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 our 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.

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, music, 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 may also add information about upcoming comic conventions, gatherings, or 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.

 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 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.

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 email to send reminders of submission deadlines, but we have purposely chosen to remain a print medium.

How Much Does It Cost?

The APA itself is free. You only pay for shipping (currently $6.36 for an issue). You can purchase a Priority Mail stamp for this amount and include it with the copies of your zine that you submit to the Central Mailer. To join, just send an introductory message to the CM (see below) and he’ll get back to you with the mailing details. Some members choose to maintain an account with the CM, but this is not required.

APA History

Attitude n’ Sin 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. 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. Jericho handed over the reigns to the first Central Mailer, Mark Phillips of Tennessee. Mark handed the APA over to Todd Schoonover around Issue 35, and then Bill Delaney and Greg Paula rebooted the APA 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.

For additional questions about the APA, please contact:
Acting Central Mailer: Dawson at dawsonsf@gmail.com

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