Japanese anime fandom is completely into fanzines, with vast swarms of otaku converging upon huge events like Comiket and retail stores like Comic Toranoana selling doujinshi year 'round. It's pretty great, and I speak as someone who once wound up attending Haru Comic City along with tens of thousands of fangirls. But, what about American fanzines?
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in American fans putting out honest to goodness physical fanzines. Okay, so by resurgence I mean three titles:
The Last American Fanzine - A couple of years ago the awesomely curmudgeonly folks at Colony Drop decided that it was time to resurrect the tradition of anime fanzines in America one last time. ANN gives a quick rundown of the pleasures inside here; I particularly liked the article about the pain of playing the Bubblegum Crisis game for the PC Engine and the Riding Bean fanfic. Yes, I said Riding Bean fanfic.
The Last American Fanzine 2: The Quickening - Okay, so TLAF wasn't the last zine after all. The just released TLAF2:TQ may not have a catchy acronym but it does have some great writing, with pics of vintage swag, not nearly enough Patlabor discussion, and a full length analysis of the Cream Lemon OVA "Pop Chaser". Yes, that Cream Lemon. No, seriously. It's even more awesome than the first fanzine.
Royal Space Force: 25th Anniversary - No one loves Wings of Honneamise more than Carl Horn. For that matter, no one may love Gainax more than Carl Horn either; I once attended a room party he threw at AWA that involved posters of Gunbuster mecha designs interspersed with posters of a 1960s Playboy interview with Sinatra, gin and tonics, and Gunbuster playing on a tiny B&W TV perched on top of a vintage typewriter set up for attendees to leave their comments. But I digress. The important thing is that Carl Horn loves Honneamise so much he put together a really terrific fanzine analyzing the film in honor of it's twenty-fifth anniversary. Dave Merrill gives a better description of the 'zine than I could here. If you're a fan of Honneamise or old school anime fandom, it's a must read.
So, yeah, zines are back and you should check them out. The latest issue of The Last American Fanzine did well enough that they're planning on releasing a third zine focused on Patlabor, so that completely rules and provides another reason to keep living. And, who knows, perhaps the folks at the Carolina Otaku Uprising will release another issue of Animosity one of these days...
(Crossposted from NeoGAF.)
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Our Anime group here in Fayetteville (The East Coast Anime Society), used to print a free 25 page fanzine back in the mid 90's (first 2 issues were called Otaku No Fayetteville, but it was then changed to Origami Disaster). Back then I had access to a free copier at my job, and they would let us print as much as we wanted as long as we brought our own paper (I bet they didn't plan on us burning through the Ink Canisters). Our average run was about 50 issues, and we would distribute them to Phantasy Central (a no longer in existence Anime / Comic shop), a local skate shop here in Fayetteville, The Record Exchange here in Fayetteville, and Foundations Edge in Raleigh. Eventually we had a mailing list where all you had to do was send us a book of stamps and we would mail you 3 issues, considering it took like 4 stamps to mail the damn things.
I miss those days.
"Which side are we on? We're on the side of the demons, Chief. We are evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction where ever we go. I'm surprised you didn't know that."
- Col. Tigh / Battlestar Galactica
Me, too. I don't think I ever saw the zine you guys put out, else I absolutely would have snagged it. Meanwhile, COUP managed to get seven issues or so of Animosity out the door, but I think the last fanzine was published before we started doing musicals so, god, sometime in the mid-2000s or so. We'd sell 'em for a buck each at the COUP video room table at Animazement; I think we cleared out most of our old backstock by selling 'em to folks in line for the Eva musical. So, that would have been 2005 when we stopped publishing.
A couple of years ago I had a friend whose girlfriend works in Wilson Library at UNC. She was putting together an exhibition on the history of UNC student organizations and was looking for material to use, so I passed along a bunch of copies of Animosity, a bunch of flyers, and some artifacts like the Utena rose sigil armbands we wore in, like, 1999. I was extremely pleased to see that a zine, a flyer, and the armband made it into the exhibition - and that we were the only student organization represented since the 1970s. That's what publishing fanzines can do for ya!
By the way, Chad, I basically put this thread together to try to sell you fanzines. You will be totally into all three of the zines I mention up above. I highly recommend you track down copies!
I'm not sure what's going on here, but have you watched any of these Japaheeno guns-and-hooters cartoon movies?
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