by Larry Peery

I remember agonizing for months watching DW (Diplomacy World) slide down the hill (Rod Walker was publisher/chief editor and I was assistant). Finally, I couldn't stand it any more. The zine was hurting and so was Rod. So I contacted Buchanan and some of the key figures in the DW family and proposed that I take over as publisher and editor. They agreed. I called Rod and told him what was going on. I'll never forget his reaction. I could hear the joy in voice as he said, "Thank you. Thank you."

Within a week he had arranged to give the printed back issues he had, a couple of hundred in stamps, some unpublished articles, and the mailing list. Oh, and sub commitments for some $4K that were due to subbers. I used the stamps and mailing list to send out a letter to every DW subber and trading partner (there were 80 or so of those). I told them that DW was bankrupt and they had two choices: 1) take back issues in lieu of future ones if desired, or 2) forgive future issues owed to them and re-sub anew. Oh, and if they were serious about saving the zine I needed an article from them for the future and I wanted it now.

Then I waited anxiously to see how the hobby would respond. Well, it did, magnificently. Within a week I had over a hundred new paid subs, forgiveness of most of the back issues due and, surprisingly a lot of sales of back issues that brought in some much needed cash. Perhaps most encouraging, I got some really good articles, enough for a couple of issues worth.

While all this was going on I wasn't the only one trying to save DW. John Caruso and some of his friends put out a counterfeit issue of DW that looked more like the Walker version than what I was doing. Then, a few days later, my first issue, #40, appeared.

We eventually got it sorted out. DW had its problems since then but it was never again in such a serious danger of collapse. The hobby had come together to save its flagship and that effort went a long way toward ending The Great Feud.

So, saving TDP (The Diplomatic Pouch) can be done. It might not be on the same scale of effort but doing it online is a lot easier than dealing with hard copy issues and licking all those damn stamps! Trust me.

Email writer thumbnail Larry Peery

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