Steve says that bapa has been going for 25 years - and there have certainly been a few changes over that time. Luckily, the bapa people that I come in contact with look only marginally older than we did way back then... and comics seem pretty similar too, come to think of it - except for the "Vertigo" influence!
Well, I won't go over the True History of how it came about; Richard Morrissey, well-known letterhack and sometime fanzine publisher, based in Massachusetts, was part of the impetus, I remember, and the idea of a British apa about our hobby was extensively plugged in fanzine columns at the time - was it still
Bem then, or were we on to Fantasy Advertiser...? So there came a day unlike any other, blah blah blah, and the whole crazy project got off the ground! I must admit to using a bit of influence and enthusiasm to push the idea along, but with my other commitments, the scheme was always going to have to rely on other people to be the main motivating force.
I used an electric typewriter in those days, even though I had been cautioned that, if I held off, electronic ones would soon be available. If I wanted to change typeface, style or size, I changed an actual "golfball" on the machine. Today I'm actually doing this on a computer as a web page, with the intention of printing off a copy, then going along to the local photocopier...which I think charges less now than such shops did then. Ah, but many of us had access to our workplace's photocopiers then, heheheh...
The address of the web page in question is http://webslinger1.homestead.com/em1.html
- I may well add a link or two, and update slightly, if anyone wants to drop by - I think a "visitor book" is possible, even! I know that bapa itself has its own home on the web, so this will remain a simple em home.
Well, I must admit to reading a lot less comics than I used to - now if I can whittle the number I still actually buy down a bit more, that would help pay for other stuff, such as computer games. I play way too much
Dungeon Siege; I play online with a few friends from a forum, on Unreal Tournament 2003 (and regular UT, mainly with a Vienna-based friend) - I'm a regular on a number of forums. Modern technology can be fun, right?
I usually check that by looking up E-Man #1, as that particular series started around then - ah yes, a swift trip to an old Overstreet tells me it was 1973, the same year that Shazam! started at DC - good grief, thirty years, w00t! I remember buying extra copies of its first issue from a shop not far from the event's early venue... I wonder if I ever managed to sell them at a profit? I also remember securing my own copy of the first non-distributed issue of Spider-Man from another table there, shortly before its owner discovered that his US copies might be valuable...
Amateur press associations aren't unique to comics fandom, or indeed to sf fandom; I do find it encouraging that this particular example of the type has managed to meander quietly down the decades, thanks no doubt to the efforts of people like Steve, Howard, and Keith. I hope that the people involved have been enjoying themselves as part of a timeless community, and I am glad to have been in at the birth, and to still be in contact now. My own "em" editions were always high on Mailing Comments; since I don't have the previous mailing to hand, I am a bit limited on that front, so will confine myself to this single page.
Well, I can report that a new issue of Barbarienne is poised for solicitation - photocopies have been sent to our publisher in Seattle, and a June release is talked about, with further issues coming along nicely. Don't look for them in your local comics shop, however, as like the previous four Eros-published issues they are A Bit Rude. A more general-audience magazine ought to appear this year, with a miniscule circulation; it will include what would have been the ninth Harrier issue, which can also be seen on the website, which is www.Barbarienne.com of course... it's nice to renew my acquaintance with the heroines of the series! I'd like to see Fantagraphics issue a nice graphic album version of the previous Eros issues, they seem to reprint almost everything that way - and of course,
Sabina, Mistress of Escapes ought to have that treatment as well. Too bad their payment policy is "little and late"... but hey, if it keeps me qualified as a Writer of Comics, what more should I want?
But here's to bapa, and its members past and present, wherever they may be . May it have many more anniversaries. May time continue to be kind to us all...and see you all for another special issue in five or ten years, I hope!
(c) 2003 Martin Lock, 33 Chester Road, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 1BG - firstname.lastname@example.org
So, time has marched along, but gently, generally. I wonder how many years I've been_having tables at the London comicbook marketplaces that Rob Barrow organizes, now?
The above was the page as mailed out - below this is additional stuff!
Well, nothing new to report at the moment - I hope Keith W got on okay on "Countdown"! Some Mailing Comments may well appear in due course, if any encouragement is recieved...