Rotsler Award Exhibit at Worldcon 75

Photographer Eric Wong granted John Hertz’ wish to see how his Rotsler Award exhibit was displayed at Worldcon 75.

The exhibit took a circuitous route to Helsinki, the banners rolled in a mailing tube and delivered by Hertz at Westercon to Seth Breidbart for relay at NASFiC to Worldcon Vice-Chair Colette Frozard; she to give to W75 Exhibits Deputy Div. Head Terry Neill.

John adds, “Rick Kovalcik of Boston helped arrange by E-mail.  He and I co-wrote an explanation of putting up the banners, and a request they not be confined to the Fanzine Lounge but placed where everyone could see them, as was done at MAC 2.”

The last leg of the exhibit’s journey will be when Chris Marble brings the banners home.

Rotsler Award Exhibit at Midamericon II

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Rotsler Award exhibit at MidAmeriCon II. Photos by Kenn Bates.

By John Hertz: Midamericon II was the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, held at Kansas City, Missouri, August 17-21, 2016. The 34th, now known as Midamericon I, was there in 1976.

The Rotsler Award, named for Bill Rotsler (1926-1997), is given annually for long-term wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the S-F community. The winner is determined by a panel of judges, currently Mike Glyer, Sue Mason, and me.

Founded in 1998, the Rotsler is sponsored by the non-profit Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, Inc. At Loscon, the annual L.A. convention over the United States’ Thanksgiving weekend in November (Loscon XLIII was 25-27 Nov 16), the winner is announced and a sample of the winner’s work exhibited.

I try to exhibit all the winners to date at the Worldcon. Two exhibits I was particularly happy about were at Denvention III (66th Worldcon; Denver, Colorado, 2008), where Spike contributed those handsome black foam-core panels, and Lonestarcon III (71st; San Antonio, Texas, 2013), where volunteers helped me choose samples visually interesting to folks who might not know fanzines.

Elizabeth Klein-Lebbink contributed her electronic wizardry to the MAC II exhibit; also a fine design sense, and not being very active in the fanzine world she could temper my enthusiasm for reference jokes. For Chicon VII (70th Worldcon; Chicago, Illinois, 2012) she’d helped marvelously with an exhibit in honor of Diane Dillon and in memory of Leo (1933-2012).

With a few hours at Klein-Lebbink’s equipment — well, more than a few, actually — we were able to print a Rotsler Award exhibit on six-foot-long banners. I took them to MAC II and didn’t have to get dozens of images enlarged by photocopy, mounted on colored construction paper, and hung with binder clips from hooks set in pegboard panels.

The banners looked swell. Kenn Bates kindly photographed them.

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Loscon is hosted by LASFS, the L.A. Science Fantasy Society, oldest S-F club on Earth. I rhyme LASFS with joss fuss, but Morris Keesan said “That’s your dialect,” and Len Moffatt rhymed it with sass mass. I miss them.

SCIFI (of course that’s what the initials spell; despite the power of Forry Ackerman, pronounced skiffy) has among other things produced Worldcons, Westercons (West Coast Science Fantasy Conference), a NASFiC (North America Science Fiction Convention, held when the Worldcon is overseas), and the second (1992, hardbound) edition of Harry Warner’s history of 1950s fandom A Wealth of Fable.

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Artwork by ATom.

Artwork by Brad Foster.

Artwork by Brad Foster.

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Artwork by Kurt Erichsen.

 

Rotsler Award To Ditmar

Dick Jenssen in 2000.

Dick Jenssen in 2000.

Martin James Ditmar (“Dick”) Jenssen is the winner of the 2016 Rotsler Award, given for long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community. Established in 1998, the award carries an honorarium of US$300.

Known among fans as Dick or Ditmar, Jenssen got his first look at sf art – a painting of Saturn by Chesley Bonestell – when he was eight. Immediately his imagination kicked into gear, and he found himself able to visualize variations in the color, the point of view, and other details or hardware. By the time he was a teenager, he was producing art for his friends’ mimeographed fanzines, which involved using a metal stylus to draw on waxed master sheets.

Seeing for the first time Morris Scott Dollens’ black-and-white space and planetary scenes made him want to learn another technique, scraperboard. This was a thin white clay bonded to a cardboard base, which could be covered in India ink, then scraped away with a scalpel to reveal the white underneath. Ditmar’s efforts in this vein were published on the covers of Australian fanzines.

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The advent of computers gave Ditmar a new tool for producing exotic color compositions. “Since I usually always wanted to redo what I had created, in order to reorganize the compositional elements, and/or the coloring, and/or the elements themselves, it seemed that graphic packages would be ideal. Software which would allow me to generate three-dimensional objects in a virtual world, to organize their spatial distribution and relations, to color them as I wished, to manipulate them in unreal ways.” And digital and online fanzine publishers, freed from the cost of printing color art on paper, responded with approval, publishing several elaborate folios of these images.

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The Rotsler Award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, a non-profit corporation, which hosted the 1984, 1996, and 2006 World Science Fiction Conventions. The award is named for the late Bill Rotsler, a talented and prolific artist over many years. Sue Mason, Mike Glyer, and John Hertz served as this year’s judges.

The award was formally announced at Loscon 43. An exhibit honoring Ditmar’s work was displayed in the Art Show.

Online galleries

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).

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[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.]

Rotsler Award to Harvia

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By John Hertz: Texan Teddy Harvia (“har-VEE-a”) has won the 2015 Rotsler Award, named for the late great Bill Rotsler (1926-1997), sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, and announced at L.A.’s local convention Loscon.

