Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fanzines of the 1970s (part 2)

Four more blasts from the past:

Magazine of Tomorrow
No.1 (Summer 1978): Published by Graham Bleathman, now a top-notch artist of cutaway illustrations of Gerry Anderson tv series etc whose website can be found at . Back in 1978 this was a modest start with a slim fanzine at only 14 pages but it managed to spotlight material that most other 'zines were ignoring (such as The Trigan Empire).

The Panelologist No.6 (Aug-Sept 1976): Published by George Barnett. Now there's a description one never hears today: panelologist. This was a term used at the time by fans who felt "comic collector" wasn't worthy enough. Thankfully, the fanzine itself wasn't anywhere near as pretentious and instead was packed with news, lettercols, and gossip, usually in incredibly tiny type.
I remember buying this issue on my very first visit to a comic shop (London's Dark They Were and Golden Eyed when it was in Berwick Street) 30 years ago!

U.K. Comicdom No.0 (May 1970): Published by Unicorn (Phil Clarke), who went on to found Nostalgia and Comics and is now involved with Ugly Duckling Press. We're still waiting for the next issue (No.1) of this fanzine 37 years later, but it's a nice mag, with its Mike Higgs cover and Frank Frazetta reprints inside.

Workin' Class Super Hero No.1 (1978): Published by Jolly Martian Productions. An impressive stripzine featuring a cover and some interior art by Glenn Fabry, later to be a renowned artist on Slaine and a fantastic cover painter for Vertigo comics. Not sure if there was ever a second issue of this though, but that was part and parcel of fanzines back then. You never knew how long they'd last before the creators went pro or moved on to other things, but they were great while they lasted!

More old fanzine covers soon!


Anonymous said...

Hey Lew,
I really enjoy your look back at the old fanzines.
I lived in England '73-'77 and contributed to a number of them and also worked Saturday's at Alan Austin's comic shop (the one in the basement).
We probably crossed paths at some point.
Two things:
I'd like to get in touch with Alan. Do you or anyone else have an email address for him?
I still have piles of my British fanzines.
Do you want some scans?
Let me know
Greg Chown

Lew Stringer said...

Greg Chown! I definitely remember your name from the fanzines. I don't think we ever met though as I didn't attend my first con until after you left the country.

I'm afraid I don't have any contact details for Alan Austin. I knew very little about him and he seems to have vanished from the scene many years ago. You might try Mike Conroy at the Comics International website?

Thanks for commenting.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reply.
I will try Mike.
I spent a lot of time at Alan's Comic Shop on the weekends stocking shelves, selling comics, mailing fanzines etc.
Once a month or so it would be a day to collate the Fanzine.
All the pages would be printed on his old Gestetner and distributed around the back room in various piles.
We (the collaters) would move around the room selecting page after page until the issue was together.
Someone else would staple and check for completeness. When Alan moved to an offset process he gave me the old Gestetner and my dad and I hauled it back to Northampton where I printed the first and only issue of Ugg-Rotten Comix.
I know someone else was asking about the duplicating process.
There were these paper and cardboard templates that you bought at the stationers that had a grid on them. You would type your copy on to it and then attach to the duplicator. Illustrations were sent out (somewhere) and would come back on a similar sheet and these would be cut out and attached to the body of text.
Anyway, we had a lot of fun back then and your website has helped jog my memory.
All the best

Anonymous said...

I remember having a lot of fun in that basement too.

Rob Barrow.

Phil said...

Oh man I remember DTWAGE... many a long Saturday sat crossed legged on the floor reading throught the stock without being hassled by the staff. Buying huge colourful cigarette papers and interesting herbal smoking materials. Could you actually smoke in there? I'm pretty sure they had ashtrays. Wonderful memories.

George Barnett said...

Very nice to see an issue of Panelologist appear on the web. I remember you Greg Chown. I might even have some old artwork you submitted years ago amongst my junk somewhere. How much will you pay me not to publish it??!

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks for dropping by George! I enjoyed The Panelologist immensely and wished it could have been published more frequently. (Although I appreciated why this wasn't possible of course.) Great fanzine that provided a warm introduction to comics fandom.

Greg Chown said...

Hey George,
I remember you as well! You had long curly hair and
wore an old afghan (Hippie) coat! I still have all the old fanzines of yours as well. Hope all is well. That was a long time ago... We had a character called "The Stomp" that would kick people really hard in the back,
not very sporting I suppose..
I did manage to get in touch with Alan Austin.
Greg Chown

Anonymous said...

Does Anyone remember Martin Lock? A pretty wild character if memory serves. What happened to him?

Lew Stringer said...

