Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Robotech Fanzine: Protoculture Addicts

by Nathan Stout

I would have to say that my most prized Robotech possession is not a Robotech toy, a comic, or a DVD. My most prized Robotech possession are issues 1 - 10 of Protoculture Addicts.

Now for those of you who don't know what the heck Robotech is, here is a brief history: Robotech is a cartoon from the early eighties. It was actually from Japan and was transported to the states with some rewriting and reediting of the animation footage. With that said there was tons of merchandise (toys, books, etc) and one of those was a magazine called Protoculture Addicts which ran (issues 1-10) from the VERY late 80's through early 90's.

Protoculture Addicts was a fanzine (for those of you who don't know) produced solely about Robotech (for its 1st 10 issues). It was started in the latter part of the 80's into the early 90's (and still runs today).

These were the days when Anime was still called 'Japanimation'. This is when you still used BBS (bulletin board systems) to communicate electronically. It is also when Japanimation was hard to get a hold of (a real niche market).

I stumbled across an issue in my local comic store and grabbed it up. This was circa 1990. I still have that issue. It has a stain on the back cover where some of my taco bell bean burrito fell on it (one day when I was pouring over it while at lunch from school).

It was epic to me at that time. Here were some guys who weren't a big corporation out to make ad money. These were fans producing something similar to something I might be able to do on my x86. It was a fanzine written by fans, funded by fans, and made for fans... of ROBOTECH. All Robotech all the time. Sure, there was a page or two of other anime info but it was 99% Robotech! Not flashy, not pretentious, just people nerding out for Robotech.

It is now coming up on 20 years later and I STILL enjoy the occasional browse of those fading pages.

You can find the old issues online and it's not too hard, just keep looking.

In these days of info and entertainment overload (and ease of access) it is so nice to remember those days when finding something like Protoculture Addicts was such a major thing. I still think there is a place for paper fanzines, sure it's not cost effective, but it I think it means more than just a glowing screen.

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