“The Alternative Press Fair was great,” he reports. “We’ve had reports from all over that those who came had a good time, met some interesting people and sold, bought or swapped work. Some saw exciting things, and generally enjoyed the day.
“It gave a chance for creators to get their work out to a wide audience, and we think it inspired some people to do something creative.”
Now, he and Peter Lally are putting together a full colour book. “The main aim is to get small press creators and the alternative press scene noticed by a wider audience,” Jimi explains. “We think it’s a brilliant scene; the work, the people, the creative freedom – and we strongly believe that people are empowered by realising their creativity and expressing themselves through the small press.
“We will set out to reflect as much of the alternative press scene as possible, covering zines, comics, poetry, short stories and political writing as well as anything else that [creators] believe represents the scene.”
The themes of the planned are thus very broad. “Introduce yourself!” enthuses Jimi. “What we mean is, look at yourself and what you do in the small press, why you do it and how you got into it, or how you got started and think about how you can put that across.
“We want this book to be a collection of the great work going on in the small press scene, as well as having a handbook element exploring how people can be involved or get started themselves. We’d like to include artwork, illustration, poetry, articles, opinion, biographies and ‘how to’ sections.
Jimi and Peter want the book to feature all-new material to promote the British alternative press scene and urge creators to do their best work, “and we’ll do our best to get decent distribution and spread the word as far as possible on its release.”
• A new Ning forum, We Make Zines, has been set up to publicise the project. Submissions must be made by Thursday 30th April 2009: please get in touch with Jimi and Peter letting them know how you’d like to contribute by applying to join the group.
Alternative Press Anthology: Technical Details
Pagination: 80 pages
Size: 240mm x 170mm (with bleed – don’t need to leave any border round the edge)
Printing: Full colour CMYK
Paperback cover 280gsm double coated
Inside Pages 115gsm matt coated
Finishing: Slot perforated bound spine
Photo above courtesy of Richard of Handmade & Bound @ Alternative Press Fair. More of Richard’s pics here
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.