Tag Archives: Hall of Fame

98 Hall of Fame Update


By Ian Shires

I have been struggling with getting things positioned the way they need to be to solidify the whole SPA/HOF thing. By this time, I wanted to have a monthly awards system to help us build a start-of-year nomination pathway for HOF Induction. And I just haven’t been able to build the system. Not for lack of availability of software—that I have. It’s been lack of time to do the work. That lack of time has been due to a number of things, but really, I have no excuse.
Since last issue, I have contacted the local school system with questions and ideas about building an intern program for students interested in learning any and all aspects of publishing. We’ll see what pans out with that. The thing that takes me the longest right now is layouts, I have to find a way to get out from under that and still keep the magazine running smoothly month in month out.

I have come into contact with a local printer who prints everything from banners, to car decorations, to apparel and other swag. The also do pamphlets and brochures, so I am talking to them about the potential of POD comics. With that, Indyfest would be able to offer a lot of things. So, it’s about equipment and numbers right now; we’ll see how that pans out as well.
Meanwhile, I have also started talking to Jon Miller from Outpouring Comics, who is also developing a distribution branch. Now, you all know I have been talking to King Chan about this for a while, and I don’t plan to dump one guy for another, or in any way put one person’s efforts over another’s. Indyfest—I feel—is designed to be big enough to work with any and all systems and thus, having good, solid relationships with any and all avenues working to put Indy stuff in stores is prudent.

It struck me the other day that maybe it’s time to drop the “Self Publisher Association” from the mix. As in, do we really need an SPA and an INDYFEST NETWORK? Can the SPA just absorb forward, and be more focused that way?

I pose these as questions, because I have not made up my mind yet, nor really talked to anyone else about it. Even Ellen, who will be the first to read this when I turn it over for editing, hasn’t heard about this, because I am thinking out loud here.

Evolving with the times and being on the cutting edge of bringing change are two separate things. One is reactionary, while the other requires trying new things to see if they work. I have, on many occasions, been on that cutting edge and most of the time, all I got for the effort was getting cut to ribbons. I cannot guarantee that it won’t happen again. However, as I said last issue, waiting any longer is no good; accepting defeat is no good; only going back into an active development phase will bring forth the publishing world we want. And I can’t and don’t want to do this alone.

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94 Hall of Fame Update


April 2016 Update by Ian Shires

So, I wanted to take a moment and address what we need to do to make the Starting Point a big deal for 2017. This year, at the SPACE show (which is just a few weeks away as I write this), I will be presenting the very first official Inductee to the Hall of Fame. This person was only voted on by myself and a few advisors whom I consulted with the idea of doing it. We don’t have official guidelines and the data I presented in the Starting Point book is very much a structure I put in place on my own.

This isn’t exactly how I envision the Hall of Fame operating moving forward. What we need is a panel of people interested in preserving and honoring the history of small press. We need this panel to vote on official guidelines, and then we need to set up so eligible publishers can then be voted on by the general membership of the Self Publisher Association. That is paramount to really making this mean something.

I continue to struggle with the disparity between people saying this is a great idea, a needed thing, and something they love to see happening…and the amount of actual volunteer activity that has helped make it happen. As in, I did everything with no help, even though I continue to beg and plead for more people to help. I understand that this type of Hall of Fame does not have any sort of operational budget. We’re going to be struggling to get the recognition and support it needs, but I cannot stress enough, that I can’t do this by myself. That if everyone is waiting for me to build this, the wait is going to get longer and longer.

One of the things I am going to try to accomplish is the creation of some basic pages to present the HOF online. So far, I have not had time to build that. In the meantime, we need publishers to fill in the information needed to have a solid record of who did what when. It costs nothing to care enough to fill out a form so that we have the information needed to create a historical record of your work. All you have to do is go to a web page…


Spreading the word and talking about the effort costs nothing but a little time. If you have any interest in seeing this work continue, your speaking up and speaking about it, really will help.
Look, I don’t want to put this on the back burner again. I did that when Small Press Idol took off and I had to shift my focus. We dropped the Small Press Trading Cards, we stopped doing calendars… All of those things can be brought back, but we need to work together as a group to do so. Do what you can…but do something. We can build something significant if we try. But we have to get talking first as well.

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93 Hall of Fame


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.
DPS-HOF16-SP     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 https://indyfestusa.com/archives and we’ll keep making that better.



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