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Number 76 (Vol 2, No. 36).  This edition is for the week of September 3--9, 2001.
"Murder in Small Town X" concludes. Was it worth the wait?
The Evolution of the Fanzine

It bears repeating for the PCR uninitiated: I am not a big fan of reality shows, the type that FOX TV's "Murder in Small Town X" purported to be. The bold experiment here was to intertwine the elements of reality TV and theme parties. By theme parties, I mean those that take over a hotel, cruise ship, or whatever for the purpose of acting out a murder-mystery. Very popular in person, but never really attempted as a TV series before now. I am also on record as having stated that the only reason I tuned in at all is to follow the exploits of the production's make-up department head, Corey Castellano.

As of this writing, I'm still not altogether sure if the theme-party idea worked. But the cast and crew were competent individuals and did a good job on the production. Everyone involved certainly gave 100%. I compliment them for that.

That said, the conclusion to this 7-week excursion was Tuesday, September 4. For anybody who caught any part of the earlier episodes and still cares, after it came down to the last two players, the killer was indentified as William Lambert (I think he was the guy who owned the nightclub?). There was some additional business earlier where the killer took a hostage and the players were convinced it wasn't Lambert. In any event, Angel cracked the case and was the winner. The "mayor" of "Sunrise" presented him with the prizes: $250,000 and the keys to a new (2002) Jeep Liberty Sport.

ISN'T THAT THE BORG BABE?  Just saw an ad for the new season of "Boston Public". Well, now we know where ex-Borg beauty Jeri Ryan went after the "Star Trek: Voyager" series ended: she plays a new teacher at Winslow High. Like the male students don't have enough to be distracted about.
DRAGONCON.  Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Atlanta's legendary DragonCon this year. If any readers attended the event and wish to report in, please feel free to do so, I'll post it ASAP.
JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. I saw this flick over the weekend and absolutely agree with stalwart PCR contributor/critic, Michael A. Smith, that it's a must-see! It helps if you're a Kevin Smith fan, yes, and have seen his other movies some jokes are spoofing, but I can't see that anyone wouldn't find this irreverent mess hysterical. Well, one exception: "Reoper" of "Reoper and Ebert At the Movies" found it "self-congratulatory", "self-consciously-hip", and "oh, aren't we all inside this joke" and gave it a "thumbs-down". I suppose anyone jealous of Kevin Smith's ability to create moron characters who say funny/interesting/insightful things in machine-gun fashion or didn't like his other movies would say that. Don't count me among them. If this is truly Jay and Silent Bob's last film together (as I heard it was), I'm going to miss them. Hopefully, they'll think of a new "pentology"-series and return. Insider tip on "J & SB Strike Back": stay in your seat till the very, very end--after the end credits--for a special guest cameo.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Corey and Evelyn Castellano, married 8 years September 4, 2001. Many happy returns.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE LOCAL FANZINE. This is a huge topic and we're not pretending to be encyclopedic, going back to the legendary stuff of the 30s--40s or anything, at least not yet (altho that's a very worthy topic), but, William Moriaty, as part of his "La Floridiana" series, is running a play-by-play on the comic/sci-fi/horror/fantasy fanzines as they appeared in Tampa, as he remembers them or was involved with them, spanning the 8-year period between 1975 and 1982. (It's 8 years if you include the years themselves.)
    Next week, I'll help him out with 'zines he was not familiar with or a part of (due to re-location or whatever), but I was. If any of my readers recognize themselves as former 'zine publishers, writers or artists, you'll likely see yourselves mentioned. It is no shock that Nolan's Pop Culture Review is basically an electronic fanzine with deep roots in paper 'zines, publishable in these quantities only because of the computer revolution. Altho I'm grateful to be doing it now, and frequently wish I'd had the computer for fanzine publication 25 years ago, the charm of these often crude, low-budget, but very, very sincere little books is testament to what is accomplishable by talented, driven and sincerely crazed fans when private publishing was very difficult and expensive to do. Nonetheless, many of the 'zines were outstanding and the contributors went on to greater successes.
   It was a good a time to be alive and I'm proud to have been a part of it. The series begins right now, below...

