Saturday, 30 June 2007

Fanzines Reviewing Fanzines - Telos Unearthed

Although Telos came to something of a messy end with issue 15, it got a far more fitting send off a year later with Telos Unearthed, a fanzine edited by Telos (and later RTP!) contributor Peter Adamson. RTP! reviewed the special issue back in issue 4:
Telos Unearthed is classy. From the side splittingly funny Saucer Smith to the creative Cydonia, there is something for everybody. However, I found the sum up of each issue the most satisfying, as there are few copies of each issue around. The majority is new material, but even the reprinted material has been turned upside down and reworked to give a better look.
The Radio Times comic commentary was most worthwhile as I knew of several people who would like to know more about these—and perhaps even see the damn strips as well. Most intriguing were the reader's memories, including Graham Muir's eulogy and Paul Scoones' frank thoughts. These are several things to which RTP! people would be familiar with, including work from Jeff Stone and illustrations by Sir David Ronayne.
Peter Adamson is to be congratulated for assembling most of the old cast of contributors which almost looks like an RTP! roll call. A fine one-off publication and a much better send off than issue 15 could ever have been. If RTP! ever gets to the end of its tenure, then you can be sure we'll be draggin' Peter out to do it, eh Peter?!
Was my 'reader's memory' really that bad, everybody?

- Wade Campbell
Wade's comment about the 'RTP! roll call' makes one wonder if RTP! would have existed had Telos not folded, or if they had co-existed side-by-side would they still have had the same contributors?

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Hmmm, that's Interesting!

Peter Adamson made his first contribution to the fanzine in 1998 with this little illustration. Matt Kamstra and Wade Campbell weren't too sure what to make of it, or do with it for that matter, and thus it got a page of it's own rather than accompanying a written article. The Editors asked for suggestions from readers as to what is going on in the picture and I'm not sure if they ever got any responses. If they did, I don't recall them being shared with myself. Still, perhaps now that is on the blogsphere where a greater number of people can see and appreciate it, someone might put forward a guess. Make of it what you will!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Fiction - Short and Sweet

Not the first piece of fiction published by the fanzine (that honour goes to my work of fiction Fetch in issue 1), yet a short and simple way to start posting older fiction from the fanzine. The illustration that accompanies it doesn't really marry up well with the fiction, but is a rare piece from Matt Kamstra.

"Short and Sweet"
by David Ronayne

Dorothee glared at the old Time Lord over the monitor, this current body must be nine hundred if it's a day. She had pleaded with him, she had argued with him, she had even put on her universal translator and tried speaking in English (slang: variation45: British Isles circa 1980s CE), just in case she had missed some subtle nuance of the consonant heavy sentances of the local language. She had tried all these things on the Pydronian Keeper of the Record, but she had been unable to extract the Doctor's biodata and personal history from him.
The Keeper had been watching and recording the lives and histories of all the graduates of Gallifrey's most prosidious colleges for over two thousand years now and was one of the most knowledgeable and respected beings on the planet, he was also very deaf and quite absentminded. She had been curious when she had first heard of him, wondering if this was finally the way to learn the secrets of her erstwhile mentor.

The elder looked up with a start.

'Are you still here? Hmmm? Go away, I'm busy. What do you want?'

'The Doctor, I want all your data on the Doctor!'

The old Time Lord's brow furrowed. 'No, never heard of him, go away!'

The white head delved back to the screen, muttering to himself. She leant forward, forching herself into his view.

'The Doctor - class of '758 - Double Gamma pass.'

The old being frowned. 'A rather unfortunate year, Capitol or Country?'

Dorothee shrugged. 'I don't understand.'

The Keeper scowled, finally giving her his full attention. 'His family house and membership to the Academy - What was it?'

She thought back to the long shadowy corridors and empty cloisters of the almost deserted household she had seen six months ago.

'He lived in a house. A really big house in the country. It was called 'Lungbarrow'.'

'Never heard of it,' he snapped. 'Was his membership from the Capitol or the Country?'

The woman who was Dorothee remembered the rolling hills of southern Gallifrey, the vast chasm the twisted house fell into, and the girl who was once Ace screamed, 'THE DOCTOR WAS A COUNTRY MEMBER!!'

She watched the old man's face twist from shock, to horror, to sudden recognition, before she realised her translator was still on.

'Oh yes,' he said. 'I ... remember ... the Doctor.'


Monday, 25 June 2007

The Original Logo

Above is the original logo for the fanzine, one that graced just the first three issues. In the end it was quickly retired because I (by this stage acting as a soon-to-be Assistant Editor) had pointed out that it was practically unreadable when printed on the covers of the fanzine (especially issue 3!).

The logo was realised by Jamie Campbell (no relation to then Editor Wade Campbell) from ideas of Matt Kamstra's. I believe that the Daleks may have even been drawn by Matt himself.

It would be replaced in issue 4 with a new logo, once again realised by Jamie Campbell.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Pleading the Fifth

And so it began. With issue 5 I was suddenly promoted to co-Editor alongside Matt Kamstra, he and Wade Campbell having fallen out in the three months between this issue and issue 4. I guess I should have seen the split coming having become Assistant Editor the previous issue during which Wade was absent a lot of the time. The issue has a whole twenty pages devoted to the end of Pulp Who - The Doris Situation, but still manages to squeeze in some other things like the first interview with an NZ fan, in this case artist Alistair Hughes.

