Your furry A.P.A. experience

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Arty McToon

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Jun 30, 2005, 3:05:31 PM6/30/05
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Anyone here ever been a contributor for a furry/anthro animal "Amateur
Press Association?"...that is a limited member print 'zine where each
member is responsible for the creating, printing, and mailing pages of
his or her own art, stories, and/or trivia related to a certain
theme...the individual members' contributions are usually mailed to the
editor of the APA zine who puts all of the members' mailings together
(with help) into one big magazine format for distribution to all the
other members and occasionally sell extra copies to outside
non-members.

"Rowrbrazzle", "Vootie", and "Furthest North APA" were usually the most
popular APAs with a good number of professional creative and fan
contributors. "Huzzah" and "Gallery" were more professional-based
although sadly recently ended their runs.

Anyone been a member or still currently is a member of one or several
APAs? Any good (or bad) memories in coming up with contributions each
issue, printing copies, dealing with the editors or other members?

I was a member of an APA titled "The Furry Press Network" for a brief
time...the zine ran for 6 issues from 1990 to 1991 before the editor
joined the Military around 1991 and promptly disappeared without much
notice. I did get an invitation from another APA to join afterwards
but the work in coming up with creative contributions and printing
copies for each member's issues on personal time was too much. I did
enjoy my time with the FPN, however short. Seeing comments written by
the other members added some satisfaction to the work done.

I know "Rowrbrazzle" had a very long waiting list at the time (60
members plus 50 more on a waiting list) during the early 1990s... I
don't think I have the patience to wait for an opening or the skilled
creative backlog to contribute regularly to something like that.

Edd_Vick

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Jun 30, 2005, 4:50:35 PM6/30/05
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As it happens, I'm the interim editor for ROWRBRAZZLE this issue. The
former editor, Fred Patten, fell ill, so until someone volunteers we're
playing musical editors. Over the 21 years we've been operating, we've
had about 180 different members, some lasting only an issue or two,
some - like Tim Fay, Marc Schirmeister (the founder) and Fred, since
the beginning. I joined with #2, as did Steve Scharff, making us the
longest lasting after those three.

During the last half of the 80s and early 90s, we did indeed have a
membership of 80 and 40 or so on the mailing list, but things are far
different now. Issue 85, the last issue so far, had 23 members out of a
possible 30 (and of course no mailing list). I asked around and posted
a message here on alt.fan.furry, and we've gotten 4 new members, which
still leaves us with open slots.

The main reason we've gotten so small is the internet. It's so easy to
post your work, so why pay to print and mail copies around? There are
reasons: it's a cultural artifact (Fred's copies just got donated to
the University of California library, so future generations can see
what a slice of furry fandom was like at various times), it's more
personal, and paper is a different medium from electrons, and usually
lasts longer than a lot of websites.

I've got a lot of fond memories. I was just out of college when I
joined, and here I am a father. I was a horrible artist and a poor
writer, and here I am a horrible artist who's learned a few tricks, and
a writer who's sold a double-handful of stories. Members join for
different reasons: some to work on their skills, some because they
/have/ to write or draw and they might as well get it out there for
others to see, some for the community. I'm sure there are other
reasons, but those are all things I've gotten out of being a member.

If you want to give an apa a chance again, I'll invite you into
BRAZZLE. Write me at edd (at) speakeasy (dot) net if you want to ask
more questions or join up.

Arty McToon

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Jun 30, 2005, 6:01:39 PM6/30/05
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Thanks. I'll consider it. I'm more a fannish artist myself...doubtful
my style will change. I draw for fun...definitely not for profit nor
for a bigger career ambition.

I do know of Fred Patten's involvement and his recent health problems.
Hope he is doing well in his recovery.

The print zine is getting to be an endangered species...I was a
"Huzzah" and "Gallery" subscriber when both were in existence. It was
nice to have an accessible paperbound zine with good furry art to look
at...the creators' comments added a lot behind the thinking into their
and the other member's contributions.

My concern might be if I can think of enough creative or informative
material to sustain a reasonable period of membership and having funds
to print copies for each of the members. I am hoping on thinking of
more than art of "characters just standing around" to justify having a
place in the APA...using my reader preferences as well as my visually
creative preferences.

What would be the best type of contributions to sustain a long-term
membership? I like variety and "trying something different" within my
own unpolished skill level. Furry art is very vast and being
one-dimensional in themes or creative thinking probably won't sustain
things for long.

Edd_Vick

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Jun 30, 2005, 6:41:23 PM6/30/05
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That's such a wide-open question! Lots of folks have done ongoing
stories, like Will Faust's "Wingwarrior" which is good enough to be
published as a graphic novel when it's done, or Chuck Melville's
"Felicia: Melari's Wish" that I published a decade ago. (We used to
have theme issues every once in a while, like the anniversary of the
Moon Landing, and Chuck would use the theme in his chapter.) Some do
gag strips, like Mike McMurry did with Zonie or Mark Stanley did with
Freefall or... well, there are/were a lot of folks who do/did that. Jim
Groat used to draw comic stories of his experiences at conventions.

The actual requirement is only two pages every other issue, which works
out to four pages a year. Everyone aspires to do more than the minimum,
of course, but when someone has an emergency it's nice to know there's
not a huge commitment. There is also an 'art bank' members can put some
pages into that will save their membership if they run into something
at the last minute that keeps them from contributing by the deadline.

I like your attitude of 'trying something different'. I'd suggest, if
you were to join, that you allow yourself a few issues of just playing
around before setting off to do something vast.

William Earl Haskell

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Jul 2, 2005, 12:21:36 AM7/2/05
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Edd_Vick wrote:

>
> The actual requirement is only two pages every other issue, which works
> out to four pages a year. Everyone aspires to do more than the minimum,
> of course, but when someone has an emergency it's nice to know there's
> not a huge commitment. There is also an 'art bank' members can put some
> pages into that will save their membership if they run into something
> at the last minute that keeps them from contributing by the deadline.


Around 10 years ago I was somewhat involved in the self-pub movement to
the extent that I put together a small number of mini-comix, usually on
one theme or another, of mixed quality - all printed off on whatever
xerox machines I had access to at the time. With my increased
distraction by computers and the internet, this more or less fell by the
wayside, until recently when (ironically enough) I found by reading here
on aff that there were openings at ROWRBRAZZLE, and I wound up using
computers to compose my first contrib (printing the mess off on a
discarded Epson laserjet). Way less expensive than Kinko's, as it turns out.

One thing about this is the number of stories put aside over the years
for future work. Looks like the future is here. Time to clear off the
old drafting table, and warm up my 133+ drawing 5ki11z.

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