Letraset, photocopies and staples: Early adventures in publishing

A tiny moment in time, solidified, fell out from between two books as I searched on the shelf for something completely unrelated.

It was a copy – probably the only surviving one – of a fanzine I produced in the mid-1980s, entitled Vox… yeah, I know. This was actually before the music magazine, OK? Vox had gone through a number of incarnations, from about 1983 to 1986.

I started it in 1983. I was thirteen. This particular issue was volume 2, number 1 – numbering had always been haphazard, and I’d decided on a clean slate because, thanks to a free plug in the letters page of a Marvel UK comic at the time, I actually had contributors who weren’t me. It felt like a proper fanzine. Vol 2, number 1, according to the little copyright notices I put on each page, was largely put together when I was fourteen, in 1984. It must have taken me a long time to save up to have it photocopies, because there’s a review of a Simple Minds gig at Ibrox in June 1986 that somehow snuck its way in there prior to photocopying.

By this time I would have been 16, and I would have lost interest and discovered girls, underage drinking, and Adidas trainers.

The bulk of this issue is made up of several episodes of a “galactic epic” as I call it in the editorial, Second Genesis, written by Steve Tanner with art by Simon Ecob. Strangely I crossed paths with Stever Tanner quite recently, when we both had a piece in an issue of the British comic Murky Depths.

I wonder, though, what happened to Simon Ecob? Roger Gibson, who wrote a piece about trying to find fame? Geoff Lamprey – didn’t I know him from the X-Men Fan Club, or something? It’s all so very distant now… And writer John Smith (was that even a real name?) and artist Chris Young, who turned in that great little three page strip at the end?

Anyway, if you’re interested in what a comic/magazine thrown together by a teenager with scissors, Pritt Stick and Letraset back in the long-gone pre-internet days of the 1980s looks like, I’ve scanned the whole thing in to Scribd, below. Have fun.

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