Plan Hatched to celebrate 50 years of British Comic Zines – with an all-new fanzine, of course!

Early issues of the British comics zine KA-POW. Via Dez Skinn
Early issues of the British comics zine KA-POW. Via Dez Skinn

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Phil Clarke and Steve Moore‘s KA-POW #1 – the first British comic fanzine (Although in Ireland Tony Roche got there first of course, with his Merry Marvel Fanzine).

Now, a plan has been hatched to celebrate this momentous anniversary – appropriately enough, with a fanzine, now seeking contributions.

“The year is slipping by, with no sign (that I’m aware of) of this momentous event being celebrated,” notes David Hathaway-Price, who has been steadily building, with the permission of the Zines original editors, a brilliant online archive of classic British comic zines.

“This seems to me to be a great pity, especially considering how many great zines appeared in that half century,” he continues. “How many wonderful artists and writers cut their creative teeth in their pages, and the life long friendships that formed around the hobby?

“So how about we celebrate those 50 years by putting together a huge kick-arse fanzine?

Fantasy Advertiser - Comicon 69 Special

 

UTOPIA, published in 1970, edited by Paul McCartney and Dave Womack, containing Alan Moore's first published fanzine work
UTOPIA, published in 1970, edited by Paul McCartney and Dave Womack, containing Alan Moore’s first published fanzine work

Comic Media News 28 - Cover

Graphic Sense 5 - Cover

Arkensword 13-14 - Cover
Cover by Brian Bolland

 

Comics Forum 3 - Cover“I’m hardly the most qualified person to be in charge of this kind of project,” David claims, “but I’m more than willing to put in the time and effort needed to pull it all together.

“I’m thinking that a print-enabled PDF would be the way to go,” he suggests. “Distribution would be easy with a digital file, there would be zero costs, and people could have it printed themselves if they wanted a physical copy.”

In true fanzine tradition, there would be no payment offered for contributions (apart from a ‘free’ copy of the issue of course!), but David is  considering  making the zine Donationware, and raise some money for charity.

“Everyone would be welcome to contribute of course, but I’d really like the people who were there right at the start of all this to write or draw something,” he asks – and some people have already signed aboard the project. “Content could be nostalgic or current in nature, mainstream Superhero, independent, or small press.

“I’d like to get this out by the end of the year (possibly for Christmas), so I guess we’re looking at a deadline of 1st December 2017.”

Full page drawings, spot illustrations, strips, opinion pieces, reviews, news, anything that would be at home in a zine (other than adverts) would be very welcome.

A title for the zine has yet to be decided. “I was thinking of Leg-ends of Fandom – A Celebration,” David laughs, “but I’m sure someone could come up with something better!”

• If you’d like to get involved contact David via david.priceATpost.com – and let him know you’re interested in contributing

Check out David’s Classic UK Comic Zines Archive

• If you are interested in the history of comics fanzines, launchpad for many a top flight creator’s career, check out ace editor and publisher Dez Skinn’s in-depth chronicle of its 1960s birth, with stacks of early covers and art on his official site

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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