PAPER Fanzines: What Have We Read?

Extollager

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Bick's intriguing thread


inspires another inquiry.

Throughout much of the history of the modern science fiction and fantasy genres, amateur magazines devoted to them, with commentary, gossip, art, news, awards, letter columns, stories, chronicles, etc., have been produced. They were sent through the mail, sold or given away at conventions, etc. The earliest sff fanzines date to the 1930s. Some writers who became professionals, such as Ray Bradbury, produced or contributed to fanzines early on, and some professionals contributed to fanzines (e.g. Poul Anderson).

This thread is intended for the identification and discussion of paper fanzines.

Today, many fanzines are produced electronically and distributed online. These may be worthy endeavors, but they are not what this thread is about. Paper fanzines continue here and there to be distributed.

A subset of paper fanzines is apazines. These are fanzines produced for circulation to the membership of amateur press associations devoted to fantasy and science fiction, although they may sometimes be distributed also to other people (for example, Fred Lerner's Lofgeornost). A problem with apazines, in my experience, is that many of them were of pretty poor quality (including some I produced). The apas with which I was acquainted include Apa-5 (comics), Elanor (fantasy), and The Everlasting Club (the M. R. James tradition).

You don't have to have a complete run of a given paper fanzine in order to identify it as a fanzine with which you are acquainted. You don't have to list only fanzines that you own now or owned in the past; you may also refer to fanzines you've borrowed.

Here are some paper fanzines with which I have some acquaintance.

Beyond Bree -- monthly Tolkien newsletter, begun early 1980s and still going strong
Fantasy Review -- British fanzine, produced by Walt Gillings in the late 1940s.
Tolkien Journal -- late 1960s,1970s
Mallorn -- journal of the Tolkien Society, still in production
Amon Hen -- more informal fanzine of the Tolkien Society, still in production
Green Dragon -- 1960s news sheet of Tolkien Society of America
Orcrist -- Tolkien fanzine associated with a University of Wisconsin Tolkien group; late 1960s into early 1970s and briefly revived a couple of years or so ago
Mythlore -- flagship fanzine of the Mythopoeic Society in 1970s and beyond, but now a peer-reviewed academic journal and (to me) a lto less appealing -- lots of good art
Mythprint -- monthly 'zine of the Mythopoeic Society in the 1970s -- this was a really enjoyable fanzine
Niekas -- noted for its Tolkien-related material, but a lot of sf material too -- 1960s-1980s
ERB-dom -- Burroughs fanzine, 1960s-1970s and probably beyond
Nyctalops -- Lovecraft fanzine, 1970s
Ghosts and Scholars -- 1980s-1990s 'zine devoted to the M. R. James ghostly story tradition
Amra -- sword & sorcery fanzine -- I saw 1960s-1970s issues
Science Fiction Review -- Richard Geis's 'zine; I was acquainted with it around 1980
Locus -- newsletter devoted to sf
Comic Art -- I have a defective copy of one issue with a lot of material on the great Carl Barks
Arazia -- Portland, Oregon-based fanzine; only one or two issues produced
The Buyer's Guide to Comics Fandom -- 1970s
Fantastic Fanzine -- comics, 1970s
Finally, a friend and I started a 'zine, called Endeavor, in 1970. It ran 13 issues, mostly in the 1970s, and emphasized original fiction and comic art, letters, etc.

My impression is that most Chrons people are not much acquainted with paper fanzines or electronic ones. It will be interested to see what appears here!
 
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Extollager

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This thread is related:


The present thread might be a place for interested persons to write about particular things they've enjoyed from fanzines, such as interviews, historical items, reviews, critical articles, etc.

What are the paper fanzines with which you're acquianted?
 

Don

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Your 'zine Endeavor intrigues me most. Did you mimeograph it? Is it possible for you to disclose (only if you feel like it) the quantity of your subscribers? Back then, pre-Inet, it seems to me that even tens of subscribers was quite an accomplishment.

Paper 'zines were a little before my time in SF. Only digital fanzines, such as Sci Phi Journal ~ A Universe of Wonder and Clarkesworld Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy, are known to me.

"It Goes On The Shelf" contains a large Fanzine Index.
 

Extollager

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Don, most of the work on Endeavor, including the printing, was done by my friend Kurt Erichsen. You will find several late issues at efanzines.com.


The tenth issue contains one of my all-time favorites for the 'zine, Kurt's "Little Fantasies." He takes up the idea all of us old-time comic collectors had: what if I could go back in time and buy -- off the stands -- issues of those great old comics when they were new?

Endeavor went through a variety of printing methods that would be a story in itself and that only Kurt could write properly, as I hope he will. The first issue was mostly printed using a blueprint machine in his father's office! Early on, Kurt also used ditto, often with horrendous results. A little bit of photocopying might be done, but sparingly, since it was expensive. This was also the time when black areas were apt to come out as light grey. Eventually he used a little offset combined with very good mimeography.

