(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fanzines, Apazines, Off the Artboard & Past Inks

The origin of Off the Artboard

About 20 years ago, Furry Fandom (anthropomorphic stylisations of animals) was relatively new. It seems to have taken off recently, in association with anime and fantasy costuming. Apazines were also popular in fandom (no, not the Apple thing. I noticed that they have snafooed the word for their own devices...) Definition: Apazine: an amateur press association - group of people who produce individual pages that are sent to a 'central mailer' for collation and distrubution to all the members of the group. (WIKI) There is usually a member limit and you had to help pay for postage. Otherwise it was non-profit. Depending on the apazine, there could be a waiting list. If you missed contributing, for a set number of editions, then you lost your membership. 

Remember, this was pre-everyone-owning a computer, pre-home-scanning (we photocopied the contribution x number of editions/members to be sent out to, then posted the copies) and pre internet. We did this all the old fashioned way, folks! (thank goodness, my Gestetner days were over!)  I suppose it was a very slow, and paper-filled form of internet? Draw something, post it off (snail mail), eventually get the apazine back in the post... took a couple of months. 

I was a member of a few of these, some were SF fiction fanzine/apazines - fiction or art. I drew covers for the Australian Doctor Who fanclub magazines in the 90s. One of the apazines was Furzine (totally kid friendly) - I posted all the way to Canada and got my apazine posted back from there. In the next issue, people would comment on the work. It was a great way of practicing one's crafts and sharing with like minded people without costing a mint. It was also a useful way of trying out a new genre or style of drawing/ writing and getting back constructive (and polite) critism on work. It was encouraging and possibly quaint - but I like quaint... and manners. Unfortunately so much on the internet is negative these days. People just type and don't think... sigh.. Now I am sounding old!!! ... digressing...

My contibution bit was called Off the Artboard.  I also used this back in the 80's and 90's for naming my drawing books.. I would do a couple of ink drawings, usually with a theme, and often featuring my Devon Rex cat. There was even a comic strip. (which I am still trying to find!) I also inked a cover page. All up it was usually 3-4 pages each edition. One was historical, one fairytales, one movies, etc. I always loved that title, so here is back again... 18 years later!!!

Just some examples: The cover page and one of the drawings from the Historical theme. The Mother and daughter is based on a Da Vinci painting (Lady and the Ermine) and is available to purchase on Redbubble.

Below is the coverpage for a fantasy theme, an ink from the fairytales edition and one from a 'cat feature'.  The fantasy cover page  is now available as a t-shirt, on Redbubble.