Diversity again

By John Hertz: Where I live it’s the first day of spring. For Bruce Gillespie, the New Zealand for 2020 Worldcon bid, and like that, it’s fall. Diversity again. Easier said than done, but worthy of both.

I like to think science fiction has to do with diversity. John Campbell and Larry Niven, among others, have said our essential element is Minds as good as you but different. Easier said than done, but worthy of both.

The other day I saw a hundred folks had reported their Hugo nominations here (nice photo of Hugo trophies, thanks). Someone said “I am struck by how very * different * all our tastes are”. I didn’t happen to think so. The reports looked very similar to me. Another said “if [people are finding] mostly works by [X], it would indicate to me that either 1) the sources they are using … are extremely insular, or 2) they are – consciously or unconsciously – self-selecting for things written by [X].” Of course that’s neither complete nor conclusive. But it’s an important indicator.

It often seems “What’s incorrectly included?” shows up more easily than “What’s incorrectly omitted?” To see that something’s been left out you have to get the big picture. You have to be bigger than your immediate adventure. I once said that to Jon Singer, who is no dope; he said “How?”

Friends can help; in particular, diverse friends. If everyone I hang out with is just like me, who’ll point out what I’ve been missing? Of course it’s a strain. You find yourself thinking “How could you do such a thing?” This is a question better answered than brandished. If we only mean by it “Too strange, gotta go” we don’t learn anything.

One of the sandboxes I play in is Fanzineland. People have been pouring in new sand. It’s fascinating. Not so long ago fanzines were on paper – mostly; according to legend there’ve been slices of bologna, or worse – don’t ask me what I saw in Bruce Pelz’ refrigerator – but then came electronic media, and we had to think it out again.

All of us. Not just the folks upon whom new stuff poured, but the folks who poured in with it. Diversity can’t just be You have to accommodate me, but I don’t have to accommodate you.

Well then. Here are some fine fanzines, fanwriters, fanartists, of 2017, whose names leapt to my mind, conspicuously omitted by those hundred folks (and of course neither complete nor conclusive). Some of them can be found on-line, e.g. through Bill Burns’ eFanzines; that doesn’t matter much to me, it may to you. I couldn’t begin to guess which, if any, will appear on the Hugo ballot; that’s not why I’m writing. Let’s say that next time you get to How do I love thee? you count the ways. Or, not to top that, because I can’t, let’s consider Love your neighbors, for they are not like you. Or let’s just say I like to share my toys with friends.

Fanzines

  • Alexiad
  • Askance
  • Askew
  • Banana Wings
  • Beam
  • Chunga
  • Counterclock
  • Enter at Your Own Risk
  • Flag
  • Inca
  • Iota
  • Littlebrook
  • Lofgeornost
  • The MT Void
  • Nice Distinctions
  • Opuntia
  • Purrsonal Mewsings
  • Raucous Caucus
  • Trap Door
  • The White Notebooks
  • The Zine Dump

Fanwriters

  • Sandra Bond
  • William Breiding
  • Claire Brialey
  • Randy Byers
  • Graham Charnock
  • Pat Charnock
  • Leigh Edmonds
  • Lilian Edwards
  • Nic Farey
  • Janice Gelb
  • Steve Green
  • Rob Hansen
  • Andy Hooper
  • Kim Huett
  • Lucy Huntzinger
  • Jerry Kaufman
  • Steve Jeffery
  • Sue Jones
  • Christina Lake
  • Evelyn Leeper
  • Mark Leeper
  • Fred Lerner
  • Robert Lichtman
  • Rich Lynch
  • Joseph Major
  • Lisa Major
  • Mike Meara
  • Jacqueline Monahan
  • Murray Moore
  • Joseph Nicholas
  • Ulrika O’Brien
  • Roman Orszanski
  • Lloyd Penney
  • Mark Plummer
  • John Purcell
  • David Redd
  • Yvonne Rousseau
  • Yvonne Rowse
  • Darrell Schweitzer
  • Paul Skelton
  • Fred Smith
  • Ylva Spangberg (imagine a ring over the second “a”)
  • Dale Speirs
  • Garth Spencer
  • Milt Stevens
  • Suzanne Tompkins
  • Philip Turner
  • R-Laurraine Tutihasi
  • Pete Young