The winner receives a plaque and an honorarium of US$300. The Rotsler is given, as the plaque says, “for long-time wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the science fiction community.”

Rotsler himself was so prolific that previously unpublished drawings of his continue to ornament fanzines today.

Loscon is sponsored by the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, oldest SF club on Earth. The LASFS (“lahss-fahss”, although Len Moffatt always rhymed it with “sass mass”) and SCIFI (“SKIF-fy”) are independent California non-profit corporations. SCIFI established the Award in 1998. Loscon XLII was November 27-29, 2015.

Among SCIFI’s other projects have been the 1984, 1996, and 2006 World Science Fiction Conventions (L.A.con II-IV), the 1992 hardbound edition of Harry Warner’s fanhistory book A Wealth of Fable, and the 2002 West Coast Science Fantasy Conference (“Conagerie”, Westercon LV).

The Rotsler is decided by a panel of three judges, currently Mike Glyer (since 1998), John Hertz (since 2003), and Sue Mason (beginning in 2015, replacing Claire Brialey who, before this year’s decision, retired from the panel after eight years’ excellent service).

Harvia has won the Hugo Award four times as Best Fanartist (1991, 1995, 2001-2002); likewise the Science Fiction Chronicle readers’ poll four times (1990-1993); also the Southern Fandom Confederation’s Rebel Award (1997).

He arrived among us in 1975, since then contributing hundreds of cartoons, illustrations, and covers to fanzines and con publications. He was long associated with the fanzine Mimosa.  He was memorable in the cartoonists’ jam at the 2013 Worldcon (“Lonestarcon III”, San Antonio, Texas), where he and the rest drew lightning-quick responses to a time travel story extemporized by David Brin.

Asked whether there should be an accent mark over the i, Harvia said “That’s the Spanish side of the family. We on the Finnish side don’t use one.”

Some of his creatures, like Chat the Fourth Fannish Ghod (the extra h is an age-old, or h-old, touch of comedy in fanzines), or the Wing Nuts, re-appear.  Others we know not if we shall see again.  Keep watching the stars.

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Updated 12/01/2015: Adopted helpful correction by supergee. John Hertz says, “The mistake about Wingnuts Soccer was mine; I misinterpreted a previous draft by Mike Glyer. Harvia gave me the 1975 date, which was used in the Loscon exhibit.”

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.

Sue Mason Wins 2014 Rotsler Award

Illustration by Sue Mason. Published in File 770 #139 and elsewhere.

Illustration by Sue Mason. Published in File 770 #139 and elsewhere.

Sue Mason from the United Kingdom has won the 2014 Rotsler Award, given for long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community. Established in 1998, the award carries an honorarium of US$300.

Mason is a widely-published pen-and-ink artist who is particularly well-known for her activity in the British fanzine Plokta. Her illustrations are whimsical, humorous and richly-detailed.

Some of her best artwork can be seen in the chapbook I Want to Be a Celtic Death Goddess When I Grow Up [PDF file].

She is also accomplished at pyrography, the process of producing designs by burning them onto a surface, generally wood, leather or paper.

Mason is a two-time winner of the Best Fan Artist Hugo. She has won the Nova Award for Best Fan Artist seven times.

The Rotsler Award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, a non-profit corporation, hosts of the 2006 Worldcon. The award is named for the late Bill Rotsler, the talented and prolific fanartist. Claire Brialey, Mike Glyer, and John Hertz served as this year’s judges.

The award was formally announced on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at Loscon 41. An exhibit honoring Mason’s work was displayed in the Art Show.

For more about the Rotsler Award, visit www.scifiinc.org/rotsler/. Samples of Mason’s work will be posted shortly.

Jim Barker Wins 2013 Rotsler Award

Jim Barker, the Scottish fanartist, has won the 2013 Rotsler Award, given for long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community. Established in 1998, the award carries an honorarium of US$300.

Barker is renowned for his instant cartoons and prolific output. His sharp sense of humor and drawing skills have enriched fanzines and carried over to his work as a graphic artist and illustrator – see http://www.jimbarker.net/.

Barker is a past Hugo Award nominee and winner of the Checkpoint newszine poll for Best Fanartist.

The Rotsler Award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, a non-profit corporation, which in 2006 hosted the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention. The award is named for the late Bill Rotsler, a talented and prolific artist over many years. Claire Brialey, Mike Glyer, and John Hertz are the current judges.

The award was announced on Saturday, November 30, 2012, at Loscon, the annual Los Angeles SF convention. This year’s convention was Loscon 40.

For more about the Rotsler Award, visit www.scifiinc.org/rotsler/.

Hertz: C. Ross Chamberlain Wins 2012 Rotsler Award

By John Hertz: C. Ross Chamberlain of Las Vegas has won the 2012 Rotsler Award, given for long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community. Established in 1998, the award carries an honorarium of US$300.

Chamberlain is an adept humorist known for graceful line and eye-catching composition.

As a good artist he makes use of available technology. In the days of mimeography he was masterly with stylus and shading plate. Now he works marvels with Photoshop.

The Rotsler Award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, a non-profit corporation, which in 2006 hosted the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention. The award is named for the late Bill Rotsler, a talented and prolific artist over many years. Claire Brialey, Mike Glyer, and John Hertz are the current judges.

The award was announced on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at Loscon, the annual Los Angeles SF convention. This year’s convention was Loscon 39.

For more about the Rotsler Award, visit www.scifiinc.org/rotsler/.