I've made a terrible mistake. I didn't mean to come here: I don't know what came over me. What is Zzap! anyway? Some brand of constipation cure? And I wouldn't even bother pointing me to the Zzap!Rrap message board.

Let's assume, for a moment, that you arrived here from Iain Black's excellent Def Guide to Zzap!64, the kind host of these humble pages (and The Burrow itself). Let's also assume that you have your own hair and teeth, can stand on both feet without falling, and know how to milk a Nigerian Dwarf Goat... Ah, forget it. Just click on the link.

That's my main site. It's got stuff about me in it, including what I'm doing now. Like writing novels and having kids and learning macrame. OK, the bit about macrame is a total lie, but everything else is true. And there's loads of it. Well worth a read, I'd say.

Leave it out—I've got every single issue lovingly preserved in maroon binders, and the last time I counted (this morning at 3.13am), there were only 106 issues, including Commodore Force. So don't think for one minute you can fool me into believing there's now a 36-page special tribute issue available.

The answers to the questions you always wanted to ask, but forgot because you lost your memory in that incident with the... um...

The pantomime horse takes a break from his global two-man Dick Whittington tour to guide you through the bewildering number of locations that ex-Zzap! staffers have fled to in their desperate desire to forget. Please don't ask me to repeat that.

The man in black is back on track with a
cracking pack of... er... high scores from C64 emulators.

What was it really like in Zzap! Towers? Former Zzap! staff reveal all... Read Chuck's intro, or go straight to Page 1 (Me, Kati, Steve J, Wayne Allen), Page 2 (Paul Glancey, the Harlequin, and Phil King), or Page 3 (Warren Lapworth). You can also read an alternative, tongue-in-cheek retrospective I wrote for Way of the Rodent, here.

Sample pages, cartoons, logos, and photos from my own private collection. Ice creams are available in the foyer.

Lloyd Mangram crawls from his coffin to reveal the truth about Zzap!'s multiformat Italian cousin, and discovers a new online version of the magazine to boot.

So... this site isn't good enough for you, eh? Well, try one of these, then. Go on, I dare you. On second thoughts half of them probably don't work any more, so you're taking a risk. A real risk. Seriously. Sticking your hand in a mongoose nest and shouting "I'm a snake! I'm a snake!" is less risky than this.

Everything you ever wanted to know about thimbles. And more! Or maybe less.




Welcome to my Zzap! pages. Zzap!64 was a computer games magazine which covered the C64 scene from May 1985 to March 1994—106 issues in all. At its height it was the top-selling magazine of its type in Britain and had a sizeable fan base around the world. This was in part due to the staff's evident enthusiasm for Commodore software; but Zzap! also had a personality and charm absent from its rivals, and plenty of innovations in magazine design and content—the most obvious was that every game was reviewed by three people. Above all, Zzap! had a uniquely gifted workforce, including an innovative and talented leader in Roger Kean and a wonderful cover artist in Oliver Frey.

A dull sub-heading

I was a reader and fan long before I worked for Zzap! (for me the Gary Penn / Julian Rignall stewardships were the best), and I remember desperately waiting for each new issue to arrive—which is one of the reasons why, when I left college, I applied for a job at Newsfield. I got lucky, and following a miserable couple of months on CRASH, I joined Zzap! as a staff writer in Issue 36 (April 1988). After Jaz left to work for EMAP I was promoted to editor, a job which lasted eleven months (issues 40-50); and along with Kati Hamza, Paul Glancey, Maff Evans, and Paul Rand, I helped create a more zany, colourful and informal Zzap! than before. Some people liked it, others hated it—but we had a lot of fun.

And another

That's what these pages are intended to be: fun. They're not a detailed history, or a catalogue of reviews, or a comprehensive collection of interviews: there are plenty of other sites which do that already, and do it very well—you'll find them in the Links section. What you will get is a personal insight into my time at Zzap!, including the answers to some frequently asked questions, and the return of an old friend. In addition, a few of the staff reveal their thoughts about what it was like to work on Zzap! (check out the Towers section), and I've also scanned in some sample pages and pictures to give you a flavour of the mag (check out the Gallery). And of course, there's the all-new Zzap!107, a special tribute issue produced by fans from around the world... Finally, if you have any questions about Zzap!, or you'd like to see something on this site that isn't here or in the links, email me.

—Gordon Houghton




This site is best viewed with 4.0+ browsers