Forward… Into The Past, by Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, and on iNetRadio, (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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21 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    I got introduced to APAe by John Boardman, grand old man of New York Fandom and inventor of Play-by-Mail Diplomacy. Back in the day I was in at least 7 at one time, including submitting waitlist-zines to Capa-Alpha, the seminal comics APA. I ran THWACK! the comics APA, for whose personal fanzine "One thin dime an' two thick pennies" I got a couple pretty good interviews, incliding Mr Gold for the just released Impact line of comics, and a Jim Shooter piece that's still getting reprinted across the web.I started out on typewriter (where I'd paste the titles and illos on the pages BEFORE I started, and as I went I just typed around the stuff pasted on), moved to computers quickly (including writing a rudimentary word processor program for the mainframe I was working on, so I could type and print my copies out on the wide-carriage line-printer at work) and when stuff like PageMaker came along, well, the sky was the limit.Capa Alpha regularly showed up in a small carton, and NY fan Neil Belsky once wrote a filk called "30,000 pounds of LasFAPA", which was easily larger than that, and came out WEEKLY.My wife is STILL in the film APA, CAPRA, still participates in the writers group APA she founded, First Draft (which has now gone electronic) and another online writer's APA, Link.A great deal of the internet acronyms and shorthand are carryovers from APA-speak. HHOK and ROFL are old terms, and even the way people quote things in emails and BBS comments by indenting and adding >>> marks is decades old. It's a shame "NSAIRMI" never caught on.One of the advantages of the internet is that anyone can reach millions of people with a minimum of fuss. One of the disadvantages of the internet…is that anyone can reach millions of people with a minimum of fuss. Just because you CAN say whatever you like doesn't mean you SHOULD, or that it's good enough to warrant the miniscule time taken to do so. Back in the day, making into the letter column was a big deal, because it meant the editor thought your opinions were worth sharing. Nowadays everybody posts their opinons with no filter. I can't say that's a bad thing, but I can think of a few things that I've read on the internet that I could have happily gone through the rest of my life never hearing.

  2. Rick Taylor says:

    Somewhere in my basement I have an 'Elfquest' first printing that someone franked through APA-5.

  3. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    Alas my generation does not have the capacity to accept the 'zine into our bloggospheres. The hands on approach, and "considered" banter between friends is something my generation might not be able to handle. Being born into an age of anonymous power to b*tch-piss-n-moan about anything and everything… having to actually stop and consider our words would be a challenge. Even the good ole' days of having a letters page in the back of our comics is long gone. Thanks to the internet, we use up the back pages of our books with ads for next months books (which we already read the solicits on, and blogged about, duh). Happy Birthday Mike. May your generation continue to show my generation the right way to respect this industry.

  4. R. Maheras says:

    Thanks to friend, collaborator and fellow Chicago fan artist, the late Alan "Jim" Hanley, I've been a huge fan of fanzines, and later APAs, since about 1973. A bit of a maverick, I didn't join any formal organization until 1987 when I joined the United Fanzine Organization. The UFO's monthly co-op 'zine, "Tetragrammaton Fragments," was alot like an APA in that it was published every month and consisted of required pages supplied by the membership. The regular schedule allowed for back-and-forth banter ala an APA. The big difference was that the chaiman of the UFO was more than just a "central mailer" — he or she was actully an editor — assembling the pages, preparing the reductions and layout, and printing the 25 or so side-saddled monthly issues. And the dues, rather than just covering postage (as is the case with most APAs), also covered the cost of printing the 'zine. In addition, co-op members were required to publish their own personal 'zines once a year, and, as part of membership, were required to mail sample copies to each member so each 'zine could be formally voted on. And believe me, if your 'zine sucked, you got feedback to that effect. I left the UFO in 1991 because I just could not continue to meet the annual 'zine publishing requirements.I applied for membership in CAPA-alpha (K-a, for short) in 1989 at the invitation of Joel Thingvall, and after a 17-month waitlist period, I was admitted as a member. I was part of K-a for more than 11 years, but after personal and professional demands got in the way, I "GAFIAted" (Got Away From It All) in 2002.In 2003, I got the APA itch agin, so I joined the APA "Cartoon Loonacy" — an APA of cartoonists created about 15 years ago by George Erling. I'm still a member, and its current central mailer is Jim Siergey.Even in this era of the Internet, there's nothing quite like holding a copy of a current APA mailing in your hand, sitting down in an easy chair, and reading it the old-fashioned way. And, as you point out, Mike, the friendships one makes in the process are sometimes lasting and priceless.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Indeed.Every time DC does a Shazam revival, I think of Alan Jim Hanley… teacher, part-time actor (he was in The Sting) and first-rate fan artist. That Green heroes parody he did should be reprinted (therefore, I should drop Bill Schelly a note). He came out of the era of fandom that gave us guys like Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Bernie Wrightson (but he didn't have that second "e" back then), and Grass Green.