Fanartists

  • Harry Bell
  • Sheryl Birkhead
  • Ditmar
  • Kurt Erichsen
  • Brad Foster
  • Alexis Gilliland
  • Jeanne Gomoll
  • Teddy Harvia
  • Sue Mason
  • Ray Nelson
  • Ulrika O’Brien
  • Taral Wayne
  • Alan White

Humpty Dumpty tells Alice (Through the Looking-Glass, ch. 6) “You’re so exactly like other people…. two eyes, so – nose in the middle, mouth under. “It’s always the same.” Alice says any other way might not look nice. He answers – and these are his last words – “Wait till you’ve tried.” Of course it doesn’t occur to him that he falls under the same description himself.

Thanks, nothing

By John Hertz:  Being one of the Rotsler Award judges, it was my happy task to call Teddy Harvia (“Hey, Teddy!” – no, wait, that’s a water-softener joke) and tell him he won.

Actually I asked him first whether he’d accept the Award if we gave it to him. We adopted that protocol a few years ago after a Learning Experience.

The Greek poet Hesiod said “Only fools need suffer to learn” (Works and Days line 217). But you already know what kind of fool I am.

Harvia said, more or less (with this equipment I can’t find how to do Jack Speer’s quasi-quotes – which reminds me, Sandra Bond, thanks for all the fish), “Certainly, I’d be honored.” So I said, more or less, “That’s good. You are.”

Then this thank-you note came in the mail.

Harvia Postcard CLEAN 2Didn’t I tell you “Keep watching the stars”?

Shakespeare fans, and maybe others, will know that in Shakespeare’s time “nothing” rhymed with “voting”. Much Ado about Nothing, to the Elizabethan-Jacobean ear, rang the chime of taking note (and of music: Act II, sc. iii, “Come, Balthasar, we’ll hear that song again…. Nay, pray thee come, / Or if thou wilt hold longer argument, / Do it in notes.” “Note this before my notes: / There’s not a note of mine that’s worth the noting.” “Why, these are very crotchets [whimsies, quarter-notes] that he speaks! Note notes, forsooth, and nothing!”).

Shakespeare was a punster of almost Japanese dimension – or, for that matter, the 14th Chorp Dimension – but I digress.

Harvia has for a while now been – well – exploring nothing. Some of us saw this in the Lonestarcon III Program Book (71st Worldcon, San Antonio, Texas, 2013).

Harvia Wingnuts LSC3 PR CROP

[Editor’s note: I have used Paint to remove as much of the cancellation mark from the postcard art as I could. It may still look spotty.]

The Recent History of the Hugo Artist Awards

Editor’s Note: Reblogged from Hugo Eligible Art 2015 at the suggestion of the author.

By Doctor Science: Until recently, nominations for both the Best Pro and Best Fan Artist Hugos were done by the “round up the usual suspects!” method. Artists generally first appeared on the ballots after a few years of being nominated but not making the cut, and then they tended to stay there for a l-o-o-o-n-g time. Winners frequently repeated.

This pattern has been broken recently, in different ways for the two categories.

Best Professional Artist

Julie Dillon won the 2014 Pro Artist Hugo on a ballot with a number of Usual Suspects. In 2015, though Dillon again was on the ballot, all the other names were new. All the new names were from the slating campaigns by the Sad and Rabid Puppies; the artists are all friends of the slate creators.

Dillon won by a landslide, getting 63% of all first-place votes. None of the others finished above “No Award”. (Detailed results are in this PDF.) The artists who would have gotten on the ballot absent the slate were John Picacio, Galen Dara, Stephan Martinière, and Chris McGrath – all Usual Suspects who’ve been nominated before.

Best Fan Artist

Fan Artist was a Usual Suspects category until 2013. That year, Galen Dara barely made it onto the ballot for her first time, with 5th place in nominations. She won handily, with 27% of the first-place votes, 40% more than the runner-up.

In 2014, Sarah Webb got on the ballot for the first time, in third place. She won with 55% of the first-place votes.