Kurt would also have to be the source for how many copies were printed. I suppose the first issue had a print run of about ten. I wonder if the later issues had as many as 50 copies or more? The issues were assembled, one printed sheet at a time, by Kurt, a great labor. (We lived in different cities or even different states.) A one-person collating party is an oxymoron. He'd had enough after i3 issues.
 
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Extollager

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Don, you mentioned It Goes on the Shelf -- the 'zine of Ned Brooks. Here is some material little about him:

1590169563172.png





I corresponded with Ned off and on for quite a few years. I never met him, but I still think of him with affection.
 

Extollager

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I should have mentioned, in the list of fanzines I'm acquainted with, Pierre Comtois's Fungi, devoted largely to fantasy and weird fiction. Pierre is working on a new issue.
 

Don

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Thank you for all of this information. It's most kind of you to share. :) Until this moment, Ned Brooks was merely a byline to me.
 

Extollager

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You're welcome, Don! I have written to Kurt to ask about number of copies printed.

Here are the two oldest fanzines I own, regarded by Umar, the Lurker at the Threshold. They were given to me a few years ago.

wailer zines.jpg
 

Extollager

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Here is Tess with that issue of Comic Art featuring a long interview with Carl Barks.

Many fanzines were mimeographed, like this one. It happens that my small fanzine collection isn't representative, in that so many of the issues
I have were printed by offset.
Tess Comic Art.jpg
 

Extollager

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And here's Will, washing himself, with a couple of Mythprint issues from its classic mid-1970s era. One issue shows George Barr's conception of Gollum, the other a scene from C. S. Lewis's Dymer as visualized by Tim Kirk. (One thing that's fun with some old 'zines is seeing artists' conceptions of persons and scenes from our favorite books before the movies got to them.)
will mythprint.JPG
 

tegeus-Cromis

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I do own (somewhere) all three issues of The Journal of MODOK Studies, put out sometime around 2002-2004 (I think?) by one "George Tarleton." Looks like they're all available for download now: The Journal of MODOK Studies
I also have many, many minicomics from the '90s and '00s -- self-published, xeroxed comics zines. Mostly "alternative," "art" comics. I used to be really into that scene.
 

Extollager

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t-C, I don't know what The Journal of MODOK Studies is really all about, but I see it has something to do with the Lee-Kirby character who first appeared in Tales of Suspense at the time I began to buy Marvel comics in 1967. I sold much of my Marvel collection long ago, but I kept the pictured issue because I thought it was the first ToS that
Modok.jpg

I ever bought.
 
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tegeus-Cromis

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It's precisely that. A fanzine dedicated exclusively to one obscure '60s Marvel villain. And "George Tarleton" was MODOK's secret identity -- so I guess he's his own biggest fan?

BTW, MODOK stands for Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing.
 

mosaix

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Read about Peter Weston who was editor of many fanzines and, I believe, was awarded a Hugo for his efforts.

His company, Weston Body Hardware, based in the West Midlands, had the contract for casting the Hugo’s.

He was a customer of mine in the 80s, running our Optima order processing system.

At a convention, organised by BSFA, I was tapped on the shoulder by a character dressed from head to foot in some kind of alien costume. I turned.

“You don’t recognise me do you?”

Unsurprisingly he was correct. He kept me guessing for a few minutes before finally removing his alien headdress.

Sadly, he passed away in 2017.
 

Extollager

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I see there are many references to Peter Weston in a history of British SF fandom that I own but haven't read yet:
1590200877225.png

 

Extollager

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Your 'zine Endeavor intrigues me most. Did you mimeograph it? Is it possible for you to disclose (only if you feel like it) the quantity of your subscribers?
Don, I heard from Kurt Erichsen, who published Endy. He reported that Nos. 1-3 and the "Sketch Book" were 5 or 10 copies. [One or two of these were reprinted.] Number 4 was about 50 copies, by nos. 8-13, something like 125-150. The penultimate issue, No. 12 maybe more, if it was submitted it to APA-5, meaning perhaps an extra 40 copies. Nos. 9-11 were the "giants." He remembers spending a summer weekend in the upper vacant floor of his dad's office building in Portland's Old Town, with his beloved Gestetner 260 printing (multi color mimeography), cranking, collating, stapling, and numbering.

No. 12 was an unusual issue in that it contained Kurt's enjoyable short novel A Packrat on Noah's Ark, winsomely illustrated by Paul Chadwick.

 

Don

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This proves an aphorism about how something takes off of its own accord after the first forty people are sold on it. (The source and wording of this my forty rule of thumb eludes me at present.)
 
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