Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fanzines 1977•1978

Armageddon cover artwork by Andy Kuhn

from the introduction to “9 aliens”:

When I first dreamed of a career for myself as a professional artist of some type, I thought it would be in comics. I found a co-conspirator in my good friend Pat Talbot, who I met in September 1973 as students in our first year of Middle School. We were both fans of Star Trek and Planet of the Apes. Together, we started a small science fiction club, and I began reading Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and E.E. “Doc” Smith books. Eventually Pat won me over to superhero comics, and Iron Man #71 was my first purchase in August of 1974. Not long after, we were fervently creating our own comic books with markers on typing paper. When Pat learned that professional comic artists used india ink on large sheets of bristol board, we upgraded our methods. We competed with, and encouraged each other to be better artists and storytellers. In 1977 Pat published his fanzine “Armageddon" which I contributed to, along with other artists and writers from the comics scene in Indianapolis. I had some nebulous plans to print my own zine as well, and I interviewed the artist Al Milgrom for it from a pay phone, dropping in quarters as he patiently answered my questions. By the publication of Pat’s next fanzine, “Eons” in 1978, I had started teaching myself to paint and shortly after began to entertain ambitions of someday becoming an illustrator creating book covers for science fiction novels. My artistic goals had shifted, and I never got around to printing my own zine, but forty years later, I’m correcting that in a modest fashion. “9 aliens” collects together a group of pen and ink drawings I made in the fall of 2016. I’d been wanting to try my hand at this media again for some time and found the catalyst in the social media challenge “Inktober”.

Bruce Jensen New York, NY May 2017