Sunday, February 19, 2006

Short-sighted "View"

It was with interest and anticipation that I bought my copy of the first edition of the new Charlton fanzine - Valley View - at yesterdays game. The young seller was certainly courteous and thanked me for buying a copy (only a quid...). I was, though, very disappointed once I settled down in Floyds and started to read what was contained inside.

First, my comments here are only meant to be a personal view, and constructive, though it won't surprise me if they are not taken that way by the protagonists behind this project.

The argument as to why we might need a fanzine in these days when blogs are regular and several can be held elsewhere - I'm of the opinion that all material published on or about Charlton is welcome, in whatever media chosen.

But Valley View is no Voice of the Valley, or even anywhere near as good as Valiants Viewpoint or Goodbye Horse, or other long gone Charlton fanzine predecessors.

First, let's get the visual matters out of the way -
1. Too many spello's! Use the spell check boys - I lost count of the amount contained, but there is almost one in every article...I particularly liked Danny Murphy's "viscous" tackle on Rommedahl!?! Nobody's English grammar is perfect (least of all mine!!!), but spelling is easy these days...
2. The cartoons are generally very good, and the Sven strip quite funny. But the "Charlsberg" cartoon is offensive, and that lowers the tone of the whole fanzine. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for taking the mickey out of Brighton's biggest rival (Trademark), and I hope that Jordan tenureship takes them into oblivion, but
not at the expense of missile attacks on football stadia!
3. Not enough pictures! Yes, OK, the paper is rubbish so they don't always look good, and pix take more effort to publish (copyright etc) but they really will liven up the read and give a more balanced look.
4. The Darren Bent article finishes mid-sentence - do we have to wait until the next issue for part two? Mr Editor - it's your responsibility to check these things!

Next, editorial content. I think it's a fairly good effort to have articles like those contained, but there is nothing new! Nearly every piece included has a contemporary published online already or been talked to death on the message boards. Murphy has gone, and plenty has been written upon blogs and official websites about that. The "Curbs Out editorial"? - read New York Addict for a better and more in depth view! Andy Hunt and his Belize Jungle Dome set up has also been covered extensively online over the last six months. The Brentford Preview means that two pages are already out of date for anyone who might want to read it today.

And what of the next issue? The 2005 A-Z is a good idea although blinkered, and you won't be able to put that in the next issue; you've dealt with "Benty going to the World Cup", and a broader "What's Wrong with Football" piece. If you can repeat the two pages of Palace jokes in the next issue I'll be happy, but I doubt that can happen, unless you just change each mention of Palace to Millwall. Five pages on the next couple of away games is also a little too much (and it's done much better in the matchday programme by the way).

So it's going to be tough to see what can be included in the next issue (out in just three weeks time at the Boro home game) unless there is a general shift in editorial focus so that themes can develop.

I doubt I will bother with buying the next edition. I'd really like to, but I think that everything will be re-hashed web-talk, or not relevant to the majority of Charlton fans. 3/10.

The Muslim philosophy seems to be “Protests and deaths will continue until Western Countries love the Muslims”. The PM must be proud.

Erm, Pedro, you might want to spell check the Brentford report and headline before commenting on their typos
...and that's the exact point Ali! It is so easy to make spello's, but the wunnerful spell-check machinations of today should prevent all such instances, but they don't! As for Bread's message, I'm not sure what that is meant to mean??? Is it something about the trouble in the South stand yesterday or the Tomahawk missile in Valley View? I could delete it but feel a response is more appropriate (dialogue better than direct action anyone?). Muslim philosophy is built around the Qu'ran (apols if I spelt it wrong...), a peace loving doctrine. What us Westerners, Charlton fans or not, don't like is that doctrine being inflicted on us - each to their own we say! I have no God these days - Derek Hales and Ian Botham both having retired - but I do not preach that all should be like minded - hey you, be a Charlton fan or else!!! We must all try to live our lives as peaceably as we can and may each of our own Gods go with us.
I guess the issue is that whilst a lot of the content has been 'done' on the internet it is aimed at those who don't spend their time reading blogs and netaddicks.

I hope there were not too many typos in my article.
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