La Floridiana by William Moriaty
LOCALLY-PRODUCED FANZINES OF THE '70s AND '80s.  by William Moriaty
When I was a crumb-crunching yard ape about a million years ago in the early 60's, my older sister would share her comic books with me. For that matter, I pretty much learned how to read thanks to my sister and her comic books (shows, don't it?). She would read and share the latest editions of Katy Keene, Brain Boy, Wonder Woman, (Bang your head we're all..) Metal Men (sorry, but I've always to say that), Batman, Detective, Superman, Spider Man, and World's Finest. I particularly fondly remember how excited I would get at the news of the latest 80-page annuals to be released (and they were only 25 cents!).
   I became fascinated by comic-book art starting with Bob Kane's Batman. But my appreciation for comic-book art skyrocketed in 1964 when artist Carmine Infantino introduced the "New Look" Batman in the May issue of Detective Comics. Infantino brought to the Masked Manhunter a fluid, refreshingly action-filled and graceful look that was sadly lacking for at least a decade or more prior to that. I then became an avid reader and collector of all things Infantino, reading Detective Comics and the Flash on a regular, no-miss basis. At that same time I started to become enamored of the diverse styles in artists such as Sid Greene, Murphy Anderson, Joe Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, and one of my other favorites, Curt Swan. My goal from ages 10 to 30 was to become a comic-book illustrator (I'll tell you one day about how T.R.E.E. Inc. won that battle).
When visiting my cousin's South Tampa home in 1970, I stumbled upon a late '60's crudely-produced black and white comic-like book printed locally. I immediately went crazy when I saw it---there were young others out there aspiring to be comic-book illustrators! I wish now that I would have asked my cousins if they would've given or sold me that publication, as I'm sure now that it met its eventual fate at the Taylor Road Landfill three decades ago not long after I discovered it---for all that I know it may have had early Pat Broderick work in it. When I asked my cousins about this publication, they told me that it was known as, class? anyone? Bueler? A FANZINE!
cover, period #1
"period", issue #1, May, 1975: Cover art by Carl Swann. ©1975 by Alan Rodgers. (Click on image to see full-size.)
cover, period #2
"period", issue #2 of July 1975. Star Trek characters Spock and Capt. Kirk on the cover complement the Marcus Wielage interview with series creator Gene Roddenberry. Cover art by Wil Mor. ©1975 by Alan Rodgers. (Click on image to see full-size.)
cover, period #3
"period", issue #3. Originally slated for having a cover by Denis Lebrun, at the last moment a photographic cover by Merry Moor Winnett was used in this December 1975 issue. ©1975 by Creatia. (Click on image to see full-size.)
   It would be five long years later until I would again stumble upon yet another fanzine. That happened when I went to my favorite local comic book and magazine emporium, Your Book Nook Newsstand, located at that time at 3613 South Dale Mabry Highway (phone 837-1258) (Both the address and phone # are since defunct, so don't even bother, people...---N) not far from Britton Plaza in South Tam-pah.There I saw at the counter a crudely made 5 1/2" X 8 1/2" fanzine publication called, "period". (The lower-case "p" is deliberate.---N)

