Over on social community Facebook, former 1980s fanzine editor Russell Willis, who now lives in Japan, has posted a huge number of covers to some fondly-remembered British fanzines of the period, including this example of SCAN, edited by me, John Freeman.
The cover , drawn by Ivan Allen, was provided by John Tomlinson and Richard Starkings who then worked for Marvel UK, and their support for SCAN eventually helped me join the company.
SCAN, which was put together by me and Matthew Badham over a couple of years had a huge range of contributors including Mike Collins, Mark Farmer, Bryan Talbot, Andy Dodd, Dave Jones (of Viz fame). We satirised British comics of the time ruthlessly, much to the delight of many industry professionals, including Alan Moore who was one of our (few) subscribers.
Russell’s collection features 180 scans of fanzines and small press comics from the 1980s (and a few from the 1970s that he collected at that time) including Lew Stringer’s Brickman, Supercook, Paris Man of Plaster, Ratman, The Owl’s Effort, Fantasy Advertiser, BEM (including BEM #1) Paul Gravett and Pete Stanbury’s Fast Fiction and many more.
You don’t have to be a member of Facebook to view these albums, which offer a fascinating snapshot of a very inventive time for the British small press.
• Album One
Includes covers of Paris Man of Plaster, Supercook, Ratman, Vigilante Vulture, Brickman, The Owl’s Effort and more
• Album Two
Includes covers of Fast Fiction, Myra, Warren Ellis early work Doctor Death, The Alternative Headmaster’s Bulletin and more
• Album Three
Includes covers of BEM, Graphic Sense, Fantasy Trader and more – some from the 1970s
• Album Four
Includes covers of Russel”s own fanzine, Infinity, plus Fantasy Advertiser, Fusion, Hellfire and more
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.