Ken Fletcher Wins 2018 Rotsler Award


The 2018 Rotsler Award has been given to Ken Fletcher.

The award, established in 1998 and named for the talented, prolific artist Bill Rotsler (1926-1997), is for long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community.  The winner receives a plaque and an honorarium of US$300.

Fletcher’s drawings have been part of Rune and many other amateur publications for decades.  By 1976, when he co-founded Vootie, “the Fanzine of the Funny-Animal Liberation Front,” he had long been known particularly for anthropomorphic cartoons.

He has drawn on spirit-duplicator masters, mimeograph stencils, and in today’s digital media, sometimes with fantastic settings, or remarkable because the setting is all that is not fantastic, like his invented Spontoon Island where it always seems to be 1937.

In 1966, Fletcher co-founded the Minnesota Science Fiction Society (Minn-StF). In 1979 Fletcher and his wife Linda Lounsbury were the Down Under Fan Fund delegates.  They attended the Australia national SF convention, held that year in Sydney.  Upon their return they presented a slide-show at cons in North America.

Science Fiction Five-Yearly, a fanzine published on time for sixty years, carried the long-running serial !Nissassa by Nalrah Nosille (backward only in that sense), with recent chapters illustrated by Fletcher.

Some of Fletcher’s work can now be seen in a gallery at DeviantArt

The Rotsler winner is announced each year at Loscon, held during the United States Thanksgiving-holiday weekend.  Loscon XLV, 23-25 November 2018 at the Los Angeles International Airport Marriott Hotel, had a display in the Art Show of work by every Rotsler winner.

Loscon is sponsored by the non-profit L.A. Science Fantasy Society, oldest SF club in the world.  The Rotsler is sponsored by the non-profit Southern California Institute for Fan Interests.  The current Rotsler judges are Mike Glyer, John Hertz (since 2003), and Sue Mason (since 2015).


Rotsler Award Exhibit at Loscon 45 — Photos by Kenn Bates


Art by Ken Fletcher.

Art by Ken Fletcher.

Art by Ken Fletcher.

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 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.