Today, an offering from long-time friends and influencers, they of the pointy fannish cushion and comfy chair, two fans who made my personal encounters with Brooklyn fandom a joyful and rewarding experience, the energetic, cogent and always interesting Suzle Tompkins and Jerry Kaufman, perpetrators of fandom’s own Spanish Inquisition with side trips into the Mainstream.
Span Inq and Mainstream were two of the most influential fanzines coming out of the east coast during the 70s, a time when I was just discovering organized fandom (NYC style) and made the acquaintance of some very weird (in a good way) actifans – the aforementioned couple, Andy Porter, Gary Farber, Moshe Feder, Ginjer Buchanan, and Stu Shiffman and others.
They were all already doing what I wanted to be doing: making fandom the center of their lives, writing, illustrating publishing, brushing casual elbows with the greats of the field who seemed to hold them all in high esteem. Boy was that the life: leave mundanity behind, be a fan, nay – be a SLAN!.
Unfortunately, most of my new found friends all moved to the left coast just as I was getting to know them. But – internet!
For the record: Suzanne Tompkins (Suzle) and Jerry Kaufman have been nominated for the Best Fanzine Hugo Award for both The Spanish Inquisition (a heady series of pure fannish if ever there was one) and Mainstream; Suzle bunked with Ginjer Buchanan with whom she helped found the Western Pennsylvania Science Fiction Association (and please correct me if I am wrong but I believe they also had a hand in putting on my favorite and long-lamented relaxacon – Pghlange) and was the 2005 TAFF delegate; she actively works on many conventions, including Worldcons. Jerry, as they say, has done it all as writer, publisher, editor, con-runner and DUFF delegate.
I still have my copies of SpanInq and Mainstream and whenever I’m wondering ‘what makes a good fanzine?’, I’ll pull out those copies and study those ‘zines.
Here then is an issue of their latest offering – Littlebrook. A personalzine that largely plays tribute to another friend, Brooklyn fan and traitorous west-coast relocator – Stu Shiffman. The LOCs are quite interesting (you can read what everyone is referring to by looking at earlier issues of Littlebrook over at eFanzines.com) and in particular demonstrate that ‘filthy pros’ still read and comment on fanzines.
You can read all of the issues of Littlebrook and many other fine fanzines on eFanzines.com