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Amateur press association

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An amateur press association (APA) is a group of people who produce individual pages or zines that are sent to a Central Mailer for collation and distribution to all members of the group.

History

The first APAs were formed by groups of amateur printers. The earliest to become more than a small informal group of friends was the National Amateur Press Association (NAPA) founded February 19, 1876, by Evan Reed Riale and nine other members in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] It is still running as of 2018.

The first British APA was the British Amateur Press Association founded in 1890. This is a different organisation from that launched by comics fans in 1978 (see below).

The second United States APA was the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA) founded in 1895 by a group of teenagers including William H. Greenfield (aged 14) and Charles W. Heins (aged 17).[2] This became a confederation of small amateur publishers which split into two organisations known interchangeably as UAP and UAAPA. The American Amateur Press Association (AAPA) was formed in 1936 by a secession from what was then called UAPAA.

The Brooklynite, published in Plainfield, New Jersey was an amateur press publication edited by Hazel Pratt Adams (1888-1927), a member of the Blue Pencil Club of Brooklyn, and distributed through the United Amateur Press Association.[3]

The first science fiction APA was the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA) formed by a group of science fiction fans in 1937. It continues to be active in 2020. SAPS, the Spectator Amateur Press Society, started in 1947 and is still active in 2012. VAPA, The Vanguard Amateur Press Association, formed in 1945 and lasted until 1950.

The first comics APA was started by Jerry Bails in 1964 in the United States. Called CAPA-alpha (sometimes abbreviated to K-a) it grew to its present limit of 40 members. It has become the archetype for most subsequent comics APAs. Its members have included Dwight Decker, Mark Evanier, Carl Gafford, Fred Patten, Richard and Wendy Pini, Roy Thomas, Dan Alderson, Rick Norwood, Don Markstein, Don and Maggie Thompson and Jeffrey H. Wasserman. Michael Barrier's animation fanzine Funnyworld began as a CAPA-alpha contribution.

Decker and Gafford were also founding members of the minicomics co-op the United Fanzine Organization. The difference in a co-op and an APA is that an APA is helmed by a central mailer, to whom the members send copies of their publications. The central mailer then compiles all the books into one large volume, which is then mailed out to the membership in "mailings" (called "bundles" by a few APAs). In a co-op, however, there is no central mailer; the members distribute their own works, and are linked by a group newsletter, a group symbol that appears on each member work, and a group checklist in every "member zine."

The first European comics APA was called PAPA and launched by a group of comics fans in January 1978. Soon renamed BAPA (for "British APA"), it celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2003, but folded the following summer.

The APA model was picked up by artists in the 1980s. Groups of artists contributed elements of combined duplicated artworks that omitted the conversational elements of the fandom-based APAs (these pieces are sometimes called "assembly art"). During this same period, a group of British science fiction and comics fans also set up a short-lived "tape APA", contributing music and spoken word to a central anthology.

The latest innovation is a digital distribution, e-APA. Copies of past "mailings" are archived at the online resource eFanzines.

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British Amateur Press Association

British Amateur Press Association

The British Amateur Press Association (BAPA) was the first Amateur Press Association in Britain. It was founded in 1890. In September 1910 it began to publish a quarterly collection of its members' publications under the title The British amateur from Bishop Auckland. This was renamed The British amateur journalist for its second issue before reverting to the earlier title in 1915. A magazine published in July 1964 by J. B. Easson of Hanworth is titled British amateur journalist: Argo. By Christmas 1965 the magazine was being published by John Atkins of Oxted. Bob Tyson of Wimborne became General Secretary and published a monthly news bulletin until at least May 1976.

Science fiction

Science fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction can trace its roots to ancient mythology. It is related to fantasy, horror, and superhero fiction and contains many subgenres. Its exact definition has long been disputed among authors, critics, scholars, and readers.