"period"- total of 3 issues, May, July, and September 1975:
Issue #1--May 1975: 18 pages.
  Editor: Alan Rodgers, Associate Editor: Jim Sams, Contributing Editor: Puppy Dog (don't ask), Production Manager: Carl Swann, Artists: Jim Sams, Alan Rodgers, Nnaws Rlac, William Taylor, and Mark Bratton. Literary Staff: Alan Rodgers, Jim Sams, and A.B. Surde. Stories: "P.S. 83" by Jim Sams, "Rudimental Logic" by a.b. surde, and "...of paradise" by James E. Sams.
   Alan Rodgers was only 14 or 15 years of age when he produced this publication. As noted above, both the artwork and layout composition were quite sloppy, but hey, we're talking about the same teenager who would grow up to later become the editor and associate editor, respectively, of nationally-distributed publications "Night Cry" and "Twilight Zone" magazines in the early-to-mid 80's, not to mention having published several award-winning science-fiction and horror novels by the 1990s.
   Nevertheless, flashing back to 1975, upon purchasing the zine, I asked the then-predating-Tom Bowles-and-Nolan Canova-Book Nook-clerk, Pat Freda, where "the elusive" Alan Rodgers could be found, as I wanted to help Alan clean up the publication, sensing that if done a little more professionally, it just might garner a respectable fan base if the right mix of artists and writers were used.

Issue #2--July 1975: 26 pages.
  Publisher: Alan Rodgers, Art Editor: Will Moor (yours truly) (We'll go into Will's name-change some other time.---N), Associate Art Editor: Denis Lebrun, Literary Editor: Alan Rodgers, Artists: Will Moor, Denis Lebrun, Bebe Williams, Fabian Cetnarowski, John O'Donovan, Eric Linquist, Bill Longstreth, Moffit, Bret McGonigle, Carl Swann, Bill Taylor, and Lee Wright. Literary Staff: Denis Lebrun, Will Moor, Alan Rodgers, Jim Sams, Ray Spitzer, and Marcus Weilage.
   What a difference two months and (not to brag, but what the hey?) a new art editor made. I brought in Robinson High School friends and fellow artists Denis Lebrun (who went on to draw the world-distributed King Features famed comic strip "Blondie" in 1982, officially becoming its lead artist in 1997--Denis was a sophomore at Robinson, but graduated from Tampa Bay Tech), and Fabian Cetnarowski (who did incredibly beautiful surrealistic work). My now life-long friend, Denis Lebrun, brought fellow Tampa Bay Tech artist Bill Longstreth on board also. Marcus Weilage brought us a six-page interview that he conducted with "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry. A columns page was added with "Cartoon Corner" by Denis Lebrun, and "Hidden From View" by yours truly, and even a funnies page was added with "the someday funnies" featuring "...of paradise" by Jim Sams and drawn by Eric Linquist, "Our Little World" by Denis Lebrun, "The Doors of Sammy Tee" by Bebe Williams (who later treated Tampa Times subscribers to the hilarious comic-photo strip in the early-to-mid 80's about fictitious Tampa gumshoe "Nick Boliche--Private Eye" ), and "Trichotomy" by myself. Stories: Included "Vega", (a space-aged hippie type I created in the early 70s) in "Terra Momma in Turkey's Cousin" (what can I say? I was young, foolish, and totally uncultured-- now I'm old, foolish, and totally uncultured), and "Bedtime Story" by Raymond Lewis Spitzer.
   Publisher Alan Rodgers even managed to get five paid advertisements for this edition. All in all, about 200 copies sold (100% of those printed), 100 at Your Book Nook, and 100 at Extra! Extra! Newsstand in Temple Terrace---this would be the pinnacle of "period".

