July 10, 2012

One Response to “Place Setter”

  1. David Butterfield says:

    Some explanations might be in order. I have been a member of an APA called “Cartoon Loonacy” for many years. “APA” is an acronym for “Amateur Press Association.” There are many APAs in existence, each one focusing on a particular topic. “Cartoon Loonacy” is an APA for fans and creators of cartoon drawings and other related topics.

    OK, so how does an APA work? All of the APAs I’ve been involved with have functioned in the same way. There are fixed deadlines every year, usually quarterly. Each member assembles their own “magazine” of photocopied pages and sends them to a central mailer. The mailer collates all the contributions, staples them together, and mails the amassed results back to all the APA members. Then each member squeals with delight upon receiving their very own copy of a magazine devoted to stuff they really really like. It’s fun, cheap and incredibly time consuming, especially for the central mailer. Here’s to the central mailers of the world!

    One could make a case that I’m violating some unspoken rule by posting my APA contribution on this site, but I think I dodged it by a hair. An APA functions as a sort of private club, where one can show work and make comments that you can be reasonably assured will not available to the general public. This can make for some great freewheeling discussions, and allows one freedom to be a total maroon. (This comes in handy for a lot of us.) Anyway, I didn’t post other member’s stuff… mostly. There was that faux jam page I call “Big 6″, but all the drawing were repurposed from other pages and everybody was properly credited on the piece. I don’t know. Some Surly Folks may make an issue of it, but I ain’t a-scared. I’ll take ‘em on. And I’ll never do it again, if that’s the way you feel about it. Honest.

    The idea of an APA is becoming rather quaint as the years pass. A large part of the sharing aspect has become eclipsed by the internet. I can show the same material to a much larger audience at no great cost. APAs, as I said before, are relatively cheap, but there are dues to cover club costs, the price of reproducing the pages (sometimes in color), the time spent collating each issue before sending it to the central mailer, and finally the huge postage you have to pay because you’ve massively missed the deadline and the package has to go overnight.

    Still the APA has it’s own special value. It’s a unique object. It has a very limited distribution. It’s personal and club-like. One can hobnob with the elite, as there are often well-known individuals associated with the group, and it’s definitely honed to your personal interests. It’s fun, and I have been doing it in several different APAs for a very long time.

    If any of this sounds appealing, there is an opportunity here. All long-running APAs have their regular long-term members, but there are often membership turnovers that result in positions becoming available. Sample copies can be usually obtained, and new like-minded folks can be added to the mix. If you’re interested in cartooning as a way fun thing to do, I can pass your contact information on to Loonacy’s central mailing team and we can get that ball rollin. Let me know and I’ll see if I can help you out. If not, please come back to Very Mint every day to see the most eclectic group of comic artists in the Midwest. and the east. and I think there’s one down south. but mostly midwest. west coast, too. All over the place.

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