"The Harveyville Fun Times!" Story

by Mark Arnold
(Saratoga, CA)

I was working at KBHK-TV 44 in 1989 hoping to do something creative with my Broadcasting degree and found that working there was not very creative at all. I wanted to start something as a creative outlet because I was frustrated. I subscribed to a lot of fanzines back in those days and one was about Rocky and Bullwinkle called the "Frostbite Falls Far-Flung Flier". It was a simple, single color paper, quarterly publication in black and white of approximately 12 pages and stapled in the corner. I contacted Charles Ulrich the Editor and asked how he got started. He told me that he just produced an issue and then placed a few small ads in appropriate publications and got some subscribers. I thought that was too easy and got to work.

Next, I needed a topic. Obviously, I wasn't going to do Rocky and Bullwinkle. I liked Disney, but a friend of mine published a Disney fanzine and was constantly being harassed by them. I didn't want that. My wife at the time suggested Harvey Comics since I was a fan. I created an issue, sent it to Jeff Montgomery, the then owner of Harvey Comics. He and his lawyer gave me his blessing and here 18 years later and 70 issues, I am still publishing, lasting through four different Harvey regimes.

In 2006, I published a book called "The Best of The Harveyville Fun Times!" containing the best material from the first 64 issues. "The Harveyville Fun Times!" continues to this day and as of 2008, I have done over 70 issues.

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May 15, 2008
"I want to do THAT"
by: Steve B.

Mark, that's what I imagine you having said when you saw the "Frostbite Falls Far-Flung Flier." I love those moments.

I'm impressed by what you've done, creating a mini publishing empire around those comics you love.

I'm taken by your website as well, and want to know more. You began Harveyville well before the internet would have been of any use to you. How has it changed things? How important is the site? It seems voluminous! How much traffic does it get? Is the monetization - aside from the Fun Times and your book - significant?

As to the whole shebang, how many subscribers do you have?

Clearly you've learned the secret of successful writing: leave them wanting more! If you'd care to share more with us, you can do so by commenting. I hope you will!

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