Who would know it? A whole year since Reverse the Polarity! first hit the streets! So many things have happened in this past year, both with the zine and in our own lives, that sometimes it seems much longer than that. But you only have to observe the changes that have taken place in that year to see that it has all been worth it. From the design of the pages to the content of it articles and diversity of writers, Reverse the Polarity! has risen from strength to strength.
At this time however we have just experienced our first fallout - we are now officially a fanboy magazine! On a more serious side though, unfortunately we have lost the services of Wade Campbell in the editorship. Wade and I have had our personal and professional differences, and Wade has left to pursue other paths. I hope you all share with me in wishing him all the luck for whatever he plans to do. Alex Ballingall will replace Wade as the new co-editor effectively from this issue onwards. Here's to another year, plus heaps, and thanks to all those who have been involved in getting this zine up and running.
'Goodo,' or so I thought. 'It's the middle of the month, time to go get DWM.' Hmmm, well, yes. Many of you will at least know of, if not have read of, the controversy over Doctor Who Magazine's regeneration of the Paul McGann Doctor into their own Nicholas Briggs Doctor. The regeneration didn't bother me much at all. It was a welcome contrast as I could read the new adventures of both the Eighth Doctor and the Ninth at the same time. But low and behold (WARNING: SPOILERS) if they don't go and do the daftest thing. Issue 269, Wormwood, for those of you who know what I'm talking about. What's up with that? Does that add some spice or what? I won't spill the beans, but I encourage any of you who don't read DWM to go out there and get copies of #266 thru #269 right away!
I would also like to take this opportunity to dedicate this issue to Doctor Who's 35th anniversary celebration. But inside this brand spanking new issue we have the special twenty page conclusion to Pulp Who by Alex Ballingall as well as a new expanded Cyber Guy by Brendon Bennetts (yes, that's what that guy writes)!
Oh well, my time is just about up, and next issue you'll have that nice chap Alex Ballingall chatting to you about, not ferret pudding this time, but perhaps something like talking tomatoes and their recurrence in TARDIS Tales. Keep well everybody, and keep safe.

- Matt Kamstra
Bride of the Guff:

Published: September 1998
The Fanzine of the Christchurch Chapter of the NZDWFC
Editors: Alexander Ballingall, Matt Kamstra
RTP! Logo Design: Jamie Campbell/Alexander Ballingall
Front Cover: Peter Adamson
Back Cover: Brendon Bennetts [part of Cyber Guy comic]
Internal Artwork: Peter Adamson, Alistair Hughes, Garry Jackson, Matt Kamstra, Graham Muir
Letters: Peter Adamson, Alden Bates, Garry Jackson, David Ronayne
Page Count: 48
Print Run: 30
Price: NZ$2.50

~ Contents ~
  • [01] COVER
  • [02] CONTENTS
  • [03] EDITORIAL
  • [04] UPDATE
  • [05] WHO?! on the Internet
  • [06] The BOOTCUPBOARD [Letters]
  • [08] REVIEW [Review of The Happiness Patrol]
  • [09] FICTION: Short and Sweet
  • [10] INTERVIEW: A Brush with the Doctor ... [Alistair Hughes]
  • [15] Who Farted?
  • [16] REVIEW [Review of The Space Museum]
  • [18] ARTICLE: If - The Laird Of McCrimmon
  • [19] REVIEWS: James' Corner [The Web Planet and Twilight Of The Gods]
  • [20] REVIEWS: The Scope [Reviews of EDAs, PDAs]
  • [22] /full page artwork/
  • [23] OPINION: Wade's World
  • [24] COMIC: Pulp Who - The Doris Situation [part 4 of 4]
  • [44] Doctor Who Bullsh*t: BBC Books
  • [45] CARTOON: Doctor Who meets ... South Park
  • [46] OPINION: Julian Vance Says ...
  • [47] CARTOON: Cyber Guy

Friday, 22 June 2007

Flashback - End of Part One (RTP! #3)

My memories of issue 3 (March 1998)?

Sitting in Wade Campbell's bedroom as he and Matt Kamstra slaved away on the computer putting the issue together while I worked to finish the last few pages of the second part of Pulp Who before I went home. This situation is what led to the contents page illustration of the Master, something that Wade had felt was needed to fill in the gap (a traditional continued through to issue 18).

Garry Jackson at this stage was still an unknown quantity for myself, despite contributions to the first two issues already, but would come to know him and call him a friend once he made the move from Queenstown to Christchurch. Of the new contributors to the fanzine, only Peter Adamson's name held any immediate reaction. And I've since met the amiable man in person. What a guy! David Ronayne, one of the fanzine's most consistent contributors also appears, but unlike Peter I've not yet had the pleasure of a face-to-face meeting. Jeff Stone was the third of the new writers, and would eventually take over the "Doctor Who Bullsh*t" column (a regular to issue 14), but I've never met him in person and am unlikely to after a falling out in 2003.

Still, this issue was the point where it began to start feeling like a fanzine and not something almost purely the effort of Matt and Wade. Little did I know how much impact I myself would have on the fanzine as 1998 progressed ...

