Mission from God

Editors: Iain Bowen; Andy Key; Pete Sullivan; Kim Head; John Harrington

Issues 1 – 24

Mission From God was a zine which consisted of a listing of all available zines in the UK, with reviews on each.

Issue 1; Issue 2; Issue 3; Issue 4; Issue 5; Issue 6; Issue 7; Issue 8; Issue 9; Issue 10; Issue 11; Issue 12; Issue 13; Issue 14; Issue 15; Issue 16; Issue 17; Issue 18; Issue 19; Issue 20; Issue 21; Issue 22; Issue 23Issue 24

A Short History of Mission from God

The first issue of Mission from God was put together by frequent attendees at the Birmingham Hobbymeet – namely, Peter Tulk, Iain Bowen, Pete Doubleday (the title stemming from a Blues Brother reference (and these days it’s also the name of a Blues Brothers tribute band as well). The first issue edited by Pete appeared in November 1986 and carried reviews of 55 different UK zines. The reviews were very partial – being the strong opinions of the aforementioned plus a couple of pages from William Whyte and thus was a clear break with the earlier tradition of fairly bland hobby listing zines. The first issue was numbered “Genesis” which was the forerunner of immense confusion as to zine numbering. The second issue was predictably called “Exodus” and came out in Feburary 1987, this issue being edited by Iain – and the pattern was set. The editorial board changed occasionally (Pete Tulk left after issue 3, William Whyte and Andy Bate joined at issue 4 and Nick Kinzett joined at issue 5). This formula continued for sometime – the bulk of the hard work being done by Iain Bowen. Iain managed to edit the zine for quite a while – up to issue 12 (which was not called “2 Kings” but “the Apocalypse of St. John the Divine”). 12 issues in 4 years is quite an achievement for a listing zine. Iain passed the editorship over to And Key and Madi Smith.

Issue 13 which appeared in the Autumn of 1991 was called “Matthew”, Andy and Madi having decided to mark a change in editor with a move to the New Testament. The slightly tatty mimeo look was swapped for a photocopied DTP appearance. Andy and Madi only lasted for three issues, No.15 “Luke” (their last) appearing in Autumn 1992. The zine was in abeyance for quite a while, but eventually Pete Sullivan came to the rescue, throwing together a thin issue 16 (“John”) in early 1994. Pete managed one more issue (no. 17 – “Acts of the Apostles”) after MidCon in late 1994. A trawl around the hobby for someone willing to take on Mission from God resulted in Kim Head taking over – though she only produced a single issue in July 1995. Confusingly she called her issue “No.16” although it was in fact the eighteenth issue!

Another gap ensued until John Harrington stepped in to rescue MfG. His “issue 17” (which was really issue 19) appeared in January 1997 and John has kept the faith ever since (although his numbering has remained consistently two issues out). John managed two issues in 1997 and one every year since. The last issue I am aware of was “issue 24” (though really issue 26) and published in January 2003.

Stephen Agar