How Robby the Robot Was Salvaged

By Alan White: Pretty cool about Robby the Robot going for millions.

I wrote about this in Delineator so long ago, and just wanted to add a bit to the story FYI.

The Uncle Simon head.

Following the MGM auction in 1970, I was working for Ed “Big Daddy” Roth at “Movieworld” in Buena Park.

After the dust had settled on the auction, the owners bought scavenging rights for the MGM lot.

I think they paid $10,000 for anything they could haul out of there. This was only a few weeks prior to the whole place being bulldozed for condos and stuff.

The owner, Jimmy Brucker, Ed Roth and I found tons of stuff abandoned in boxcars on the lot.

I don’t recall how they got their hands on Robby, but I could see across the lot on the other side of some tall underbrush, all the wall panels from inside the United Planets Cruiser C57D, plus the large ray guns placements they used when fighting the ID monster.

I set out through all this shoulder high plants, and half-way across, stumbled into Robby’s hot rod hidden amongst all this vegetation.  It was a wreck as you can see in the pic. Yes, I’ll have to rescan these pics one of these days.

The wall panels and control desk without the big space globe could never be rebuilt. Everything had been left to the elements since, I suppose, 1956.

Thanks to ‘The Kustom Car King” Ed Roth, Robby and the car were rebuilt and put on display at Movieworld.

I printed this card  – an insert into my fanzine which I took to a WesterCon in ummm, 1971 or maybe 72.

The car came inches from winding up under a construction site.

So there you see only 3 degrees of separation between Rat Fink and the ID Monster!

Prelude To A Honeymoon In Vegas

Nic Farey, Roy Hessinger, and Jennifer (AlLee) Farey. Photo by Alan White.

Nic Farey, Roy Hessinger, and Jennifer (AlLee) Farey. Photo by Alan White.

Nic Farey married Jennifer AlLee on February 29 in the social event of the season. Of my season, for sure.

Nic invited me to the wedding during a Facebook chat. I was pleased to be asked. And glad of a chance to visit with Vegas fans I rarely see. Nic, however, thinking I needed to be sold on a journalistic reason to go, offered, “You can be the embedded correspondent.” That’s what they call those reporters who follow the military into action, of course, and I doubted that was a good title for somebody attending a wedding. Nic saw my point. He said instead I could be the War Correspondent.

Your War Correspondent stayed at the Green Valley Resort in Henderson, and on Leap Day a little before 6 p.m. I found Nic and his friends finishing a last-minute smoke outside the entry to the hotel wing. Nic led the way to the elevator.

The ceremony was in a beautiful suite upstairs. The middle of the living room had been cleared out, with two rows of sofas, chairs and ottomans against the window overlooking the pool for the guests. I sat beside Rani Bush. De De White, on my right, filled me about what her husband Alan, the official wedding photographer, was shooting. (Small world: I wrote up Alan and De De’s wedding in File 770 when they were the first couple to be married in the newly-opened Excalibur hotel’s wedding chapel.)

Beside us was a baby grand piano. On top was a mountain of gifts wrapped in white with purple ribbon – for everyone had carefully followed the suggestion to buy something in the couple’s Bed, Bath & Beyond registry.

As Nic and best man Ken Vaden looked on, matron of honor Lisa Richardson and the bride, Jen, entered the room.

Roy Hessinger officiated over the ceremony. When Nic and Jen exchanged vows, Nic’s “I DO!” could be heard at the pool six floors below.

They exchanged rings. Jen’s went on smoothly. Nic’s proved to fit better on a pinky than on his ring finger.

Following a Scottish tradition they shared a drink from a large cup.

As they were speaking the very last words of the ceremony there was a knock at the door. The videographers had just arrived….

2 COMP

Alan White took pictures of Nic and Jen holding their certificate. Then the couple had the first dance. The music was carefully chosen and Nic says he whispered some “At Last” lyrics into Jen’s ear as they danced.

The reception followed. Toasts were raised.

The best man offered a short speech: “That was it.”