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

If - Series One

'If', if Tegan would have you believe, is a powerful word. Humans are forever pondering the factor of 'if', whether it be in weighing up future choices or in contemplating past decisions. With issue 4 Peter Adamson began a series of short articles that looked back at proposed Doctor Who stories that never made it in front of the camera. But, in the tradition of 'if' he also took a moment to ponder the impact that each would have had on the larger scheme of the series had they been made. How would Jamie's departure have been changed? Would Gallifrey have been very different? Would the TARDIS be even more alien? These questions, and more, were canvassed in 'If'.
  • #4: The Herdsmen Of Venus
  • #5: The Laird Of McCrimmon
  • #6: The Brain Dead
  • #7: The Killer Cats Of Gen-Singh
  • #8: The Enemy Within
  • #9: Space Sargasso
  • #10: The Clockwise Cuckoos

Monday, 18 June 2007

The Fourth Estate

RTP! gained a third editor with the fourth issue—myself. I held the post of Assistant Editor for this issue and this issue only. This was because it was my second year at university and I guess I felt I had enough free time to be able to devote some of it to the fanzine. This was helped by the fact that Matt was attending the same university that year as well as a first year. Plus Matt Kamstra and Wade Campbell were having issues (although I was blissfully unaware at the time) and another hand was needed to keep the fanzine going.

My First Editorial:
Another issue, another collection of last minute articles written by a talent-less group of hack writers. To present this assortment of odd pieces I have been delegated to do this issue's editorial. Becoming Assistant Editor (a method by where Wade and Matt do no work but get the credit) has been an incredibly strange learning curve for me, and dealing with Wade and Matt's egos has to have been the largest part of that curve.
But enough of me and my concerns for certain people's mental health. Doctor Who is why we are all here (or at least I hope so - you can never tell with some people) and Doctor Who is what I should be making a pertinent comment upon. But on what? The lack of Doctor Who on television? Perhaps not. Instead I propose to ramble incoherently on various topics, some probably not even remotely connected with Doctor Who in any one of its multitude of forms. The first of these slightly interesting, entertaining and informative topics is the fact that I have managed to write myself out of any space to even provide coverage of one topic in any depth. To this end I will cover one topic in the barest of detail, dwell on shallow points of interest and generally make a fool of myself and my lack or research.
The topic. Instant pudding and its recurrence in TARDIS Tales. Off the top of my head I can only recall one mention of this (no doubt some fanboy with an infinitely sadder life than me will point out those instances that I have missed) which really negates the usefulness of my analysis of its recurrence in TARDIS Tales.
Matt's just informed me I have run out of space to spout my rubbish and so I'll end my brief discourse here. Wade also wishes me to make it known that several of us scored a collection of New Adventures for $1 each.

- Alexander Ballingall
Revenge of the Guff:

Published: June 1998
The Fanzine of the Christchurch Chapter of the NZDWFC
Editor: Wade Campbell, Matt Kamstra
Assistant Editor: Alexander Ballingall
RTP! Logo Design: Jamie Campbell/Alexander Ballingall
Front Cover: Alexander Ballingall
Back Cover: Garry Jackson
Internal Artwork: Wade Campbell, Garry Jackson, Matt Kamstra, Graham Muir
Letters: Brendon Bennetts, Catherine Bertrand, David Ronayne, John Williams [AKA Matt Kamstra]
Page Count: 44
Print Run: 30
Price: NZ$2.50

~ Contents ~
  • [01] COVER
  • [02] CONTENTS
  • [03] EDITORIAL
  • [04] UPDATE
  • [05] WHO?! on the Internet
  • [06] /full page advert/
  • [07] The BOOTCUPBOARD [Letters]
  • [08] FICTION: "Interview with an Umpire"
  • [10] CARTOON: Birdy - In 'A Touch of Enlightenment!'
  • [12] REVIEW [Review of The Green Death]
  • [14] OPINION: Regeneration
  • [15] OPINION: Wade's World
  • [16] REVIEW [Review of the E-Space trilogy]
  • [20] REVIEWS: The Scope/Books from Yonks Ago ... [Reviews of EDAs, PDAs, Telos, and Virgin New Adventures]
  • [23] COMIC: Pulp Who - The Doris Situation [part 3 of 4]
  • [33] ARTICLE: If - The Herdsmen Of Venus
  • [34] FICTION: Iron Heart
  • [36] REVIEWS: James' Corner [Reviews of Dalek story novelisations]
  • [37] /full page art/
  • [38] CARTOON
  • [39] Doctor Who Bullsh*t: 35th Anniversary Bash!
  • [40] Who Farted?
  • [41] REVIEWS: TSV Retrospective [Reviews of TSV]
  • [42] OPINION: Julian Vance Says ...
  • [43] CARTOON: Cyber Guy
  • [44] COVER

Friday, 15 June 2007

Lest We Forget

With Cyber Guy and Birdy the tradition of a cartoon was set and since Pulp Who sits in a field of its own (with the other vegetables), it was down to Garry Jackson and his comic strip Lest We Forget to introduce the serious comic to the palette of RTP!.

The three-page comic was something of an experiment for Garry, having never tried anything like it before. His inexperience with the genre led him to draw the comic to size on A5 paper, which led to difficulties in keeping the speech-bubbles legible. Although the script for the comic is credited to 'The Watcher', this is actually just Garry himself doing the writing duties.

It is a legacy not to be forgotten, and one which Garry returns to with The Tower of Angum, a new comic strip illustrated by him that begins in issue 26 ...

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Birdy—The Fattest Bird in the Universe!

Bugger All to do with Doctor Who!

TARDIS Tales had come to an end in April 1997 and Graham Muir prior to that had slightly branched out by contributing a couple of pieces based around Saucer Smith to the defunct Telos fanzine. But still had stories to tell (and the editors had ganged up on him at a Christchurch Chapter meeting!).

