Reverse the Polarity! 24


As fans we often pride ourselves on being part of a highly creative community and reading RTP! seems to really make this ring true.  This issue not only gives us the mix of reviews, fiction, interviews, artwork and opinion that you’d expect, but also manages to present an original 8 page comic strip.  More on that later, but I mention it now to illustrate how RTP! always manages to surprise with its content, in an almost ‘bigger on the inside’ sort of way.
Anyone who knows Andy Poulsen must have read the absorbing interview with a wry smile on their faces.  I’ve always liked him, and if Poulsen occasionally comes across as a little full of himself, reading about his various enterprises and achievements makes it very difficult to deny him that.  The interview seems to shy away from nothing, and I’m left wondering if NZ fandom should feel a collective twinge of remorse over what Poulsen’s had to bear in the wake of 1990’s WhoCon, and collective admiration at how well he’s come out of it since. The centrepiece of the issue is undoubtedly Peter Adamson’s latest instalment of his Cydonia epic.  Stark and beautifully crafted images with an almost poetic narrative make this strip unique and fascinating. More frivolously, I wonder if Adamson is re-establishing the might of the ‘other alien race’ which appears in this strip, to redress the treatment they received in their recent televised ‘monster-match’?But what really made RTP! 24 a Fanzine that I wanted to read was the fact that it tackled Torchwood (At last!)  Literally tackled, given the tone of the relevant articles.  I seem to be part of a minority that enjoyed Doctor Who’s first adult spin-off, but David Ronayne does argue very convincingly for the prosecution.  Slightly less convincing was Editor Alexander Ballingall’s sweeping statement: “The regulars beyond Jack are all boring…” RTP! is better than that, and so is Ballingall in his reviews, artwork and replies to one of the wittiest and most entertaining letters pages which I’ve ever read.

In this incredible age of ‘Who healthiness’ which we’ve unexpectedly found ourselves living in, RTP! manages to find its own particular, fun and irreverent voice to celebrate this as well as showcasing fan talent of an international standard.  That the ‘funky vegetarian platter’ of New Zealand Fanzines deserves a wider audience and contributor list is beyond doubt.  But I have the impression that it has been a little overlooked and neglected by Fandom in the past (although this never shows in quality) so perhaps it should be asked: “do we deserve RTP!”?


Ed note: RTP!s new online home is at

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