: I still think we should go with the name ‘Giant Fighting Zombie Robots’.

PRGUY: I like this guys idea. Let’s change the name.

AS: We’re NOT changing the name.

JP: huh.  Like the giant fighting zombie robots name. (PRGUY) considering what you said in there, I gotta wonder about your porn choices.

PRGUY: I’m pure class. In fact, even my porn has more class than any of these guys.

AS: … that’s probably true.

JP: How does your creative process work?

J: *Looks to left, at Stealth*

AS: *Looks to Judas* Judas apparently has no creative process. His creative process is ‘chipping in’.

AS: We spend a lot of time bouncing ideas off each other. (DD) and I spend time discussing everything from layout to story…

DD: (AS) and I work very closely on almost all aspects of the School of Bitches, from story writing, storyboarding, research, social networking and completing final edits of the publications themselves. It usually begins with the inhalation of various permanent marker fumes before quickly transcending into a scene reminiscent of the film ‘Trainspotting’, but when we arise on the other side, the project has developed slightly further than it had before. I like to think of it as a spiritual process sponsored by ‘Sharpie’.

AS: None of anything but the first and maybe some of the last sentence is true… the bit about somehow the project has moved further…

AS: …but… meetings lots of meetings. Judas has an almost third person perspective on the project in comparison to (DD), which really is useful, a fresh pair of eyes when your eyes have bled and fell out… can really help maintain some… aspect… of quality control.

AS: For this Chapter it’s different. Chapter XVI had essentially already been completely written and storyboarded, but still a lot of discussion took place on style, or which way to take it… but as we move forward Chapters are being entirely written by other people and eventually other artists will contribute too. The idea is to switch up the style every Chapter, perhaps revisiting or refining certain styles later on. This concept leaves it open for other artists to contribute and explore styles that accentuate the work or story, without ever compromising the continuity.

AS: But story is gone over with a fine tooth comb. We have meticulously mapped out the story to take place in real places, actual locations to the street names, all drawn from life. Events that take place from bombs to targets are worked out down to the f*cking wind patterns on the day they drop. So much of Genesis is sublminal, it won’t be truly apparent for many years but when things start to come to light, people will look back and go “fuck..they planned this from the beginning”…

DD: …then the world will look up and shout “save us”. And I’ll whisper no…

AS: *Laughs*

PRGUY: I know that’s from ‘Watchmen’. And that is entirely their fault…

JP: Tell me how you guys came together to produce Genesis Chapter XVI?

AS: Well I’ve been working on the Genesis project for approximately 10 years on and off, in various forms. As I said Chapter XVI was already under way, before anyone else had really come onboard. That’s not to say there hasn’t been significant changes to style and development of Chapter XVI since (DD & J) got involved.

DD: I was living in Malta when I joined School of Bitches in mid 2012. I was sitting naked upon my house roof in the blistering Mediterranean heat at 2 in the morning when I came up with a (yet unreleased) chapter plot for (AS). (Chapter 14: Things To Do In Gloucester When You’re Dead) He liked it and I continued to influence a wider range of the projects development. Since I was already a friend, I moved to Cardiff to become… ‘Sergeant in Arms’ of School of Bitches.

AS: …

DD: Its ‘self described’ you *expletive deleted*… Anyway, I now share a house with (AS) and we worked to bring the story of Genesis to the public in late 2012 before releasing further issues throughout the year …

AS: …And Judas helped.

J: (AS) offered me the chance to write a story for a future chapter, (Chapter: Requiem For A Submarine) and after getting some insight into what he and (DD), had planned, I had to be a part of it.

AS: Judas is being coy, he’s like that. He massively influenced the style of Chapter XVI, or more accurately, the presentation of the style. The comic adopted it’s militant obsession with no frames shortly after Judas’s interference.

PRGUY: And I thought you were the one who actually liked comics… why..what’s up with that? … if you leave now you can probably still salvage a reputable career in another industry.

J: ….

AS: …

PRGUY: I was a rap*st in a former life… that’s my only conclusion to how I might have ended up here.

JP: What are your favorite parts of the story so far?

PRGUY: It’s so hard to pick a favorite part…

AS: …

AS: far….? It’s just difficult because I know what’s coming, but I’d say the introduction of 2Police in the latest Issue has definitely been my favorite “part” so far. Not only were they immense fun to draw, and characterize but they’ve really set the tone for what’s to come…

J: I like the bit with trees.

AS: *laughs*

DD: I really like the lettering, I think that the dialogue in itself is a true piece of art, the pictures aren’t as impressive as the letters…

AS: Like one person has ever commented on the lettering…without being prompted…

I know about you guys, but I’ve had a blast so far with this interview.  Part one can be read right at this link right here.  I encourage a quick read of it before starting down this, but regardless, it’s entertaining and insightful.  I’m not going to add much more than what I said last time.   These guys are passionate individuals.  David Dhalia (DD) , Judas (J), Alan Stealth (AS) and the PR Guy are a fun unit to talk to and together produce an amazing comic.  I encourage you to all check it out.

Onward to the rest of the interview…

JP: Dhalia – cool you’re from Malta. My family is from there. Whereabouts did you live?

AS: Madagascar.

