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Welcome, Dear Friends

Posted: February 15, 2008 12:02 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Always calm. Never under pressure. Always calm. Never under pressure.
Always calm. Never under pressure.
Oh, wow! You're here again! And so are we ... re-organizing, figuring out where we are, all without the sizable Stetson hat and man under it who made this publication what it was over the past few months.

We're looking forward to making this an Escape suitable for your entertainment pleasure over the next few weeks. But first, let's start with that "we."

"We" is me, your yeoman purser. I mean, the interim editor of Escape. You knew me before as the associate editor and film editor, and here I am now, a little larger in presence with a tiny squeaking voice inside that's continually panicking, but that's easily taken care of with a large polo mallet. Imagine an Itchy & Scratchy scene from "The Simpsons."

But, having been at The Signal for two years, I know these pages just as well as the location of the vending machines and which buttons to press for my sweet, sweet addiction to Cheez-Its. You're in good hands and even better company.

The second person in this "we," without whom you wouldn't be perusing Escape, is Tom Kopacka, the mastermind behind all the pages. He works magic and endless skill with Quark XPress, turning a blank page into the News of the Weird column, the calendar listings, and especially my favorite: the movie pages.

During a spate of silliness brought on by the making of the Christmas issue of Escape, it was Tom who decided to describe what Nicolas Cage was trying to do to the president's desk in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" as "trying to perform a Vulcan mind meld."

Surprises like that are why every office should have a Tom-like co-worker, a suitable replacement for that one schmoe who's annoying the caffeine out of you.

Now, you undoubtedly want to know what we're keeping and what's in the works.

Movie reviews will still be here. Even though there are some days where my movie-lover self must go without seeing one, I live vicariously through the reviews I find and read and decide which ones you should read to get a solid idea of what you might be in for if you pay the ever-rising ticket prices to see a movie in a theater.

I'll keep showing you my Netflix queue (wanna show me yours, too?), and the same goes for News of the Weird, the events calendar, Eve Bushman, and what else?

Well, we're working on that "what else" right now, but as to what we're planning for future issues, how about a dining guide? You have to eat, and it's right and proper to try to document the gazillion pizza joints strewn throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. Case in point: there's an Ameci's near my house and diagonal across the street from that is a Pizza Hut. Then, if you really want to feel spirited by pizza, you drive toward Valencia for a few minutes until you get to the Ralph's shopping center that is gifted with Garlic Jim's.

So sit back, even if you're at work, put your feet up on your desk, and page through this new Escape. If you've got comments, complaints, or just want to say hello in insanely large letters, e-mail me at E-mail for the Tom Kopacka Fan Club goes to the same address.

As Apu the Kwik-E-Mart proprietor would say, "Thank you, come again!"


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