What Is An APA?

APA is an acronym for Amateur Press Alliance, a collection of self-published “fanzines” that are dedicated to a common theme. The primary focus of the Northstar & ATDNSIN APA is on sharing our mutual love of comic books and comics-related entertainment, as well as other topics of interest to lesbian, gay, bi, & transgendered people. Ultimately, it’s an opportunity to connect with like-minded readers in a friendly, supportive, and creative environment.

What the Heck Is ATDNSIN?

The acronym is pronounced “Attitude n’ Sin” and you will often see it spelled out that way for clarity. The name ATDNSIN is derived from a quote by Lord Alfred Douglas—a contemporary and lover of the playwright Oscar Wilde—in which he called homosexuality “the love that dares not speak its name.” Now it does proudly, thus the “APA That Dares Now Speak Its Name.”

When Is The APA Published?

Our APA is published and distributed to members every other month (6 issues per year). The first issue is mailed out in mid-February, with subsequent issues appearing in April, June, August, October, and December. Each member makes an individual fanzine, commonly called a “zine”, and mails 10-20 copies (depending on the number of people in the group) to the Central Mailer (CM), a member elected by the group to perform this task. The CM collates all of the individual zines into one finished publication and sends a copy to each member. Zines are due to the Central Mailer at the beginning of the month of publication, generally by the 10th. In order to meet the submission deadline, it’s recommended that your zines be completed, copied, and in the mail no later than the 5th day of the month of publication (i.e Feb 5th, April 5th, June 5th, and so on). Some members use priority mail or an overnight service to submit their copies.

How Do I Create A Zine?

A typical zine is printed on standard letter-sized paper (8.5 x 11). Your zine can contain any content you desire, although most people focus on comics, movies, books, toys, and other aspects of popular culture. People use a variety of software programs to generate their zines, which often have original artwork, original fiction, images from the net, and adult material. Some members have handwritten zines. Whatever method you use is up to you. Two common terms In the APA are “natter” and “mailing comments” (MCs). Natter is general discussion, typically updating the other members about your life and interests. Mailing comments are remarks to other members about their zines. These interactions between members are what help make the APA into a community of friends.


The Central Mailer (CM) receives multiple copies of everyone’s zines.


The CM collates the individual zines, creating a complete issue of the APA for each member.


The Table of Contents and front & back covers are added. The CM also adds information about upcoming comic conventions, gatherings, and other events.


The collated APAs are stapled. You can request to have your APA left unstapled. ;-)


The CM mails an APA to each member of the group. APAs are sent priority mail and generally arrive within a few days.

Why Bother With Printed APAs?

This is a common question as the electronic age infiltrates our lives. Here are some good answers:

  • Some people may not have computers or internet access at home.
  • Most people are not skilled in web design.
  • APAs are a good source of feedback on artwork and original fiction.
  • APAs allow more time for contemplation before responding to or reacting to others’ zines.
  • Copyrighted material found in public domains is often used.
  • No additional technology is required.
  • Printed works are easier to read In the bathroom!

We use our Yahoo! Group to do rapid communications and send reminders of submission deadlines. However, we have purposely chosen to remain a print medium.

How Much Does It Cost?

The APA itself is free. You only pay for shipping (typically $5 or $6 for an issue). To join, an initial fee of $10.00 is required to open your account and receive your first zine. The only other cost to you is maintenance of your account to ensure you can continue receiving the mailings. The Central Mailer suggests that members keep their account balances at or above $10.00.

APA History

ATDNSIN was created in 1988 by Andy Mangels with the assistance of Roger Klorese in response to the San Diego Comic Convention “Gays In Comics Panel.” Mike Phillips has been the CM since Issue #3, and it is the longest running gay comic book APA in existence. Northstar APA began in 1989 as a conception of Jericho Wilson and was first published in 1990. He named it after Marvel’s first openly gay character. He then handed over the reigns to the first CM Mark Phillips of Tennessee. Mark temporarily handed the APA over to Todd Schoonover around Issue 35, and then Bill Delaney and Greg Paula rebooted it with Kyle Minor acting as Central Mailer. Mike Phillips was elected CM when Kyle became the APA’s first president. In the summer of 2003, the two groups decided to have a classic crossover issue in the vein of JLA/JSA cross-overs. Later that year they voted to permanently merge into one APA.

Because the APA often contains material intended for mature audiences,
you’ll need an adult Yahoo ID in order to access our page at Yahoo Groups.
If you don’t already have a Yahoo ID,
just follow the link below and click “Sign in now”.
You’ll be directed to the sign-in page
where you can create a free Yahoo ID (click on the Sign Up link).


For additional questions about the APA, please contact:
Central Mailer: Mike Phillips at MFilip@aol.com
President-at-Large: Dawson at dawsonsf@gmail.com

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