The result was Birdy—The Fattest Bird in the Universe which was based around the adventures of Saucer's nephew Birdy, a very fat canary from Canario. Graham's biting wit from his earlier cartoon is very much in evidence and the first four stories set about taking the mickey out of adventures from the series.

After a long break (some of it caused by the hiatus) the cartoon made two more appearances, this time featuring the return of Saucer (the strip being retitled Saucer + Birdy).

And the adventures were:
  • #2: in 'Revenge of a Handful of Cybermen!'
  • #3: in 'Birdy's Inferno!'
  • #4: in 'A Touch of Enlightenment!'
  • #7: in 'A Slightly Green Death'
  • #11: meet the DJ from Hell!
  • #12: in 'The Power of a Dalek or Two'

Monday, 11 June 2007

Fanzines Reviewing Fanzines - RTP! #2

The second, of to date four, reviews of RTP! in TSV was reserved for issue 2. Published in issue 53, Paul Scoones wrote the following review:

A stunning improvement has taken place between issues one and two of the NZDWFC Christchurch Chapter's newly established fanzine. The two areas of criticism in TSV 52's review of issue one—that there were many typos and that the writing was very in-jokey—have both been addressed and the result is which is many times better than the debut issue. There's a thought-provoking response to TSV 52's editorial and the beginnings of a lively letters page. TSV readers pining away for the departed TARDIS Tales should definitely check out Graham Muir's spin-off strip Birdy, which in this issue features a wickedly funny take-off of Revenge Of The Cybermen. There's also the first part of an on-going comic strip by Alexander Ballingall which is an unlikely fusion of Doctor Who and Pulp Fiction. This sort of thing could easily be done very badly but Ballingall's clear uncluttered style and very good drawings are the strip's saving graces. It cribs mercilessly from Tarantino's script (complete with the frequent use of the 'F-word') however—I'd love to see the artist tackle an original Doctor Who story. If RTP! keeps getting better TSV will soon have some serious competition!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Third Times a Charm

Gosh! 1998 (an anniversary year for the series no less) and we're up to issue 3 already. Garry Jackson gets his first cover for the fanzine, as well as a comic in the form of Lest We Forget, and despite suggestions in the previous issue that I would be a stand-in-editor, that never eventuated. Still, the issue is graced with Peter Adamson's first contribution in the form of an 'interesting' drawing of some cybermats.

And the editorial:
At last, Wade Campbell's first input into an editorial. Much of this is my own doing and, while Matt has been in Japan, I've managed to get some FAB new writers on side with RTP!'s bulging ego. Therefore I would like to make a warm offering of affection to Jeff Stone and David Ronayne. Being an editor is a hell of a job, you have to live and breathe Doctor Who for at least half a week, but I thrive on it to better the last issue, each issue. It is a feeling that has to be felt to be believed, as is seeing each issue come hot off the printing press. This reminds me, make all cheques payable to Wade Campbell, not Reverse the Polarity!, and you can send them off to our fancy new PO Box number, or contact us at our rather naff e-mail address (please don't send attachments to it). Other than that we are in excellent spirits over future issues and whatever luck brings us throughout the new year.
You would have probably noticed the huge leap in improvement from our two previous issues and most of the fillers are gone. It was always our intention to scrap these once we got hold of better quality stuff, and the burden of this issue has been spread around rather nicely from person to person. Which means more variety and more glitz (and glamour!) from the team here at RTP!. We dispute TSV for a change, Garry and Graham are past contributors (now where's my chequebook), not regulars. Oh, and by the way, to quote from Telos #15, "Playing the game is like asking Katy Manning to act - impossible." Well Jonathan, if you play the CCG by yourself that's generally the thing that happens. Now where the hell did I put all my issues of Telos anyway? I'll try the wardrobe next. Must dash, have personal business from England to attend to ...
- Wade Campbell
Geez you talk a lot of crap sometimes Wade. I still am an editor you know!
- Matt Kamstra
Once More Unto the Guff, Dear Friends, Once More!:

Published: March 1998
The Fanzine of the Christchurch Chapter of the NZDWFC
Editor: Wade Campbell, Matt Kamstra
RTP! Logo Design: Jamie Campbell
Front Cover: Garry Jackson
Back Cover: Garry Jackson
Internal Artwork: Alexander Ballingall, Garry Jackson
Letters: Garry Jackson, Jeff Stone, Julian Vance [AKA Wade Campbell]
Page Count: 44
Print Run: 30
Price: NZ$2.50

~ Contents ~
  • [01] COVER
  • [02] CONTENTS
  • [03] EDITORIAL
  • [04] UPDATE
  • [05] WHO?! on the Internet
  • [06] /full page advert/
  • [07] The BOOTCUPBOARD [Letters]
  • [08] OPINION: Random Rantings
  • [09] FICTION: Chandrasekhar
  • [10] CARTOON: Birdy - In 'Birdy's Inferno!'
  • [12] REVIEW [Review of The Leisure Hive]
  • [14] Doctor Who Bullsh*t: New Telemovie Confirmed!
  • [15] OPINION: Yes, We Agree Wade
  • [16] OPINION: The Eighth Doctor's New Home
  • [18] Feverish
  • [20] REVIEWS: The Scope/Books from Yonks Ago ... [Reviews of EDAs, PDAs, and Virgin New Adventures]
  • [23] COMIC: Pulp Who - The Doris Situation [part 2 of 4]
  • [34] FICTION: Personal Demon
  • [36] Cross-over Chaos
  • [37] /full page cartoon/
  • [38] COMIC: Lest We Forget
  • [41] Fan Who - Past and Present: Garry Jackson
  • [42] OPINION: Julian Vance Says ...
  • [43] CARTOON: Cyber Guy
  • [44] COVER

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Flashback - You Will Come with Usss ... (RTP! #2)

And so we come to issue 2 (December 1997). Issue 1 had been published and was avaliable at the Christchurch Chapter meeting that followed its publication. Matt Kamstra and Wade Campbell had wasted no time in beginning to work on the follow up, no doubt to demonstrate that the fanzine wasn't a flash-in-the-pan one-issue-wonder, but also because of the pressure of losing access to the computers and software of Shirley Boys' High School that had helped with the creation of the first issue.

