By Chris Garcia: Team Journey Planet for 2017 were James Bacon, Michael Carroll, Vince Docherty, Chris Garcia, Jackie Kamlot, Mark Meenan, Helen Montgomery, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Steven H Silver, Hugo nomination-worthy editors, one and all!
Journey Planet received a Hugo Nomination in the Best Fanzine category, and those of you who are observant will note that the editors are listed as Team Journey Planet. As we explore new ideas, working hard to bring new angles and voices to fanzines, we expand, and this is a neater listing that the ten names of folks who did the heavy lifting to bring Journey Planet to life in 2017.
The entire concept of Journey Planet is based around a rather strange idea – someone comes to us with an idea, or James or I will come up with a weird idea, and from there we put together an issue dedicated to a theme. We need to be excited, animated, and fascinated by the idea, it really needs to capture the imagination, and we work hard to reach out to fans to engage them. We have had hundreds of fans contribute to out ‘Instant Fanzine’ section, where they answer questions for us, and through this skulduggery, we hear new and fresh fan opinions, that otherwise might be missed.
James and I always need to feel passionate, egging each other on, motivating, and encouraging, and we then rely on other editors too get us past inevitable writing blocks and problems, and we go at it, sometimes we are at the cold face, writing ourselves or soliciting hard, and other times, observing over an overall strategy for the issue.
I do layout for the zine most of the time, and our editors who aren’t James and I are usually the ones who handle the copyediting. When we started JP, with Claire Brialey was the one keeping James and I from going off the rails, the idea was for a themed zine, and as time went by, we changed our MO to the point where our other editors are a key part of the process. Without them, the thing we call Journey Planet today wouldn’t exist. Plain as that.
2017 was a great year for us, starting with Padraig O’Mealoid and Michael Carroll coming on-board for No More Heroes: A History of Irish Comics Part 2. This is a great example of the importance of the editors who come to us. They bring us the approach to individuals we’d otherwise have no touch with. Without Padraig and Michael coming on-board, the issue would never have happened. There’s a good reason why we love working with those two exceptional Irishmen: they’re amazing, they bring with them incredible connections and talent. Just look at that cover from Mike! Amazing!
Speaking of people we love working with, Hugo winner Helen Montgomery comes to us for two issues about Disney! The first one was Disney on Rails, all about the trains of Disney, perhaps the most esoteric and fascinating issue we’ve ever attempted, saw Jackie Kamlot make her JP editing debut. The issue that looks at Disney more generally, which was actually the one that Helen came to us with back in 2015, and featured so many great folks I love, and an amazing cover from Hilary Pearlman-Bliss that makes me incredibly happy.
Between our Disney excursions, multiple-time Hugo nominee Steven H Silver joined us for the first time to edit an issue I unofficially named “Programatic” where we brought some incredible stuff together from some great people. It’s about convention programming, from a few different angles. It’s an incredibly fun issue for me to go back over!
Chuck Serface, the King of Men!, joined us in celebrating Bay Area legend, and WorldCon 76 gHost of Honor, Bob Wilkins. This was an issue that celebrated Creature Features, the late night television show that brought a lot of fans to science fiction and horror fandom, and a major influence on both Chuck and I. A lot of great fun, and a return from Hugo winner Mo Starkey on the cover.
We finished the year with an exceptional issue with Vincent Docherty and Mark Meenan about 40 Years of Glasgow Conventions. Awesome stuff! Another issue where I personally knew nothing, where without the folks who came on board, the issue just doesn’t happen.
So, indeed, know that Team Journey Planet for 2017 is James Bacon, Michael Carroll, Vince Docherty, Chris Garcia, Jackie Kamlot, Mark Meenan, Helen Montgomery, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Steven H Silver!