by Peter Sullivan
By Stephen Agar
Diplomacy zines (with the possible exception of Greatest Hits which arguably
isn't really a Diplomacy zine) are produced to a formula.
C'est Magnifique is perhaps more of a formula zine than many, but a very
successful formula it is too.
with many zines, C'est Magnifique is in A5 photo-reduced booklet format, all the
issues I have seen being 16 pages long (4 sheets of A4).
Of this about half of the zine is taken up with the games Pete runs
(Diplomacy, Downfall, Railway Rivals and Monopoly), the rest comprising a brief
editorial (when the muse takes him), shortish letters column and a good resumé
of all the zines Pete has received since the last issue.
In an editorial on the forthcoming US Presidential Elections back in
June, I particularly liked Pete's observation that "H. Ross Perot is not
going to go away" made days before Perot pulled out of the race.
Some people have since ridiculed Pete have making that statement, but as
I type this Ross Perot has re-entered the fray, so Pete was proved right after
also like Pete's bird's eye view of what is going on in the hobby (enigmatically
entitled While My Guitar Gently Weeps - everything in C'est Magnifique is named
after a Beatles track) and I do not think it is fair to criticise him (as Mark
Nelson has done recently) for not making this news round-up more critical,
because that is not its purpose. What
Pete does is paint a quick thumbnail sketch of the contents of a wide variety of
zines, often no more than 5-6 lines long, including the name and address of the
editor, professed frequency and cost. This
provides subscribers with a sense of the hobby and the means to diversify if
they want to. Of the 23 zines
mentioned in issue 117, 8 are from the US, which makes C'est Magnifique one of
the most international zines around.
of the many good things about C'est Magnifique is that it is run efficiently to
four week deadlines. Indeed in the
year May 1991 to May 1992 Pete produced 14 issues (just), with a frequency of
exactly one issue every 4 weeks (as compared to Ode's average of one issue every
5.8 weeks according to Pete's figures). Like
John Marsden, Pete has an excellent track record having been producing C'est
Magnifique regularly since 1985 without a hint of staleness.
does seem to be a little touchy though, although this does not come across in
the zine itself. Spring Offensive
has only been around for 4 issues yet Pete has already written twice complaining
that I was attacking him. Pete is defensive when he has nothing to be defensive
am a little surprised that C'est Magnifique only carries 2 games of Diplomacy
(another one finished in the most recent issue). The reason I am surprised is because C'est Magnifique must be
one of the most reliable and speedy zines around to play in.
Perhaps Pete hasn't attracted many new subscribers in recent years, while
the old faithfuls play Downfall and Railway Rivals.
Who knows. Okay, C'est
Magnifique isn't at the forefront of DTP and doesn't include lengthy articles to
fill out its pages, but what it does it does very well indeed and, perhaps with
the help of some new blood will no doubt go on from strength to strength.
from Spring Offensive 5