Thursday, March 05, 2015


You (you insignificant little buttplug you!) might think that a book featuring nothing but covers taken from Lenny Kaye's personal Sci-Fi fanzine collection might be rather twee in the idea department, but for a serious fan and follower of the original fanzine spirit such as myself (perhaps second only to Fredric Wertham if not Bhob Stewart) this is a book just to die for, sweetie! True these covers representing perhaps a good CHUNK of the various 'zines that the famed rock writer and Patti Smith guitarist had collected during his days in Science Fiction fandom might not chalk up much inna huzzah world for some, but if you too are still agog at the entire long-gone concept of the fanzine as a mode that cut around the chaff of mainstream dogma and got to the hardcore intent then you'll appreciate looking at these as much as I have. Who knows, you might get into this 'un the same way you used to get all agog reading Greg Shaw's reviews of the up-and-coming 'zines in his BOMP column, surprised as all heck that people back then were actually paying attention to the Stooges and New York Dolls back '73 way when you thought it was all Elton John and Cat Stevens!

Nice selection here too, reprinted in full color when necessary and at times even annotated for those of us who forgot that the entire concept of Dianetics was first spread within the fanzine realm or that one of the founders of NAMBLA (Walter Breen) was into Sci Fi fandom and was causing controversy with his presence in the field even then. The artwork extant is is often brilliant esp. for the no-account jagoffs who were creating these rags, and a good portion of 'em are so hotcha that you'll be begging to get an eyefulla just what the innards to these things were like even if you couldn't care one whit about the FIAWOL credo that was so prevalent in the sphere at the time. Sadly there's none of that to be espied here, so I suggest that if you are curious as to what was to have been found within the pages of FIENDETTA #4 you should check out the ebay auctions and try to bid as much as you can afford just so's you could find out for yourself and sate those lifetime pangs of wonderment!

It's also interesting to see just how---uh---"advanced" some of these fanzine types were as far back as the fifties, what with the presence of scantily clad or even nood (bullseyes included) gals popping up on covers! Not to mention ideas and concepts that might not have settled too well with normal people such as ourselves which only proves that the punkoids of the late-seventies weren't the first to create provocative fanzines. I get the feeling that many a teenage outer space aficionado was thinkin' up many an interesting place to stash his copy of SPACEWARP #66 so's the folks didn't get an eyefulla the beauteous babe onna cover, but at least the mag was a whole lot easier to hide than NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC!

And for you longtime Kaye fans there's even some covers from his own publications including a number of "APAS", not to mention a "backwords" from Johan Kugelberg that tries to explain it all and as you'd already have guessed the resultant spew made for a more fun'n setting some lush on fire heap o' time! Hopefully such a project as this will be encouraging to others who want to preserve/recapture the fanzine spirit of yore...personally I wouldn't mind seeing a similar collection (with both cover and inside reprints) of the various MAD-inspired fanzines of the fifties and sixties such as NOPE, JACK HIGH and WILD not to mention one featuring various sixties and seventies home-produced rock reads that Dave Laing keeps sayin' he's gonna do even though I have about as much faith in him as I do Baby Huey. But for those of us who still swear by the power of the 'zine and continue to rate them much higher than the professional excursions that skirt around the real deal then man, you'll really love this one up and down the convention floor!

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