Monday, 31 December 2001

Jealous Fanzine Editors

Today, my friends, I want to tell you a little story. Are we sitting comfortably? Then I will begin.

    As you know, I don't like columnists on fanzines and newsletters slagging each other off, but something happened to me today that made me write this column. A few months ago, I approached someone about writing for their fanzine, mainly because I had been writing for years and had had only a couple of things published. The editor of the piece asked to see a couple of samples of my work. I sent to him to articles - a highly emotional piece on Owen Hart, written just a week after his death, and probably the best damn thing I've ever written, and a fictional piece, where Steve Austin challenges Hulk Hogan on his return to the WWF. The editor saw these, and immediately offered me a column on his fanzine, saying he would print both pieces. Naturally, I was very pleased. It was shortly afterwards I was offered the job of assistant editor. Sadly, due to work and other commitments, I turned him down, but was able to recommend someone else for the job.I continued to write for this fanzine, and a few months later, was given a column on another fanzine, reviewing WWF pay-per-views. My writing confidence was growing. Both editors told me I was doing good work. My confidence grew even higher when the first editor, known from now on as editor A, contacted me saying that he and another fella, now known as editor B, were putting together another fanzine, and wanted me to write for this one as well. I happily agreed to do so.

    So the first issue of this new publication came out, and it was pretty damn good. My article, a short piece on Vince McMahon, got pretty good reviews from some of the readers and fellow writers.

    It was a short time later that I answered the ad for writers for The Wrasslin Analysis, and was accepted. Shortly afterwards, I got the call from Powerbomb News. I held off from them for a while because of my other commitments.
It was then that things began to go wrong writing for editor A and editor B. I told them the good news, that I was writing for TWA, and I came up with the idea that perhaps TWA could advertise in the fanzines, and vice versa. Mr. TWA said he would think about the idea. However, I heard nothing from editor A or editor B. So I began work for TWA, and I began to hype my columns in the fanzines, in the hope that I could improve the readership of all the publications. During this time, I continued to send in articles to editor A and editor B.

     But the replies dried up. Both of these editors failed to reply to me. They didn't let me if they had even read the articles I had sent them, what the thought of them (ie this is good/this is crap), or give me deadline dates or publication dates. This went on. Editor A hadn't contacted me for 4 weeks, and editor B hadn't contacted me for 8 weeks. I had no idea what was going on. I didn't even know if these fanzines even existed anymore. So I sent an email to both editors, telling them my view, saying that I couldn't see the
point in writing for their fanzines if I didn't know their fanzines were still going.

    It was then that editor A sent me a stinging email, slagging me off, and unloading all of his personal crap on me, about how shit his life was. This was, in my view, a mistake. Although this fanzine was not paying me, the relationship I had with him was merely a working one, he as editor and me as writer. By unloading all of his personal baggage on me he was doing something which is a mistake in any working environment - bringing your personal problems to work with you.

    I replied to the email saying that although I had sympathy with his problems, they didn't really concern me. I told him all I wanted to know were deadline dates, etc. He sent me an email apologising for his outburst, and said that he would like me to continue to work for both fanzines. During this time, I had begun to write for Powerbomb News, and had received an offer to write for the Daily Smackdown. I emailed editor A saying that because of all of this, I may have to either turn DSD down, or give up writing for editor A, and just write for editor B, because his fanzine was going bi-monthly or something. I said I hadn't made a firm decision either way, but would let him know soon. He said fair enough.

    Today, I heard from him again - he, along with editor B, had fired my ass, and had not given me a reason. While I am grateful to editor A for giving me a platform to air my views, was it really right for them to fire me when all I wanted was to know when the fanzines were coming out, and when they wanted my articles in by? You be the judge of this. I'm not into this slagging people off in newsletters thing, but this has really annoyed me. These two little pricks virtually begged me to write for them, telling me how brilliant I was. I hyped their fanzines in my articles here. I give them news, rumours, and offered to help them with advertising. And this is how they treat me? Sad as it might sound, if they offered me the chance, I'd probably right for them again. They have talent.

    But I have to ask myself - is it really worth it? I will continuer to write for TWA and Powerbomb, and may take DSD up on their offer. You email people will still hear from me. On that you have my word. I like to think that I am providing all of you with some form of entertainment. I would like to thank all the email editors for giving me the platform to air my views. And I look forward to getting some feedback from all of you.