Hi! As some of you may know, I'm not posting here online that often because so much of my time is involved offline with Alpha-Omega, the Christian Comic Arts Society's long-running Christian comics APA (which stands for Amateur Press Association.)
For those who don't know what an APA is, there's a Wikipedia article on the history of the concept. It's basically a short-run, members-only fanzine that works sort of like a pre-internet equivalent of a private discussion forum, bulletin board and blog, printed out and shipped back and forth through regular postal mail. Each member of the APA produces their own mini-zine (called "contributions", or "tribs" for short), mails their 'trib to the group's "Central Mailer", who then collates and combines the individual 'tribs into complete photocopied/stapled issues of the APA-zine which is then mailed back out to all participating members, who then are generally expected to review/critique/comment on each other's work in the following issue. It's a much slower paced (and given the cost of photocopies and postage, much more expensive) alternative to the free and instantaneous fellowship available through modern online forums and social media, but it tends to provide an outlet for a different set of creative muscles and provides a different style of feedback and fellowship.
So, if you've never heard of an APA before and would be interested in joining, you can talk to Ralph Miley (the current "Editor" of our APA, who coordinates stuff between members) or myself (the current "Central Mailer", who physically assembles and mails each issue) to find out more.
However! This blog post isn't specifically about recruiting new members. What I'm trying to do is spread the word to former alumni members of our group and let them know that the Alpha-Omega APAzine will be celebrating its 200th issue this year! Ralph and I are trying to contact and invite all our many alumni members to participate in this upcoming special anniversary issue!
(Additional Note: I originally wrote this post with former Alpha-Omega members in mind, but the invitation to participate is open to other friends and supporters of the Christian comics movement as well. Contact us if you're interested!) - Kevin
And so, I hereby present: The official AO#200 participation Q&A!
Who are we looking for?
If you’ve been a member of the Alpha-Omega APA at any point during our past 30+ years, we’d love to see you back in our pages for this anniversary special. We have been trying to reach out and contact former members via our last known contact info from back issues of AO, but many of us have moved and/or changed email providers in the years since we first joined. That’s why I'm making a more public announcement here on the CCAS site, to get the word out more easily. (This invitation is also open to any other friends and supporters in the Christian comics movement who want to celebrate with us.)
Who to contact?
Ralph Miley is our main coordinator for this project. Kevin Yong is the Central Mailer who is compiling all the ‘tribs and will be formatting the book for print. If you don't have our contact info already, drop me an email at email@example.com and we’ll follow up!
What’s the plan?
Alpha-Omega #200 will be a special issue featuring content from our past and current members, as well as from friends and supporters within the Christian comics movement. We envision the book as a “best of” tribute to our past 33+ years of APAzine fellowship, and a celebration of both Christian comics and Christian comics fandom.
The book will be printed as a squarebound trade paperback using print-on-demand, and in addition to copies being printed for participants, the book will later be available for sale at Amazon.com to the general public. (Any money eventually raised from sales of the book will go back towards funding Alpha-Omega and the CCAS.)
The 200th issue will be dated May/June 2018. The deadline for contributing for the issue will be May 7th, and the printed issue will be sent out (Lord willing) by late May.
As an all-volunteer APAzine, the costs of printing this issue will be paid for out of pocket by the participants. We estimate a printed copy will cost somewhere around $5, plus postage, depending on the final page count.
For those alumni who want to be a part of AO #200 but who don’t want to purchase a physical copy, we'll work on creating a free digital PDF version to be available for all participants.
What we’re looking for
The length of your ‘trib is up to you. You can submit anything from a full length ‘trib to a single page of congratulatory artwork in the tradition of those Comic-Con “Souvenir Books”. Our theme for this issue is “Celebrating Christian Comics Fandom”.
Ideas for ‘tribs
What not to include
You will retain all copyright ownership of your individual content. By submitting your work for this issue, you are granting Alpha-Omega/CCAS a nonexclusive right to publish it as part of this 200th issue compilation anthology.
This standard disclaimer will be included in the front page of the book: “The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual creators, and do not necessarily reflect the Christian Comic Arts Society or the Alpha-Omega Amateur Press Association as a whole. The copyright for all contents of this anthology are the property of their respective creators, and are printed here with permission.”
How to send your ‘trib:
Contact Ralph and Kevin to RSVP if you're interested. If you don't already have our contact info, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of us will follow-up. God bless!