by Andy & Madelaine Key
By Stephen Agar
Until this year Electric Monk had never been out of the top three in the Zine Poll. Now it is commonly said that Electric Monk (like Viz) is "not as good as it used to be" with the result that Monk slumped to 10th in this year's Zine Poll. The thing that immediately hits you about Electric Monk is the smart DTP newsletter-style layout. Lots of columns, boxes, large type, shadows, etc. All very complicated and quite distinctive (though as with Lies, the effect is marred by subzines providing copy of a less elaborate nature). I do question the wisdom of using
it's not quite that bad, but you get the idea.
one of the few zines that isn't looking for more Diplomacy players and Diplomacy
gamestarts, the laws of supply and demand suggest that it must be a good place
to play Diplomacy (though the zine doesn't include maps with game reports).
Electric Monk appears to have no interest in Diplomacy variants at all.
Richard Walkerdine runs the ruins of the once great Mad Policy as a
sub-zine in Electric Monk which seems to satisfy his current low level of
editorial urgings and Tom's Bit presumably satisfies any similar cravings that
Tom Tweedy may experience.
news in Electric Monk can be very selective, the Keys preferring to devote pages
and pages to What I Did On My Holidays or some such.
Still, if that is what their readers want, then who can criticise them.
Andy & Maddi put a lot of work into the greater hobby good by
producing Mission from God, though to my mind that doesn't quite justify the
level of smugness which occasionally surfaces in Andy's musings.
He may well ridicule the idea of advertising in Private Eye as being old
hat, but he has yet to suggest any new or better ideas, though his comments on
my Introduction (in a private letter) were useful.
is a respectable amount of non-Diplomacy games in Monk, and lists are open for
Hols der Geier, Crossword, Lifeboat and Lechlade Halt.
Andy often includes some chat about games in general rather than being
just a Diplomacy purist, though I have yet to see any articles on Diplomacy
a relative newcomer, I guess I have never seen Electric Monk when it was at the
height of its popularity, but the zine is certainly friendly and not unpleasant.
The sorts of words that come to mind when thinking of Electric Monk are
words like clean, warm, bland, comfortable, undemanding, pretty, empty and a
from Spring Offensive 10