Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Last DAPA-EM


Yes, DAPA-EM is defunct. The final mailing, No. 216, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. It was a complimentary copy, as I have been an ex-member since 1984, after spending four years in the ranks. That's me, second from left, attending the wake above.

DAPA-EM, which stands for Elementary, My Dear Amateur Press Association, was an amazing thing: A group of stalwarts so dedicated to mystery fandom that six times a year they would print up their own fanzines and send multiple copies to editor Art Scott, who would bind them together and mail the whole shebang back to all concerned. You might think of it as a forerunner of blogging. Someone once described DAPA-EM as "a cross between a religion and a disease," and I can't disagree. All of this began in the mid-seventies, and rolled on until this very moment. Over the years, 126 members have come and gone (or not). You would no doubt find many of those names familiar, because they're some of the movers and shakers of the mystery world.

Art Scott kindly invited me to contribute a couple of pages to the final mailing, prompting me to dig deep into my files. I found some stuff I still find interesting, including a horrible short story called "A Bullet for Bouchercon," and will be posting it on the Almanack soon.

For now, I present a few of the covers I put together way back when. This was the Stone Age of personal computing, of course, so I was working with press-on letters, a xerox machine, scissors and rubber cement. WARNING: Rated R for Adult Situations and Partial Nudity. Hotcha! 





10 comments:

Cap'n Bob said...

I got mine today. Been a member since 1979 and I think I've only missed one mailing. It will be missed.

Deka Black said...

Fun covers!

Bill Crider said...

Don't have mine yet. What a treat to see "Spicy Alligator Stories" again!

Charles Gramlich said...

I was a member of one of these kinds of apas for many years, REHupa. I stopped last year just because I had so much going on in my life. I will probably eventually re-up. It's still going.

George said...

Loved your zine while you were a member of DAPA-EM! And those great covers!

Evan Lewis said...

Thanks, George. I was an admirer of yours as well.

I was always tempted by the call of REHupa. But Cap'n Bob shanghaied me into the western apa OWLHOOT some years back, and my apa energy has been accounted for since.

R L Kelstrom said...

Pretty cool stuff for the Stone Age.

Richard R. said...

Ah, a sad day indeed. I posted on it too, but it's hard to know what to say when something wonderful just stops.

Anonymous said...

Great seeing those covers again. I must admit my all-time favorite cover was Ron Harris's of Ellen Nehr.

Jeff M. (member since 1977)

Roy Bobbin Hovey said...

Brilliant post Evan. I think the good looking guy on the end of row 3 in the Dancing Men cover wrote "Just Around the Coroner" for some years, then disappeared off the face of the earth. But alas, I'm still around, looking back fondly on those APA days. Cheers all DAPA-EMers from all times.
Roy Bobbin Hovey