An Ending of Something Great

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.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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8 Responses to An Ending of Something Great

  1. I have similar thoughts and feelings about DAPA-EM, Rick. It was part of my life for 35 years. Like you, I looked forward to that jetpack of delicious fanzines every other month. And now it’s gone.

  2. Evan Lewis says:

    Jeez, even though I dropped out 27 years ago, it feels like the universe is out of kilter.

  3. Richard says:

    Yes, and yes. Honestly, I don’t think the reality has sunk in, though I’ve had all this time to get it into my head. Usually when the mailing comes, I take a wide-tip felt highlighter pen and mark things that I want to make a Mailing Comment on. Then later, when I sit down to do those MCs, usually about three weeks prior to deadline, I skim through looking for the highlighted items and type the comments. This time… no highlighter. It just feels wrong. Also, by this time I would have begun the file for the next issue of The Perp. I’ll try to move some of the content to this blog, but it’s not the same.

  4. Todd Mason says:

    There’s a certain joy in shaping it On the (non-virtual) Page, that just probably is keyed into being a paper-product-reading dinosaur such as myself (I’ve only been in two APAs in my life, and only briefly in both cases, but nonetheless…I’ve certainly helped produce or on my own produced enough other publications).

    Sorry, folks. How long did DAPA-EM run?

  5. Art Scott says:

    Answering Todd’s question, the 1st mailing of DAPA-EM was dated December, 1973, this last one January, 2011. 37 years, 1 month, 216 mailings.

  6. 37 years and 1 month of sheer fun and wonderment, Todd.

  7. Richard says:

    Thanks, Art. One thing, Todd I notice is that there are a LOT of things I can do on the printed page that I can’t do in the WordPress blog, one being tables. Yes, I could learn HTML and type the whole thing out, but with Word I just create a table and off I go. Now, if I want such a thing I’ll have to create it in Word and then capture it and insert it as an image.

  8. Richard says:

    Yes, a wonderful run. I certainly enjoyed my 14 years of it.

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