In comparison with the first issue there were a number of changes. The page count had increased by 12 pages (and I've often wondered if that was because of the 14 page monstrosity that was Part One of Pulp Who—The Doris Situation), there were far less spelling/grammer errors and in-jokes, and in blessed relief there were also pages numbers!

Birdy—The Fattest Bird in the Universe! makes its debut (some eight months after TARDIS Tales had come to an end in TSV), Graham Muir's new strip as every bit funny and cynical as Saucer's adventures had been.

And finally, there was a list of things to expect from upcoming issues:
More installments of the immensely popular Pulp Who
An amusing suggestion given that at the time of writing such a line only the editors had read the comic!
'You WILL Obey Me!' - The Master as an Anti-Hero
'Where's My Toast?' - War and the military in the reign of the Third Doctor
A couple of articles that never materialised and it is not like Matt and Wade had the excuse that they somehow got lost in the post either ...
We're organising an interview with a Doctor Who author as we speak!
Really? Go on, pull the other leg. That one's got bells on it!
A super-competition involving you and some cool prizes!
A super-competition? And that is different from a competition, how? Not that any competition, super or otherwise, would be seen in the following issues (unless you count the Cybermat cartoon one, or the Who Farted? one ...)

None of it nearly as witty as the observation in issue 1 that 'Coming Up Next Issue' was 'Corey French's Lunch!'

In comparison to the first issue, I don't recall the Christchurch Chapter as being quite so involved in the ongoing development of the issue. However I do recall turning up at Wade's place quite late in the afternoon one day to hand over the completed first part of Pulp Who and apologising for not only being late with my delivery, but also in the fact that it was six pages longer than promised.

What I found really interesting was Matt and Wade's assertion in the Editorial that I would be stepping in as an editor while Matt ventured off to Japan. In reality I would have little to do with the editing of issue 3, but it did foreshadow the coming year ...

Friday, 8 June 2007

Fanzines Reviewing Fanzines - TSV #50 & 'Decade'

More blasts from the past! At the same time that RTP! was reviewing the end of the fanzine Telos, it was also taking a look at the two issues that helped mark ten years of the fanzine TSV (now turning twenty this year and celebrating with issue 75). Here are the reviews as published in issue 1:
TSV #50

Flagship of NZ fandom releases an issue of 'curly' proportions!

This Tom Baker issue was sometimes dull in comparison to previous issues becasue it lacked variety, a bit like the 'Key to Time' issue, but not on such a grand scale. The 'super-annuation commercials' were very well documented. I'm just wondering why the hell they weren't shown in Christchurch! Unfortunately TARDIS Tales came to a conclusion and the centre page is a montage of all the characters featured over the years. Is it just me, or are Peter Adamson's cartoons becoming more 'lined' with each issue? Paul [Scoones], if you are going to feature fiction, does it have to be continuity laden 'Dark Doctor' material?

- Wade Campbell
Ouch! Not the most positive of reviews, but can possibly be forgiven as fanzine-envy in that issue 50 of TSV was a lot more mature that issue 1 of RTP! (said fanzine-envy also evident in a less than flattering attitude towards the then recently defunct Telos fanzine). And 'Decade':

NZDWFC - Decade

Ten years and 50 issues worth of work is remembered in this special

This is as usual, an exhaustive guide of detail and achievements by the club. But a bit like The Web Planet, I got the impression that it was never going to end. It is always a pleasure to know about other fans, but I felt this took it a bit too far, such as Paul Scoones' life story and his anecdotes, such as "I ran a fanzine where you had to answer questions before you became a member", were, well, a bit uncalled for. As was a write-up about Matthew Dentith of all people. Some flak also has to be taken for the non-inclusion of Graham Muir. Shame on you! This review might be considered derogatory in nature, but this was the general consensus of people I have talked to. Sit back, and another ten years might pass you by as quickly as it did just then!

- Wade Campbell

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Pulp Who - Quick Fix Hits from the Blockbuster Media Machine

PULP (pulp) n. 1. A soft, moist, shapeless
mass of matter.

2. A magazine or book containing lurid
subject matter and being characteristically
printed on rough, unfinished paper

American Heritage Dictionary: New College Edition

WHO (hoo) n. A universe filled with
very strange people and aliens (who are
people too).

2. Something about to be turned upside
down and put through a blender
In going back over issue 2 of RTP! one can not simply go past the item that swallows a whole fourteen pages of the issue. And I'm not writing about Matt or Wade's egos either! Although I am possibly talking about my own ...

