Answer Me! Issue 4

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I was heavily into the 'zine format when Answer Me arrived and departed. It was the most extreme and angry publication out there, when it ran for a couple of years, producing 4 issues in total, ending in 1994. Some call it 'hate literature' but despite the views of the husband and wife team behind it, they always explored and researched the topic in ways most would have never thought possible.

Jim & Debbie Goad lit a fuse with many and each issue quickly sold out. The fourth was the ultimate in many ways, devoted to exploring rape, a taboo subject even today. This is why its often referred to as the 'rape issue' and was subject of a court case. By then and afterwards, many wanted to see what the fuss and outrage was all about, but finding those issues was pretty difficult due to their DIY distribution and short print runs.

AK Publishing took some stick for producing a book of the first 3 issues. I used to own this and leant it to a friend years ago, and it seems I never got it back. However its been released by another publisher, complete with new material from Jim Goad.

My attic raid today produced a mint copy of the 4th issue, complete with the unused board game kit, in the centre pages. I'd actually forgotten all about this, as it was amongst some of my fanzines for Italian horror such as Delirium and Flesh & Blood, again all well produced and researched.

It's discovery made me think about the Goad's again, and what become of them. Unsurprisingly for a couple with such venom and anger, I'm sad to read that Debbie after splitting up with Jim, died from ovarian cancer. While he served time for beating up his subsequent girlfriend.

Having this 4th issue is interesting, as I don't know what to do with it now. It's not something you can leave out on the coffee table for guests, and Ebay seems devoid of any of the issues. I do intend to read it once again but after that, I'm not 100% sure of its fate. It may be valuable to some collectors out there as a fine example of literature or just something that's never likely to be repeated again.

Heck, I may even write up some notes on the topics you can taste its own unique brand of anger for yourself.

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