Editorial by Ian Shires
Let’s talk a bit about what’s next on the Hall of Fame front. So, last month, we released the 2016 Starting Point book. It is a listing of all publishers we have information about, including all the publications that we know they have published. It was a massive undertaking to bring this into a presentable state, and now that it is, the question really is, what do we do with such an incomplete and instantly out-of-date set of listings?
It is really intended to be a call to arms, to bring the publishing multiverse of people who are “Indy”—small press, self published, no corporate backing… to preserve our history by providing a place to actually focus on getting information to. I can emphatically say that, despite what I have out out here, I have only shown a fraction of the information that I actually have locked away in boxes of old publications. I have thousands more publishers and all of their books that were sent, traded, or given to me, as I grew up with the pre-internet small press. It is my intention to unlock and add in all of that info, as I get to it.
The Self Publisher Hall of Fame was first being talked about in the SPA over ten years ago. We were never able to lock down a set of things that would qualitfy a publisher to become an honoree of the HOF, and other things the SPA was doing tended to keep pushing the development onto the back burner. Today, I find that the HOF has become a much more important idea to explore and get into operational light. We have begun to see a steady string of reports of the deaths of once-important network personalities, and the number of people around who actually remember what was going on in the small press network of the 60s–90s, even into the 00s… continues to decline, as inevitable publisher fall-off and the influx of new people and fans, focus more on what is going on now.
But to have a real now, one that means something, we all should have a solid base of knowledge of what came before. To be an active member of a community, no matter how loose-knit it is, requires an inclusive, and thorough view of what it means to be “Underground”, “Indy”, or “Small Press”.
My greatest ASK, the one thing I’d like, is for anyone reading this magazine who wants to see the hobby/industry that we cover thrive in even better and greater ways than it ever has before, to simply make sure you are using what we’ve put together, and encourage creators you are follow to make sure they send us info on their material. Go to http://indyfestusa.com/archives and we’ll keep making that better.