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A Fantastic Cover

6 Jul


Fantastic Stories of Imagination, August, 1962 Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, August, 1962

I’ve always thought the cover to the left, from August, 1962 Fantastic Stories was great.

An internet search for the names of most Sixties Fantasy or SF artists will usually garner significant information. But I found virtually nothing when I Googled the name of Vernon Kramer, who created this cover. All I can tell you is that Kramer did quite a few covers in the Sixties for Fantastic and her sister publication, Amazing Stories. Most of them were arresting paintings, but this would be my favorite.

I’ve just always thought it was haunting and beautiful and evocative. It illustrates (and I suspect inspired) a pretty nice story, “Sword of Flowers.” Back then SF magazines would often buy a well-executed painting and then pay a writer to create a story around it. I’d bet that that was the case here. In any case…

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Gary’s Top Comic Books (of 2012)

6 Jul


The following post is by Gary Brown and is reprinted from his zine, Oblio.

Each year I take some time to look back on the previous 12 months and pontificate on what I think were the best dozen comic books of that period.
As in the past, I remind my readers that these are MY opinions. End of sentence. Of course, as a reader and collector of comic books for more than 50 years, I believe I’m qualified to put my own judgmental stamp on what is good and what is not so good. This year, I estimate I read between 800-1,00 comic books.
I also need to point out that I don’t read every comic book that comes out, meaning there is no doubt that there are titles that I miss or totally ignore here that should be mentioned. So, use that to balance just how you accept…

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Windy Con 37

6 Jul


I wrote this con report for Bob Jennings’s outstanding SF fanzine Fadeaway back in January. With this year’s Windy Con looming on the horizon, seems like a logical candidate for my first post here.







            Man, you gotta be really careful what you say around Bob Jennings.  He was gonna email me some info, and I said I might not get back to him till Monday, cause I was gonna be at WindyCon.  Next thing I knew, I was doing a WindyCon con report for Fadeaway.  Which meant I’d have to do more than swill beer in the con suite all weekend, I supposed.  Go to some actual events perhaps.

WindyCon 37 was held at the Westin in the Chicagosuburb of Lombard out in DupageCounty.  So Friday, November 12, I hit the expressways around two in the afternoon and rolled into the hotel parking lot…

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6 Jul


           Last August I rejoined SFPA, which stands for Southern Fandaom PressAlliance.  A couple different times back  in the mists of prehistory, I was in SFPA, the first time, when I was fifteen.  (Dave Hulan was OE first time I joined.) I said it was in the mists of prehistory. I was never the most active (or illustrious) member, but man, SFPA was great for me, growing up in the sixties.  Not only did it connect me to other SF fans, it sort of connected me to the wider world beyond my home town of Metropolis,Illinois (population 6,800), and it introduced me to a lot of people way cooler than just about anybody I knew personally.  I mean, as far as I was concerned (and still am) Dave Hulan, Bill Plott, Al Andrews, Dick Ambrose, Hank Reinhardt, Joe Staton, who once stenciled  an entire issue of my fanzine Outre’ for me, and all the rest…

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“Paradise Lost” by Hank Reinhardt

6 Jul




                            Or Will Hank Reinhardt

                            Ever find Happiness Living

                            in Birmingham, Alabama?


                            By Hank Reinhardt



                My first encounter with the city of Birmingham, Alabama, was an experience both painful and pleasurable.  Painful: just look at the city.  Pleasurable, it was the first Deep South Con I ever attended.  In fact, the whole experience is worth telling alone, but I’ll shorten it slightly. 

     I had never attended a DSC, but that year Jerry Page had nagged convinced me that I should go.  He had promised that the con committee would have an altar raised for me, that there would be plenty of bheer, and above all, card games.  He had even, he said, imported a special FISH for me, by the name of Lon Atkins.  (Little did I realize that this same Lon Atkins would someday be OE of…

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Preliminary Cover Sketches for JIMMY STU LIVES!

6 Jul


My novel Jimmy Stu Lives!, a satire set in the framework of a science-fiction adventure, should be coming out sometime next month from Penumbra Publishing ( . Joe Staton, an artist whose work I very much admire, is doing the cover for it. Joe and I were both in Southern Fandom Press Alliance (SFPA ) back in the Sixties (when we were both toddlers), and he actually did the cover for an issue of my fanzine in those days, Outre’.  I no longer have that issue—you know how it goes—but through the miracle of modern technology, I was able to get my hands on a copy of the cover. Ned Brooks, venerable Official Archivist of Southern Fandom Press Alliance, located the issue, Outre’ #3, scanned the cover and emailed it to me, informing me that the issue had appeared in SFPA mailing #14 (circa 1963).  

         So this will actually be…

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