So - AP then. What's it all about?
If you were to take an issue of AMIGA POWER and pull it apart with three swift jerks, you'd probably have one of the later, stapled ones. Yock.
You'd also notice, however, that the same pages crop up again and again (that's from month to month rather than all in the same issue. What are you, stupid or something, or what?) These, then, were the AMIGA POWER Regulars, which with the addition of a couple of hastily-cobbled-together features, some reviews knocked up at the last moment and two or three of AP's Five Hardy Jokes formed the latest issue of a mag everyone was happy to pay £1 for, except it cost more than four.
But how was it done?
Well, that bit told you, obviously. T. Look, let's try that again, eh?
It would be difficult to name a section of AP that's not instantly recognisable as AMIGA POWER. Most famously, you couldn't see a mark without knowing it was us, but possibly that's more a philosophy thing.
Imagine, therefore, you have a copy of AMIGA POWER in your hands. It is an amalgam of all copies of AMIGA POWER. Perhaps it has your favourite ever cover. The disks work. Turning it reverently to catch the light, your gaze falls upon the spine and its unfathomable witticism. Puzzledly you examine the Next Month Strip, perhaps holding your chin and thinks-bubbling, "Why isn't it a Next Month Page like everyone else's?" Our cuff reddens your ear. AMIGA POWER does nothing like everyone else. Fool.
You open the mag. No advertising falls out. Look - there - the Contents Page, a title that was never once right, and the flannel panel, a title that was never once used. Beyond those, and with a smart flock to the mighty banner of True Stories, you glimpse the eternally legendary Oh Dear, nestling warmingly against Kangaroo Court and occasionally stretching purringly to reveal its soft underbelly of Hurrah!. The humming embers of the Mystery Corners diffuse the scene in a pleasant glow In The Style Of... a charming Victorian parlour scene, except without the emaciated sweep stuffed up the flue. You chuckle as a few minor coals pop and scatter, sending Heaven and Hell one way in a burst of the other. Through the frosted window you glimpse The Disseminator drifting past and flicking off a professionally sloppy salute. Knuckling a joyous tear from your eye you discreetly glance around to check the purity of your surroundings against the warning revelations of Family Ties, though The Temptress insists soothingly that everything is fine.
Now you are scanning the pages rapidly. Previews patter past. A house ad looms up - and is gone like a maniac running alongside your stuttering car with an axe who suddenly falls into a manhole. The centre page supplement flashes through your line of sight like a stapled butterfly. The mag's trademark definitive reviews (or are they?) waterfall beneath your thumb, or your other thumb if you're right-handed. A cardboard sign and a tragic paper-and-comb jig herald Hi-Ho Silver Lining and its optimistically upturned biscuit caddy; Points of View marks the end of the dissemination of essential information; and a feature or two spring into view like Al Jolson earning a crust. Or are they Unrelated Specials? So hard to tell with these modern haircuts. Wisely you riffle past Complete Control - no sense being told how to win and so spoil the point, and anyway you could always crib from THNTRNTeiee instead.
Wait! What's that? No, not yet! - All too soon it's Do The Write Thing, this month showcasing the ever-popular Ask AP upon the only reader letter pages in computer games magazines never to be made up by the staff.
And there, bringing the mag to a calming close, spectacular trick photograph spoiled by your illiterate messages favourite The Secret Garden; secretly the single most useful part of the mag ever The Bottom Line; a vigour-weakening alternative to (it); and, finally, The Back Page. The back cover snaps over, revealing the Next Month Strip once again. You replace the issue on the shelf and stroll out. Over four pounds? To hell with that.