Martin's mentioned in part one of this feature. Last I heard he was writing for Eros comics!

Martin said...

"A pretty wild character" indeed! Fantagraphics seem to have cut back their "adult" line to mainly Japanese manga now, so no work there, sadly. Still, there's a web project I've been involved in which may or may not come to something. I'm still a regular at the London comic marts, though with less tables than a few decades back... while a project to put some old Bem material online may get moving this year, who knows?

Martin Lock

Greg Chown said...

I was at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York last year (MoCCA) and there on a shelf in the Gift shop was an issue of Bem from 1975!
It even had a couple of my drawings in it...
They had no idea where i it had come from or why it was there, but still...
Greg Chown

Victor said...


There you are! I've been trying to get in touch with you. I'm working on a reference guide for alternative British comic books and have a question for you regarding BEM.

Supposedly, there were two comics that you included as supplements to particular issues: (1) Captain Frog and (2) Duck Comix. I've searched high and low but could neither find copies nor information regarding either publication. Is there any truth to this?

Greg Chown said...

Has anybody out there have any contact info for
Nigel Edwards (Weird Trash/N-Zine)?
I'd like to get in touch with him as well.
Greg Chown

Charles Strickland said...

Did anyone establish what did happen to Alan Austin?


Greg Chown said...

I did manage to get in touch with Alan.
He runs a bookstore called Farringdon Books
in London.

Victor said...

One has to love this blog! Thanks to Greg, I was able to get in touch with Martin Lock.

Now I'm trying to track down Martin Noone. He was the artist responsible for Duck Comix (which I still need). I've tried searching for the name, but little turns up. Anyone remember him?

Anonymous said...

Are you including 'Litratrip' in your Alt GB comix, published by TBS/Panelologist in late 70's. I have a spare copy if you want it.
George Barnett

Victor said...

I am, indeed, George. Thank you for the offer--I really appreciate that--but I already have a copy of it. Oddly enough, I got it from someone in the Netherlands who was selling off Olaf Stoop's backstock of comics.

Greg Chown said...

Nigel Edwards HAS been found.
I'm not at liberty to reveal his exact whereabouts, however, I can say that he IS involved in the distribution of video materials.

Nige Edwards said...

NO! Not THAT sort of video material!! LOL. I just happen to work in a second hand shop these days, selling vids,dvds,games,electronc goods. Still reading comics,only my age and hairline has changed. I look back on my fanzine life and still smile...happy days and memories...

Lew Stringer said...

It's great to hear from all of you folks whose names I remember when I bought my first 'zines back in 1976. Thanks for dropping by. I hope to feature a few more fanzines in a future blog.

Victor Marsillo said...

There's a copy of U.K. Comicdom #0 on eBay:

While I'm here, I'm still trying to track down a copy of, or information regarding, Sub Rot. Evidently, it was published in 1970 by Steve Craddock and featured the work of the following contributors: Jeff Morgan, Martin Walker and Paul Wyatt.

Any of that sound familiar? The names are "common" enough for me to have hit a brick wall where searching is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Workin' Klass (with a K, not a C)Super Hero !!

I have a copy - is it worth anything ??

Harry McAvinchey said...

Hello there Lew. I came across your site a while back and added a link from my own. I was a very busy contributer to comic fanzines from the Merry Marvel Fanzine and Heroes Unlimited right through to zines like the Panelologist and Comix Index later in the 1970's and early 1980's.I love what you are doing and can't get enough of this stuff. Keep up the good work. Check out my own site for complete uploads of those rare copies of Heroes Unlimited.All the best , Harry McAvinchey at

Harry McAvinchey said...

This is just a follow-up really.Has anyone out there got scans of Heroes Unlimited #3 and Merry Marvel Fanzine #1 ? ..or can I borrow them to scan? I've uploaded complete copies of all the other issues of these old first Tony Roche fanzines to my site, but I've lost the two missing issues in the mists of time,Best, Harry

Anonymous said...

Very sad, but I have every issue of The Panelologist and the last four issues of TBS (missing issue one). Was actually reading them today, still great.
Well done George, those were great times, always looked forward to the next issue coming through the post.

Peter Barnett said...

Great times indeed. One day I'll scan all my old zines and you'll be able to see how awful TBS #1 was.

I had a huge box full of old fanzines going back to early 70s which I gave to Trevor Hughes. Kicking myself now as some were quite valuable having original stuff by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, etc.

I'm still producing mags, for the Green Party nowadays. See a couple of examples here:

George (Peter)

Lew Stringer said...

That's excellent Peter. Good to see you're involved with such a worthy party. I'll enjoy reading those mags! Thanks for the links.

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