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Ah! The seventies! Postage was cheap and so were ditto reproduction machines and supplies. Fanzines were everywhere. Sometimes you didn't even have to pay for them - the people who produced them were so eager to get them into the hands of readers that they often sent them round like junk mail. Except they weren't junk, at least to those of us who read and enjoyed them. I was one of those.....couldn't get enough of them and bought or traded for every one I could find. In time I wanted to try producing my own zine, too, but it took me quite awhile before I came up with a format for one that suited me. That was how POTBOILER was born.
It is extemely difficult for a beginning publisher to attract enough material to fill the pages of a new zine. It often takes months if not years to get word round before contributions begin to come in from aspiring writers and artists. Having said that, some zine publishers never solicit contributions from others - they produce, publish and mail out everything themselves, perhaps with the help of a few friends. I wanted POTBOILER to be something different. I wanted the best printing and layout/graphics I could manage; the very best writers, stories, illustrations, comics, etc. I knew that was never going to come from within me - I enjoyed writing and drawing (still do) but I had no illusions about the quality of my work.....my own stuff wasn't good enough for POTBOILER, or at least what I wanted POTBOILER to be. Call me a tough editor if you like!
Having said that, I was forced to use some of my own work in the first couple or three issues; there just wasn't enough material to do the job. So I used a pseudonym because I didn't want potential contributors to think they had to compete with the editor to get into the magazine. By the time issue #4 came around I was able to stop drawing (no pun intended) from my own reserves. There was more material coming in 'over the transom' (as they say) than I could deal with.....an embarassment of riches! So many talented people were contributors to POTBOILER that I'm not going to try list them here in a mere introductory paragraph. Look below for a link to that page (or click here).
There was a 300 copy print run of every issue of PB except #11 which was printed but only a half dozen dummy/galley copies went out to contributors for proofreading.It's been fifteen years since the last issue of POTBOILER was slipped into an envelope and sent off to the readers. Why now this page? Partly cause I felt like it; partly because I've been asked by others to set down some memories of those days. Partly because a certain amount of interest has arisen in 'vintage' zines. Go figure! With any luck a few of the old contributors will show up here or on the Lulu page from time to time. And just like in the good old days they'll have the freedom to do and say whatever they want. For now I'll just put the old covers below so you can see what they were like. Click on the covers to see a larger image.


a few POTBOILER contributors can be found here

an index to the contents of each issue can be found here on Jason Sack's Ultrazine site

Background illutration by Kurt Reichel, a prolific POTBOILER contributer.