This month marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Phil Clarke and Steve Moore‘s KA-POW #1 – the first British comic fanzine (Although in Ireland Tony Roche got there first of course, with his Merry Marvel Fanzine).
Now, a plan has been hatched to celebrate this momentous anniversary – appropriately enough, with a fanzine, now seeking contributions.
“The year is slipping by, with no sign (that I’m aware of) of this momentous event being celebrated,” notes David Hathaway-Price, who has been steadily building, with the permission of the Zines original editors, a brilliant online archive of classic British comic zines.
“This seems to me to be a great pity, especially considering how many great zines appeared in that half century,” he continues. “How many wonderful artists and writers cut their creative teeth in their pages, and the life long friendships that formed around the hobby?
“So how about we celebrate those 50 years by putting together a huge kick-arse fanzine?
“I’m hardly the most qualified person to be in charge of this kind of project,” David claims, “but I’m more than willing to put in the time and effort needed to pull it all together.
“I’m thinking that a print-enabled PDF would be the way to go,” he suggests. “Distribution would be easy with a digital file, there would be zero costs, and people could have it printed themselves if they wanted a physical copy.”
In true fanzine tradition, there would be no payment offered for contributions (apart from a ‘free’ copy of the issue of course!), but David is considering making the zine Donationware, and raise some money for charity.
“Everyone would be welcome to contribute of course, but I’d really like the people who were there right at the start of all this to write or draw something,” he asks – and some people have already signed aboard the project. “Content could be nostalgic or current in nature, mainstream Superhero, independent, or small press.
“I’d like to get this out by the end of the year (possibly for Christmas), so I guess we’re looking at a deadline of 1st December 2017.”
Full page drawings, spot illustrations, strips, opinion pieces, reviews, news, anything that would be at home in a zine (other than adverts) would be very welcome.
A title for the zine has yet to be decided. “I was thinking of Leg-ends of Fandom – A Celebration,” David laughs, “but I’m sure someone could come up with something better!”
• If you’d like to get involved contact David via david.priceATpost.com – and let him know you’re interested in contributing
• If you are interested in the history of comics fanzines, launchpad for many a top flight creator’s career, check out ace editor and publisher Dez Skinn’s in-depth chronicle of its 1960s birth, with stacks of early covers and art on his official site
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.