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BAWC Review

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 22/10/2006

THOSE who remember the nineties will probably look back with some fondness on the heyday of football fanzines. Most clubs had several, and fans at times were jostling to sell your their latest editions at matches. Since the rise of the Internet the paper-based fanzines have gradually disappeared.

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However, to buck the trend, recently Grimsby has gained a new paper-based fanzine called Black and White Corner (aka BAWC) which will soon be releasing its second edition. My recollection of fanzines back then (and I must confess I wasn't a very regular reader) is that they were largely a series of light-hearted looks at whatever club they covered. Judging by its first issue BAWC is a more serious publication than its predecessors, although it does have its jocular side as well. It's a mixture of magazine and fanzine in truth.

Firstly the printing and layout of the magazine is much better than the low-budget efforts of yesteryear. These days it's so much easier to produce a professional looking magazine and BAWC has a colour cover and 32 B&W pages, all of which are legible and many of them have photos or graphics on as well. There's a few typos, but you won't find they overly distract you from the content.

The bulk of the first issue is given over to two interviews with John Fenty and Graham Rodger. If you are a seasoned follower of Grimsby Town's news on the Internet and watch Mariners World regularly you won't find anything tremendously revealing in these two interviews. However they do contain answers to many of the big questions of the last few months, and both individuals are asked more "difficult" questions than they are likely to be asked in their "official" equivalents. What they do offer is an overview in one place of many of the recent talking points, and are worth reading for that alone. Subsequent issues promise exclusive interviews with other people connected to the club, although it's hard to imagine they will continue to be of the calibre of the chairman and the manager.

The rest of the magazine is a miscellaneous collection of articles by various individuals, all about the Mariners of course. To their credit none of the articles were out of date when I read it a week or so after the publication date (there are no league tables or similar statistics which soon become outdated); some didn't interest me at all, others were of considerable interest - a reasonable mix in other words.

I suppose the upshot is, compared to the official programme, BAWC took me longer to read, was of greater interest, and cost less than half the price.

Issue 2 of BAWC will be available on November 4th and you'll be able to buy a copy outside the ground when Grimsby play MK Dons that day.

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