Fanscene celebrates 50 years of fandom

It’s mahoosive! That’s all we are saying.

And a brilliant read!

Celebrating over fifty years of fandom a 320+ online book has been created. FanScene is a true labour of love and a fantastic achievement by David Hathaway-Price. It looks totally amazing with a roll call of talented creators from Northern Ireland and the UK who have contributed to fandom over the years. Take a look at the list below.

You can download and read the book here.

You may prefer digestible chunks of delight so you can also download it in three parts. Part one is here. Part two is here. Part three is here. A high res version for printing is here.

David recently spoke to the Awesome Comic Pod Cast about the experience and highlights of fifty years of fandom. You can listen to the Podcast here.

David also has a website for more information on fanzines over the last fifty years. You can access that here.

David goes into more detail about the project.

“I spent my 50th celebration surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. Healthwise,  I’m a little more rough around the edges than I once was, but feeling quite chipper about the place I’m presently at in my life.

The same I’m afraid can’t be said for the world of Comics fandom. Or at least, fandom as I discovered it in the 1970s. As is pointed out elsewhere in the zine, times have moved on. Technology now allows comics fans to communicate instantly, and share their views in a much more egalitarian way than the printing and distribution of A5 and A4 zines ever did. Every opinion is now given free rein, sometimes without the intervention of an editor, or the advantage of three months to perhaps reflect on a real or imagined slight, and how or if one should respond to it.

I missed out on the start of fandom by a good ten years or so, but when I did discover it, it changed my world. As with a lot of ‘minority’ interests, people search out community, a place in which to not feel quite so alone. With Comics now embraced by the mainstream, that aspect doesn’t feel so relevant now, and the scene online where comics are discussed is certainly very vibrant… but I do miss the treat of having a regular and varied magazine pop through the door every couple of months.

As detailed in my own article, I rediscovered my love of zines about three years ago, and since then, I’ve set up the online archive, in a bid to preserve what I can of the wonderful work that was produced over the last fifty years. I’ve received nothing but kindness from editors and contributors, and hopefully the whole exercise is stirring some pleasant memories; as well as showing the Net generation how it used to be done.

Last summer saw the 50th anniversary of the publication of Phil Clarke and Steve Moore’s KA-POW #1. The year was slipping by, with no sign (that I was aware of) of this momentous event in fan history being celebrated. It struck me as being a great pity, especially considering how many great zines appeared in that half century; how many wonderful artists and writers cut their creative teeth in their pages, and the life long friendships that formed around the hobby

I put out some tentative feelers, regarding a possible celebration zine, and well… you can see the results here. Sometimes these things just need someone to light the touchpaper, and suddenly all sorts of fireworks start going off.

The content of the zine you’re about to read is very eclectic. If It was purely my own publication I might have tried  to impose a stronger editorial vision. But… it’s a celebration of the diversity of opinions of comic fans of all ages, and of people who may well not have agreed with each other when they were involved in fandom… or now.  Fandom never, or very rarely, spoke with one voice, and it’s healthy to hear different opinions. If nothing else, it does make for a potentially lively letters column… and on that subject, please see my backpage piece.

You’re only going to see the lightest of editorial hands here. My role has probably been more akin to that of an Apa’s central mailer; gathering material together, and presenting it in the best light I’m capable of.  I’m sure there will be mistakes that will be obvious to someone who has had more sleep than me over the last couple of months, but I can assure you that it has been a labour of love from start to finish.

I hope everyone will join me in thanking all of the contributors for their hard work, produced for this project – work graciously sent to me by some very busy, and well know individuals, presented here free of charge. You have all managed to make a happy man feel very old… Or something like that.

Obviously, everyone who has contributed to this celebration deserves a special mention, but huge thanks must be made by me to a few people who also worked behind the scenes; contacting those I couldn’t, making suggestions to improve the zine, and generally offering their help and support.

My grateful thanks to the following: Ewan Brownlow, Mike Conroy, John Freeman, Peter Hansen, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Steve Poulacheris, Luke Rainford, and Richard Sheaf. I quite literally couldn’t have done this without your help.

At three hundred and twenty pages, I was tempted to call this a Bookazine, but taking my lead from one of our lead contributors, I’ll settle on calling it what it is;  ‘A bloody big fanzine’.  I hope you enjoy reading it.”

I’m pleased to say I was able to contribute to David’s mammoth publication which exceeded all my expectations. You can read about the Scottish stripzine ‘Atomic’ and Captain Scotland from the mid 80’s in the book. There is also a link to our new Captain Scotland story from last year that appeared exclusively here on ComicsFlix – you can read a revised edition with media coverage and secrets about the characters return here.

A big thank you to David and all the contributors for putting this project together. It’s a great tribute to a superb medium and captures some wonderful and exciting moments in history for comic fans.

Very well done!

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Contributors include

Kyle Andrews, Enrico Ariis, James Bacon, George Barnett, Mark Wayne Barrett, Robert Lee Beerbohm, John Bishop, Brad Brooks, Ewan Brownlow, Nick Buchanan, Paul Chester, Paul Chokran, Brian Clarke, Mike Conroy, Mal Earl, Phil Elliott, Tony Esmond, Glenn B Fleming, Martin Forrest, Tony Foster, John Freeman, Bambos Georgiou, Dave Gibbons, Jamie Grey, Phil Hall, Martin Hand, Rob Hansen, Peter Hanson, David Hathaway-Price, John Higgins, Dave Hornsby, Paul Hudson, Iskander Islam, John Jackson, Ralph Kidson, Gerard Kingdon, Rob Kirby, Nigel Kitching, Jonny Kurzman, Geoff Lamprey, Guy Lawley, Victor Marsillo, Joe Matthews, Harry McAvinchey, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Robert Menzies, Alan Moore, Bill Naylor, Nick Neocleous, Stan Nicholls, Steve Noble, Colin Noble, Tony O’Donnell, Steve Poulacheris, Nick Prolix, Luke Rainford, Murti Schofield, Richard Sheaf, Dez Skinn, Lloyd Smith, Richard Z Starbuck, Lew Stringer, Mike Teague, Bob Wakelin, Andy Williams, Russell Willis, Dave Windett, Hass Yusuf.

 

 

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