Cartoonist and writer Lew Stringer has just blasted us with the past on his new blog with a number of covers from fanzines, some going back as far as 1976 headlined with news of the death of Frank Bellamy.
It’s a fascinating short trip in to the weird world British fanzines, whose contributors ranged from Dave Gibbons, Mike Collins, Lew and many others. I published a fanzine myself, SCAN, which satirised both mainstream comics and the fanzine medium, and whose contributors included designer Matt Bingham (who went on to design FHM), Dave “Viz” Jones, Mike Collins, Richard Starkings, John Tomlinson and Bryan Talbot.
Distributed by Fast Fiction, which was run by Paul Gravett (then co-editor of the wonderful Escape magazine), our small subscriber base included Alan Moore, who was absolutely not offended by a letter we published supposedly from him satirising his writing style of the time and, as time progressed, began to wonder where we got all the names of the demons who wrote letters to the ‘zine from (I didn’t know then that he was interested in that sort of thing, but recall he seemed a bit disappointed when I told him we made them all up).
The ‘zine earned us the attention of John Tomlinson and Richard Starkings at Marvel UK and was one reason I got a job there in the 1980s. Happy days…