Fantasy Amateur Press Association

Fantasy Amateur Press Association

The Fantasy Amateur Press Association or FAPA ("FAP-uh") is science fiction fandom's longest-established amateur press association ("apa"). It was founded in 1937 by Donald A. Wollheim and John B. Michel. They were inspired to create FAPA by their memberships in some of the non-science fiction amateur press associations, which they learned about from H. P. Lovecraft.

Science fiction fandom

Science fiction fandom

Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or fandom of people interested in science fiction in contact with one another based upon that interest. SF fandom has a life of its own, but not much in the way of formal organization.

Jerry Bails

Jerry Bails

Jerry Gwin Bails was an American popular culturist. Known as the "Father of Comic Book Fandom," he was one of the first to approach the comic book field as a subject worthy of academic study, and was a primary force in establishing 1960s comics fandom.

CAPA-alpha

CAPA-alpha

CAPA-alpha was the first amateur press association (APA) devoted to comic books, started by Jerry Bails in the United States in 1964.

Mark Evanier

Mark Evanier

Mark Stephen Evanier is an American comic book and television writer, known for his work on the animated TV series Garfield and Friends and on the comic book Groo the Wanderer. He is also known for his columns and blog News from ME, and for his work as a historian and biographer of the comics industry, such as his award-winning Jack Kirby biography, Kirby: King of Comics.

Carl Gafford

Carl Gafford

Carl Gafford is a colorist who has worked for several decades in the comics industry. His career has spanned several publishers, including Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Topps Comics.

Fred Patten

Fred Patten

Frederick Walter Patten was an American writer and historian known for his work in the science fiction, fantasy, anime, manga, and furry fandoms, where he gained great distinction through a substantial contribution to both print and online books, magazines, and other media.

Roy Thomas

Roy Thomas

Roy William Thomas Jr. is an American comic book writer and editor, who was Stan Lee's first successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. He is possibly best known for introducing the pulp magazine hero Conan the Barbarian to American comics, with a series that added to the storyline of Robert E. Howard's character and helped launch a sword and sorcery trend in comics. Thomas is also known for his championing of Golden Age comic-book heroes – particularly the 1940s superhero team the Justice Society of America – and for lengthy writing stints on Marvel's X-Men and The Avengers, and DC Comics' All-Star Squadron, among other titles.

Dan Alderson

Dan Alderson

Daniel John Alderson was a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and a prominent participant in science fiction fandom. He came from a middle-class family and had diabetes. A high school science fair project on the gravitational fields of non-spherical bodies won him a college scholarship to Caltech and a job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he wrote the software used to navigate Voyagers 1 and 2.

Maggie Thompson

Maggie Thompson

Maggie Thompson, is an American longtime editor of the now-defunct comic book industry news magazine Comics Buyer's Guide, science fiction fan, and collector of comics.

Organization

APAs were a way for widely distributed groups of people to discuss a common interest together in a single forum before the advent of electronic bulletin boards or the Internet. Many were founded in the 1930s and later by fans of science fiction, comics,[4] music, cinema and other topics as a way to develop writing, design and illustration skills. Many professional journalists, creative writers and artists practised in APA groups and email mailing lists.

A Central Mailer (CM) (sometimes called a Distribution Manager or Official Editor) is the coordinator of an APA. The heart of the role is the distribution of the association's publication to its members. The CM manages the subscription lists and the deadlines to which the association works. The CM is usually responsible for chasing members to ensure maximum participation although some APAs simply accumulate contributions between deadlines and mail out whatever is available at the mailing deadline.

Where the APA requires the submission of multiple copies by contributors, the CM merely collates the contributions. Some APAs involve the submission of camera ready copy; in such cases the CM arranges the reproduction of the material. Most APAs require the members to submit a minimum amount of material in a specified format to a specified number of mailings. This minimum activity (abbreviated to "minac") is usually specified as something in the form of (for example): "at least two A4 pages to at least two out of every three mailings". Most APAs also require each member to maintain a credit balance in a central funds account to cover common reproduction costs and postage.

In most APAs the CM provides an administrative report listing the contents of each mailing and any business information associated with the association. This can include financial accounts, membership information and some news items. Although most APAs have predetermined deadlines at regular intervals it is normal practice for the CM to specify the next mailing deadlines explicitly in each mailing.