      • Rick Taylor says:

        A million years ago he did a sketch for me ata Chicago Con. Still have it.

      • R. Maheras says:

        Yeah. The sad thing is Hanley passed away at the tail end of 1980, just before the boom in comics shops and independent publishers, followed a few years later by the black and white comics boom. I think Hanley would have thrived during the 1980s and been one busy cartoonist.Oh, yeah… happy birthday, Mike!

      • MARK WHEATLEY says:

        And Alan Jim Hanley did the first chapter of my FANDOM STRANGER comic. I did not know he was in THE STING – what part or just an extra? BTW – the next chapter of FANDOM STRANGER was done by Bob Smith. And both chapters appeared in my own fanzine; NUCLEUS, along with early work by Howard Chaykin, John Workman, Dave Cockrum, Marc Hempel, Berni Wrightson, Jeff Jones and plenty of other talented people who were all quite a bit better at comic art than I was. But I was just a kid! And I'm not sure I have ever had more fun publishing than I did when I was publishing NUCLEUS.

        • Mike Gold says:

          An extra — the scene shot in the Union Station waiting room (the same location later used in the Untouchables movie).

    • R. Maheras says:

      Aaaaughhhhh! I'm losing my mind! I just re-read my post, and Jim Siergey isn't the central mailer of "Cartoon Loonacy," Brian Buniak is! Sometimes I just write stuff a tad too fast for my own good. Jim is a member and regular contributor, but Brian is the main man (If you ever see this, sorry BB!)

  5. Richard Pachter says:

    Actually, Mike, we met before then, when you were at DC the first time. We corresponded and chatted by phone, and finally met through the good offices of Harry Broertjes at ChicagoCon in the early eighties (I think. Unless it was a retcon, a dream, a hoax or an imaginary story. Aren't they all?)Happy Birthday!

  6. Tony Isabella says:

    Happy birthday, ya old fart! I want to be just like you when I grow up. Except maybe with more hair.

  7. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    Hell Mike – you actually get older? I thought that was why you had that portrait in your basement. Now I learn it was just some illustration for a fanzine? Damn. What a missed opportunity.I hate to admit it – but for over 10 years and just until this year I was very active in an Edgar Rice Burroughs APA, The National Capital Panthans Journal. I was doing about 6 covers a year and an occasional bit of writing. But with all my current commitments I've had to drop back to just two covers a year. And even that is hard to keep up with. The part that is easier is being able to print this stuff right here in the studio on our nice ink jet printer. Progress.

  8. Brian Alvey says:

    Happy birthday, Mike!In honor of this special day, I asked Google to explain Brainiac on Banjo. It actually was Clapton playing a ukulele.Fun reading. Thanks. ;-)

    • Russ Rogers says:

      Woohoo! Another Bonzo Dog Band reference! Regular ComicMix reader and commenter Lord Snooty will be tap dancing with pleasure! Happy Birthday! And Rock ON!

    • Rick Oliver says:

      Adolf Hitler on vibes, and Count Basie and his orchestra on triangle. (From memory. Maybe I got it wrong.)

      • Mike Gold says:

        You've got it.What we're talking about is "The Intro and the Outro" by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band, from their first (and best) album, Gorilla. That's the disc with the original tune "Death Cab For Cutie," which later inspired the band of the same name."Someone's going to make you pay your fare."

        • Rick Oliver says:

          We'll have to agree to disagrees on the best Bonzo album. My vote goes to Urban Spaceman (Tadpoles in the UK). I also have a soft spot for Let's Make Up and Be Friendly.

  9. Elayne Riggs says:

    Happy birthday, Mike! I too am an old apahack veteran; in fact, I think Vinnie and Dorian first got me into apas, but I'm not certain.