DD: …Marsaskala, it’s a small fishing town on the south of the island. My family returned there in 2008, after I grew up in Leeston, New Zealand. I moved around a lot as a kid… PRGUY: You’re still a kid.

JP:  This one is primarily for Judas, (others feel free to contribute as well), what is your reason for your hatred of frames in this comic? Is there a specific reason to this interesting choice of presentation?  Cover

J: Hate is a strong word. I understand their importance. And in the right story, they are necessary. I’m just frustrated with how stagnant the much of the story-telling devices used in the industry are. The language is old, and doesn’t seem to be developing, when it has so much potential. A cinema screen has to look like it does, a TV screen the same, words are printed in a novel only one way, but a comic book, or a graphic novel, or sequential art, or whatever you want to dress it as, it has room to move. There are exceptions, but for the most part, books are designed to look like the books the creator has read. For certain books, that is not an issue, but when the story suits, I want to find new ways to put across the information. There’s nothing wrong with the standard, I just don’t want that to be all there is. In 50 years from now, comics still look basically the same as they did 50 years ago, we may as well have been making Happy Meals.

I didn’t come in, demanding the frames be removed. (AS) and I were looking through ‘The Preview Issue’, and some of his draft sketches, when I ended up seeing the art which was being wasted by trying to force it into something he thought a comic book is expected to be. I ended up on some spew about how I want to experiment with the whole format; no panels, size of the page, shape of the page and some other ideas that we’ll keep under wraps. That’s all I did. After that, (AS) took the ball, and he ran. He ran like Tom Cruise in the last act of MI3. He ran like Will Smith in the opening scene of MiB. He ran like Matt Damon did from that chalkboard in the corridor at MIT.

*(AS) (PRGUY) (J) (DD) laugh*

J: ….And he created the style which we’re seeing develop in these opening issues.

JP: What are your influences?

J: Too many to mention. Comic-wise, Will Eisner and Herge. Then Jack Cole and Joe Kubert. It might look like I’m contradicting things I’ve said about pushing the boundaries by listing so many old artists, but they pushed boundaries for their time. Eisner’s is still probably ahead of some of the current product. Currently working though, David Mack gets the idea. Almost anything Matt Fraction writes is incredible. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips never fail. Jean-David Morvan and Phillippe Buchet fail even less. Outside of comics, Aaron Sorkin and Michael Chabon are the big two. Wes Anderson is nearby too. Too many other writers, directors, and cinematographers to list. Everything. And Otis Redding.

Dissue2workingclose2D: I have managed to live the majority of my life ‘under a rock’. I used to read a lot of novels when I was younger, but I was never really into TV and movies. I still can’t really say I enjoy watching films, I get distracted too easily. I discovered a few incredible graphic novels I have enjoyed recently, but didn’t get too into comics when I was younger. So I guess the majority of my influences come from novelists, and real life characters from history also fascinate me. Serial killers, world leaders, and notable characters all have their own story they have created with their lives.

AS: My most notable influences especially so in relation to the storytelling adopted, have come from the stylised methods TV shows have adopted over the last decade or so Genesis has been in production. In terms of comics…

PRGUY: …here we go…

AS: …well, I used to start this with “I don’t like comics”… but I think what is more appropriate is I don’t like the superhero agenda the comic industry is dominated by. I studied Fine Art, achieving my B/a (HONS) before retiring from the self loathing of academic non-achievement. Art whether you like it or not, has continually developed and changed throughout its history. From the height of Neo-Classicism to the often deliberately conceptually ambiguous contemporary works of Post- Modernism, art has seen many conventions shattered with each passing movement. Yet add the word “sequential” in front, and suddenly the history of this subject becomes very small and very narrow. So I would say, my Fine Art background motivates and influences me to ensure Genesis is as aesthetically satisfying throughout, as the story will be when it’s finished.

AS: All three of us have very different influences… but it works. So well. If nothing the past year working with these guys, has encouraged me even more to work with people that have a different approach – but “get” Genesis. It’s invigorating.

JP: Is anyone working on anything else at the moment? Might as well promote everything.

AS: When I’m not working on this, I’m working on sleep, sometimes food. That is all.

J: I’m starting to script two projects. Early days. Looking for artists.

DD: I’m working on a graphic novel titled ‘Enigma’ with Maltese artist, Maria Isabella Grech. I’ve written the story, Maria will do the art and we’ll edit it together, it’s currently due to be released in late 2014 and further information will be available as the project develops.

I also write my own short stories under my ‘Sweet Animosity’ banner, but they’re more of a ‘creative outlet’ away from School of Bitches work. I enjoy going a bit mad from time to time, and writing these stories is a safer option than going out into the real world and …*Expletive Deleted*…

AS: *Expletive Deleted*

PRGUY: That’s not going to press.

JP: Okay, so I’m taking that world building is very important based on the answers I’ve been given. So I guess what I want to know is how many chapters are there going to be? Is the five issues the end will you have multiple stories?

J: It is vast….

AS: …..There’s room for 50 Chapters. That’s what’s planned… as a maximum total moving parts to this story. Not to say we will use necessarily all of those tell the story. We’re following the framework of obviously the more famous works of Genesis.

PRGUY: Depeche Mode…I don’t see it.

