|comic book fandom days (began for me 40 years ago..)|
The images speak for themselves. Mostly. Some, anyway. Or maybe I just wish they did... To begin properly then, I speak of G. B. Love, who published the Rocket's Blast ComiCollector, a hybrid of two older fan publications from before my day. It eventually became known simply as the RBCC. G. B. published several other related things like the Fandom Annual, but the RBCC was the mainstay. I call the RBCC an adzine but I believe G. B. disdained that label... There were many fanzines those days, all amateur publications that only those in fandom knew about. To know of them at all, one almost had to be an RBCC subscriber, and there were only about 2,000 of those... To have any hope of reaching fandom at large with your fanzine, advertising in the RBCC was a must. Andy Warner, who inked most of what G. B. published of my stuff, was the one who introduced me to all this. Indeed, what fan art I did was done for G. B. exclusively. I went on to work for G. B., at no pay, and was well compensated by simply being so included and involved. I'd open the mail for him among things and so was the first to see much of the first art by such as Rich Corben. I appreciate Andy's bringing me into all this. At a very young age, around 1966, I'd already begun boldly picking the brains (by long distance phone) of such generous spirits as Frank Frazetta, and by 1969, Jim Steranko. I'm talking many many hours, very very much of their valuable time. In those 'later' years, my relation with the RBCC may have helped, if it was realized at all. G. B. Love was first and foremost a man of great class, and very great character. He was a cornerstone. He was and is greatly underknown, and greatly underappreciated for what he did for the industry. His work barely subsidized itself and as such was simply labors of love. He was a child of the 1940's and '50s. He was a huge huge fan of C. C. Beck's Captain Marvel. (Mr. Beck, as it was, was also a south Florida inhabitant.) All this nolstalgia was stirred a couple of days ago when I sought out Don Newton on Google. Don was another Captain Marvel fan. Don was a good artist and contributed majorly to G. B.'s publications. Don's biography is somewhat of a sad one. His later relations with Mr. Beck certainly were... I am very very far from telling the full tale here... There are names that should be mentioned, artists, other publishers of fanzines, writers, convention organizers, friends, etc... Tangental people in the industry of the time. Among those who contributed to what G. B. did, I should name James Van Hise as a major collaborator of his. Artists include John Adkins Richardson, John G. Fantucchio, Robert Kline, and of course, Don Newton. Other related names would be Mark Burbey, Howard P. Siegel, Biljo White, and John Ellis. I must mention E. C. comic fans. Mad Magazine began as an E. C. comic. E. C. fandom was some of the richest part of late '60s fandom despite it having been gone for years. Squa Tront and Spa Fon were E. C. fanzines (titled after some of E. C.'s alien words). These were great publications, worth quite a bit now. In closing, I'd like to mention names like Jan Strnad, Rich Hauser, Gary Groth, and Bill Pearson, writers and publishers who made a difference in a world that for me once encompassed all possible worlds and is now all but forgotten. The list is way too short at that, for I sadly admit that there are many names that I have indeed forgotten... ...Like the crewcutted dude who published E. C. in the first place! It is such a different world now. It was even then. The distance now is just that much greater. I tell you; there was once so much now so lost to undeserved obscurity.
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