Issue #3--September 1975:
  Publisher: Alan Rodgers, Art Editor: Will Moor, Literary Editor: Alan Rodgers, Associate Editor: James E. Sams, Photographic Editor: Alexander Mirzaoff, Literary Contributors: Pat Freda, Denis Lebrun, Will Moor, James E. Sams, and Ray Spitzer. Graphic Contributors: Bebe Williams, John Burgett, Fabian Cetnarowski, Denis Lebrun, Eric Linquist, Will Moor, Alan Rodgers, and Merry Moor Winnett.
   This was the third and final edition of "period". Slated for September distribution, it was three months late in being distributed, hitting the news stands close to December. By print time I had relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, so distance made my involvement with the publication much more limited. Also Denis Lebrun's career was starting to take wings and fly at the Tampa Neighbor newspaper where he did beautiful art and cartoon work, and had his own weekly strip, "Rolling with Roger". The columns page this time around featured "Drips" by Pat Freda, "James E. Sams" by James E. Sams, "Comix" by A.P. Rodgers, and the previously mentioned "Cartoon Corner" and "Hidden from View". Features were "Kanlon" in "Heavy Concepts" by Alan Rodgers, and illustrated by myself (with occasional guest appearances by Denis Lebrun). "The someday funnies" was limited to Lebrun's "Our Little World", and stories included "...of paradise", part 2 by James E. Sams, "Vega" in "Trichotomy", and "Recurring Dream" by Raymond Lewis Spitzer.
    From a graphic-arts angle, this was the finest of the three "period"s published. The altered photographic image cover by my sister, the late Merry Moor Winnett (more about her in a later NCPCR) was clean and dramatic, Cetnarowski was at his surrealistic best, "Kanlon" gave us a typical comic-book appearance, a collaborative air-brush centerfold was done by Denis Lebrun and myself, and the photographically-altered three-headed man by John Burgett that appeared with "Trichotomy" was outstanding. At this same time, Alan Rodgers also published "Antares", a fanzine I was not associated with. Rodgers copyrighted both "Antares" and "period" issue 3 under the name of "Creatia" publications.

ASSOCIATED WEB SITES-- To get the most up-to-date information on some of the artist and writers mentioned in this edition, try out the following:
Carmine Infantino--http://www.comic-art.com/bios-1/infntno1.htm
Alan Rodgers--http://www.sff.net/people/alanr/index.htp#bio
Denis Lebrun (courtesy of King Features Syndicate)--http://www.blondie.com and http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/blondie/about.htm

NEXT WEEK: Alan Rodgers, Wil Mor, Denis Lebrun, and Nolan Canova, amongst other notable artistic home boys will get more "air time" as Nolan and I review "Advent", Issues 1 & 2 (1977-78), "The Galactic Invader's Handbook" (1977), "Alphan Moonscapes/Video Beams" (1977-78), "Vortex" (1978), "Zeta 1 Reticuli", Issue #1 (Fall 1981), and "Not Too Long Before the Fall" (Summer 1982).

Florida Folk Heroes, SPECIAL ADDENDUM: Troy Donahue, 1960's teen heartthrob, who starred in movies such as "A Summer Place" with Sandra Dee, died in Santa Monica California at age 65 on Saturday September 1st, after suffering a heart attack two days earlier.
   For those too young to remember this actor, he was "honored"--in a sense--by being a hybrid of two well-known, but washed-up actors (the other being Doug McClure) in one known as "Troy McClure" on Fox's, "the Simpson's". Donahue's big break in television came with playing a detective in the early 60's ABC series "Surfside Six" (when 1984-89's "Miami Vice" actor Don Johnson was just a junior high schooler living in Flat Rock, Missouri). Surfside is an actual part of Miami Beach, and the series was filmed from a docked houseboat on slip #6.
   In the late 1990's, the alleged assailant of slain fashion designer Giovanni Versache would be found by the Metro-Dade County Sheriff's Department hiding out on this very same houseboat.

Letters to the Editor
Scott Gilbert
One of the last things I've done at work today was check out Nolan's Newsstand for this week (Re: PCR # 75). It was altogether entertaining as usual, but when I got to Mike's column and the line: "Bayer said he would appeal, then squeezed into a little fire engine and drove off. " I just about died.