AS: ………….The first five issues tells Chapter XVI: Virtue’s Chronicles, this Chapter focuses on James. Issues Six, Seven, Eight tells Chapter XII: Tonight, The City Sleeps focusing on Ant. Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve tells Chapter: One Love…etc. Each introduces different characters that will interact on a much larger scale in the Chapters to come, but if you’re smart, and reading and watching intently, you’ll be able to start seeing the dots join between Chapters.

JP: Why Chapter XVI and not Chapter I?

J: You’ll see.

PRGUY: *Inaudible*

AS: ….

AS: It’s a non linear narrative, deliberately conceived to withhold certain information from the reader. So it truly is Chapter XVI. Fifteen Chapters that came before will eventually be released. Eventually, you would be able to read the entire story chronologically and it would make sense, albeit a different kind of sense. eg. Chapter 8 is entitled The Event… this chapter details exactly what transpired that led to the birth of the “new world” you’ve caught a glimpse at reading Issue’s One and Two. It would be a very different story if you say knew what happened, before you actually SAW what happened… and truly this is just the tip of the iceberg. At the time you’ll read that Chapter The Event will be so irrelevant…

PRGUY: Irrelevant. I was just thinking about that word.

JP: How have your styles changed? I’m really interested in Alan’s answer here in particular, but hey, everything is a growing process.

AS: My style hasn’t changed dramatically since starting Chapter XVI, but its presentation, its delivery has. Making the jump from no frames meant the original storyboards had to change, the dialogue too, which had both previously been realised in traditional methods. This ‘freedom’ can often be crippling, as frames make it very easy for an artist intent in terms of chronological sequence… but trying out different things, and being encouraged to do so, has really helped me build the confidence in the product you see in Issue Two… this will only continue to develop…

J: …We’re all still learning the language.

AS: Yes. Yes we are… and the ‘language’ will switch completely and deliberately for the next Chapter… so it’s going to be interesting, seeing how people react to that change once finally getting used to the current.

JP: What have each of you learned from doing this?

J: This is what I want to do with my life.

AS: …you have to give everything else up. If you really want it, everything else in your life just gets in the way. I know people that say they want to do stuff. Write books, make comics, do art. That’s typically all they end up doing. Saying they want to do it. It takes sacrifice. I’m not talking about a limb or your daughter. But your time. Sitting in a room, an doing something and not getting a pat on the back for it. For a really long time. Maybe never.

DD: I’ve learnt a lot in terms of writing and artistic styles. The way I vision storytelling and art has developed greatly in the last year by talking to the artists and writers themselves, you see a different perspective than if you just simply saw the piece of art. I’ve learnt a lot more about computers too, something I’m not too happy about. I don’t like computers or technology in general. It’s nothing personal…bring me my pad and a pen.

PRGUY: … Here is wisdom. “I never learn anything new, I only have things I already know confirmed by somebody different.”

JP: What’s coming up in the next issue?

J: Some people walk past some burned out buildings.

PRGUY: I’ve got a feeling they’ll be a lot of that before it’s all said and done.

DD: Well there could be a new character, there could be fighting zombie robots, or there could be cuddly vampire bears…we haven’t quite decided which one will stick around the longest yet.

AS: *sigh* …

AS: A religious man, and an internal email from the (PRGUY).

PRGUY: …What? Take me off speaker.”

The year in a nutshell…

20 Dec

Happy fucking christmas to one and all, I hope the next year is prosperous, although not as prosperous as mine.
It’s a bit stupid that an anonymous blog has an editor, although when it was sold to me I was expecting to not have to write as much/anything myself.
Now it’s like I’m through the looking glass.


Anyway, with the nice shit out the way… <

The contents of this post are subject to change.



15 Dec

pass·word  (pswûrd)


1. A secret word or phrase that one uses to gain admittance or access to information.
2. Computer Science A sequence of characters that one must input to gain access to a file, application, or computer system. Also called passkey.
3. A secret word or phrase that one has to fucking write down to remember all the special characters required to have said password.

I take great offense to the sheer amount of effort that I have to put in to come up with a password these days since the rise of the social network, and since the internet was made ‘available’ to the masses.
I’m probably talking about you.
The idiots that are now hardwired to it through iPhones and Facebook, so much so, they may as well come with an ethernet port and a fucking Wifi password..

My password has never been hacked. I’ve never been the unwitting victim of phishing, and or any other kind of cyber equivalent to “robbing a 7-11”, and I’ve been on the net, proficiently using it a long time before Myspace was anything other than a term you used when breaking up with a girl.

It’s never needed to be longer than six characters. Until now.
These days my passwords have to have letters, numbers, a question mark, can’t be certain words, or dates, has to be over 6 letters but under 12… there are more rules to devising a password for a fucking social network site, then I actually live my own life by. So of course – when you have an actual social life, and a job where you are actually valued, and your input alone may be the only thing that can “save the day” – you find yourself not logged into certain websites and networks for days or weeks, in some cases, at a time. So these sites forget me, I have to log in, but I forget where all the numbers go. Or the exclamation mark.
So for one simple update… I have to request a change of my password, and because I travel – I’m doing it from a different IP address, so it gets on my case about that.

I am punished by these so called social network sites – for having a real life.
Punished for having a life I decide not to tell in pictures.
Or rather, one that I’m not constantly trying to check in to, tag, love, heart, update, like, retweet, comment on…etc. The typical pining for approval that plagues social networking sites, is exactly why I don’t use them. It’s exactly why companies should stop trying to “tap into” the elusive Facebook demographic.

