An incredible project aiming to document the history of British comic fanzines and fandom, both as an online archive and in print, has a new home on the web.
Founded back in 2015 as the Classic UK Comic Zines site, artist and comic archivist David Hathaway-Price has been constantly adding to what is now The Fanscene Project.
Now residing at comicsfanzines.co.uk, the project is an online, read-only archive of British comic fanzines, published across the last 50 years, including, with the permission of their original editors, titles such as BEM, Comic Media News, Fantasy Trader, Infinity, Speakeasy, and many more. It even includes incredibly rare digital editions of very early zines such as Ka-Pow, published by Phil Clarke and Steve Moore back in 1967/68.
Alongside providing this treasure trove of zines, David has also published FANSCENE, “a love letter to British Comics fandom”; celebrating the comics and zines from the 1960s through to the present day. This terrific series of eight digital and print magazines offer a huge range of material on fandom, and more.
The aim of The Fanscene Project is to create a digital repository of as many of the Comics Fanzines published in the UK as possible; fan publications containing work by artists and writers who would sometimes later move into, and shape, the industry that they loved.
Equally, they contain work by people who simply appreciated the sense of community offered by taking part in fandom, and who may now look back fondly on a hobby no longer followed.
“These fanzines were printed in very limited numbers, sometimes as few as 50 copies, and have become quite rare over the years,” David explains. “This site celebrates these publications, and the people who produced or contributed to them.”
While FANSCENE is freely downloadable, the archived zines are read only, and are not available for distribution. David is keen to stress that all the material presented on his site is intended for educational, non-commercial and non-profit making purposes.
Wherever possible, permission has been obtained from the original editors / publishers to feature their publications, and all work shown remains copyright to the respective authors and artists, and all names and characters are copyright to their respective creators and companies.
We’ve documented the evolution of this valuable resource since its inception, a project that’s received a huge amount of support from the British fan community along the way, and who continue to give it their backing. If you ever bought a print comic zine, this is a site you really should bookmark, its archive regularly expanding, David’s dedication much appreciated!
If you’re interested in, and already know about the archive, please update your links.
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.
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