What in the world is Dodgem Logic you may ask? Dodgem Logic was Alan Moore’s great zine experiment. Published (roughly) bi-monthly in the UK, issues would make their way to stores in the US 2-3 months later. While the term zine may give you the mental image of punk kids stealing copies from Kinko’s to make black and white, folded and stapled fanzines, this does not apply to the subject at hand. Dodgem Logic was a beautifully-published slick magazine featuring art and fiction as well as non-fiction writing. Articles covered everything from grassroots activism advice, to short stories, to urban guerrilla gardening, to amazing and astonishingly complete histories of science fiction and underground comics, to cooking recipes, and anything else that the contributors wanted to write about. There were wild and outlandish comic strips in each issue. One issue even included a copy of the only comic ever to be written and illustrated by Alan himself! Another issue included an iron-on Dodgem Logic t-shirt transfer. For well over a year Dodgem Logic has been my favourite magazine. You can imagine my surprise and disappointment when I picked up the latest issue from my comic shop this week, and got home to read this in Alan Moore’s monthly page 1 letter to readers:
“Yeah, this is the last issue of Dodgem Logic, at least for a while. I’m sure you’ll be as astonished as I was that our initial strategy of paying contributors, high production values, no stinking capitalist advertising, and an affordably low cover price (basically ‘Let’s do everything backwards and see what happens’) seems not to have worked. We’ve never quite broken even, despite the terrific response we’ve had to the mag where people had heard of it and could find it. So anyway, what we’re planning is to make this the last issue of volume 1, keep Dodgem Logic going with new material on the website for the immediate future, and in the meantime try to rethink the magazine in a viable form that can support itself. If that happens, we’ll be back on the shelves later this year or early next year…”
I discovered Dodgem Logic when I found issue #2 discounted in my local comic shop. I had no idea that Alan Moore was involved with the publication. While Mr. Moore is a very polarizing figure in the comic industry, there is no denying his influence and talent. After the first issue I read, I was completely hooked. This zine gave him a chance to really stretch his legs creatively and write about whatever he pleased. A few pieces that really stand out was his fictional short story about a fraudulent medium that claims to speak with the dead, but ends up getting more than he bargained for. A history of science fiction piece was truly one of the most complete and well-written essays on the subject I have ever read. It was everything I had been looking for in a publication! An article about the history of underground comics was so informative and filled in many of the gaps my knowledge of this topic. Even articles I didn’t think I would be interested in sucked me in and won me over. The Notes From Noho pull-out about politics and events in Mr. Moore’s hometown of Northhampton was fun and a great window into another community halfway across the globe. I began to monitor the poorly maintained official Dodgem Logic Facebook page and scoured release lists to make sure I didn’t miss a single issue. The couple of issues I had missed, I found and bought without hesitation at Emerald City Comicon.
This final issue has wonderful articles about the phenomena of male cross-dressing in an historical and social context, a four page rant about Mr. Moore’s personal comings and goings, a twelve page personal memoir by Michael ‘freaking’ Moorcock, an article about bailiffs, a pontification about ‘women’s studies’, a piece about why toilets may not be all they are cracked up to be, wild comic strips, and so much more! What more could you ask for? Was anyone else reading this?
So goodbye Dodgem Logic, I will miss you dearly. You brought a special joy into my life every few months that I don’t know how to replace. I hope that you can rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Dodgem Logic was edgy, thoughtful, and punk rock! Reading it was like having a private conversation about something of dire social importance. It gave me hope. I will follow you on your website and pray for a swift and successful return. Until we meet again, my friend. I will leave you with another Alan Moore quote from this issue:
“Thanks for everything and let’s hope this works out, because with the stuff that’s looming on the socio-political horizon I can imagine a time in the not-very-distant future when a willfully random underground might be more nessessary than ever.”
Follow Dodgem Logic online at http://www.dodgemlogic.com/