Last year, Elizabeth Leggett got onto the ballot for the first time, in 5th place. She won with 41% of the first-place votes.

In other words, the Usual Suspects system has substantially broken down for Best Fan Artist. That’s 3 years in a row where an artist has essentially come out of nowhere to dominate the voting – where by “nowhere” I mean the Internet. All of them are technically skilled and at least semi-pro (Webb is still an art student): they are fans, but they aren’t amateurs.

I have a Cunning Plan

The main reason I have for starting this blog [Hugo Eligible Art 2015 ] is to make it easier for Hugo nominators to survey eligible artists for both Pro and Fan Artist, to break the Usual Suspects habit for both categories. I also think we maybe ought to discuss whether the categories as they’re currently defined are really what we want.

The Zine Artists Online Museum

saarahonourrole36Many notable fanzine artists have banded together to present exhibits of their finest work at The Zine Artists, where they hope others soon will join them.

Here are high-resolution scans of great cover art unimpaired by cheap paper repro, faneds’ peculiar choices of colored paper, or massive blots of zine title typography. Pristine! At last, no barriers between the artist and the audience.

Already available are dozens and dozens of examples of the funny and beautiful work by —

Taral Wayne forestalls the obvious question —

The first thing you will notice is how terribly incomplete the list of artists is. “Where are Jeanne Gomoll,” you may ask, or “Jack Wiedenbeck, Randy Bathurst, or David Vereschagin?” The answer is that it will take time to track these artists down and contact them.

Taral has also penned a detailed history of the evolution of fanzine art – including his lament about the current state of affairs:

Then, of course, came the digital age, which changed everything.  No longer was it necessary to print anything at all to publish a fanzine.  Fan editors could  manipulate words and images directly on the screen, and distribute them in whatever file format was convenient.  It was no longer necessary to limit illustrations in any way.  Colour became almost mandatory.   Photographs were a breeze.  Any image that was already digitized was fair game to import into your document.  You could search the entire globe, through the Internet, for the exact image you wanted.  In effect, fanartists became redundant.

The golden age of fanzine art represented here never really seems to have been accompanied by a golden age of appreciation for the artists. In every era there have been justifiable complaints that the artists did not receive enough egoboo to “sustain life as we know it.” So take advantage of this chance to leave an appreciative comment in The Zine Artists chat section!

Harry Bell Classic Fan Art Collection Free Online

BellissimoCoverBellissimo! The Harry Bell Art Anthology, a 122-page retrospective portfolio of Harry Bell’s fan art edited by Rob Jackson and originally published on paper in 2006 is now available for the first time as a free download at eFanzines.

Harry Bell is Rotsler Award recipient (2004) for lifetime work by a fanartist. He has won two Fan Activity Achievement Awards, in 2014 for the cover of Inca #9 and in 1977 as best humorous fan artist. He also was nominated for a fan artist Hugo in 1979.

The collection’s editor, Rob Jackson, offers this introduction to Harry Bell:

Harry has been known for years for his cartooning skills, his fannish wit and sense of humour, and his eye for line and detail, among many other qualities.   He started with his own fanzine, Grimwab, in the Sixties, but really came to notice in the Seventies as part of the Newcastle/Sunderland group, Gannet-fandom, who were one of the most productive groups of fanzine fans around then.   (I know, I walked round our dining room table many times collating quite a lot of those fanzines.)  With the growing links with US fandom at that time as well as better fanzine reproduction, he helped set new standards for layout and visual humour in British fanzines.  And we had fun, dammit.

Quite a lot of these pieces count as rarities – they are from some obscure fanzines, some fairly exclusive ones and there are also some previously unpublished pieces.

[Thanks to Bill Burns for the story.]

Doug Winger (1953-2015)

Doug Winger

Doug Winger

Furry artist Doug Winger passed away June 23. He had been hospitalized for COPD according to the news site Flayrah.

Winger’s best-known fan art involved hyper-endowed hermaphrodite characters.

Winger formerly worked as an engineer for Republic Aviation Corporation on the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II AN/AAS-35(V) Pave Penny laser spot tracker, and in many other technical jobs.

[Thanks to Taral Wayne for the story.]