Pulp Who was not something I though as particularly radical (for want of a better word) when I offered it up to editors Matt Kamstra and Wade Campbell for consideration as part of their fanzine. It was something that I had begun purely to amuse myself during mental 'downtime' at University and to help deal with my need to draw (still an incureable affliction!) and the comic was well underway in terms of drawing by the time RTP! #1 was published, Wade making reference to it in the Christchurch Chapter update:
There was also a sneak glimpse of Pulp Who. This will no doubt shake the foundations of Serious Who.
A mammoth 50+ pages later I finished the adapation of one part of the film and didn't feel up to the task of taking on the rest of it. Luckily others were quite willing to step into the breach and adapt the rest (take a bow Peter Adamson, David Ronayne, and James Peterson).

The adapation didn't follow the time-hopping (pun intended) narrative of the film, each part instead telling one of the three stories and were published thusly:
  • The Doris Situation (#2~5)
  • The Gold Star (#8~11)
  • The Master and Saucer Smith's Wife (#13~15)
Ten years later and the whole thing will get a polish. In additional there will be a more indepth look at how the comic came about, along with various notes and other sketches.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Fanzines Reviewing Fanzines - RTP! #24

RTP! #24 (May 2007) has been reviewed by the sort-of new kid on the block fanzine Zeus Plug (or is it exclusively known as Zeus Blog now?) On the whole a balanced and positive review very kindly penned by Alistair Hughes.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Cyber Guy

If anything was a surprise for myself in those early issues of RTP!, it would have to be Brendon Bennetts' contribution of the cartoon Cyber Guy.

The fanzine was in the works in 1997, which was Co-Editor Matt Kamstra's final year at Shirley Boys High School in Christchurch, and the first issue surfaced in the October of that year. The first two issues of RTP! especially (issue 2 appearing in December 1997) are mainly the work of Matt and his Co-Editor Wade Campbell, and the pair obviously quickly saw the need for other contributors. Hence they had solicited for others to contribute material at the Christchurch Chapter meetings, which led to myself, Graham Muir, and James Gibbons eventually supplying material.

But Matt, being the sometime out-of-the-box thinker that he can be, also looked in other places for potential material for the fanzine. And a natural place to look was what surrounded him five days a week, at his schoolmates at Shirley Boys who could easily be creative and at the same time had plenty of free time that those holding down a full time job don't. I've no idea which others of his friends Matt also approached (maybe none), but he did at least talk to Brendon and from that conversation came Cyber Guy.

Brendon was quite willing to admit that he wasn't a huge fan of the series, Matt acting as something of an editor and Doctor Who expert for the cartoon, and this fact is readily demonstrated by the cartoon, which takes very few cues from the series itself for points of humour. Instead Cyber Guy simply uses the more publicly acknowledged 'flaws' of the series as the basis for events (Daleks and stairs, Cybermen and gold etc.)

After the promo in issue 1 (see the start of this post), Cyber Guy launched in issue 2 and rolled fairly regularly along for the next few issues:
  • #2: Cyber Guy picks up fish n' chips for the 'Invasion of Fort Knox After Party'
  • #3: Cyber Guy reports to the Cyber Controller the results of the invasion
  • #4: Cyber Guy has a phone bill to pay and the Doctor makes an appearance
  • #5: Cyber Guy is captured by the Doctor and the Daleks appear [2 pages]
  • #6: The Daleks use the Doctor and Cyber Guy to attack Santa [4 pages]
  • #8: Cyber Guy becomes the Doctor's companion [3 pages]
  • #9: The Doctor decides to replace Cyber Guy with a new companion
  • #10: Things get very strange [2 pages]
After issue 10 RTP! went into it's infamous hiatus, which sort of prevented further Cyber Guy adventures. When the fanzine returned in 2002 Brendon was offered the opportunity to bring the cartoon back for further adventures, but, perhaps wisely, turned the offer down to focus on other things. Still, the cartoon gave readers a different look at the universe of Doctor Who and will possibly be always remembered as one of the more enjoyable parts of the early years of the fanzine.
"Cyber Guy had me laughing out loud—that caricature of Ace was brilliant. Oh, how I've ached to see that fate befall her!"
- Alistair Hughes (Letters page, RTP! #6)

Monday, 4 June 2007

Fanzines Reviewing Fanzines - RTP! #1

RTP! hasn't been blessed with many reviews, mainly because of the tiny readership and the tiny number of printed fanzines that exist these days to even review it in the first place. But it has managed to garner a handful of reviews, one of which was for the very first issue. Published in TSV #52 was the following review:

The Christchurch Chapter of the NZDWFC, under the guiding influence of Matt Kamstra and Wade Campbell, has launched its own quarterly publication to replace Telos as New Zealand's only South Island Doctor Who fanzine. Like TSV, this 32 page fanzine is A5 with a colour card cover. The artwork is by TSV regulars Garry Jackson and Graham Muir, and the content is the usual mix of reviews and short articles, for the most part written Matt and Wade. The computer printed pages are nicely laid out, although it would have benefited from proof-reading to catch some of the typos. The informal humour, aimed at members of the Christchurch Chapter which is prevalent throughout most of the issue might leave readers outside that social group feeling a little left out.

- Paul Scoones
Looking back ten years later I have to admit that Paul was extremely easy going on the first issue. 'typos'? The issue didn't even remember to number the pages and he was worried about typos! 'informal humour?' Well, the majority of the issue was written by two seventeen-year-old fans, one of whom (Matt) has repeatedly described himself as akin to fan-lite due to his lack of in-depth knowledge of the series, who relied on what they did know well—the Christchurch Chapter. But, Paul's comment does aim true nethertheless and was taken heed of for the second issue.