Thanks, guys. You rock.
--Scott Gilbert
And thank you, Scott, for the kind words. Always good to hear from you. Mike's response when alerted to your letter? "That's great! Tell SAG I'm glad I can still make him laugh!" LOL! Indeed.---Nolan

Will Moriaty
I should've guessed that if anybody would've remembered that ad, it'd have to be you! Yes, it was indeed Unclaimed Freight!  (Re: Will's question posed in "Letters", issue # 75.---N)

Matt's Rail    by Matthew Drinnenberg

Want to begin by clarifying my report on the FORRY/FERRY FIASCO.
It was the LA Times that reported on August 12 that a US Bankruptcy Court trustee has filed an extremely rare lawsuit against the legal firm that represented publisher Ray Ferry who we all know was found guilty of defrauding the Ackermonster. Even though Forrest J Ackerman was awarded more than half a million dollars in damages by the jury, Ray Ferry immediately declared bankruptcy and his lawyers assisted him in giving away huge chunks of his property, including transferring the trademark of Famous Monsters Filmland to another company which just happens to be owned by the law firm representing him!
   As stated last week, THAT is a MASSIVE NO-NO. There are rumblings abroad that the Ferry appeal could possibly backfire on him to the greatest extremes. Just because RF is the one who sought the appeal is no guarantee of anything from the court. Appellate judges often times end up INCREASING the judgement to include greater awardings to the victim (Uncle Forry). Given the illegality of the Ferry actions, I could see how the judge could easily reverse any closed contract as illegal and circumvention of the law. Should we perhaps be quandering whether or not Forry will gain total control over the name FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND? Hmmmmmmmmmm. Dare we dream!

As stated previously, Mike and I are undertaking a fantasy challenge this NFL season.  Points will be awarded for yards and distance of touchdowns scored (1 point every 10 yards running/receiving/1 point every 20 yards passing).  We will total the points as the season wears on and whoever has the highest score at the end will be declared the winner. Naturally, Mike and I will be keeping score for all of us.

Well, gotta get running so till next time....
Take care, love to all, and God bless,

Mike's Rant!

Hello gang! More celebs dropping like flies, Yoko continues to piss me off and greed shames the national past time. Shall we begin?

Two very different passings to report this week.
PAULINE KAEL: Like many of the contributors to this endeavor, I have many fond memories of the Book Nook. While most of our friends rushed there every Friday after school to pick up their latest comics, Matt and I would spend hours sucking down 25-cent Cokes and perusing the full-page movie ads in the New York and Los Angeles Times. Then, while Matt drifted off to the Adult Section, hoping that the latest issue of "Chunky Asses" had come in, I would leaf through the various magazines checking out the latest reviews. (And then afterwards, also check out the latest version of "Chunky Asses". ---N)
   Ms. Kael was among my favorite critics. She always had a good point to make, whether or not she liked the film. Though she downplayed her effect on the movie going public, she personally championed such films as Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather," Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" and "Taxi Driver," Hal Ashby's "Shampoo" and Robert Altman's "MASH." She also liked the violence of such directors as Sam Peckinpah and Brian De Palma, which she referred to as "sensual." She once stated that filmgoers would be debating the merits of "Last Tango in Paris" for as long as there were movies. While she went out of her way to praise such critical bombs as "Personal Best" and "Casualties of War," she also let it be known that she "hated" Oscar-winning best pictures "American Beauty" and "Ordinary People." Long before Gene and Roger put their thumbs up, Pauline Kael was my movie thermometer. She passed away Monday at the age of 82. She had suffered from Parkinson's disease for some time.
TROY DONAHUE: A blond, blue-eyed heartthrob of the 50's and 60's who starred in such teen romances as "A Summer Place" died this past Sunday. He was 65. Cause of death was listed as a heart attack. Born Merle Johnson, Jr in January 1936, he moved from New York City to Hollywood at the age of 19. The release of "A Summer Place" in 1959 made him a star. Other teen romances followed, including "Parrish," "Rome Adventure" and "Palm Springs Weekend." He also appeared in the television detective series "Surfside Six." He was given his screen name by Henry Willson, the same agent who named Rock Hudson. His last memorable screen appearances include roles in "The Godfather Part II," where, ironically, he portrayed a character named Merle Johnson and director John Waters' 1990 film, "Cry-Baby." Donahue was married at least four times, including to actress Suzanne Pleshette. He is survived by a sister and two children

