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I'm not sure how popular a section on fanzines, along side the cover galleries, would prove. One of the American sites to which I subscribe has recently opened a fanzine section but it is for complete publications to be read online or downloaded. Link here:-
http://goldenagecomics.co.uk//index.php?cid=1509
As one who was involved in fanzines and fandom, I know there were many such publications in the U.K., amateur, usually poorly reproduced but often offering interesting insights into comics, a lot of it American but also interviews with, or letters from, U.K. creators, or articles about British comics. One thing many of them had was enthusiasm. The subject came up at a recent Glasgow mart and some of us realised that we had, or had access to, some such 'zines.
I'm sure there a lot of these amateur mags out there and I will be interested to read any reactions, or to know if such a thing is wanted, never mind possible.


Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:28 pm
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Sounds like a good idea Paw; which was the first fanzine you encountered? In this internet age I don't think people can have any idea how isolated we comic collectors tended to be once our contemporaries at school had outgrown them. At 14 I genuinely thought I was the only person of my age in the entire country who still read them until my brother stumbled across a copy of Mike Cruden's Sector in a Manchester paper shop and thought it might interest me. I couldn't believe it: people with college degrees and girl friends who shared my enthusiasm and didn't automatically dismiss me as an imbecile! And the adverts for early issues of Justice League and Rip Hunter at 20p-30p each (though I thought £2 for Fantastic Four no.1 was a bit steep! :roll: ) - not to mention somewhere in London called 'Dark They Were And Golden Eyed'...!

- Phil Rushton


Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:52 am
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philcom55 wrote:
At 14 I genuinely thought I was the only person of my age in the entire country who still read them...


Same here! None of my local mates were still reading comics in their teens except for one classmate who brought in Battle Picture Weekly every Thursday. American comics were considered particularly childish by most kids then.

I subscribed to FOOM magazine in 1973 but that was a professional mag produced by Marvel of course and didn't indicate there was any fan activity in the UK.

First time I realised there was a whole fandom devoted to comics was when I saw an ad in one of the UK Marvels for fanzines. I sent away for Comic Media News, Comics Unlimited and one or two others and it was like a gateway into another world.

One of those 'zines carried an ad for the London comic shops. I'd always wished there were shops dedicated to nothing but comics but never knew until then that such places were beginning to emerge. First comic shop I visited was London's Dark There Were And Golden Eyed back in 1976, discovering more fanzines, imported comics, and a new direction for my life.

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:13 pm
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Lew Stringer wrote:
I sent away for Comic Media News, Comics Unlimited and one or two others and it was like a gateway into another world.

Was Comics Unlimited published by Alan Austin? Or am I havering? If so, that is the first fanzine I encountered. There were 'zines her in Scotland, Gasp, AKA, and some others whose titles escape me.
philcom55 wrote:
I couldn't believe it: people with college degrees and girl friends who shared my enthusiasm and didn't automatically dismiss me as an imbecile! And the adverts for early issues of Justice League and Rip Hunter at 20p-30p each (though I thought £2 for Fantastic Four no.1 was a bit steep! :roll: ) - not to mention somewhere in London called 'Dark They Were And Golden Eyed'...!

What is it about Britain and the way many look down their noses at, or are completely ignorant of, comics? It was a revelation finding Dark They Were and Golden Eyed on a visit to London. In Berwick St, Soho, if memory serves. I was always wary of telling folk that comics were one of my hobbies. They either looked at me strangely or made those vague noises signalling that they wanted to run away. But then I found The Friends of Clark Kent, a load of like-minded people who read and collected comics. This was in Glasgow and , needless to say, they met in a pub. Eventually AKA appeared. Great fun and hard work, sometimes.


Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:57 pm
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paw broon wrote:
Was Comics Unlimited published by Alan Austin?


That's right, and Alan's still selling comics, but on eBay these days.

paw broon wrote:
What is it about Britain and the way many look down their noses at, or are completely ignorant of, comics?


Unlike Europe, British comics have mainly been aimed at children, so most people grow out of them. (Except for those of us who move on to appreciate the art and history of comics.)

For most people, reading comics is considered as childish as if we met adults who still read children's books or played with toys. The general public only see them as entertainment on a childlike level, so, to them, there must be something "wrong" with adults who read them. Add to that decades of comics being portrayed by the UK media as something only children, geeks, or the simple-minded read and we haven't a chance. :lol:

There's also the misconception that comics are for the less intelligent because "they stop you using your imagination, unlike books where you have to picture the scenes yourself" (as one non-comic reader told me). In truth of course both comics and prose stimulate the mind in different ways, as the progression of story that happens between panels (which readers instantly work out for themselves) is very sophisticated. (So much so that some kids don't get it.)

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:05 pm
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My first encounter was an advert in Exchange & Mart in the early 70s which let to purchasing Fantasy Advertiser (by the brilliant godfather of UK comics, Dez Skinn) and Thing by Doug (no, not Denis) Gifford. Does anyone know where the latter is now? I then started to get Comic Media News too and some forgotten others, and it really was an eye opener to see that I was NOT alone. Some of those fan covers were fantastic and I still remember copying a face of the full figure of a guy with burning buildings in the background and holding some weapon. The clarity of line was inspiring and of course, it's gone a long time ago. But the memory still lingers!


Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:25 pm
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I think I might have been one of the last holdouts of the old home produced, self published fanzines, made up on a photocopier. I managed to keep Comics Retrospective going for about four years in all in the early 2000's, with not a little help from Dez Skinn, who not only gave me some free advertising in Comics International but also redesigned the 'zine's logo for me without being asked!

Does anyone else remember apazines? I was a member of one in the 90's, the late, lamented Rainbow Bridge....

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:54 am
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Sorry to show my ignorance but what is an "apazine"?
I loved all those home produced, photocopied, or mimeographed?, fanzines.
We didn't have a Dez to help us but a friend, a journalist, edited stuff and got us some publicity, free, of course.


Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:35 pm
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paw broon wrote:
Sorry to show my ignorance but what is an "apazine"?

An amateur press association fanzine, effectively a collaborative fanzine. Membership (and therefore the ability to read the thing) is/was dependent on the subscriber agreeing to contribute articles, reviews or strips to the 'zine as well, if not every issue then at least semi-regularly. It was quite fun.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:03 pm
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tony ingram wrote:
paw broon wrote:
Sorry to show my ignorance but what is an "apazine"?

An amateur press association fanzine, effectively a collaborative fanzine. Membership (and therefore the ability to read the thing) is/was dependent on the subscriber agreeing to contribute articles, reviews or strips to the 'zine as well, if not every issue then at least semi-regularly. It was quite fun.


Also worth mentioning the setup: each member would design/print their own apazine, send all the copies to the central mailer, and he/she would collate all the zines and send each member a package with one of each zine in it.

So if an APA had 30 members, you'd print 30 copies of your zine, and you'd get 30 different zines back (including your own). The number of pages of your own zine were up to you. Most people did about 4 pages, some did as many as 16 or 20.

I was in BAPA for a while back in the early 1980s (which I think was the British Amateur Press Association). My 'zine was called Zeal. It wasn't very good.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:46 pm
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philcom55 wrote:
At 14 I genuinely thought I was the only person of my age in the entire country who still read them
Not exactly comics, but I was still reading Adventure, The Hotspur etc in the Sixth Form, without it being remarked on by friends, possibly because they didn't see them as comics either. The stories to me were only different from novels in the sense that you had to wait a week for the next chapter of each of the twenty or so serials I was reading. I really can't recall properly but I assume that I initially stopped buying them because the sheer volume of homework was intruding into my leisure time.


Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:39 pm
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Phoenix wrote:
Not exactly comics, but I was still reading Adventure, The Hotspur etc in the Sixth Form, without it being remarked on by friends, possibly because they didn't see them as comics either. The stories to me were only different from novels in the sense that you had to wait a week for the next chapter of each of the twenty or so serials I was reading. I really can't recall properly but I assume that I initially stopped buying them because the sheer volume of homework was intruding into my leisure time.

By that age, other attractions had taken over, or were about to take over. I'm sure most of you will have a good idea what they were. Having had to give up comics at about 14 - they were considered childish -this was around 1963, I sort of forgot about them. They were also discouraged at school. But, here I am now, at this age, keen to visit my sister-in-law, who is just back from Australia and has brought me some new Frew Phantom comics. How good is that? And the excitement of finding the first Falcon story in Radio Fun at a recent London mart. Are we all just big weans at heart? I am.


Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:40 pm
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Lew Stringer wrote:
tony ingram wrote:
paw broon wrote:
Sorry to show my ignorance but what is an "apazine"?

An amateur press association fanzine, effectively a collaborative fanzine. Membership (and therefore the ability to read the thing) is/was dependent on the subscriber agreeing to contribute articles, reviews or strips to the 'zine as well, if not every issue then at least semi-regularly. It was quite fun.


Also worth mentioning the setup: each member would design/print their own apazine, send all the copies to the central mailer, and he/she would collate all the zines and send each member a package with one of each zine in it.

So if an APA had 30 members, you'd print 30 copies of your zine, and you'd get 30 different zines back (including your own). The number of pages of your own zine were up to you. Most people did about 4 pages, some did as many as 16 or 20.

I was in BAPA for a while back in the early 1980s (which I think was the British Amateur Press Association). My 'zine was called Zeal. It wasn't very good.
What I liked about them was the sheer diversity of material. We had one guy who always submitted six to eight pages mostly on 'furry' comics, something I'd never had the slightest interest in, but he made them interesting! I bought quite a few on his recommendation.

I think my zine was called something like "Random Drivel from Somewhere Near Penge"...

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Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:33 am
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tony ingram wrote:
I think my zine was called something like "Random Drivel from Somewhere Near Penge"...

Oh, yes, I like that and wouldn't it be good to read some of that stuff? Apart from the possible potential embarrassment.


Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:19 pm
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The last Fanzine I remember was The Comic Collector which later became Comic World - I have three issues on ebay at the moment. I have a small collection of fanzines from the 70s and 80s The Comic Journal being one of the best. I also have a few punk/mod fanzines from the 80s like Jamming, Dayglo and In The City. Frank Dobson started Fantasy Advertiser and he handed it over to Dez. Frank used one of my EC cover copies in it. Frank's version was mailnly a list of comics he had for sale and a repro EC cover but he later used some articles, my mate Steve wrote one about Charlton comics.


Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:02 am
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