I Was Told There Would Be No Math

Some parts of my job I rarely, if ever, talk about. Working on the monthly, annual, and now decennial sales charts is one of those things.

There was a lot of math involved for the decennial tables, limited as they are, but before I got to the math there was a lot of thinking. Just because I had the data at hand — and the nice thing about doing the monthly sales charts since January 2009 is that I’ve done them consistently, so a spreadsheet from early 2010 is set up exactly the same way as a spreadsheet from last year — didn’t mean that it went together easily. I assembled these monstrous spreadsheets, of 200,000 rows, and there were pivot tables and VLOOKUP functions galore, not to mention a trial run simply as a “proof of concept” that my thinking was sound. It was like taking a pan of scrambled eggs, unscambling the eggs back to create one ginormous egg that would make even Humpty Dumpty feel inadequate, and that egg I could scramble into what I needed. It was mad and brilliant and mad, and I didn’t even need a fez.

I’m a writer. It was my understanding there would be no math. My writing here, functional as it is, amounts to an afterthought. It’s the tip of the iceberg that you can see, with the math, days and days of math, lurking massively beneath the waves.

Published by Allyn Gibson

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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