Believe me, I’ve been sat in board meetings and the amount of five-six figure salary mid forties ‘professionals’ that are convinced that, “once we get the Facebook crowd” something great will happen. Guys that have been in the business for thirty years handing over entire responsibility of the “social media” campaigns to some spotty intern, because he’s got 1000 followers on twitter, or a million friends on Facebook. Waiting for the miracle to happen.
The Second Coming. But with money instead of fire and brimstone.

That desirable ‘Facebook crowd’ just a bunch of whining, self centred, egotistical, self righteous non-achievers, either trying to promote their own sexuality, agenda or worse still their ‘happiness’… and worse than all of that – especially with Facebook…
You often know them.
Sometimes they’re even related to you.

On the internet, no one can hear you scream.
Otherwise they’d hear me scream every time I forget my six to twelve character alpha-numeric password.



It’s the journey that counts…

1 Nov

Another article, this one close to my heart.

Slightly off point for the entire article, but THIS extract below is almost word for word an example I gave to someone just the other day. (Except I used a more humorous, less appropriate product for the fictional ‘company’ as the client. Which actually led to lots of sidetracking, and even someone becoming quite offended – so for future reference the example below should be used.)

Success within PR, for me, is about reaching the right audience and getting the desired response, be it sales/donations/attendance etc. That may well be a mention in The Sun, but more often than not, it won’t be. To give a fictional example:

Your client is a skiwear company. They think they want to get national coverage – of course they do, it’s where millions of readers are and if you don’t tell them otherwise, they trust it’s the best place for them. You get them a national mention for an item of clothing of their’s. It achieves a handful of sales. You get that same product a mention by a trusted skiing blogger/site/social media user and, having reached a comparatively smaller but MUCH more relevant audience, the product sells out and makes more money for the client than they have spent paying you. THAT IS SUCCESS.
For the full article :

2D Festival, Derry

9 Jun

<>PJEDIT: Numerous parts of this post were missing from archive. Can you please locate them. Many thanks. 21.11.13 20:49 PM


These kids.

Londonderry. Or Derry as anyone south of the border will insist.
I swear they seem to spring the locations out of a hat.
Generating interest for an obscure small press comic no matter how revolutionary you’ve convinced yourself it is… is certainly going to be difficult gaining a cult status when you’re flying by having a tour that rivals  is even harder when you’re travelling a far afield as Malta, and Ireland, and live in Wales.

Clearview had various business engagements with another client, in Belfast. This one of our more traditional clients, both in respect to the work that we do for them, and the fact that they actually generate the subsidiarymore some revenue, so Derek decided in his infinite wisdom that it should be I, that becomes the metaphoric stone to kill two birds.

So I set off on the Friday from Gatwick airport; the business-class flight, a typical plethora of suits, briefcases and laptops, as if I were looking at bunch of people disguised as Microsoft Office’s clipart.
Not even a questionable tie in site; I sat bored, watching as the plane filled up. I flicked through the pages of my passport, contemplating drawing a stick man running and jumping off the edge of the book, until without noticing the seat to my right was taken by a man that looked like the comedian Harry Hill; if he had pursued a career in software publishing and killed himself (not necessarily in that order.). All hands free and talking to himself, he plopped himself down and after clicking away at his laptop in a manner that would put a dyslexic gnome to shame, he finally turned to me, rolling his eyes and muttering something fairly generic about business, did his best to engage in a conversation with me. I became tangled in this politely awkward conversation, born entirely out of circumstance – as despite his no doubt lucrative position at the fairly reputable profiled software firm he worked for; he knew as well as I, that the this plane is the closest thing to something in common we’ll ever have. After talking social politics for a half hour into the flight, I felt like I was losing the will to live, so at what could arguably be considered the peak of the conversation, I got up to use the toilet and didn’t return.
I skulked toward the back where there was a few empty seats, waiting for an optimal time to retrieve my bag.
The moment didn’t come.
The plane soon began to land.
I waited until the idiot shuffled off the plane, his bald head getting smaller as he travelled down the aisle, and gingerly headed over to my former seat.
I heard a buzzing sound as I approached, and a shiny ‘Q10’ lay discarded casually on Harry Hill’s empty chair.
What an idiot.

The Q10; the latest attempt by Blackberry to stay relevant in a market that has become increasingly dominated by everyone’s favourite one of your 5 a day. The company’s response to the success enjoyed by its vowel brandishing rival was always going to be on the back foot. Despite arguably being first to the smartphone party, Blackberry was, at least initially, promoted to an evolving market as a business phone. In the interval – it’s instant messenger service BBM became MSN messenger for an entire generation that had never heard of it. This at a time when WhatsApp, KIK and Snapchat were still just twinkles in the eyes of their respective tweener creators.

