Earl Kemp recently published eI57 with the collected “Letters from Jail” by Ted White. Twenty-five years Ted ago was arrested for dealing drugs out of his home in Falls Church and served a term in jail. He wrote a compelling series of 21 letters to his friends about these experiences. Since his friends were also fanzine editors the letters soon saw print, however, their Eighties zines now are rarities.
Kemp, who published his own prison letters in eI10 (2003) in “I’ve Got Some Friends Inside,” had the vision to do the same with Ted’s letters, collecting them in a single issue, handsomely illustrated by Dan Steffan.
Kemp announced in the same issue that he will shut down his prolific fanhistory zine at the end of this year. Two more regular issues will appear, then Kemp’s last one, eI60, will contain an Index to the entire run. eI will definitely be missed.
eI was really the zine that got me into LoCing, which led to me LoCing other zines, discovering Vegas Fandom Weekly and That led to the Drink Tank. After eI shuts down, all three of the zines that were most responsible for getting me to do zines and into regular fan writing, Peregrine Nations, eI and VFW, will be gone.