Yesterday I received in the mail the last mailing of the mystery apa DAPA-Em. I’ve been a member since 1997. I did 66 issues, usually about 10 pages in length, over that time, while the apa itself went to 216 mailings. It’s a sad day to see the end of a fine group.
For those who may not know, an apa, short for Amateur Publishing Association, consists of a group of people who each create – on a scheduled basis – a fanzine (also called an apa-zine). This amateur publication is in hardcopy, with articles, reviews, opinions and personal tidbits. Also an important part of an apa are the mailing comments, each person’s responses and replies to the contents of the previous mailing.
Each person’s contribution is then mailed, in the required number of copies (about 35 in this case) to an Official Editor who collated all of the zines together and mails the result back out to all the members. These mailings are usually every 2 or 3 months.
DAPA-Em, as a mystery fanzine, focused on mystery fiction, old and new, in book and film. Many of the members have, over the years, been honored for their contributions to mystery fandom. The group was sometimes referred to as “the Secret Masters of Fandom”.
I spent a good part of yesterday and this morning reading about the first half of the final mailing, and it was sad to know that there would no longer be that package arriving in my mailbox every two months. I’ve learned a huge amount from the members, about books, authors, film, theater, life. I consider myself very fortunate to have been invited to join the group and been in it for about 14 years.
Goodbye, DAPA-Em, it’s been great.