John's Doctor Who Fanbook #8

Me in September 2002. By now there was a new fanzine This way up launched at the start of that year and this was definitely the image I wanted to convey. Again done in a photo booth as smartphones and selfies still hadn’t been invented and neither had time travel! 

The idea of `This way up` launched in 2002 was that though there would be Doctor Who content in the first few issues, it would slowly be phased out because at this point I felt there wasn’t really much more I or anyone else could say about a series that had to all intent been over for 13 years. So it was all going swimmingly until 2003 when it was announced the series was coming back. Change of plan required! This is the cover of issue 1 in its original form but it ended up as black and white on green card because it was too expensive to reproduce this properly.

Two early This way up covers. In a different approach to that of Faze I wanted clear plain covers though using images I found that I thought were interesting. The advantage of these is that they stood out in adverts etc. The images have nothing to do with what might be in the issues.

Fanzine of the month three times in SFX helped sales of early issues and we got orders from the website too.

The website changed its name twice first to Fringeworld of which this is a front page design template; very orange isn't it?! The photo wasn’t on the finished version and of course it had text on. In 2009 issues began appearing on the website –now renamed Live From Mars- in PDF form for people to download if they preferred though the paper issue was still published. After doing that for 3 issues I abandoned the paper version altogether which if course saved lots of printing costs and meant that we could be bolder with design and colour. The website lasted until July this year.

Later Doctor Who related covers produced by Richard Farrell. The return of the series changed the zine considerably because I thought the revived Doctor Who was brilliant. However I never neglected other things and TWU always covered a wide variety of topics. We even had an article on Isaac Newton once! Richard is the second of two people who helped bring a much better look to the zine and without whom it would simply not have been as good. The first was Oliver Wake who produced the zine for three years from 2004-7 and was great with ideas and feedback as well. Ollie later produced his own fanzine `Panic Moon`. 

On the left one of the last paper issues of This way up. In 2011 the zine became this very blog you’re reading now. It is obviously a more flexible format and easier to upload material as and when it’s ready rather than struggle to wrangle a complete issue every so often. I do miss paper zines so much so that Richard and I decided to co-edit the Doctor Who specific Plaything of Sutekh in 2012. 

What to say about my Doctor Who fandom journey? It’s been fun, frantic, sometimes frustrating, other times amazing. I’ve met some incredible people and laughed a lot. And I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
Happy birthday Doctor!!

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