Online Classic UK Comic Zines Archive Repository Launched

Arkensword Issue 13, edited by Paul Duncan, cover by Brian Bolland.

Arkensword Issue 13, edited by Paul Duncan, cover by Brian Bolland.

After months of hard work scanning and contacting their original creators for permission to publish them online, David Hathaway-Price has launched his much-anticpated archive of British comics zines – a fascinating online repository of classic print fan magazines devoted to comics, spanning the 1960s to the 1990s.

The aim of his site is to create a digital repository of the Comics Fanzines published in the UK in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s – 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, and David hopes his site – created with the permission of the original editors of the titles – will help not only document their work, but celebrate these publications, and the people who produced and contributed to them.

Wherever possible, permission has been obtained from the original editors / publishers to feature their publications.

Cerebro 20. Cover by Paul Chokran

Cerebro 20. Cover by Paul Chokran

“My first brush with Comics Fandom occurred in the late 70’s, and centered on the discovery of an advert for a Fanzine called Cerebro, in one of the British weekly Marvel comics,” says David. “As a young teenager, growing up in a small South Wales town, the realisation that there were other people out there older than me, who not only enjoyed reading, and talking about comics, but who were publishing their own magazines on the subject, was a real eye-opener.

“I wasn’t alone.

“Sending my scraped together 35p, to the editor, Geoff Willmetts, I purchased my first sample copy of the zine, and the slippery slope began. A zine review column in that first issue of Cerebro 20, with its cover by Paul Chokran led to me buying an issue of Gez Kelly’s Graphic Sense, which led to BEM, which led to Fantasy Advertiser, which led to… Well, you get the idea.”

Last year, David renewed contacts with several comic fans and began researching the history of British comic fandoms, helped in his quest by informative blogs by Dez Skinn, Lew Stringer, Harry Mcavinchey and Russell Willis – and, noting many fans interest in seeing the fanzines again, began contacting as many editors as he could, to ask for permission to produce PDF’s of their zines and place them online.

The response has been amazing, and you can see the first tentative steps to the idea becoming a reality, here.

“I hope that this will prove to be a real kick for those of us who were involved in the scene to be able to read these again,” says David. “It’s nice as well I hope for the ‘Net generation’ to see what all the fuss was about.”

The Yancy Street Journal Issue One. Cover by: Steve Lowther

The Yancy Street Journal Issue One. Cover by: Steve Lowther

The site is a fascinating archive of both fanzines and convention material, and I’ve already had a quick looks through some of the pages, the covers alone jogging memories of the 1980s Westminster Comic Marts where I first met the Marvel UK editors that gave me my first break into the business, along with creators such as Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Paul Gravett, Peter Stanbury, Russell Willis, Smuzz, Warren Ellis and many, many others.

By its very nature, the site is graphics intensive, and some pages may take a while to load – and all the material presented on this site is intended for educational, non-commercial and non-profit making purposes. Do check it out and if you’re a longtime British comics fan, enjoy a great trip down memory road…

If you can help supply copies of zine he doesn’t have, all help is much appreciated.

• David’s archive site is at https://davidprice5.wixsite.com/classicukcomicszines

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. 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 “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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