The Commodore 64 was THE home computer to own in the 1980s and early 90s and was only surpassed in popularity by its younger brother, the Commodore Amiga.
ZZap! 64 was the magazine that every 64 owner went to for honest, frank reviews of the games to buy for the system as well in-depth features and ‘cutting-edge’ humor from the likes of Gary Penn and Julian Rignall.
The icing on the already calorie rich cake was Oliver Frey’s stunning covers, depicting aliens, space and military scenes and some very sexy ladies (here’s looking at you Leaderboard lady!).
With the success of the Crash Annual last year, published by Fusion Retro Books, for the ZX Spectrum, it seemed appropriate for Fusion Retro Books to pay homage to this best-selling computer and produce a new issue of ZZap! 64(licensed from Future Publishing and Oliver Frey) for the Commodore 64 also in the guise of an annual – so it will be in hardback and have the feel of the annuals that we used to read back in the 80s and 90s such as the Beano and The Dandy.
Roger Kean and Oliver Frey formed part of the backbone of Newsfield Publishing back in the 80s and early 90s that produced such titles as Crash, ZZap! 64, Amtix and Fear. Fusion Retro Books have worked on a number of books over the last 3-4 years with Roger and Oli, culminating last year with issue 99 of Crash in the form of an annual that was well received by the Spectrum community – issue 100 is planned to be delivered this year in time for Christmas!
The Commodore 64 community looked on wondering and asking if a new ZZapmagazine would be produced for them. So in collaboration with Future Publishing, we are already well into production of the ZZap! 64 Annual 2019 and will go to Kickstarter to help with funding its print and to recompense those who have contributed to its content.
Roger has agreed once more to take the helm as the editor and Oli will take charge of the graphical style of the issue as well as creating a brand new cover in the style of the early issues of ZZap.
The annual will be hardback only and come in at 112 pages – just like the Crash annual, it will be in full color throughout.
We will be keeping the cover as a surprise so that when the book arrives in late September this year, it will be the first time the readers of the annual will have seen it.
The content of the annual will be recognisable to any fan of the original magazine – there will be reviews of the games from the last 20 years or so, with a small number receiving the coveted SIZZLER award and one game getting the almighty GOLD MEDAL award; there will be features including gathering a number of C64 programmers, artists and musicians into a room (think pub!) to reminisce about the golden C64 years – think Andrew Braybrook, Archer Maclean etc. talking over a pint or two and us there to capture the moment!
The reviews have been written by recognized names in the C64 community as well as names synonymous with ZZap in its heyday – the likes of Jaz Rignall, Paul Rand and Robin Hogg for example.
Veterans of the gaming industry are also contributing – Simon Butler for example, who worked on many hits for Ocean Software adds his views on the best art to appear on the Commodore 64 by fans and Mel Croucher adds his particular style and humor.
Stuart Williams will be taking up the Adventure slot as the ‘White Wizard’ – readers are in for a treat as he catches up the Scott Adams, the ‘father’ of adventure games as we remember them.
Roger Kean, former editor of ZZap! 64 and joint owner of Newsfield said, “When I was tracked down at Thalamus Publishing in 2005–6 and asked to write something for the Def Zzap Tribute issue, it took some time to drag back all those memories of nurturing and editing Zzap!64 before turning it over to the capable hands of first Gary Penn and later Julian Rignall, Gordon Houghton, among other luminaries. Imagine then how many more brain cells I’m using up to do even more in 2018. Nonetheless, it’s been fun so far, working with such a young new team (well, young in heart, none of them is a teenager anymore!), and catching up after almost 30 years with Julian Rignall (great ZzapBack, Jaz)”.
We had fun last year putting together an Annual for Crash, which was so well received. I hope those who back this campaign will feel equally rewarded by the finished product.
We also have a great competition prize in the annual – win a TheC64 mini from the guys at Retro Games Ltd along with a 2nd joystick controller.
Kickstarter launches at 8 am on the 27th April. Please contact Chris Wilkins on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or Roger Kean on email@example.com with questions or for a quote.
Kickstarter link :