What IS Gallery?

Gallery is a cross between an APA and a Fanzine.

Hmmm, that probably doesn't tell you a lot, so let me lay down some general terms.

The term Fanzine comes to us from science fiction fandom. Long before the net, before BBSes, hell, long before computers, fans kept in touch via Snail Mail <gasp!>. They produced their own newsletters collecting stories, essays, personal ancedotes, and responses to letters. The result was a lot like the SF magazines of the day, so the term Fan Magazine was shortened to Fanzine, and later to 'zine to describe these creations.

APA stands for Amateur Press Association. Fanzines were almost always the creation of one person, written, printed (usually on hand-cranked Mimmeograph machines), and distributed by that one person. Eventually, fanzine creators banded together and formed Amateur Press Associations. The way it worked was that each Fanzine producer would send enough copies of his 'zine to the OE, or Organizing Editor to have one for every member, along with some money for postage. The OE would collate all the 'zines and send them out to all the members in a big, fat package. It was a great way to keep a lot of people in touch without all the duplication of effort. APA contributions, or 'tribs also became a little more stripped-down over time (Some stick to the term 'zine instead of 'trib, and some even call them APA'zines, which confuses people, especially when I apply the term to Gallery. More on that below).

The term fanzine has mutated a bit over time, and often "Fan Magazines" are produced by a number of people who are, say, fans of a particular TV show, or Horror genre. They are no longer necessarily one person's voice. And some of them have become quite slick, to the point of rivalling professional publications.

One last bit of history. When I was first getting started in this fandom, there were two legendary cartoonist APAs, Rowrbrazzle and its predecessor, Vootie. I had heard about these, but never acutally seen them. Being APAs, they were only available to members, and the waiting list to join 'Brazzle was estimated at 3 years long (aside from the fact that I can't draw a lick). While I hadn't seen the APAs themselves, I had seen some of the amazing talents and creations that came out of them. Reed Waller, the creator of Omaha the Cat Dancer was one of the founders (and some say the destroyer) of Vootie. Stan Sakai, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo is still a member of 'Brazzle. There were many others.

So, since I couldn't draw, and it would take forever to get to where I could see these wonderful creations and this beautiful artwork, I decided to start my own. And since I felt shut out of the great APAs, I decided to make it open to subscribers. I created the first APA that paid royalties. Since I knew nobody knew who I was, I set up the rules so that I did not stand to make a profit, figuring that would make me look more trustworthy (a standard I have worked hard to uphold). I created a set of rules that have become a model for other APA/'zines, rules which helped keep the friendly atmosphere of give and take from an APA in a publically accessible fanzine. That was in the fall of 1989.

It was Matt High, of Antarctic Press who coined the term APA/'zine as it applies to a publication like Gallery.

So, what is Gallery already?

Okay, all that aside, Gallery is an APA/'zine for cartoonists and illustrators. A significant proportion of the contents are anthropomorphic, but more and more, I've been finding artists with a broader area of interest.

Physically, it's 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches tall. Current issues tend to be between 200 and 300 pages with 25-32 artists contributing. It's printed (Xerographically) on 20# bond with 60# cardstock covers, and bound with heavy-duty staples, flattened and covered with black masking tape. (Another innovation that's taking over the 'zine format. No more 19 hole punches! Just don't forget to flatten the staples or else they'll catch on things.)

I bet you'll use your back button instead of clicking here.