It’s surprisingly difficult to keep treading foot on the higher ground, (ie. having a core demographic not made up of complete f**king zealots) when a) your core demographic ends up being made up of complete f**king idiots and b) who then use your own messenger service to coordinate looting efforts in London’s “urban yout” in the summer of 2012.
Blackberry soon became the sober morning after of smartphone solutions, buried by a slue of touch screen brands releasing their own iteration of the iPhone. Now Blackberry have released their new Q series, and though complete with all the knobs and whistles we’ve come to expect from contemporary smartphones –  (no real buttons, short battery life, no replaceable battery…etc.)  the aging RIM software just seems restrictive in comparison to the almost open source software that many other companies have adopted.
Biased tone coming through?
I used to have an iPhone.
Which I loved. Not like a zealot. Just like a fat kid likes cake. I lost it on a trip to Malta. You may have read about.
Clearview or more specifically Derek, contracted the companies phone solution for execs too – so instead of getting a nice new iPhone – I get a company issue Blackberry, and am told I’ll need to “make it work”.

F*ck you Der- <fragment removed – unconstructive>

I left the plane and handed off Harry Hill’s phone, to the most insignificant member of staff I could find at the airport, as punishment for annoying me on the outward journey.
On departing from the airport headed via taxi into the city, determined to eat somewhere ‘exotic’ before I checked in to my hotel.
I’d been to Belfast many times, it is a wonderful city often painted red by the British media, it has that exciting hum of big business without the tired cynicism of London and it’s underbelly of entitled superiority.
If Clearview ever set up office here, I’d like to head it up.
I’d let everybody chose their own phones. I’d beg- < fragment removed – unconstructive >

The driver adjusted the radio, and I gazed out the window of the taxi at the city, the streets still golden, in the late afternoon sun. Like any self respecting capital city, Belfast had undergone a few cosmetic changes since the last time I visited.
<fragment missing>???
There seemed to be some sort of prom going on nearby, as groups of teenage boys dressed in monkey suits gathered in droves…. <fragment missing>???

I indicated to the driver to drop me off, I could walk from here, it was near enough…

<fragment missing>???

Well the night in the city, went different to planned.
The company met in a pretty lavish establishment, and after a few rounds of drinks, John announced a series of irrelevant changes to staffing. Several obvious promotions were made, if not announced, by the amount of praise landing on two young hungry fresh faced employees, one who had definitely took the university route to ‘success’, his mannerisms and language, an obvious tell. The other – a girl, cute little thing, had come up the hard way, this industry somewhat unforgiving to the fairer sex.
She had done well.
I’ve become an expert at avoiding aerial assaults from handbags and high heels, a skill you master when working in such a predominantly female environment, such as is PR. However, unlike in many environments where this kind acknowledgement is out of a company-wide initiative to be more ‘PC’, (a fad that caught on in the 90’s) this actually comes from working closely with female colleagues that consistently excel in these situations.
I want people under me and alongside me that can get the fucking job done.
I could give a shit, whether they’re male, female, I’ll employ a Doberman riding a tricycle if he can write me a press release.

Anyway, John sat down and let the ‘uni boy’ do his bit, who spent the next five minutes reiterating everything that had already been said, congratulating a few more people on their success along the way. He stood and spoke as if it were a seminar, and we were all impressionable.
I look around.
Admittedly, a lot of them are.

I finish my drink, a stronger mixer then I’m accustomed to, (Ireland falling under the European quota of measurements) and head to the bar, as ‘uni boy’ makes eye contact with me leaving; throwing him off track – not that anyone noticed.
<client name omitted> had been looking for a PR solution ever since they stepped into the larger domain, having already experienced some pretty close calls, on account of inexperienced staff doing their best to fill a role that had outgrown them and the company. Derek and John go way back, worked together on numerous projects back in the day, it’s half the reason I’m here.
All politics you see.
Still beats sitting in my office at Clearview – manually forwarding on all correspondence to somebody paid less than me.

I sit at the bar, eyeing the group. I could see ‘uni boy’ still stood up talking, although thankfully, I couldn’t hear what was being said. A buxom red haired barmaid approached me, flashing a smile, and twirling her hair in one hand.
“They yer friends?”
She gestured towards the group.
“They’re on my Facebook… does that count?” I sneered, ordering another drink and one for her.
I sat at the bar, drinking and chatting idly, until she was called away by a what must have been her manager. I turned back to the group which had dispersed somewhat, spread out over the small area of the lounge they had taken over. I felt a hand grab me on the shoulder, and John appeared behind me, all smiles and gestures.
“What’d ya think of ‘em?”
“Yeah they seem….eager.”

<fragment missing>???

Held in Derry’s Millenium Centre, the 2D Festival, was a free entry event, subsidizing its various costs through an assortment of local business support and sponsors, topped up by government funding. Derry was enjoying its designation as the ‘City Of Culture’ a clever initiative set up by government piggy backing on the success that Liverpool enjoyed as the ‘European Capital of Culture’ (And I get accused of spinning the truth!) This ‘festival’, as well as numerous other advertised events around the town illustrated Derry were going to squeeze everything they can out of this little initiative.
And rightly so.
They are actually short-listing the new ‘City of Culture’ this year, set to take over from Derry in 2017 – and I think Hull is going to get it. Derry needs work on its rep as a safe place to travel to, ( – for the misinformed who believe the cities of Ireland are some sort of urban warzone.) and Hull needs work on its rep as a place worth travelling to.
It’s not going to be fucking Swansea. (another nominee.)
That ship has definitely sailed.

