I'm in heaven and it's full of Vilas!
Here I am in 1982 surrounded by silk-screened covers for B7 Complex #4 - I'm in heaven, and it's full of Vilas!

My Life in Fandom - Deb Walsh's Fanzines

Last updated 14July2012

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Welcome to My Life in Zine Publishing Fandom!
I've got posts on my blog providing some of the history of my activities in this and other fandoms, but here's my fanzine fandom timeline all in one place:
  • September 1974 - Student orientation at Temple University Ambler Campus - I meet Peter A. David and Wedge Goldstein. They need a fourth signature on the Second Age Star Trek club charter in order to use the campus mimeo machine. I'm signature #4 - my high school friend Joe McK is signature #3. The club exists so that the mimeo machine can be used to publish the next several issues of Second Age. I don't find out for 36 years that's there's a real Star Trek club on the main campus ...
  • August 1976 - August Party '76 is my first con. So far, my activity in fandom consists of typing stencil masters, collating pages, putting labels on envelopes, and possibly doodling cover art. At August Party '76, I'm introduced to other fanzines - and it's a little scary, because people are really serious about this stuff! At our dealer's table, I'm sitting right next to a very nice lady who gets pretty weird when she starts talking about being "inducted into Kraith." I know nothing about this, and I'm starting to edge toward the exit. Then I meet Mary D. Bloemker, and discover the world of media fandom. My life will never be the same.
  • August 1977 - August Party '77 - I publish my first zine! Catch the Final Sunrise! is a self-published Space: 1999 novella. I learn a very quick and rather painful lesson regarding the difference between friends who edit and editors who are also friends, when a professional writer picks up the zine, flips through it, and laughs out loud then accuses me of plagiarism. Note: As of August 2010, I have yet to read any of her fiction. I also vow that no one published in one of my zines will have to undergo that reaction.
  • November 1977 - I publish my first anthology zine, Moonbeam. It starts life as a Star Trek and Space: 1999 zine, but quickly becomes multi-media. Then, with the next issue, it becomes a theme zine.
  • February 1978 - I publish what I think is the first Star Wars fiction zine. It's nearly 30 years before I realize that Bev Clark beat me by a week or so with her spectacular Skywalker zine. Still, it's one of the first, and I do think it was the first on the East Coast. A few weeks later, I move to Boston from Pennsylvania. Over the next year, I'll publish two more issues of Moonbeam, one an Agents' Special (spy shows) and the other a virtual third season for Space: 1999.
  • September 1978 - Battlestar Galactica premieres on ABC, and inspires Mary A. Fall Wardell and me to start writing what will become our Tales of the Purple Squadron. Soon, I'm collating my various press flyers into a mini-zine called Felgercarb. Within a year, Felgercarb becomes my primary zine.
  • September 1980 - Mary D. Bloemker is introduced to Blake's 7 at a Noreascon 2 video party. She begins to plot getting the rest of the Boston contingent hooked on the series so she can see more.
  • March 1981 - I finally see - sort of - very fuzzy and distorted recordings of episodes of Blake's 7 at a Lunacon video party. "Countdown" and "Sarcophagus" later, I'm hooked. I start trading for episodes of Blake's 7. MaryB is happy.
  • May 1981 - I publish Felgercarb #8/9, featuring part 1 of "A Question of Honor," the latest in the off the Purple Squadron series. Part 2 has yet to be written and/or published, thanks to my decision to publish a Blake's 7 zine while we're breaking down our dealers' table at MediaWest*Con 1.
  • August 1981 - B7 Complex #1 debuts at August Party 1981. It is the first US-based Blake's 7 zine, although a short Tomorrow People piece causes some fen - involved in a later "rival" Blake's 7 zine - to claim the zine doesn't qualify as the first North American Blake's 7 zine. Uh-huh. I guess it's no coincidence that the zine they claim to be the first is the one that accepts their submissions without editing them, eh? B7 Complex will become my longest-running zine, with 16 issues, ending in 1988. In the meantime, Mary A. Fall Wardell and I run a Blake's 7 fan club, The Bored without Blake Committee (BBC), and I work on con comm at two different Blake's 7 conventions, Scorpio 2 through 7, and DSV (1988).