Update 06/24/2015: Dropped paragraph of art credits listed in the Flayrah review after being advised they were in error.

Colin Cameron Passes Away

“Just learned the sad news that my longtime friend and former fan artist, Colin Cameron passed away from cancer a few days ago,” writes Steve Stiles. “I heard about it in Facebook. Judging from the outpouring there, he had many, many friends in the music industry there, and seldom lacked for playing gigs.”

For most of his life Cameron was a highly successful LA studio musician:

[Colin’s] fluency as a player, bolstered by his [sight] reading ability, led to recording dates with Quincy Jones and Henry Mancini, and such movie soundtracks as “Every Which Way but Loose,” “Moonraker,” “Honky-Tonk Man,” “Smokey and the Bandit II,” “Phantom of the Paradise” and “The Muppet Movie.”

Artists with whom Cameron has played bass either on stage or on records range from Judy Collins to Cher. Cameron performed in an Emmy-winning TV comedy special with Lily Tomlin and recorded a country album with Tina Turner in the early 1970s.

Before Hollywood beckoned, Cameron was an active fan. Stiles met him when they were in the army together:

Colin was an active west coast fan artist in the 1960s and I always liked his cartoon style. We met, by a miraculous coincidence, at Ft. Eustis Virginia, in 1966, when we wound up stationed in the same barracks; another GI spotted me doing a cartoon on my bunk and told me that there was “another guy on the second floor who does stuff just like that.” What are the odds?

The chain of coincidences didn’t stop there, said Stiles in “Habakkuk Remembered”

Not only that, but Colin had also received the first issue of the new multi-colored HABAKKUK. The material and Bill’s “Meanderings” –Donaho’s reportage of doings in Barea fandom– were just as fascinating, but that run has a special significance to me as Colin and I were fannishly ignited by the zine and flooded the next two issues with our fan art and articles on life in the army. (Unfortunately, in the third issue, Colin’s article was about life in Vietnam, having been nabbed in another MP raid with some more of our friends.

After taking a mortar shell fragment in the leg while he was at Cam Ranh Bay, Colin was eventually discharged and went on to play bass in John Hartford’s and Paul Williams’ bands, and was blown up good on the big screen as one of the Juicy Fruits in Phantom of the Paradise [1974].

phantomoftheparadise2

Yes In Pictures

Kirk SpockIreland’s yes voters carried a referendum about whether same sex marriage should be legally recognized by nearly 2-to-1 on May 23.

The Dublin in 2019 Worldcon bid issued a statement supporting the result:

This is a huge step forwards in recognising that everyone should have the right to love, and marry, the partner of their choice, and it is particularly important that this has been signified via the people of Ireland….

We’re very proud of the many Irish members of Dublin 2019 who supported the ‘Yes’ vote, and went out to take part in the referendum.

A fannish manifestation of the Yes campaign were James Brophy’s comics-inspired icons for James Shields’ Mammies and Daddies Matter Facebook page. (Shields was Shamrokon 2014 co-chair and is a past GUFF winner.)

While proponents of a No vote ran ads with imagery of traditional heterosexual couples and their children (see one example here), Brophy illustrated many different couples and groupings. Brophy says:

They were intended as a parody of the no campaign logo. Showing that it’s not just mums and dads that make up families, sometimes it’s two dads sometimes its two mums. Then I added in some super hero people and they got slowly stranger and stranger as the month wound on.

I’ve had requests to make t shirts by people who didnt know the origin of the images and just thought they would be lovely to have at LGBTQ events.

Kirk Spock heartAlien and DalekSuper familyAnother Super familyHarley Quinn and Green girl

[Thanks to Esther MacCallum-Stewart for the story.]

Rotsler Award Display at Loscon

Rotsler Award display at Loscon 41 -- past winners. Photo by Kenn Bates.

Rotsler Award display at Loscon 41 — past winners. Photo by Kenn Bates.

At Loscon 41 over Thanksgiving Weekend in November there was a display in the Art Show of cartoons and illos by Rotsler Award winners. One of the panels was devoted to the award’s history, and the other to work by its 2014 winner Sue Mason.

The display was curated by John Hertz. Thanks to Kenn Bates for these photographs.