Lovers of the olde worlde fanzine have a treat coming up.
Not content with painting the Lower Barclay various shades of yellow and green and doing more than their bit to crank up the Carrow Road atmosphere, the lads at Along Come Norwich have – with a little help from some friends – produced the first bona fide Norwich City fanzine for many a year.
And it’s bloody good.
It will hopefully go on general sale next week but the lads are already taking pre-orders if you’re interested – a snip at £7.50 (including postage).
I caught up with ACN joint-founder and once of this parish, Jon Punt to find out a bit more.
So, a fanzine … with paper… and ink! Talk to me JP. Tell me the story.
JP: Regular ACN readers will know we like football the way it was. Standing on the terraces, affordable for the working man, no Sky money ruining the game – you get the idea.
Back in those halcyon days, the football fanzine was a huge part of the matchday experience. The club’s programme was paper thin with very little to actually say (in stark contrast to today’s in fairness), so the fanzine gave an outlet for fans to share their experiences.
Clearly most of that has moved over to the digital world now, but there’s something intrinsically lovely about holding a document in your hands and reading it.
So we decided to do something about it, to try and make a print edition of ACN part of the NCFC furniture. Given last season’s success, if really felt like this was the optimum time to offer it out.
This is something you guys are looking to continue? Something that’ll become a regular part of the ACN catalogue of stuff?
We’d certainly like to think so. If enough people buy it, we’ll keep on making it. That’s the issue though, we have no real idea as to whether the demand is there, given most people are busy on their phones consuming podcasts, audiobooks, Spotify and ridiculous videos about cats.
We hope there’s enough lovely Nodgers out there who still prefer a traditional document you can read. We’ve tried to make the fanzine to a high-end finish (think matchday programme without as much colour, more swearing, quite a lot of silliness and no adverts) so that, eventually, they might even become collectable.
Clearly that’s stupidly aspirational, but you’ve gotta have a dream.
How’d you go about choosing the writers? Some proper Herberts in there. Anyone who can string two words together?
Ha, there’s a former editor of mine in there somewhere who’s a rumm’un boy. Aside from that, we’ve just asked writers who we enjoy reading. So there’s plenty of ACN regulars, the odd national journalist (The Guardian’s Paul MacInnes and our friend Andrew Woods) plus a selection from the now sadly deceased Little Yellow Bird and MFW.
The great thing is we also have many others who are keen to contribute, but the timing didn’t work out this time around, so hopefully lots of #engaging #content might be ready for Issue 2, if we make it that far.
Without giving any secrets away, other than the zine, what do you ACN and BEN boys and girls have planned for this season? Hard to see how you could trump what you did in the Lower Barclay last season – was brilliant and we’ll always look back fondly on the role you lads played in the 2018/19 title-winning season.
Thanks – we certainly want to get bigger and better, but with that comes logistical challenges, plus the odd safety pushback from the club.
We did have big plans for the first home game of the season, but these are going to have to be revised. Worst case scenario it’ll be more of the same with the flags and banners, with hopefully a few surprises away from Carrow Road too.
While you’re here, what do you reckon to season 2019/20? We going to have enough? You have to love the way Webber has gone about it, right?
This club couldn’t be in better hands as far as I’m concerned.
My only worry is that the management team need to ensure the players realise they’ve haven’t made it quite yet. The fact City were a tight band of brothers last term was as much a part of our success as Teemu Pukki’s goalscoring exploits, and we have to reinvent that mentality this time around.
Personally, I think we’ll be ok – 15th-ish if you’re after a prediction. We’ve learnt from Fulham’s expensive mistakes and will retain the core of a group of players we all fell in love with.
So even if things go sour, that will at least buy them some time while they try and regroup.
Finally… other than the link at the top of this page, how can folk buy the fanzine?
Well, we’re hoping we will secure a couple of locations in the city where people can pick up a copy, and at the same time avoid the extra we’ve had to charge for postage and packaging. [And there’s the link at the top of this page, people – Ed].
More news on that to follow when the fanzines actually arrive, which in an ideal world should be late next week.
Nice work, Jon. It’s going to be great.