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Interview

Peter Normanton p3

Peter Normanton talks about his magazine From the Tomb.

READERSVOICE.COM: What is the future project you were reportedly planning?

PETER NORMANTON: I think the project you refer to dates back to 2008. With the attention the Mammoth Book had drawn and increased sales on From the Tomb I was asked by a friend of John Anderson (the poor soul who has to handle the printing and distribution side of things) to write a book on horror comics from across the globe. It was a fantastic idea and these guys have the best production team I have ever seen; such was their ability they made me look like a pro.
I assembled a lot of ideas but sadly the bankers destroyed the world and the publishing house was unable to get an American backer. It was a shame, but who knows maybe we’ll get a similar opportunity when the economy improves.

RV: You said in one interview that you started out From the Tomb using an A3 Hewlett Packard. Can you do a step by step explanation of how you printed and assembled and bound the pages and where you distributed it?

PN: The first eight issues of From the Tomb were produced on my A3 Hewlett Packard; fond memories indeed. I put those issues together using the Microsoft Publisher package.
With issue #2 I moved to using the A3 printer to allow the ‘zine to move from A5 to A4. Once I had completed the layouts and articles on the PC I would print each issue off separately; it would take about 20 to 25 minutes to print each one. As you can imagine it took quite a while and the cartridge would run out when you least expected, needing the ink to be filled and the cartridge primed. At times this could be immensely frustrating and it would take hours.
The black and white sections were photocopied, which made life a lot easier. Once I had the colour and black and white sections together I would fold them in half then staple them up before sending them off.
It was very time consuming and I didn’t miss it when we moved to professional printing with #9.

RV: You said that distribution with Diamond came about with issue number 9. What sort of print runs and sales did Diamond require?

PN: Diamond’s order came to anything from 312 to 520, the UK distributor’s order was around 200 to 230. We would print a thousand, 900 of which sold straight off. I only wish it was like that now.

RV: What is the future of From the Tomb?

PN: When the recession started to bite in early 2009 Diamond Distribution were forced to drop From the Tomb and many other smaller publications. It was a bitter blow, but thanks to a chap by the name of Dan Royer we managed to build a web page which introduced a few new readers to the magazine.
The demise of Borders Books later that same year proved equally damaging; they had been a phenomenal outlet.
For the time being we plan to run From the Tomb from the web site. These days I can only go to press when there’s enough money in the account to fund the printing and distribution. As I have already mentioned I am a public servant and the new government in this country seem hell bent on putting us out of work; it is almost as if we are being punished for being low earners. If I lose my job From the Tomb will have to be put on hiatus.

RV: Can I still buy any back issues ?

PN: You certainly can. Issues #1-9, #11-25, #27-28 are all still available. They can be ordered through the following pages:- http://fromthetomb.blogspot.com/
http://www.fromthetombstore.co.nr/
Sadly #10 sold out a few years ago, this was the House of Hammer issue which did ever so well over here.
#26 was the 100 page Warren edition, an issue of which I am still very proud. Unfortunately several packages were lost and damaged on both the sides of the Atlantic. I think only 600 copies turned up where they should have done. It really did look as if I was down for the count at this stage but against the odds From the Tomb has kept on going, largely due to an anonymous benefactor who bailed me out after the calamitous #26. It was a heart warming moment and has kept my dream alive.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.

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