Christian Comic Arts Society

A Network of Christian Fellowship for Comics Fans, Pros, and Amateurs

Alpha-Omega #200: Calling All Former Members!

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 alphaomega@crosshatchery.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.)

Deadline?

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.

Costs?

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

  • A “Best of” collection of your past Alpha-Omega content. Do you have essays, reviews, artwork or writing from your past time in AO that you would like to see reprinted? Also, If you previously wrote content for the CCAS 25th Anniversary book, we can reprint your essays/memoirs from there as well!
  • You can share your own personal memories or experiences with the Christian comics movement, or updates on what you have been involved with since you were last in AO. (But don’t forget that this book will have a wider audience than normal, so don’t go into more personal detail than you would be comfortable sharing on a public forum.)
  • Feel free to share and promote your own work. Members of our group has produced a lot of content over the years, but much of it was in the form of small-press indie comics from the pre-internet era and so many of our comics may still be largely unknown to wider audiences. Let people know what you’ve worked on, and how to find it!
  • Artwork in the “Congratulations on 200 issues!” tradition of those ubiquitous Comic-Con Souvenir Books. Artwork can feature your own characters, or if you want a “mascot” character for AO, you can do a tribute using The Golden Protector -- a Christian superhero created by Don Ensign, the co-founder of AO & the CCAS who passed away a few years ago. (Reference art available if needed.)

What not to include

  • Personal contact info. If you’re a creator who wants to promote your website, social media or email, great! Go for it! But it’s probably not a good idea to share your home address and phone number, since extra copies of this “best of” book will eventually be available for sale to the general public.
  • Mailing comments. These are usually the lifeblood of an APA, but this issue will have many new one-time readers, so mailing comments referencing any specific back issue content will be needlessly confusing. Save it for next time, regulars!
  • Serialized stories. Like above, don’t share “Chapter 2 of 5” or start a teaser cliffhanger that will never be resolved for our guest readers. Let’s stick to standalone stories this issue.
  • Copyrighted material. Feel free to share any of your own art and writing, but avoid photocopying articles or artwork from elsewhere.
  • All our usual AO content restrictions apply: no graphic sex/violence/objectionable content, no personal insults, no inter-denominational arguments, no political flame-wars.

Copyrights

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:

  • The book will be 8.5” x 11”, B&W. Try to design your pages accordingly.
  • Clearly label your pages with your name, and your ‘trib’s title too, if applicable.
  • Also please include your own copyright notices if you want to be more specific than our generic AO disclaimer listed above.
  • If you can send your ‘trib digitally, send it to Kevin via email or by using a file sharing upload site like Dropbox. PDF is the preferred file format (Word Documents can be used if absolutely necessary, but we can make no guarantees that the formatting will remain consistent.)
  • If you prefer to create your ‘trib in hardcopy form, you can mail us one clean set of B&W pages for your ‘trib, and we will scan it as needed for the final book. You can mail your hardcopy pages to:
       Kevin Yong
       P.O. Box 254
       Temple City, CA 91780

 

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 alphaomega@crosshatchery.com and one of us will follow-up. God bless!


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Did you know that CCAS has monthly meetings in the Los Angeles area? Contact Eric Jansen for more info!

 

Also, members of CCAS have produced the APAzine ALPHA-OMEGA for over 25 years!  We have about five openings right now!  Contact Eric Jansen for more info!  (This is a 30-member active-participation-only photocopied magazine for Christian writers and artists who submit a "trib" every other month for fun, fellowship, and critiques by other members.  Between postage and your photocopying costs, you might pay anywhere from $5 to $25 per issue.)

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