FANSCENE set to draw to a close with special issue devoted to “Fantasy Advertser”

Fantasy Advertiser #56, edited by Dez Skinn, August 1975. Cover by Paul Cemmick
Fantasy Advertiser #56, edited by Dez Skinn, August 1975. Cover by Paul Cemmick

Over at the brilliant, indispensable Classic UK Comic Zines archive curated by artist David Hathaway-Price, several archive editions of the brilliant title Fantasy Advertiser have been added to the catalogue, with just one issue – Issue 68 – to find to complete the run.

The latest additions to the site come with a reminder from David that the deadline for the next (and final) issue of his own smashing ‘zine, FANSCENE is 31st July, 2021, planned as a celebration of all things Fantasy Advertiser, in the same way as issue 1 was of KA-POW, the first British comic zine.

“I would welcome any contributions,” David appeals. “I know only too well how daunting it can be to produce a full article, so perhaps just a few lines describing your memories of F/A, what your favourite period was, under which editor, etc. would be lovely. But of course, fuller articles and artwork would be very welcome too.

“It’s always best to leave a party when you’re enjoying it,” he says of announcing FANSCENE is to end, “so if you’ve ever been tempted to contribute to the zine now is your final chance.

Fantasy Advertiser #85, edited by Dez Skinn, June 1984. Cover by Graham Bleathman
Fantasy Advertiser #85, edited by Dez Skinn, June 1984. Cover by Graham Bleathman

Fantasy Advertiser began as an Ad Zine that was essentially an advertising service for comic collectors, focusing on the sale of primarily second hand comics, eventually transitioning to a true comics-focused fanzine.

When original editor Frank Dobson emigrated to Australia in 1970, he handed it on to two contributors, Dez Skinn (later, publisher at Marvel UK and Warrior) and Paul McCartney (no, not that Paul McCartney), to continue. They expanded the magazine to include more articles and artwork.

Dez left in 1976 and Martin Lock soon became editor, before handing it over to Martin Skidmore in 1984, who shortened the name to FA, making the magazine more provocative and political.

It was taken over by Trident Comics in 1988, but was closed in 1991 when Trident went bankrupt.

Arguably the best comics fanzine in Britain, it was revived in 2010, in sparkling online form, by Martin Skidmore (sadly, no longer with us). It’s now edited by Tony Keen.

• If you’d be interested in being part of the final issue of FANSCENE, then head over to the Classic UK Comic Zines site, download past issues of FANSCENE and get in touch with David direct. Plus, check out the massive archive of past zines he’s built – a treasure trove of British comics fandom!

The direct link to the Classic UK Comic Zines Archive site, where you can also find all the free issues of FANSCENE, and a collection of read-only fanzines from the 1960s to the 1990s

Direct link to the Fantasy Advertser archive page

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• FA Online –

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

Categories: British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Magazines

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