[ukpbm] Armistice Day
- FORMER ZINE EDITOR IN MID-LIFE CRISIS?
In the two years since I folded Spring Offensive I have been enjoying a
break from the routine of zine publication, satisfying myself with the
occasional foray into Diplomacy on the Internet. But web sites and e-
zines are to a "real zine" what using a condom is to "real sex" (if you
know what I mean). It may be more or less equivalent, but if you had a
choice you'd go for the tactile option. Zine editing is a drug and I am
not alone in being an addict. I miss the freshly copied paper, the
collating, the quick fold and thump of the long-arm stapler, the
enveloping, the licking of the stamps and the drive to the main Post
Office in Brighton at 2.30am. I also miss the correspondence - it is so
depressing when your wife gets all the real letters and I am left with
the bills. In short, I want to start a new postal Diplomacy zine and it
will be called Armistice Day.
So what sort of a zine will it be? Well, there's only one sort of zine
that I know how to produce and you can't teach an old dog a new trick.
So I am thinking of an old-fashioned Diplomacy zine, with a touch of
variants and hobby history, and a bit of nostalgia about entering middle
age. A zine for people born in the 60's (or late 50's at a pinch). Not
that youngsters wouldn't be welcome, but they would probably be too busy
with their Playstation2s and Bob the Builder CDs to find it appealing.
Maybe a sort of Dolchstoss for non-bridge playing, 30/40-something
liberals? It will be a slim and efficient zine - not a fat and slow one
- so I am looking at a 16-20 page maximum. I want the zine to be fun,
not a chore. Non-Diplomacy games would be cautiously welcomed if anyone
else offers to GM.
What is more problematic is whether or not there is sufficient demand
for a traditional Diplomacy zine these days. In the last couple of years
the number of Diplomacy zines (and to an extent all postal games zines)
has fallen steadily. This may well be a permanent and fatal decline, as
I suspect there is a minimum number of active players needed to sustain
any sort of recognisable hobby. In short, there may not even be enough
demand to get this zine off the ground. I reckon I need an active
circulation of about 80 to sustain the zine and keep a couple of games
of Dip going to keep me nice and regular (as someone's mother probably
used to say, albeit in a different context).
Issue 1 of Armistice Day will appear sometime in January. Likely topics
include Airfix plastic soldiers, why Christmas should be in September,
why the current singles charts are crap compared to the 1970's,
Diplomacy archive stuff, a new Dip variant, and lucid and entertaining
repartee (well, maybe not that last one). The zine will be A5 booklet,
around 16 pages and cost 80p. To begin with there will be waiting lists
for regular Diplomacy, Gunboat Diplomacy (one game only) and the
brilliant variant Abstraction (which hasn't been played postally to my
knowledge for nearly 10 years). [As a special offer, anyone playing
Abstraction can have the zine free for the life of the game!] The
results of all games will also be sent by email to all players who
request it (so you can play your Diplomacy by email if you prefer) - but
the zine itself is available in hardcopy only. Issue 1 will be available
for FREE upon request by writing to:
Stephen Agar, 47 Preston Drove, BRIGHTON, BN1 6LA
Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
Just a few words to say that I realise that AD is now 3 weeks overdue -
but it will be out soonish. The new job, combined with unexpectedly
selling our house, finding a new house, and lots of packing etc. has
rather put zine production on the back-burner. So if you can get word
out that it is coming, just a bit late, I would be grateful.
The next issue will not be the last - I have decided to run the zine
down to a fold rather than sudden death. Should be good for another 6-8
issues I reckon.
One good thing is that moving house has forced me to sort out the Zine
Archive properly - I have 26 boxes of duplicate zines waiting to go to
the tip already. One thing I couldn't bring myself to throw out was
copies of Dolchstoss 25ish - 69 - when Richard Sharp was at his best.
Anyone want them (for postage)?
I don't suppose anyone wants the 26 boxes destined for the tip though?
I wouldn't mind reading those early D's if you still have them.
----- Original Message -----
From: Stephen Agar <stephen@...>
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 11:43 PM
Subject: [ukpbm] Armistice Day
> Just a few words to say that I realise that AD is now 3 weeks overdue -
> but it will be out soonish. The new job, combined with unexpectedly
> selling our house, finding a new house, and lots of packing etc. has
> rather put zine production on the back-burner. So if you can get word
> out that it is coming, just a bit late, I would be grateful.
> The next issue will not be the last - I have decided to run the zine
> down to a fold rather than sudden death. Should be good for another 6-8
> issues I reckon.
> One good thing is that moving house has forced me to sort out the Zine
> Archive properly - I have 26 boxes of duplicate zines waiting to go to
> the tip already. One thing I couldn't bring myself to throw out was
> copies of Dolchstoss 25ish - 69 - when Richard Sharp was at his best.
> Anyone want them (for postage)?
> I don't suppose anyone wants the 26 boxes destined for the tip though?
> Stephen Agar
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