I wandered aimlessly, the mood a pleasant one, the Irish famed for their notable charm and cheery disposition, like the west-country but without the suspicion you’re going to steal their apples/sheeps. It was a family friendly event it was clear, but there seemed to be a good variety of people present, compared to the usual ensemble of fancy dressed clowns.
I spotted the Uproar Comics stand and watched eagerly from a distance at how they operated. These guys launched ‘Uproar Comics’ from the ground up themselves – and have made it practically sustainable. They’d done exactly what I think the ‘School Of Bitches’ want to achieve. I’d read up on them, it started with two guys, one the artist, one the writer.
Sounds similar right?
Well you’d be wrong.
They have the ingenious idea of having an actually marketable concept.
Their flagship publication has zombies in it. This actually works much better to an audience currently, (and always slightly) obsessed with zombies. Do you know what doesn’t work well to an audience obsessed with zombies?
Some fucking guy – who isn’t a zombie – wandering around an apocalypse – without any zombies.

I learnt it was them I have to blame for ‘my favorite comic book heroes’ retreating to the greener pastures of Northern Ireland.  They were good.
The taller guy, stood afront the table – a standard for a sales person, but it was far from the hard sell. It felt genuine.
Now this of course is all preaching to the choir, but for my guys upstairs, they will not go at the hard sell. And seeming as they are unwilling to fire themselves and hire sexy female replacements to sell for them at the tables, they needed to see an example of this kind of sales technique in a softer approach.
The same game, but without the blood.

<fragment missing>???


Dhalia, looking exceptionally happy. It’s quite scary.

A pretty good Jack Sparrow, and as you can imagine I have seen a lot.

Bristol Comic Con

15 May

Though the west-country is renowned for its friendly disposition, I’m actually not a fan.
I’ve always lived in busy hectic cities, so this slower pace of life where by the time someone in this part of the country has spoken a few sentences, I could have had brunch, doesn’t sit well with me.
I had arranged this Comic Con OR Expo whatever they were calling it, and after Cardiff, I felt it was my duty to make an appearance and make sure they hadn’t been set up in the closet, or on the fucking roof.
That’s the other thing with this whole thing, despite the free market presentation, all wandering around like it’s some sort of farmer’s market – it’s a shrewd business venture, and no amount of children dressed as cartoon characters can disguise just how much money is potentially exchanging hands here – going right over the heads of ‘my favourite comic book heroes’ and any other small press in attendance.
The business model is faulted and deliberately so, forcing the hand of any lowly creator to attend these conventions as means to get established, whilst lining the pockets of the organizers. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, this is a business like any other, but it’s like when you find out a charity supporting the third world has paid some PR guy thousands to come up with the grainy black and white photos of starving Africans on the adverts, which you can now probably select as a filter on Instagram.
Takes some of the innocence – some of the intent out of the product.
Which is exactly why PR people are meant to be invisible.
Be responsible for some of the greatest strategies responsible, but take little or no credit on the main stage.
In that respect we are kind of like superheroes…

F*ck, this account is really starting to fry my way of thinking.
I’m going to be dressed up like a fucking Knight of Watchtower before I know it.

I popped in to see the ‘School of Bitches’.
The table looked much healthier than last time, and was set in a better place, they’re banner restricting them as they had to be against a wall.
I told them they should get a banner like , and pointed to Afterworld Inc. who were just in front of them. They had some sleek white roll up banners, that stood without support. They acknowledged the criticism, and I asked them how the postcards had worked out. The “Greetings From..” was an idea that had been circulating since the meeting I had with them off the back of the Cardiff Comic Con.
Accepting that this is the product they want to run with, we’d spoke about the whole project, and admittedly there’s passion for it, Stealth a very real vision reflecting in his eyes, it’s infectious. It shows, as his entourage continues to grow, but the product in it’s infancy needed a catch. And clearly we weren’t going with free sweets. With this real world locations obsession and the setting in the UK it made sense to incorporate that in some way. Eventually this idea of “postcards” came up, incorporating local landmarks, and so an entire plethora of post apocalyptic images of Bristol were born for this event.
Packaged as postcards, they seemed to be selling well, the back has a QR code linking to the Facebook page.
It was a nice idea.
The boys had been drinking, well at least two of them.
<fragment missing>

I wandered around, the whole thing set inside one room, which instantly made it better than Cardiff’s offering, Brunel’s Old Station a suitable venue laid out accordingly. The whole thing seems corporate underneath all this, well organized and oiled to make good money, disguised well as girls dressed as anime school girls and Pikachu. (sigh)
I think this whole thing they are doing, needs a more ‘organic reach’ then these kind of events.
Something distinctly more…arty…
The whole Comic Convention scene in the UK has turned into the same kind of money making machine as the american Cons have, with almost franchised events running throughout the year. I’ve been working hard, and the indie scene in this industry is still swallowed whole by the giants. Marvel and DC’s characterization through film and other medium dominates the social opinion on comics. It really does. Just the word. I think it. Superman. Batman. Comics.
It’s a tough thing to get ahead of.
<fragment missing>

I bid them farewell and headed out of this place, it was starting to make my head hurt, all these monkey fuck children.
School Of Bitches, as much as I hate their ‘non-conventional’ comic – I’m pretty fucking glad one of them isn’t dressed up like a giant zombie fighting robot vampire.

