Some parts in this post are written by Becca
Days had turned into weeks and weeks had turned into months before we thought further about the launch party. We had originally planned for the party to be in April - when we thought Issue 1 would be finished. This was subsequently put back to June to coincide with school and university holidays and then again to July to coincide with what Po Na Na could offer us. A date of 20th July was mentioned and sounded pretty reasonable to us and them.
Since our first meeting we had received some mock-up flyers from one of our friends at Po Na Na (described as ‘an adobe wizard’). There were a few designs, none of which I felt were in-keeping with the comic - but I was happy to let them go as I was unfamiliar with what was involved with promoting club nights. Maybe clubgoers are attracted to blocky designs with lurid colour schemes and staid, gaudy effects, I don’t know. At our first meeting, contact details were discussed and I suggested I set up an e-mail address (which I did the moment I got home) that went to Will, Becca and myself to make it easier for the Po Na Na people to contact us all at once, and to have an easy e-mail address to remember. This address was neither used for the flyers nor any other e-mail contact we had with the pair.
Meanwhile, we had begun to try and organise our guest list and who we wanted on it. Will suggested Waterstones might be able to come along and sell copies of his book (autographed, naturally) and Becca remembered that Lush made a product called ‘Flying Fox’ which would tie in perfectly with the comic book’s main characters. Will set about chasing up Lush and seeing if they were interested and Becca began planning what decorations we might be able to have.
We came to a point where we wanted a second meeting to try and clarify and pin down some costs for things; ideas we’d thrown around in the previous meeting and between ourselves since the meeting, so we arranged to meet up with the guys again at the Pitcher and Piano in our regular (well, it seemed like it was becoming that way) seats. Will’s bus was slightly late and we were running a little late for the meeting. I kind of assumed that as they were late for the last meeting by over an hour, they would probably be at least a couple of minutes late for this meeting too. Tardy is as tardy does, you know? Turns out they were there bang on time. Our apologies for being about 5 minutes late were met with this retort:
"We'll forgive you since we were a bit late last week!"
Excuse me, I thought, 5 minutes late is hardly the same as over an hour late, is it?
So anyway after the same rigmarole of last time (i.e. they ate and we waited!) we got down to business. Becca, ever the organised soul I had a list of questions as the only contact we had had from Po Na Na was what Will had sent us!
On going through our list, it seemed not a lot had changed. They were still offering us the same, but then she dropped a bombshell…. they couldn’t confirm the date. Hang on, we thought, she was definite about the 20th July last time. We’d already advertised to a lot of people that our party was going to be on 20th July.
"It should be fine, we've just taken on a new promo guy and he has to approve stuff now"
Hold on, we thought, this was fine the other week, what has changed? We went on to mention the idea of having a band playing and we were told we needed to let them know what equipment the bands had and what they might need, as “we don’t have much band equipment”. This seemed massively different to what we were told before but we took it on the chin.
The final thing we discussed was prices for drinks and suchlike. The pair from Po Na Na had said they could get us some big cut outs of the characters to stand around the club, which we were very interested in. We also discussed the idea of having free drinks and cocktails. Our female friend from Po Na Na said she’d email us the costs by the following Monday - which she never did, until chased a few times by Will, and when she did, she failed to use the firstname.lastname@example.org email address!
We left the meeting feeling pretty happy about the plans, but we weren’t to know of the final bombshell that would be laid upon us before we would finally give up on our ideal launch party venue.