[Editor’s Note: The following message from Bob Madle was co-authored with his daughter, Jane. She approved it being shared with fan groups who might be able to assist. The announcement concerns his copies of the five issues of Science Fiction, a mimeographed fanzine published by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster beginning in October 1932. You may recall that Madle, now 101 years old, is the fan who named The Hugos.]
An Important Message from Bob Madle
PLEASE BE ON THE LOOKOUT!
We are searching for my copies of “Science Fiction” Fanzine #1-5 (1932-33), Jerry Siegel – Editor. Issue #3 contains the first appearance of Superman
Hello to My Friends in Fandom:
I recently discovered that many of my fanzines from the 30s and 40s, including all five issues of “Science Fiction” had been stolen from my collection. The theft occurred sometime prior to the start of the pandemic – before March 2020.
I’m attempting to track down the “Science Fiction” fanzines since these are so rare and any sale would be notable. if you hear of a set for sale or are contacted about them, please let me know.
As most of you know, these are extremely rare; there are only a few copies in existence. This is a very special item and means a lot to me, so again, I would appreciate it if you hear anything about a sale or purchase of them, please contact me.
[Thanks to John L. Coker III for relaying the message.]
I hope Bob gets his fanzines back.
I hope they’ve contacted the major auction houses Something like that could draw more than most fans could afford.
I sent Bob a copy of the EBay auction that was almost certainly his fanzines. They were offered for sale on August 14, 2018, with an asking price of $96,808. I’ve added a link where you can see that original post. Of course I can’t guarantee that these are his copies, but it seems unlikely that another complete set came up just about the same time as his went missing.
Looks like the link didn’t go through on my previous email, but if you’re interested (or know who “metropoliscomics” are), here is their original ebay posting:
That eBay listing includes the claim these fanzines were originally part of “the Forry Ackerman collection”.
Thanks for pointing that out. Of course if someone had stolen those fanzines, it seems like it would have been a natural cover to claim that they had come from the Ackerman collection. Since Metropolis Comics is based in New York, I would expect that they hadn’t travelled to California for that auction, but rather were selling them from someone who claimed that they had been there.
Bob Madle’s daughter is convinced that the set I saw is not her father’s set.
So, any other leads would be appreciated.
I am just appalled that anybody would steal anything from Bob, one of the nicest people in all of fandom.
He was the first actual, real, Fan that I ever met. Nothing has ever caused me to change the high regard in which I hold him.
The “Science Fiction” issues are so scarce that each copy would be distinct. Any photographs of the missing items would help with the search.