Classic UK Comic Zines Site adds rare 1970s conventions booklets to growing archive

ClaasicUKComicZines - Montage

British comics archivist, and former Fine Art and Graphic Design teacher David Hathaway-Price has been busy adding some gems of British comic fan history to his incredible Classic UK Comic Zines site, which is now located here. Two additions feature early work by a slew of famous 2000AD contributors, edited by Dez Skinn and Nick Landau.

The aim of David’s fine site is to create a digital repository of the Comics Fanzines published in the UK, with the permission of their editors – fan publications containing work by artists and writers who would sometimes 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.

The site is a treasure trove of a time when fandom was very much driven by print and rare gatherings, including digital editions of titles such as Paul Duncan‘s fondly-remembered title Arkensword, Comic Media News, Fantasy Advertiser (which continues today online, published by Tony Keen, Andrew Moreton, and Will Morgan), Masters of Infinity and Speakeasy – to name but a few.

The cover of the UK ComicCon 1971 Booklet by Dave Gibbons

The cover of the UK ComicCon 1971 Booklet by Dave Gibbons

Also being added are rare convention booklets, which now include the COMICON 71 Convention Booklet, edited by Deaz Skinn (who went on to run Marvel UK and publish Warrior), an event held at the Waverley Hotel, Southampton Row, London in February 1971. Organised by Fantasy Advertiser (then edited by Dez) and the very first London comic shop, Dark They Were & Golden Eyed, then run by Derek Stokes.

Featuring a cover by Dave Gibbons, it includes artwork by Steve Parkhouse (a spoof of Vaughn Bode), Paul Neary, Jim Marshall and Jim Baikie and you can view it online here.

COMICON 72 Convention Booklet - CoverDavid has also published the COMICON 72 Convention Booklet, the annual event moving to August that year, but also held at the Waverley Hotel, Southampton Row, London. 5–6 August 1972. Organised by Nick Landau – now co-owner of Forbidden Planet and co-publisher of Titan Comics, it includes a report on the 1971 convention and a tantalising snapshot of a Frank Bellamy gathering by Andrew Skilleter – today one of Britain’s best-known SF book cover artists and illustrators. The much-admired Thunderbirds and Dan Dare artist, who died in the 1970s, was of course the major guest.

The booklet also features artwork by Robert Crumb, Dave Gibbons, Kevin O’Neill, and Mike Higgs and you can view it online here.

If you’re a fan of British comics young or old then David’s Classic UK Comic Zines site is a must visit and he of course welcomes contributions. There are still, we’re sure, items out there he’s yet to add offering some intriguing views of past fandom.

• Visit David’s site at | Follow Classic UK Comic X+Zines on Facebook 

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