All in all, another successful deployment… perhaps, but the thoughts on the ‘something more ‘arty’ has given me an idea.
Have to arrange a meeting.
Note to self, remind them to get a rolling banner before they head to Derry… who knows if they’ll even be any walls at all at that event.
The type of circus these kind of events hoard I’m surprised that it’s not held in a fucking field with face painting and hugs for sale – alongside the comics.



<>PJ EDIT: updated. cheers. 09:42AM 17.12.13
<> PR GUY EDIT: this is everything I have. 16:05PM 16.12.13
<>PJ EDIT: multiple parts of this entry are missing, this is not the only entry. Please send the original. 21:34PM 21.1.13

Cardiff Comic Expo 2013

15 Mar

Well I knew it wasn’t going to be a bed of roses, but I thought this would be a good lesson in the value of PR; after my lacklustre performance, and my general poor attendance in Malta throughout – even the most generous of GNVQ examiners would’ve had to fail me.

Cardiff, the “hometown” of my favourite comic heroes, must have seemed like the easy score, just the logistics alone seemed simpler on paper – i.e. not flying to an obscure European country to launch your independently financed comic.
They had arranged to attend this convention before Clearview Public Relations had became involved in their affairs, and as mentioned, as a demonstration of how good representation works –  I let them “have this one.”

I’d met with them a week prior in London, when they had attended London’s “SuperCon”  – to check on progress and just generally make them feel like I actually gave a fuck –  it was also my first opportunity to meet the newest member of the team… Adam, AKA “Judas”.
Not actually new, more like silent (or reluctant.) I’d seen his name in the assortment of irrelevant paperwork I’d been reading through since I got back from Malta.
Altogether more presentable than the rogue degenerate artist and his first padawan, Adam was clearly more reserved, (donning a jumper that he either got for Christmas or for a dare.) there seemed to be a truth in his eyes that said, “I’m not pinning my hopes and dreams on this comic fuelling and funding a drug habit I’ll never be able to afford.”

I respect that kind of down trodden realist view of the world, rather than the other two fucking space cadets, already planning how they’re going to spend the money they’re not going to make.

The SuperCon was an opportunity for them to check out how the big dicks do it… and London did it right. The familiar sights of the MCM building were strange – even for me, awash with just as many of the obscure superhero characters as the well known.
The glamour of the big city must have been quite the sight for my favourite comic book heroes; though they’re not exactly playing the part of “the country mouse” – compared with the sleepy Maltese offering, they might as well had been.

Ever since returning from what I’ll affectionately refer to as my holiday in Malta, (as I did very little representing whilst there – some critics would argue none at all.) I have been; albeit at a very casual pace, extending my knowledge of the comic industry in a vain attempt of getting a foothold in this ridiculous account.
It’s overkill to be honest, as two thirds of the trio probably now know less than me about comics – Stealth seemingly ignorant of anything that “came before,” and Dhalia can barely remember anything that came before!
On top of this, both Stealth and Dhalia claim (somewhat smugly – as if it’s something to be proud of.) that they don’t even like comic books.
See what I’m working with?
So anyway, I got the on train to Cardiff in the early afternoon, departing from a dreary London Paddington in what was still a rather wintery offering for early March.
I’d let the “team” know when I’d be there, so the train journey was a quiet one. (apart from the bastard child crying for a good hour of the journey. I didn’t get this seat in first class to listen to children cry.)
I’ve discovered the most effective way of communicating with these guys, is often a tweet. Yes 140 characters in the public domain seems to be the best deterrent to bombarding my Blackberry* with varying types of communiqué when I’m not here/there.

*don’t ask.. what happened to my iPhone. I’ll talk about it in my own time.

I arrived at Cardiff Central, and through the bustle of people all shuffling down the stairs, and through those stupid turnstiles made my way outside. I was stood outside for just a minute or so, before I was hassled by some scruffy, inebriated vagabond trying to scupper up a “pownd maight” apparently to get to Newport.
I said,
“I’m afraid that even if I give you that pound today to get to Newport, you’ll use it to get there but end up in Cardiff again tomorrow, requiring a new fare to go back to Newport again… See? It wouldn’t be beneficial to either of us. Have you seen The Matrix?”
Whilst he pondered that little conundrum, I signaled for the taxi I had seen circling during his “pitch” and got inside, shutting out the noise this little bearded pauper was trying so hard to structure into an insult/sentence.
The Matrix “Neo in a train station” reference was probably lost on him anyway.

<fragment missing>

The city of Cardiff is not yet the rolling metropolis it aspires to – I’ve built bigger skyscrapers out of Lego. Lego skyscrapers all seemed to have the same “American” design flaw… susceptibility to a terrorist attack. I distinctly remember the largest Lego structure I ever built was destroyed under suspicious circumstances – events eerily similar to those of 9/11.
Later, despite initially suspecting my father, a rogue Chewbacca and “evil” Han Solo (he had no head.) claimed responsibility for the heinous act.
That shit made the kessel run.