At this point all that can be said is a big thank you to Paul for taking the time to even review the fledgling fanzine and for all the support and guidance that he has lent it these past ten years.

So, thank you, Paul Scoones. Take a bow!

Sunday, 3 June 2007

That Difficult Second Album

As has already been noted, most fanzines don't survive to produce a second issue. RTP! did, and only two months after the first had been unleashed upon NZ fandom. Again, as with issue 1, most of the material on display from from Matt and Wade with the rest coming from basically myself and a dollop in the form of a Birdy from Graham Muir. But one other new contributor was on hand in the form of Brendon Bennetts, who provided the fanzine with one of its first cartoons — Cyber Guy. Issue 2 was a huge improvement over the previous issue, given that the pages were actually numbered which made finding something in the issue easy, and that things weren't badly spread out in strange places.

And the editorial:
Another month and another issue, and fortunately we have the benefit of hindsight. So you'll notice a few differences with this issue, namely the scaling down with the number of in-jokes. Maybe too many beers influenced that decision! But ether way, we've also increased the page count and even managed to increase the quality a bit for cripes sake! We hope you enjoy our new cartoons—the welcome return of Saucer Smith and his comrades; all new Cyber-Git, and a mini series by Alexander Ballingall, suitably entitled Pulp Who. And you can look forward to more of the same in future issues as Garry Jackson begins work on a new strip with us. This is just one of the new and exciting things to come for Reverse the Polarity!, and you can have your say next issue with our readers poll - so watch out!
As for the nasty rumors of strife and rampant insanity amongst staff, I have to say, they're all true. Pressures of exams have finally pushed us down to sub-human levels of existence. Presuming you read this before results come out we expect this to continue for some time yet! We only hope we don't sink as low as to release on RTP! Video, 'An Afternoon With Phillip J. Gray' in a desperate attempt to raise funds. Perhaps 'Davros reads his favorite Nursery Rhymes' would be more profitable? Snow White and the Seven Daleks? I don't think so.
Anyway, we hope you enjoy this issue and feel free to keep those submissions flooding in - we look forward to your correspondence ...
The next issue will be mostly edited by Wade, as Matt will be working and holidaying in Japan for most of December and January. Stand-in editor will be regular contributor Joe Ballingall.

- Matt Kamstra
The basic guff:

Published: December 1997
The Fanzine of the Christchurch Chapter of the NZDWFC
Editor: Wade Campbell, Matt Kamstra
RTP! Logo Design: Jamie Campbell
Front Cover: Alexander Ballingall [panel from Pulp Who]
Back Cover: Garry Jackson
Internal Artwork: Garry Jackson
Letters: Garry Jackson, Jeff Stone, John Williams [AKA Matt Kamstra]
Page Count: 44
Print Run: 30
Price: NZ$2

~ Contents ~
  • [01] COVER
  • [02] CONTENTS
  • [03] EDITORIAL
  • [04] UPDATE
  • [05] WHO?! on the Internet
  • [06] /full page advert/
  • [07] The BOOTCUPBOARD [Letters]
  • [09] OPINION: Where the Wades Have No Name
  • [10] REVIEW [Review of The Sea Devils]
  • [12] CARTOON: Birdy - In 'Revenge of a Handful of Cybermen!'
  • [14] /photos/
  • [15] Magic Eye Dr Who!
  • [16] OPINION: Into the Fishbow
  • [18] FICTION: Eruption
  • [19] OPINION: Doctor Who?
  • [20] REVIEWS: The Scope [Reviews of Virgin New Adventures and TSV]
  • [22] Doctor Who Bullsh*t: Graham Muir's Secret Lair!
  • [23] COMIC: Pulp Who - The Doris Situation [part 1 of 4]
  • [37] REVIEWS: Cracked Through the Covers [Reviews of BBC books and Benny books covers]
  • [38] FICTION: I, Renegade
  • [41] Fan Who - Past and Present: Matt Kamstra
  • [42] OPINION: Julian Vance Says ...
  • [43] CARTOON: Cyber Guy
  • [44] COVER

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Flashback - How I Got Where I Am Today (RTP! #1)

In many ways, RTP! was something that sort of snuck up on me ...

I have memories of the 1983 screening of Black Orchid, but became a fan with the 1985 'repeat' run. I'd joined the NZDWFC in December 1989 (getting my first issue of TSV (#17) the following January) after my not-quite-yet Step-father spotted a flyer for the club at the Christchurch Central Library, and attended a few Christchurch Chapter meetings till they came to a halt with the fall out from WhoCon 1990. I can still vividly recall the meeting that was advertised in TSV #18. After that there were a few sporradic events (such as the two-day CyberCon 1993) and then the Chapter seemed to fade away as more time passed without the series making a comeback and many fans having new priorities in life (I on the other hand would have been at least ten years younger than most attendees and the organisers).