You may recall last year when I ranted on the fact that Yoko Ono was allowing the marketing of metal statues of John Lennon made out of melted-down hand guns. Well, once again, the Dragon Lady has pissed on her late husband's memory.
   This Wednesday's "Rolling Stone" magazine will carry an Absolut vodka ad which alters the back cover of the 1968 John/Yoko album "Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins." The ad is part of a series based on famous album covers from the 60's and 70's, subtly altered to feature the Absolut bottle shape. Among other artists/albums being used: David Bowie/Aladdin Sane, Miles Davis/Bitches Brew, The Velvet Underground/The Velvet Underground and Nico and Judas Priest/British Steel. FYI: The Velvet Underground album cover was designed by Andy Warhol. Why does this disturb me? One reason. John Lennon had no say in this decision. When alive, he refused to sell out. Remember when Nike used "Revolution" in a shoe commercial? (Thank you, Michael Jackson.) Tell me John wasn't spinning in his grave then! Estimates put the fee Ono charged for the rights to use the art at between $250,000 and $500,000.
   Does she need the money??? OK, I know Ringo is shilling for Century 21 and Charles Schwab. Maybe he needs the money. Who knows how much it costs to keep Barbara Bach looking that good? Paul McCartney is now hawking vegetarian frozen dinners, but they are manufactured under the Linda McCartney brand name. I shudder to think what's next? George Harrison doing vacation spots on Bangladesh, ala Paul Hogan? God help us!

Let me preface this piece by stating that I do not believe I am a racist. I've got friends of every race, creed and persuasion. However, the recent humiliation of our country by the Bronx, New York Little League team just totally pissed me off. Those of you not familiar with the story, let me bring you up to speed.
   Each year, the International Little League Association holds it's annual World Series. Teams from eight international regions as well as eight regions here in America compete on local levels to reach the big show in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This year's team, representing the Eastern region of America, featured a pitching sensation by the name of Danny Almonte. He was a big kid, throwing 75 mph (which, on the 46-foot pitcher's mound-to-home-plate distance is akin to 96 mph plus). He was also 14 years old. Oh, did I mention that the oldest a player could be in this series was 12? Armed with what is now revealed to be a forged birth certificate, this kid was brought over from the Dominican Republic by his father for the sole purpose of cheating. The parents feigned insult when Danny's age was questioned. His mother went so far as to say, "Danny has a brother who is two years older. I think I would remember if I was pregnant at 12!." Which means she remembers being pregnant at 14!!
   I think what upset me most about this was that, when a press conference was held after the cheating was discovered, NONE of the representatives of this AMERICAN TEAM spoke English! They had to have translators. What the hell is this about. An American team where no one speaks English! I know we encourage all people to come to our country, but at least have the courtesy to learn our language when you get here. Especially when you're going to embarrass us at our own game! By the way, both the boy's father and his coach were banned for life from participating in another Little League event. Danny is allowed to continue in the more senior version of this game if he chooses to play next year. Of course, he may be studying. Because of the fame brought on the team by the deception, it was discovered that Danny has not attended one day of school since arriving in this country in April 2000. Just the kind of kid you want on your Wheaties box!
    Oh, by the way mom...........you WERE pregnant at 12!

Well, that's it for this week. Looking forward to next week's discussion of some of the fanzines I remember. Hoping they touch on one that continues to bring chuckles whenever I think about it.

To Will Moriaty:  BTW, Will, I DO remember the Hubert Rutland commercial. (Re: "Letters", last issue.---N) Thanks for the memories!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2001 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2001 by Matt Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2001 by William Moriaty    Add'l thanks to Will Moriaty for extra input in Letters and to Scott A. Gilbert for his letter and continued support    All contents this page are ©2001 by Nolan B. Canova

Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of  Nolan B. Canova, ©2001