Although some APAs are autocratic, most run on a democratic basis and the CM usually chairs any discussions and arranges any management meetings.

APAs that require members to submit multiple copies of their contribution (commonly called "apazines") usually set a limit to the number of members and run a waiting list if this becomes necessary. In many cases people on the waiting list are permitted to contribute to mailings and may receive excess apazines provided by the members.

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Bulletin board system

Bulletin board system

A bulletin board system (BBS), also called computer bulletin board service (CBBS), is a computer server running software that allows users to connect to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, the user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users through public message boards and sometimes via direct chatting. In the early 1980s, message networks such as FidoNet were developed to provide services such as NetMail, which is similar to internet-based email.

Internet

Internet

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the interlinked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.

Fan (person)

Fan (person)

A fan or fanatic, sometimes also termed an aficionado or enthusiast, is a person who exhibits strong interest or admiration for something or somebody, such as a celebrity, a sport, a sports team, a genre, a politician, a book, a movie, a video game or an entertainer. Collectively, the fans of a particular object or person constitute its fanbase or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm in a variety of ways, such as by promoting the object of their interest, being members of a related fan club, holding or participating in fan conventions or writing fan mail. They may also engage in creative activities such as creating fanzines, writing fan fiction, making memes or drawing fan art.

Science fiction

Science fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction can trace its roots to ancient mythology. It is related to fantasy, horror, and superhero fiction and contains many subgenres. Its exact definition has long been disputed among authors, critics, scholars, and readers.

Comics

Comics

Comics is a medium used to express ideas with images, often combined with text or other visual information. It typically takes the form of a sequence of panels of images. Textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and onomatopoeia can indicate dialogue, narration, sound effects, or other information. There is no consensus amongst theorists and historians on a definition of comics; some emphasize the combination of images and text, some sequentiality or other image relations, and others historical aspects such as mass reproduction or the use of recurring characters. Cartooning and other forms of illustration are the most common image-making means in comics; fumetti is a form that uses photographic images. Common forms include comic strips, editorial and gag cartoons, and comic books. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as graphic novels, comic albums, and tankōbon have become increasingly common, while online webcomics have proliferated in the 21st century.

Music

Music

Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise expressive content. Exact definitions of music vary considerably around the world, though it is an aspect of all human societies, a cultural universal. While scholars agree that music is defined by a few specific elements, there is no consensus on their precise definitions. The creation of music is commonly divided into musical composition, musical improvisation, and musical performance, though the topic itself extends into academic disciplines, criticism, philosophy, and psychology. Music may be performed or improvised using a vast range of instruments, including the human voice.

Film

Film

A film – also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick – is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are generally accompanied by sound and, more rarely, other sensory stimulations. The word "cinema", short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and to the art form that is the result of it.

Autocracy

Autocracy

Autocracy is a system of government in which absolute power over a state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject neither to external legal restraints nor to regularized mechanisms of popular control.

Democracy

Democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation, or to choose governing officials to do so. Who is considered part of "the people" and how authority is shared among or delegated by the people has changed over time and at different rates in different countries. Features of democracy often include freedom of assembly, association, property rights, freedom of religion and speech, inclusiveness and equality, citizenship, consent of the governed, voting rights, freedom from unwarranted governmental deprivation of the right to life and liberty, and minority rights.

List of notable APAs

Unless otherwise stated, these APAs are based in the United States.

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Alarums and Excursions

Alarums and Excursions

Alarums and Excursions (A&E) is an amateur press association (APA) started in June 1975 by Lee Gold; publication continues to the present day. It was one of the first publications to focus solely on role-playing games.