1996 and the series returned with the US TV Movie with the Pertwee Logo. There were two Christchurch meetings set up to screen the movie in June, one organised by Andrew Poulsen (co-founder of the NZDWFC and one-time editor of TSV, and the other by Wade Campbell. While Andrew's screening was made up of mostly the older crowd of Christchurch fans, Wade's was of the younger generation that I belonged to. However I unable to attend Wade's meeting due to a prior commitment, although Wade did later recount a little of the day in his column Wade's World in Telos #15 (April 1997):
Our first meeting was primarily to screen the abomination that was the TV Movie, but I hadn't planned on Mr 'Vanished Without a Trace' Andrew Poulsen having a screening as well. It was virtually too late to cancel ours and I had put too much effort into it to help Andrew. Andrew's was the day before ours so attendance was small at 7, but most of us came back, except Gavin who we think we see now and again, but never at the Chapter event. That day, the food from Hayden [Edwards'] kitchen was drawn to at least one person's stomach who no less tried to cover up his tracks at later meetings by handing out free TARDIS Tales ... whoops! We talked, enjoyed ourselves and traded a little (does the Editor [Jonathan Park] remember the Dalek foil incident?) and even got into discussions about White Darkness, the culprit being James. The day ended with Graham clutching his video collection shouting 'NO! They're mine!'
Although I missed out on this first meeting, I was able to attend the next (dragging my friend Josh along - one of the bad guys along with Corey in the infamous video adventure we recorded). This was still 1996 and as Jonathan had yet to throw the towel in over Telos, the fanzine that became RTP! was not yet a gleam in Matt and Wade's eyes. In the same column and issue Wade recounts:
The second meeting was at Hayden's again and attendance peaked at ten [we've since managed to reach about fifteen]. This time we actually interacted with each other. Somehow Resurrection Of The Daleks over-ran by three episodes. Ask James [Gibbons] what happened - we weren't watching! I volunteered to go and get the fish and chips when Phillip J Gray brought out an episode of The Tomorrow People, allowing enought time for it finish before I got back.
My memories of that Saturday afternoon, the one at which I met Matt and Wade for the first time (I had already met Graham at other meetings in the past like CyberCon 1993), is of it raining heavily and of the dark wood of Hayden's home giving everything a slightly dark and oppressive air. Still, despite none of us knowing each other very well (apart from Graham and Phillip) we were able to settle quickly into the mayhem that is now the Christchurch Chapter. Meeting cliches, such as putting on a Doctor Who video in order to watch one episode of a story, only to get talking and suddenly find it is 90 minutes later and James has sat inches from the TV and watched the entire story while the rest of us have talked (see Resurrection Of The Daleks, Planet Of Fire, The Invasion Of Time), were quickly set.

Matt and Wade might just have had some idea that Telos was coming to an abrupt end with the issue published in April 1997, because as early as April 19th, they already had a flyer advertising the publication of issue 1 of The Scrolls of Rassilon in May of that same year. Described as being 'For Cantabrians, by Cantabrians' and 'Featuring the cream of Canterbury writers: Phillip J Gray, Graham Muir, Julian Vance', this was Matt and Wade's attempt to fill the emerging gap caused by Telos folding. That Phillip never wrote for issue 1 (or any issue for that matter!) may or may not have been a contributing factor in delaying the issue till October 1997.

That April meeting, one of the last that Jonathan attended - there is a photo of the eight of us (Graham, Phillip, Matt, Wade, James, Hayden, Jonathan, myself) standing together somewhere, was the one where Matt and Wade pitched the coming fanzine to the rest of us. I promised a couple of pieces of fiction (written back when I was in Fourth Form at High School!) and a review for the issue. Others were less comitted to contibuting. The most obvious reason for the five month delay is easily spotted when you open issue 1 and see who contributed. Beyond artwork from Graham and Queenstown resident Garry Jackson, only the Magic Eye from Jamie Campbell and my own material were not done by Matt and Wade themselves.

I do recall the creation of the distinctive cover from Graham. It was at another Chapter meeting at Hayden's and after getting the rest of us to watch episodes 1 and 2 of The Space Museum, Graham was marched to the dining room table and watched like a hawk till he'd drawn the cover art and the picture of Saucer from page 17.

Issue 1 first went on sale (a snap at $2!) at the October Chapter meeting, possibly the last meeting we ever had at Hayden's place of residence, and a couple of photos from that meeting appeared in Issue 2, page 14 (myself in the top photo, Graham in bottom one). I purchased a copy, partly to help support the fanzine (something I'd possibly come too late to help with for Telos), partly to sooth my ego and have a copy of my published material, and partly because I'd been working on something for the next issue and the fanzine had to survive for it to ever see print (I'd never considered submitting it to TSV as I didn't think it would pass the censors) ...

Friday, 1 June 2007

RTP! #25 Status Report

Welcome to the first of the new blog updates on the status of the fanzine!

The plan is to have issue 25 published no later than October in order to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the fanzine.

So far the promised (as opposed to delivered and ready to go) contents of #25 are:

• One Flew Over the Hen's Nest — Part Three! Going to the Pub!
A look back at the TARDIS Tales comic during its run in TSV issues 35~50, the highs and lows of that time and why Graham Muir brought the comic to a seemingly final end ...

• Cydonia — Book V: The Book of the Dead
The final installment of Peter Adamson's epic Ice Warrior comic as the truths Haaga has carried as a burden reach the light ...

• Zeus Plugged — (Hard Wired)
David Ronayne interviews Jonathan Park and Peter Adamson about the latest venture in the New Zealand fandom scene, the fanzine Zeus Plug and its latest online incarnation ...

• Cyberman the Kroton
From the team that brought you Spliff & Nutmeg and Ergon comes a brand new comic hero ...

• Fallen Angel
A new work of serialised fiction featuring a post-Runaway Bride Doctor making a short stop in Victorian London to pick up some pies ...

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the next issue I am currently looking for a new interview. If you think you can help, get in touch!