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Saturday, February 16, 2008


Askance no. 5-6

John Purcell, College Station TX / j_purcell54@yahoo.com / $2, trade or on eFanzines.com / That's a Frank Wu on the cover? A dragon on stage at a rock concert seems a little silly for him … Anyway, this latest Askance is my kinda fanzine, with goofy personal natter (i.e., John talks about his dogs), a silly article by James Bacon on becoming a zombie (my clients recommend two shots atop a xanbar), and a very cool piece by Lee Anne Lavell on how she became a fan. Arnie Katz promotes "Core Fandom" as the true inheritor of the fandom of Ackerman and Jack Darrow. Personally, I think The Core was a waste of Hilary Swank. Editor Purcell stands in for Lloyd Penney and reviews a few fanzines – including one or two I don't get, an intolerable situation – and Linda Bushyager wonders "What if?", a question I often ask myself, particularly when I encounter a real lawyer at court and all I have in my briefcase is umpteen fanzines to review. The lettercol is thoughtful, most interesting when the Chorus turns its attention to the study of fanzining as an art form unto itself. I must single out J.A. Kaufman's kind words about Challenger's website, which is entirely to the credit of Patrice Green; all I do is send her files. Issue #6 features a wonderful cover by Kyle Hinton and the results of John's poll on fannish pet peeves. But most interesting to me is Andy Trembley's piece attacking Core Fandom, Arnie Katz' label for fanzine fans; he sees it as exclusivist. Claire Brialey, in a long subsequent piece, struggles with the question. Bill Fischer's satire, "Tart Reform", is simply choice writing, as his "Figby" is simply choice cartooning. So why is this "my kinda fanzine"? Because it's fun, it's personal, it's enthusiastic and it's positive.

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