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Comichaus Meets: David Hathaway-Price

Today we meet FANSCENE creator David Hathaway-Price!

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Please introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

My name is David Hathaway-Price, and 'Fanscene' is my love letter to Comics fandom. It would have been a very slight volume of course, without the hugely generous contributions of the Comics professionals and fans who gave up their valuable time to celebrate, namely: Kyle Andrews, Enrico Ariis, James Bacon, George Barnett, Mark Wayne Barrett, Robert Lee Beerbohm, John Bishop, Brad Brooks, Ewan Brownlow, Nick Buchanan, Paul Chester, Paul Chokran, Brian Clarke, Mike Conroy, Mal Earl, Phil Elliott, Tony Esmond, Glenn B Fleming, Martin Forrest, Tony Foster, John Freeman, Bambos Georgiou, Dave Gibbons, Jamie Grey, Phil Hall, Martin Hand, Rob Hansen, Peter Hanson, David Hathaway-Price, John Higgins, Dave Hornsby, Paul Hudson, Iskander Islam, John Jackson, Ralph Kidson, Gerard Kingdon, Rob Kirby, Nigel Kitching, Jonny Kurzman, Geoff Lamprey, Guy Lawley, Victor Marsillo, Joe Matthews, Harry McAvinchey, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Robert Menzies, Alan Moore, Bill Naylor, Nick Neocleous, Stan Nicholls, Steve Noble, Colin Noble, Tony O’Donnell, Steve Poulacheris, Nick Prolix, Luke Rainford, Murti Schofield, Richard Sheaf, Dez Skinn, Lloyd Smith, Richard Z Starbuck, Lew Stringer, Mike Teague, Bob Wakelin, Andy Williams, Russell Willis, Dave Windett, and Hass Yusuf.

What are some of the fanzines that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

I was active in fandom from the late 1970s through to the late '80s. A great time for fandom, but something of a last hurrah for the grass-roots news and general zines. The X-Men comic by Chris Claremont and John Byrne was hugely popular when I was just getting involved with fandom. Geoff Willmets ran 'The official X-Men Fan Club' and gave a lot of opportunities for young fan artists and writers to have their work published in the Club fanzine (CEREBRO). Without his encouragement, I doubt I would have ever ended up working in the arts.

BEM (Richard Burton), GRAPHIC SENSE (Gez Kelly), FANTASY ADVERTISER (Dez Skinn, Martin Skidmore and others), SPEAKEASY (Richard Ashford / Acme Press ), ARK (Paul Duncan)... All titles that helped keep my interest in comics, until I allowed the 'real' world to intrude, and stopped reading them in the early '90s.

Several years ago, I stumbled across a posting on Facebook of a cover I'd drawn for CEREBRO back in 1986, which reignited my interest, and led to me setting up an online fanzine archive, in the hope of preserving for future generation some of the brilliant work that appeared in these labours of love, but were probably only ever seen by a couple of hundred people, at best.

FANSCENE came about through the realisation that it had been 50 years since the publication of Steve Moore and Phil Clark's KA-POW fanzine, and that that fact needed to be celebrated. The archive had given me enough contacts to convince me that I could produce a magazine that would do justice to the history of the scene.

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What struggles have you faced with the creation of FANSCENE and producing the final release?

I had hoped that I'd be able to get the zine out on Christmas day 2017, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KA-POW being published. The sheer amount of work defeated me though, and I didn't release the PDF until late January. The only stress really was that which I put on myself. In the spirit of people giving up their valuable time for free, the zine itself is free – and I must say that the contributors were very patient with me, and gave me the space needed to make it as good as I possibly could.

It probably wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had not to put a limit on the amount of pages, and to design each and every one of what turned out to be 328 pages individually in Photoshop. Having said that; I think the whole thing looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I suspect everyone goes through the same pain when bringing their 'first-born' to life, but once published, that fades into the background. If it didn't, 2nd issues might never get published.

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

September this year marks 50 years since the first British Comicon (organised by Phil Clarke) was held in Birmingham. I'm putting together another special issue to celebrate that fact, which will hopefully be out in time for the ICE event In September.

I'm looking for articles and reminiscences from people who have been to any Comic related conventions in the last 50 years.

Deadline for contributions is June 30th, and you can get more information from me:
david.price@post.com

As it's free, there's no payment I'm afraid... but I can guarantee that your work will be amongst good company

I'm also working on my own strip (Alice & Hugo) which will hopefully see the light of day sometime this year.

You can discover FANSCENE on Comichaus: http://bit.ly/Fanscene

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