Fanzines have of course been around since fandom began and are a mainstay of our genre culture. Some are good, some are inevitably not. The quality of writing and presentation in them varies dramatically.
However, there is one such publication that is absolutely outstanding in both writing and presentation. Catering to Doctor Who fans, the magazine is titled Vworp Vworp! and is now in its third issue.
Published on an irregular schedule – this issue was five years in the making, Vworp Vworp! is a huge slab of a magazine, 200 densely packed pages on high grade paper (we’ll resist the temptation to pun that it’s larger on the inside to accommodate the content) – which costs a hefty £10. But don’t let the cover price fool you. It’s actually worth every single penny and takes a long time to even browse through, much less read from cover to cover. For that, set aside an entire weekend – you’ll need it.
The issue contains a twenty six page article on Alan Moore, containing four separate interviews with the comic book writing legend, covering every aspect of his career, with a revealing glimpse of a Doctor Who story he would like to write.
The bulk of the issue though is devoted to The Daleks. Not, as one might expect, yet another dreary rundown of the greatest Dalek stories shown on TV – but a fascinating in-depth history of their history in comics, from those much-loved strips on the back page of TV21 in the sixties to later incarnations in the Doctor Who Magazine. Artist and writer profiles and interviews here give a rare insight into how The Daleks had a full and rich history outside their run-ins with a renegade time lord. As the TV21 strip ended with the Daleks discovering Earth and plotting their invasion, among the reprinted strips here are a follow-up, post the invasion.
Many of us who are of a certain age will certainly wallow in the nostalgia as the Dalek annuals produced in the mid sixties at the height of Dalekmania are also covered, along with other items of early Dalek memorabilia. The Dalek coverage concludes with an extensive look at the Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer strip.
An added bonus is a free cover mounted CD, which contains an adaptation of one of the comic strips from The Dalek World (1966) in a Big Finish style dramatisation featuring the voice of David Graham as the Dalek Emperor.
With an ongoing series of profiles of the Doctor Who Magazine editors and a look at the Target series of novelisations from the seventies included – this is a well written and superbly packaged Doctor Who extravaganza.
VWORP VWORP! VOLUME 3 / WRITERS & ARTISTS: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: VWORP VWORP! / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW