For several months now, British comics fan David Hathaway-Price had been gathering and scanning every British comics fanzine that he’s been able to buy or had loaned to him. His aim is to create a Fanzine archive / repository, celebrating all of the brilliant work that was produced in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s in British comic zines such as BEM, Comic Media News and many other fondly-remembered titles.
Many feature the work of comic creators who have since gone on to achieve worldwide fame for their work, such as Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and others.
“Even the most successful of these zines never had a huge print run, but were very important to the people involved, and helped launch many artists and writers into the comics industry itself,” David notes.
“Being by their very nature quite rare now, they don’t tend to come up for sale that often, and when they do, they tend to be quite expensive.
“The aim of the site is not to damage the collectors market in any way (viewing on screen will never be as good as holding an issue of any publication in your hand, IMHO), but to provide an opportunity for old and new fans to enjoy an insight into a world of printed zines, which, while not being as immediate as the blogs and boards we have today, was just as vibrant and immersive a way to talk about comics.
“I’ve been busy contacting as many editors / publishers as possible, to get their permission to use their work, and have been amazed by the positive response,” he reveals.
“The PDF’s I’m producing from the original zines will have all personal addresses removed. Partly because after thirty odd years they will no doubt be out of date, and partly because people may not want to be associated with views they held at the time (or indeed, be traceable).”
“If you were a contributor to any of the zines being featured, the option will be available to have any and all of your work removed from the site.”
Concerns over privacy and copyright are now the reason David has issued a wide appeal across social media to let comic fans know about the project. If you were involved with fandom back then, but have no wish for your work to be included in this archive, please let David know.
Equally, if you are happy to be included, He’d love to hear from you and be given formal permission. Perhaps you can even hp him source missing issues of the titles you worked on – or indeed, put out yourself!
• Contact David via firstname.lastname@example.org
• 2018 UPDATE: David’s archive site is at https://davidprice5.wixsite.com/classicukcomicszines