Staff Cutbacks and memories of Impuls

Staff Cutbacks starts today on the Chronicles of the Witch Queen website. It almost didn’t make it there. It wasn’t until last Friday that I found usable source images for it, in the master copy of the zine it was originally published in.
Staff Cutbacks originally ran in the 21st issue of Impuls, a tiny magazine that I was editor of from 1994 to 1998. Issue 21 was the "Devil" special issue so it contained a devil story by Geir and Daniel, and The Wife in the Hole, Geir’s adaptation of a Saami folktale with art by me. It was also to be the final issue of Impuls, at least until contributor Filip Remkes resurrected it a year or so later.
By 1998 I had become terribly disillusioned with zine editing. It’s something you have to do for only a few years, because eventually your sense of perspective will kick in and you realise that you’re not accomplishing much with putting out a publication with a print run of about a hundred. Even a modestly succesful webcomic can easily reach ten times as many people, without all the legwork involved in schlepping paper to smelly comics conventions. And giving the contributors an unpaid print run of a hundred copies isn’t really much better than not publishing them at all. So I quit.
Interestingly, looking at the material in Impuls 21 again seven years later, I find that many of the contributors are still working in comics or illustration, and are doing so on at least a semi-professional basis. Mark "RayMan" Horemans, Robby van der Meulen, Tommy A, Roy Spraakman, Robbert Damen, Maaike Hartjes (who was already quite succesful at that time, but I’m still proud to include her among the lineup of that final issue), Steven De Rie and myself – we’re everywhere now. And Daniel’s still doing his mix of sculpture, painting, multimedia, music and comics; I wouldn’t count him as a professional cartoonist, but when he puts his hands to it he’s quite good at it, which is why I’m still trying to help him break through.