Earlier this year, British comic fans were treated to the first issue of FANSCENE, a very special celebration of over fifty years of comics fandom in Ireland and the UK – and now, a second Issue is available, free.
FANSCENE 2, featuring a wonderful cover by Mark Wayne Barrett, is a free 212 page PDF fanzine that continues to celebrate over fifty years of Comics Fandom in Ireland and the UK. The focus of this issue is on Comic Conventions, from the very first held in Birmingham and organised by Phil Clarke, through the glory days of UKCAC, to the wide range of events that are being held today.
The zine, edited by David Hathaway-Price, also pays tribute to some of the giants of the industry, who we’ve sadly lost this year.
David, who also runs the terrific Classic UK Comics Zines online archive, decided that 50 years of British comics fandom needed celebrating and put out a call for contributions to a new anthology – and, buoyed by the incredible response to the first issue, has published this second volume, with plans for a third next year.
“The first British Comic Art Convention was held between the 30th August and the 2nd September 1968; organised by (yes, it’s that man again) Phil Clarke,” David notes. “I’d kind of hoped that ICE in Birmingham this year would have been an ideal collective celebration of the event, and I know that at one point, there were tentative plans in place for a ‘Fan’ panel to be held, reuniting some of the father figures to chat about the original event.
“However, due to ill health (get well soon, Mike), and commerce (Phil was earning a crust that weekend at a Mart — once a dealer, always a dealer) it didn’t happen. A real shame; though it has to be said that Shane Chebsey’s event was hugely enjoyable in any case, and a great example of how the smaller, comics-centric events can go toe-to-toe with the huge multimedia events, and provide just as much entertainment.
“So it falls to this humble publication to pay tribute in a small way to the convention scene over those 50 years.
“This isn’t a comprehensive history of every convention that has taken place in this country… it’s a celebration of the scene; picking out some highlights over the years as people see them.”
• What’s your first memory of a British comic convention? Why not comment below?
• FANSCENE 2 features work by Mark Ammerman, Kyle Andrews, Enrico Ariis, Joy Barrett, Mark Wayne Barrett, Richard Bruton, Nick Buchanan, Neil Burton, Dan Butcher, Les Chester, Jenni Cole, Nevs Coleman, Richard Crouch, Steve Dillon, Tony Esmond, Glenn Fleming, Carlos Garzón, Trevor Goring, Ron Hall, David Hathaway-Price, Stephen Hooker, Dave Hornsby, Paul Hudson, Floyd Hughes, Trevor Hughes,Iskander Islam, Jonny Kurzman, Manny Maris, Joe Matthews, Harry McAvinchey, John McShane, Robert Menzies, Glenn Miller, Bill Naylor, Nick Neocleous, Adrien Perkins, Steve Poulacheris, Luke Rainford, Estelle Riviere, Sean Roberts, Anthony Roche, Bun Sakashita, Richard Sheaf, Jay Slack, Mike Teague, Mort Todd, Alan Roman Walsh, Steve Whitaker and Andy Williams
HOW TO BUY FANSCENE ISSUE TWO
The ‘MOBILE’ version is small enough to be viewed on line, while the main ‘FANSCENE 2’ link takes you to a version that is best downloaded and viewed on a desktop device.
A printed version will be available to purchase from David in due course (depending on interest and demand).
Please note, this project has been released as Donationware. If you like what you read, please consider donating £5 to your favourite charity in response. What about the Hero Initiative, which supports comic creators in need, for example?