Fanzine Spotlight: The Drink Tank

It’s time for the next entry in my Fanzine Spotlight project. For more about the Fanzine Spotlight project, go here. You can also check out the other great fanzines featured by clicking here.

Today’s featured fanzine is The Drink Tank, a seven-time Hugo finalist (if I’ve counted correctly) and Hugo winner for Best Fanzine in 2011.

And now I’d like to welcome Christopher J. Garcia of The Drink Tank.

The Drink Tank 425Tell us about your site or zine.

I started doing The Drink Tank is in 2005. That series ended in 2015, and I took a 3 year break and started back up with two new co-editors. The concept this time around is that we take a different theme for every issue. Some aren’t SFF, like our issues on The Tower of London or Musicals, but many are, like our look at Science Fiction Comics and Universal Monsters. Our issues range anywhere from 12 to 50-ish pages and tend to be from a wide-range of writers and artists. We’ve been lucky enough to get some amazing material from some amazing people.

Who are the people behind your site or zine?

It’s me, Chuck Serface (3 time Hugo nominee!) and Alissa McKersie (2015 Hugo Winner!) as the editorial team, and we’re lucky enough to have a batch of writers and artists like Helena Nash, Vanessa Applegate, Julian West, Kathryn Duval, Chris Duval, Doug Berry, and many more!

Why did you decide to start your site or zine?

That, sadly, is a very dull story. I wanted to have a zine to give away when the big fanzine convention, CorFlu, came to San Francisco.

The Drink Tank 425What format do you use for your site or zine (blog, e-mail newsletter, PDF zine, paper zine) and why did you choose this format?

We’re largely PDF, though that allows us to also print paper copies, which we do from time to time. I like the flexibility of PDF to act as an in between the traditional print and online format. I have also started uploading to Issuu, and their flipbook style actually works well with our stuff.

The fanzine category at the Hugos is one of the oldest, but also the category which consistently gets the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines and sites are important?

I’m the worst person to ask that question. Fanzines are still a vital part of the community, though what older fanzine folks think of as fanzines are slowly fading away. All you have to do is look at eFanzines.com to see the great material that is still being pumped out.

In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online. What do you think the future of fanzines looks like?

I think we’re seeing a lot of Fanzines are gonna look like. I think there will always be a place for a zine-like thing as opposed to the blog format, there’s something in adjacencies and layout that eZines give that no one has really managed to capture in the blog format. No doubt, online is the way it’ll be, but there’s always gonna be multiple forms.

The four fan categories of the Hugos (best fanzine, fan writer, fan artist and fancast) tend to get less attention than the fiction and dramatic presentation categories. Are there any awesome fanzines, fancasts, fan writers and fan artists you’d like to recommend?

So many. For Fanwriters, I can’t say enough about John Coxon, the great Helena Nash, Chuck Serface, and there’s Michael Carroll (and every comics fan should read Rusty Staples) and Padraig O’Mealoid. Fan Artist is so much harder, because you have people like Vanessa Applegate, who has done covers for us and interiors for LoLZine and Journey Planet, and Sara Felix, and if you haven’t seen the incredible Espana Sheriff, you really should go looking! (Technically, I guess I’m a fan artist, too!)

THere are so many amazing zines out there, but the ones I have th emost heart for are Rusty Staples, Banana Wings, The Zine Dump (Guy Lillian’s Fanzine Review Zine!) and Lolzine. Fancasts is even harder (I’m also a podcaster!) but I’ll say that the only thing I regularly listen to that would be in Octothorpe. Good folks on that one!

Where can people find you?

The Drink Tank lives at https://claimsdepartment.weebly.com/the-drink-tank—series-deaux. We’re the rare thing that ain’t got a regular social Media account, but we love to hear from folks at DrinkTankEditorial@gmail.com

Thanks, Chris, for stopping by and answering my questions.

Do check out The Drink Tank, cause it’s a great zine.

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Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine or site and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.

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