Aotearapa

Aotearapa

Aotearapa is a New Zealand-based amateur press association, run in association with New Zealand science fiction fandom. It caters primarily - but not exclusively - to science fiction fans. Founded by Greg Hills in 1979, it is New Zealand's only apa, and that country's longest-running science fiction-related publication. Members have mostly been from New Zealand, although there have been members in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

British Amateur Press Association

British Amateur Press Association

The British Amateur Press Association (BAPA) was the first Amateur Press Association in Britain. It was founded in 1890. In September 1910 it began to publish a quarterly collection of its members' publications under the title The British amateur from Bishop Auckland. This was renamed The British amateur journalist for its second issue before reverting to the earlier title in 1915. A magazine published in July 1964 by J. B. Easson of Hanworth is titled British amateur journalist: Argo. By Christmas 1965 the magazine was being published by John Atkins of Oxted. Bob Tyson of Wimborne became General Secretary and published a monthly news bulletin until at least May 1976.

CAPA-alpha

CAPA-alpha

CAPA-alpha was the first amateur press association (APA) devoted to comic books, started by Jerry Bails in the United States in 1964.

Mark Evanier

Mark Evanier

Mark Stephen Evanier is an American comic book and television writer, known for his work on the animated TV series Garfield and Friends and on the comic book Groo the Wanderer. He is also known for his columns and blog News from ME, and for his work as a historian and biographer of the comics industry, such as his award-winning Jack Kirby biography, Kirby: King of Comics.

Carl Gafford

Carl Gafford

Carl Gafford is a colorist who has worked for several decades in the comics industry. His career has spanned several publishers, including Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Topps Comics.

Fred Patten

Fred Patten

Frederick Walter Patten was an American writer and historian known for his work in the science fiction, fantasy, anime, manga, and furry fandoms, where he gained great distinction through a substantial contribution to both print and online books, magazines, and other media.

Dan Alderson

Dan Alderson

Daniel John Alderson was a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and a prominent participant in science fiction fandom. He came from a middle-class family and had diabetes. A high school science fair project on the gravitational fields of non-spherical bodies won him a college scholarship to Caltech and a job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he wrote the software used to navigate Voyagers 1 and 2.

Maggie Thompson

Maggie Thompson

Maggie Thompson, is an American longtime editor of the now-defunct comic book industry news magazine Comics Buyer's Guide, science fiction fan, and collector of comics.

Fantasy Amateur Press Association

Fantasy Amateur Press Association

The Fantasy Amateur Press Association or FAPA ("FAP-uh") is science fiction fandom's longest-established amateur press association ("apa"). It was founded in 1937 by Donald A. Wollheim and John B. Michel. They were inspired to create FAPA by their memberships in some of the non-science fiction amateur press associations, which they learned about from H. P. Lovecraft.

Donald A. Wollheim

Donald A. Wollheim

Donald Allen Wollheim was an American science fiction editor, publisher, writer, and fan. As an author, he published under his own name as well as under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell, Martin Pearson, and Darrell G. Raynor.

Forrest J Ackerman

Forrest J Ackerman

Forrest James Ackerman was an American magazine editor; science fiction writer and literary agent; a founder of science fiction fandom; a leading expert on science fiction, horror, and fantasy films; a prominent advocate of the Esperanto language; and one of the world's most avid collectors of genre books and film memorabilia. He was based in Los Angeles, California.

Source: "Amateur press association", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_press_association.

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References
  1. ^ Smith, Burton J. "National Amateur Press Association The First 100 Years: In the Beginning..." National Amateur Press Association. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  2. ^ The Fossils. "United Amateur Press Association, 1890 to date". The Fossils. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  3. ^ "The Brooklynite". ZineWiki. Retrieved 25 January 2023. the history and culture of zines, independent media and the small press.
  4. ^ Siegel, Howard P. "Made in America," BEM #16 (Dec. 1977).
Sources
  • Spencer, Truman J. (1957). The history of amateur journalism. The Fossils, Inc. 227pp.
  • Watts, Eric L., The New Moon Directory, self-published from 1988 to 1998 (contained complete index of all known APA's at the time)
  • Wertham, Fredric, The World of Fanzines, (Carbondale & Evanston: Southern Illinois University Press, 1973)
External links

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