Tuesday, April 7, 2009
'Zine Time! Capa-Alpha 1-5
I have never had as hard a time writing an intro to anything as I am having writing this one.
Well, I have a great love for comics fandom as it existed in the 60s and 70s. I want to express that without coming off as an expert know-it-all (which I'm not).
I just feel that it is criminal to have multi-billion dollar movies about superheroes and no single website devoted just to showing the work of those who held the torch when caped and cowled heroes were not in vogue. Don' t get me wrong, some of the stuff wilts under harsh light. The people producing the work were sometimes very young and it shows. What also shows it the love they had for the medium. For every crud-zine (actual term used), there was a breathtaking work of art or writing. And for my money, I like 'em both!
Dr. Jerry Bails, Roy Thomas, Don and Maggie Thompson, Ronn Foss, Mike Vosburg, Larry Herdon, The Texas Trio, G.B. Love are names that barely scratch the surface of something that existed solely for the love of comics. No one got rich. Heck, no one broke even. (A few did go pro.) They all volunteered their time, energy and devotion to communicate with others who thought like they did.
No internet, just interfan.
This, then is a blog devoted to cataloging covers of comic fanzines, adzines and the like, spotlighting big name fans (BNFs, another actual term used) and just giving some due to those who kept on believing.
First up, is Capa-alpha. This amateur press alliance was started by Dr. Jerry Bails, who is referred to as the 'father of comics fandom' and rightly so. His will be the one of the first bios presented here and his comic related accomplishments are of a staggering number. K-a, as it is also known was the first comic apa. Apa's had been around as early as the 19th century as an invention of hobbyist printers who were trying to save postage while distributing work samples. Sci-Fi lovers adapted it and Jerry, recognizing a good thing began his.
The simplest explanation of an apa (and the one I like most) is in the book "Bimbos of the Death Sun" where author Sharyn McCrumb states:
"Apas are soap boxes for people who can't get anyone to publish them,"
Not completely accurate but funny, so there!
And hey, it's better than another description in the same book where they are described as a "chain letter for disturbed children".
Hmmm. Sounds familiar.
I think I like that one better after all!
The scans here of K-a issues were sent to me by Jerry himself before he passed away on the condition that I make him some cd copies for him to distribute to friends. I did this and he told me I could do what I like with them as long as I didn't make money from it.
So if you are planning on sending me mountains of cash for my efforts, please rethink that idea.
Thanks, Jerry. This if for you.