A Brief History of Alter Ego (the magazine)
When I began researching the history of comic fandom in 1991, one of the first persons I contacted was Roy Thomas. As the only one who contributed to all of the original eleven fanzine issues of Alter Ego (from 1961 to 1978), and edited (or co-edited) all but #5 and 6, Roy played a central role in fandom. I met him in person for the first time at the 1992 Comic-Con International in San Diego. Though besieged with fans, Roy took the time to hear about what I was doing, and quickly agreed to help.
The publication of The Golden Age of Comic Fandom in 1995 set off a wave of interest in comic fandom of the 1960s. Hundreds of fans came out of the woodwork to support the book, and the Hamster Press publications that followed. I’m sure the fact that Roy wrote the introduction to Golden Age, and to another book or two of mine, helped sell a lot of copies. In 1997, we co-edited the book Alter Ego: The Best of the Legendary Fanzine. As we collaborated on these projects over several years, we found that we worked well together.
Therefore, when John Morrow and Jon Cooke asked Roy to revive Alter Ego as a section in TwoMorrows Publishing’s Comic Book Artist magazine in mid-1997, I came along as Associate Editor. Roy ensured that my research into the history of fandom would continue by offering to publish my articles and interviews in the new Alter Ego. When A/E became a magazine on its own, a year or so later, it was decided that I would contribute a special Comic Fandom Archive column to each issue. In addition, I would help Roy behind-the-scenes on various matters.
While it’s turned out that the Comic Fandom Archive has missed an issue from time to time, Alter Ego magazine (volume 3) has marched along without interruption, year after year. In 2007, it won a Will Eisner Comics Industry Award as Best Comics-Related Periodical/Publication. Who would have thought Alter Ego would reach its 15th anniversary in the summer of 2014 with issue #127? Incredible!
Along the way, Roy and I co-edited Alter Ego: The Best of the Legendary Fanzine, V.2 (after TwoMorrows published a second edition of the first one). Both books, at the time of this writing, are still available.
To subscribe to Alter Ego (or purchase back issues), go to: www.twomorrows.com. There is no end in sight for Alter Ego, and I’m proud to be up there on the masthead right next to Roy’s name.
— Bill Schelly