Upon approach I could see the Mercure Hotel just ahead; a hotel just on the outskirts of town, pretty strategically placed, a noise of multi coloured masquerading kids were scattered around the entrance.  I spotted familiar science fiction characters  patrolling the street, much to the amusement of passer’s by. The looming figure of Darth Vader stood out against the traffic, not as tall as he was in the movies, yet still managing to successfully appear in widescreen. My taxi crawled closer, the driver equally astounded by the melee of children that came into view as the car pulled up. He must have caught the look of dismay on my face  as he immediately offered to take me to another hotel. Cardiff so far, was living up to its accommodating and friendly disposition.
I informed him, that exceedingly well dressed as I was, this was my “stop” – gesturing with my hand towards a Boba Fett, who was peering through the taxi window.
The taxi driver, wished me luck with a chuckle, as I slammed the door behind me I looked up at the hotel a flight of stairs afoot, costumed adolescents mumbling between each other, looking at me through an assortment of visors and plastic.

The Comic Con sprawled messily over two floors, the hotel lobby, and what I’d imagined would normally act as some sort of function room, on the second floor. The ground floor seemed to be where the majority of the action was taking place, to which it was no surprise my “favorite comic book heroes” had managed to secure themselves a table on the first floor. Upstairs was literally overrun by the legions; fancy dressed adolescents complete with swords, and battle armor, sat around in circles on the floor like it was some sort of festival. This was like the creche of the London SuperCon. I could imagine some sort of alternate universe, where Wolverine and fucking Batman go off to play save the world, they drop the kids here; safe in the knowledge they wont have sex or drugs with each other.
<fragment missing>
Not only this, but they were set up next to a corporate stand. Fucking Cineworld. With some slick, commercial Dark Knight Rises posters on display, they were baiting passers-by with free sweets and magazines – only it was a 12 month subscription waiting for the biters as a hook. Now this is the type of stand that I would have set up. Send the artist and his sidekick home, kept Adam or Judas or whatever his fucking name is, and get two sexy girls to throw sweets and comics at every fucking idiot trundling past, the Daleks included. They would’ve sold out by the end of the day.
But somewhere in me was a twinge.
I felt… defensive.
After all I am technically their PR guy, so representation like this makes me look like I don’t know what I’m doing. And I know exactly what I’m doing.
I approached their table all smiles, they didn’t even notice me, talking amongst themselves.
Their banner looked like it had been put up by chimpanzees.
“Hey guys.. I’m from Marvel-“
They all looked up panic stricken, to see me grinning.
I apologized for my ruse, and asked them how it had been going, all the time watching the Cineworld “pitch” performed by a hapless young collective, who looked like they were in some indie band when they weren’t working part-time at the cinema.
Predictably business was slow.
The matter not helped as the entire thing seemed to be happening downstairs, only the determined amongst the crowd, realizing that there was an upstairs to it at all. This is the problem with these kind of ad-hoc venues in hotels and the like, if the venue grows, it can’t always be sufficiently maintained holding it in the same place. Thought Bubble (A comic con that takes place later in the year in Leeds I think – see I have been doing work.) will shortly suffer the same fate with it’s huge success, although that – unlike this, cannot easily be relocated.
Well I made my excuses, and left comic in hand, tripping over somebodies pride and joy in the process.
I had a room upstairs, I was intending to utilize for the next few hours.

<fragment missing>

Well the early evening afforded me the opportunity to actually read through this comic, that everyone seems so excited about.

With a wash of vivid colour the opening pages introduce “Rapa Nui”  – actually a non-fictional island located far off the coast of Chile, and better known by its “western” given name of “Easter Island”.
The few pages of prologue set the scene, a stark contrast to the murky greyscale the rest of the comic bathes in.

The next 20 or so pages; the “comic” part of the comic, nothing much seems to happen.
Some kid wakes up at school, wanders around a bit, then meets up with his friend.
They wander some more, then home; on the way they watch some TV, start a fire, and then fall asleep.
The setting for the story seems less to do with the grandiose implications of its ambiguous colour prelude, and more a framework for a disappointingly average school day for the UK’s “urban yout”.
Immediately following the close, an extract from this very blog (an article I wrote upon my return from Malta.) clumsily upsetting the flow, whilst the final page; “The Credits,” after a  brief stab at superheroes and the comic book formula, identify the contributors, heavily over characterizing them – probably to compensate for the lack of personality they actually have.

Still, it looked nice. The brand isn’t on the front cover. Although that’s probably a good thing as it has the word ‘bitches’ in it.
School of bitches.
Fucking jesus.
One of the most confusing thing seems to be that on first impression you would presume that there are some women in the comic, but more deliberately – some bitches, of some sort of definition.
The name is stupid. Stealth describes it best he can, but it’s still to obscure, the stories are linked to a comic he did a long time ago with the same name – but nobody cares – they haven’t and can’t read the comics they’re linked to. Still he’s pretty adamant the names staying, so well on the plus side it’s at least hard to forget.

I started to write down a few ideas about the brand, and out of the corner of my eye, a little red light blinks. My Blackberry on the cabinet. I got up and read a text from the ‘School Of Bitches’ inviting me to join them in a pub just a street or so down from the hotel.
I thought I would humour them (or myself, at this point I wasn’t sure.) and show support on launch of the new product.
I text them back and told them I’d come by for a few drinks, and started the shower.

<fragment missing>



<>PR GUY EDIT: yes I deleted them and no I don’t. 09:42AM 22.11.13

<>PJ EDIT: multiple parts of the entry are missing, did you delete them? Do you have the original? 20:38PM 21.1.13

<>PJ EDIT: approved. 20:31PM 21.1.13