Getting Ready for the Limelight


A Design for Living

We put a fair amount of time into considering a roll-out of the new zine. Having come up with the name (I’d wanted to call a zine Zeus Plug for years and it was pretty much the name I kept bringing up any and every time Jono and I started talking about that sort of activity) we needed a logo. So I came up with one:

Kiwi Identity Number One

The font is a swipe from [I assume] Kevin O’Neill’s ABC Warriors logo, and it’s a style I’ve aped in the past for a band from my Uni days, and it even turned up in RTP! as a Karkus logo: Ahem. Al rendered it using Freehand, ably putting up with my criticisms (“the Z and S should mirror one another, but not be too curved” – I was even less bearable for the Zeus Blog logo adaptation), and a suitable mascot created – ‘Pluggy’

pluggy2We’ve never seen an actual zeus plug in the TV series of course, though they’ve been described. One story has them as huge things, but the assumption is something a little more portable, something you could carry around idly in your pocket. Like the zine. Pluggy combines the elements I thought the zine’s title needed – he is a plug (specifically a NZ three-point plug), and he has a lightning bolt inside his bulb, both to refer to the God of Lightning and to signify that the radiant bulb of inspiration was definitely ‘on’. There’s a deliberate retro look to Pluggy – he’s not a USB key for one, and his bulb is most definitely a radiant filament job. Around his mid-section are discs from a Dalek eyestalk, and he has a six-sided nut for a bum, recalling the hexagonal roundels of the [then] new TARDIS console interior. His first incarnation had wings for speed, and the current one on this blog gives him a ring of confidence with that lightning bolt returning. There’s another version of him with arms – a further nod to the other inspiration of his design, the Little Helper for Disney character Gyro Gearloose.

As for the roll-out we considered using photos demonstrating the non-fanzine functions of Zeus Plug. We wanted to be irreverent and self-deprecating, so I had images in mind with snappy captions: a Zeus Plug folded up into a paper plane  with the caption “Zeus Plug – pass it on”, an issue being used as a coaster – “Zeus Plug – have a drink on us”, an issue of ZP emerging from the back pocket of a pair of jeans with the caption “Zeus Plug – keep it in your pants” (hmm, maybe not that one). We didn’t use them because we didn’t have the time, but I’d still have loved to. In the end word of mouth and careful enquiries as to the likely turnout of local pub meets was all we needed.


2 Responses to “Getting Ready for the Limelight”

  1. Jono Says:

    Old Pluggy… I still remember the first time I saw him. Cute as a button and the perfect mascot for the little pub zine that could.

    My original thought was that he was inspired by the ‘Coffee and TV’ milk carton, but obviously not!

  2. the_other_dave Says:

    Hang on… hang on….

    Now get the three point plug, gently and unplugged yes,… now get your finger lodged in between the prongs (oi, you, watch it…)…
    Yeah, this’ll work wont it… uh-hn.
    now… same procedure, this time on the thumb, yeah, got it?

    Tap together – castenettes! It works! Huzzah!

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