Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Comic Book Fanzines...

Back in the olden days, before computers and the internet and electricity... okay, not quite THAT long ago, but long enough... science fiction and comic book fans published hundreds of small press magazines known as "fanzines." Some were primitive and published in tiny press runs on ditto and mimeo machines (see Wikipedia if these terms baffle), others were incredibly professional with circulations into the (low) thousands.

"Comic Book" was one of the better examples, featuring home-grown comic strips and photo collages. I have to admit, I really miss these little gems. There's a cool, hand-made enthusiasm to this stuff that's hard to find in today's pre-processed world. The internet revolution has (mostly) killed the need to actually "publish," and the easy-to-use tools of Word or whatever make it possible to create a semi-professional product for virtually no money. Justified margins, full color, professional looking layout, all this was the stuff of dreams for fanzine publishers back in the 60's and 70's. I remember a guy who impressed the hell out of readers by justifying the margins of his typewritten fanzines. Apparently he has learned to adjust his language to account for the end of each line. Now THAT'S a skill that gone the way of the thermo-fax (I had one!) and rotary phones.

Aside from all that, there are a host of professional publishers like TwoMorrows who put out (excellent) fanzine type material for the mass market. I love that stuff, but it's still not the same. (Insert "baby crying" sound here.)

Anyhow, some very nice fellow has scanned in an entire issue of "Comic Book" for old time's sake. Give it a look at --