Friday, April 6, 2012

ZX wins an award.

At this year's Comicdom Con, ZX was nominated for 'Best Fanzine'. You can see a video of the whole ceremony below. I'm the awkward person taking the award at around 8-9 minutes in and saying not very much to the microphone ("thank you very much" for you foreign barbarians). A few more thoughts after the video/jump.

The category was "Best Fanzine". In Greece, the term 'fanzine' is misused. What the term really means is a small (but not necessarily) print run publication, usually periodical (as in, there are more than one issues and they come out incrementally) whose subject is an examination of culture; Say, if I were a big fan of a football club (like AEK, or Olympiacos) and I put out 'Olympiacos Monthly' on a shoestring budget, that could classify as a fan-zine. Usually fanzines are about underground music, though. Most often punk and indie, and that's where we got the term from, as in Greece there is a tradition for the usual xerox'ed anarchopunk fanzine as there is all around the world.

Comics were gradually introduced in fanzine pages, and slowly comics-only fanzines started coming out. Again, it is valid to call something a fanzine if it's comics-only, but the comics in it deal with an item of culture. If let's say I were to put out a small run comic full of my own Superman stories, that's indeed a fanzine.

But ZX is not a fanzine in this respect. It is a privately funded small print comic book. I am not complaining or anything, in fact I am very grateful for the recognition. Just saying, for the future, the Greek scene should stop calling small press comics fanzines. Many 'proper' comics are small press as well. If the distinction is an economic one, then 'small press' is the proper term. If the distinction is a cultural one (subject matter and point of view related) then though I understand using 'fanzine' for historical reasons, there should be steps taken to use clearer terminology in the future. Self-published is a useful term.

There will be other, pertinent news in the next few weeks. This blog might be coming out of its hiatus soon.

All the best to you, readers. If there's any of you left.


ptoing said...

Congrats :)

Markus Rosse said...

Great to hear some news from you and ZX. Congratulations on getting an award.
Is this award a chance to spread ZX even more, like international?
Or does "best fanzine-award" mean: "We apprecate your effort, but we won't help you in any way to get your work known to more readers"?

I'm looking forward to your news.

Con Chrisoulis said...

Καταρχήν κονγκράτς Χελμ!
Να πεταξω κ εγώ το λιθαράκι μου...
Σχετικά με τον όρο fanzine είχα αρθρογραφήσει κ μιλήσει στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Αιγαίου το 2002(?!)
Σχετικό παλαιό άρθρο της εποχής:
Επέμενα στον όρο underground comic τότε, αλλά κ τον όρο small press τον αναφέρω *(καταλαβαίνω πια ότι το "underground comic" είναι ταυτισμένο με την ανεξάρτητη Αμερικάνικη σκηνή κόμικς του '60-'70, αλλά κ πάλι σαν επίθετο είναι πιο δόκιμο από το fanzine..)
Δεν ξέρω αν θυμάσαι αλλά διαφώνησαν πολλοί κ τότε (στο φόρουμ) για συνειδητή προσπάθεια χρήσης του άλλου όρου, γιατί η συνήθεια δύσκολα αλλάζει...
Στην Αυστραλία που μεγάλωσα κ αυτοεξέδιδα ήταν πάντα small press κ στην Αγγλία που είμαι τώρα πάλι small press τα λένε..
Το fanzine είναι καπρίτσιο που δεν λέμε να ξεκολλήσει από τους Έλληνες (που έχουν κ παραδόξως σχεδόν παρανοϊκή εμμονή με την ετυμολογία-- έχω δει κόσμο να χτυπιέται σα χταπόδι αν δεν τονίσεις σωστά απαρέμφατο ή αν μπεις στα χωράφια αποκωδικοποίησης 'ζεστών΄όρων όπως είναι η λέξη Μακεδνός)!
Το φανζίν κατάντησε κάτι σαν την άκυρη χρήση της λέξης σάντουιτς (μια παντόφλα πατιμομένου καυτού ψωμιού με διάφορα λαχανοκρέατα μέσα) ή την πίτα με καλαμάκι.. ότι νά'ναι δηλαδή ή αλλιώς "ωχ αδερφέ, αυτό σε πείραξε τώρα"!
Αφού το Κόμικντομ έχει βραβείο ονόματι 'Fan Award' ("ξενικό" δηλαδή) νομίζω ότι μπορούν να μετονομάσουν κ το καινούργιο βραβείο από Φανζίν σε 'Small Press' ή το πιο δόκιμο Αυτοέκδοση ή Small Print, αφού η φωτοτυπία δεν έχει να κάνει πια με press (τυπογραφείο), ούτε η ψηφιακή έκδοση περιορισμένων αντιτύπων (συμφέρει κανένα "φανζινά" σήμερα να πάει τυπογραφείο για 200-300 κομμάτια; )
Αυτά! :)

Helm said...

Sven: thank you :)

Marcus: thank you. The award does not come with any strings attached? Why/how would a trade show help me put the comic out internationally? It's a - very much appreciated - pat on the back. If I want ZX to reach an international audience, I have to get off of my ass and do it myself.

And I might.

Con: είναι όπως τα λες, και όπως τα έλεγες και τότε σε αυτό το ζήτημα, ναι.

Markus Rosse said...

Sorry if I offended you. My guess was that this Con could see itself as a cultural institution which wants to spread the greek comic-culture more, be it in the country itself or even abroad. If most of the fanzine-authors are smallprint out of necessity and not because of their own decision, then one of the goals of this Con could be to support these authors by out giving publishing-contracts or funds to reach a wider audience.

If this sounds rude, I apologize again.

In any case, I'm looking forward to hear more of you and your work.

Helm said...

In no way are you rude. It's just not how things work, though. There isn't a lot of money in publishing comics in Greece. Most people, published by any size of publishing house in Greece, do not see a lot of profit for their work at the end of it. The difference between small press and big press is mostly in the capacities of the latter to spread your work to more people and across Greece (in the abstract, that is. In practice, a different deal).

Erenan said...

Congratulations! I'm glad to see that ZX was honored, as puzzling as the category is to me. Your explanation is much appreciated.

By the way, I check for updates to this blog every day, though not by actually coming to the site, so if there are others like me, your number of hits may not exactly reflect the level of interest.

Helm said...

It's hilarious, for everyone foreign that has read and talked to me about the award, they're all puzzled about what fanzines have to do with anything? The resulting discussion on facebook with greek proponents of the scene has been the opposite, why change a word that we've used for so long (wrongly)?

Erenan said...

I'm curious now. Is the word the same in Greek? That is, is it still "fanzine," presumably spelled with Greek letters, or is there a Greek word that translates as "fanzine"?

Helm said...

Same word.

Tom Busler said...

:: Still following the blog, and thrilled for you upon reading this news. The category of recognition doesn't seem to be as important as the recognition itself. Here's to continued success and personal satisfaction in your work.


St. Louis, MO, USA

Helm said...

Thank you, Tom. You are correct.

Mechabarbarian said...

Fanzine is used by comics people to mean indie published comic book here in Sweden too. Congrats on the recognition!

Helm said...

Thank you!

Sergio said...

Hooray, an update! I'd been patiently waiting for one for quite a while.

Congratulations on your award. I hope your pertinent news is to do with publication of ZX in English!

Alex_P said...

Congratulations, Helm. When you publish an English version of ZX, I'll be among the first to preorder it. I've been a fan of your comics since I've discovered your site, and it's definitely nice to see you getting some recognition.

Nekromantis said...

Congratulations! I was puzzled about the category as well so thanks for explaining it.