Jennifer’s son, William Allee, made a slightly longer speech, first praising his mother, then teasing the groom. “And then there’s Nic – he has a very strong personality. ….Can overcome that nobody has any idea what he’s saying. ..Nic, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you…”

Jacq Monahan, De De White, Mike Glyer, Brenda Dupont. Photo by Alan White.

Jacq Monahan, De De White, Mike Glyer, Brenda Dupont. Photo by Alan White.

Then the mingling began. I had fun talking with Nic, Brenda Dupont, Teresa Cochran and James Taylor, and Jacq Monahan, past TAFF delegate and Cineholics film reviewer (her review of The Witch went up last week.)

Brenda Dupont, Teresa Cochran, James Taylor, De De White, Mike Glyer. Photo by Alan White.

Brenda Dupont, Teresa Cochran, James Taylor, De De White, Mike Glyer. Photo by Alan White.

We also were served scrumptious whipped-cream-topped red velvet cakes in plastic wineglasses.

Eventually I noticed I was one of the last people still there. Others had figured out the honeymoon couldn’t begin til they were gone. And having made a point of being only the War Correspondent, I sounded retreat and followed them out the door…

Update 03/15/20-16: Corrected name of matron of honor.

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!

Joe Viskocil Passes Away

Joe-SW-ModelwmBy Alan White: Movie pyrotechncian Joe Viskocil passed away August 11 at a hospital in Los Angeles.

He was one of the original Monster Kids who grew up around Famous Monsters and the Saturday Double Horror Matinee.

He even did his own fanzine Gobs of Horror in 1965.

He made quite a name for himself doing pyrotechnics in motion pictures, particularly Star Wars, Terminator, and so on. He’s the guy who really blew up the Death Star.

He later won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for Independence Day.

Dueling For-Profit Cons

The Torontoist’s account of a local conrunning corporation’s tactics to discourage competition reminds me of LA fandom’s ancient nemesis Doug Wright.

Alan White’s website Smell the Fandom talks a bit about the tactics Wright used in the late 1970s while attempting to dominate sf conrunning in LA. (Drill down to page 27 of Alan’s autobiography “Boomer’s Lament.”) And this PDF is a copy of a flyer Wright sent to his mailing list in 1978 denying stuff he’d done and making accusations against other conrunners that harmed their reputations.

[Torontoist link via Isaac Alexander.]

File 770 #155 Posted at eFanzines

Alan White’s cover and Taral’s bacover bookend one of the longest issues in File 770’s history, now posted here in PDF — http://efanzines.com/File770/File770-155.pdf

The 50-page issue is loaded with stories about the late Forry Ackerman, and photos too. Taral provides insightful commentary about the styles and history of all 10 previous Rotsler Award winners. John Hertz contributes his definitive Denvention 3 report. James Bacon muses on the things fandom could learn from Britain’s cosplay balls. Steve & Sue Francis highlight the 9689-mile road trip they took en route to last year’s Worldcon. And I have a number of pieces, including my Corflu Zed report and analysis of the Hugo ballot. 

Hope you enjoy it!

New Issue of File 770, the Fanzine

Cover of File 770 #153 by Taral Wayne

The new issue of File 770 is posted at eFanzines as a PDF file. (Paper copies were mailed on June 30.)

James Bacon and I do some last minute fanzine Hugo handicapping. My tribute to Worldcon toastmasters “Silverberg and Resnick – That’s Entertainment!” is in the issue. John Hertz reports several valuable news stories. Mystery writers Mary Reed and Eric Mayer answer my questions about writing historical fiction. I write up my Corflu Silver experiences. James Bacon tells about a day of his honeymoon visit to South Africa. There’s a great cover by Taral Wayne, and new illos by Alan White, Brad Foster and Alexis Gilliland.

Fanotchka Revival

The script of Andy Hooper’s faanish play “Fanotchka,” first performed at L.A.con III in 1996, has been formatted and posted on eFanzines by Lenny Bailes. Hooper’s pastiche of Ernst Lubitsch’s 1939 film Ninotchka, starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas, now receives its online premiere after appearing in Bailes’ fanzine Whistlestar. The text is superbly illustrated by Steve Stiles and Alan White.