  • May 1988 - I explore a new obsession by publishing Arrowflight, a Robin of Sherwood zine. Much fun, lots of great art and terrific fiction and poetry. Truly a labor of love.
  • May 1989 - Arrowflight and most of its contents are nominated for Fan-Qs. Amazingly, the long stories by Jenni and me tie for the Fan-Q. A hush falls over the ballroom, and everyone's expecting a catfight. Jenni and I link arms, and dance up the aisle to accept our Fan-Qs together. Weirdly, although nearly the entire zine has won a Fan-Q, the zine does not, losing out to the amazing Longbow.
  • I take a break from fandom for a couple of years, but it's Mary D. Bloemker who entices me back by encouraging me to get online in 1992. I've discovered Real Ghostbusters by now, and Forever Knight is on the air as well. Soon, The Manifest #1 is born in 1993, with the second issue - and a Fan-Q nomination for the zine and a win for me for my X-Files story "Haunting Melody" - in 1994. Also up that year are Trap Open! #1 in Real Ghostbusters and Bridger's Folly, a seaQuest DSV zine. Second issues of Trap Open! and Bridger's Folly are planned, but not completed. The Manifest goes to four issues, earning a Fan-Q Honorable Mention for #4. A fifth issue is planned, but so far, has not come to fruition.
  • In 1994, I get hooked on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Wonderful, creative fandom, fabulous zines. I haven't been this inspired to write since Blake's 7. In 1995, I publish one of my all-time favorite zines, Sound of the Flute. A second issue iss definitely planned, but my fannish activities come to a sudden halt with the death of my father in September 1996. It will be 14 years before I'm able to return to this fandom because it's simply too painful for me. For the moment, I drop out of fanzine fandom all together, and pursue figure skating fandom for several years (the subject of an entirely different web page ...).
  • In 2001, I move home to Pennsylvania to care for my Mom. I attend my first fan con in several years, Eclecticon in New Jersey. Suddenly, a name suggests itself to me for a Stargate SG-1 zine. Next year, I'm Just Sayin' ... #1 debuts at Eclecticon. The zine and my Stargate SG-1/Relic Hunter novella are nominated for Gatefic awards, but neither win. Since this is a fandom that is mostly internet-based, to be nominated for a print story is an amazing honor - this is one time when I really do feel that the nomination is itself an award.
  • In 2003, I make the mistake of debuting three new zines at Eclecticon, a second issue of I'm Just Sayin' ..., the long-awaited second issue of Trap Open!, and a Shadow Chasers zine, Relaxovision!. Although Trap Open! #2 goes on to win a Fan-Q in 2004, it does not sell well, and I actually end up with more contributors than zine buyers. Producing three zines at once puts a toll on my finances, and I can no longer afford to do another zine, at least not for several years. I'm also spent at this point - all the zine energy is gone. Additional issues of I'm Just Sayin' ... - this time with a cover by Suzann Lovett! - and Trap Open! end up being cancelled, along with other zine projects Zero Point Module (Stargate Atlantis) and Day of Disappearance (Without a Trace).
  • Here we are in 2010, and I'm writing my fannish memoirs, and making fiction and art available again. Going back in time reminds me of what I love about doing zines - the planning, the brainstorming, the designing, and finally, holding that first finished copy in my hands. The filter of time currently obscures the things I hate about doing zines, like dealing with overblown egos, competing for limited pools of contributors, and coping with the pressure to deliver the zine for a con. Is there a way to do a print zine in the full flower of the internet age? Something to ponder ...
  • So of course in 2011, I actively started working on new zines, new stories, new art. Moonbeam #7 finally came together for MediaWest*Con 32 in May 2012 - more than a year late, but hey, it is a tribute to classic fandom, so why not "real soon now"?
  • In 2012, I've got more stories, more zines, more art coming! I really enjoyed publishing Moonbeam #7

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