Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2205th Distribution,
LASFS Meeting No. 3653, August 16,2007.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:firstname.lastname@example.org
|Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Denvention 3 in 2008!||Salamander Press #2688|
Michael Burlake brought me to last week's LASFS meeting. The meeting was rushed through to adjourn before 9:00 p.m. to allow as much time as possible for the program, two brand-new short amateur fantasy films presented by their creators; Haunted Planet by Danielle Stallings (live-action with SFX), followed by The Tragical Historie of Guidolon, the Giant Space Chicken by Frank Wu (animation). The films, about ten minutes each, were followed by a lively discussion with Stallings and Wu that was still going on when we had to return me to the hospital. Fortunately both films were shown before either was discussed; otherwise I would probably have had to miss Guidolon. Haunted Planet has been shown at four U.S. & British short film festivals since February, while Wu is trying to sell Guidolon to The Cartoon Network. Both looked like labors of love. Stallings said that Haunted Planet took about a decade to complete. One reason was that the special effects would have cost about $100,000 if paid for as a normal commercial cinematic production; instead she got them done for almost nothing by taking advantage of film labs working in downtime and calling in favors over many years. And what is the market for a live-action, slow-paced, intellectual s-f movie only ten minutes long? International film festivals and s-f conventions do not pay much for the films they present. Guidolon took less time to produce - it was first published as a short story in a "Japanese monster" anthology in 2005, and Wu and two others gave a dramatic reading of the screenplay version at Loscon 32 - and the filmmakers hope to sell it to The Cartoon Network; but will it bring enough to pay for the time & expenses that went into it? Just like any fannish project, they did it because it was fun. I was glad for the opportunity to see them at the LASFS, because I doubt there will be many opportunities to see them elsewhere.
On Friday, I was notified that my "A Brief History of the LASFS" from the annual Loscon Program Book has been selected as the entry on the LASFS in the online Fancyclopedia 3. Editor Jim Caughran had previously asked if they could quote from the history in preparing their entry on the LASFS. They ended up just reprinting the history verbatim, with a nice credit to the Loscon Program Book and to me. The online Fancyclopedia 3 is recommended to anyone with an interest in the history of s-f fandom, which includes a lot of LASFS history outside of the entry on the LASFS itself.
On Saturday I went to my sister Sherrill's apartment for more writing and fanzine reading while listening to anime music (Revolutionary Girl Utena soundtracks), watching an old movie (The Thin Man, 1934) and anime (two Azumanga Daioh! episodes) on her TV, and enjoying a homemade dinner. Sherry provided a variety of birthday cards so I could choose one and sign it for our mother, who will be 95 next month. Did I mention that she recently bought a new car?
On Tuesday, Sherry took me to visit the Eaton Collection at the UCRiverside Library for the first time since January. We had hoped that the nine-month delay since our last visit would have given CalTrans time to finish rebuilding the freeways through Riverside, but they are still all torn up. Dr. Melissa Conway, who had planned to tape-record an interview with me on each of my previous visits but was always interrupted, made sure that she got me this time with a lengthy video interview, to become part of a video documentary on the Eaton Collection once they finish filming the other segments, hopefully in time for the next Eaton Conference on Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. By the time we finished that, she was on the telephone being interviewed for another newspaper article about the growing academic interest in s-f; and she insisted that the interviewer talk to me as well. She also gave me a stack of brochures soliciting donations of s-f collections for the Eaton Collection, to take to ConChord 20. I identified more of the "mystery stuff" in unsorted hodgepodge boxes of my donations for the catalogers. I saw someone reading through one of the bound volumes from Bruce Pelz's fanzine collection, and asked if I could see if any of my fanzines were in it. One was, published in June 1963 when I was still living with my parents in my childhood home. Ah, nostalgia. The Eaton Collection currently has a glass showcase exhibit on Greg Benford, with copies of his early fanzines.
On our way back to the hospital that evening, we stopped for dinner at Pinocchio's Italian Restaurant in Burbank. We had invited Michael Burlake to join us there. He had some good news for him but bad for me; he will be moving to Roseville near Sacramento at the beginning of next month, as the result of a job transferal within Union Pacific. It is a better job that he had applied for, so he is looking forward to it. We were happy for him, but it means that he will no longer be able to take me to LASFS meetings every week. Sherry will try to replace him as my regular LASFS chauffeur.
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I have been reprinting D. C. Simpson's Ozy and Millie comic strip frequently as filler in ˇRR! So it seems only fair that I give his call for financial support some publicity. "My little nontraditional family is moving in September, so in August I'm determined to pull my own weight in terms of raising money for moving expenses. So, it would be extremely helpful if people bought things. To that end, I'm having a sale on strip originals for $75 (25% off), and signed strip prints for $20 (33% off). I'll throw a sketch in, too. If you've ever thought about buying an original, this would be a great time. Thanks."
For those not interested in buying an Ozy and Millie original strip, Simpson also has the complete run of the strip (1998 to the present) available in six attractive annotated reprint albums of about 130 pages at about $12.50 each (exact sizes and prices vary). See my review of the first four in Anthro #12; Closer to the Void: Ozy and Millie, 2006-2007 has just been published. Simpson further has a large array of Ozy and Millie merchandise (multicolored T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, buttons, magnets, mousepads, tote bags, etc.) on sale through CaféPress. It is all available through his website
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
Cover - (Moffatt) Is a laughing cat better or worse than a purring cat? I am still not sure whether I trust Bel Brands' in-your-face laughing cow.
De Jueves #1543 - (Moffatts) Just before my 2005 stroke, my brand new printer gave me about one day's notice before the black ink cartridge ran out of toner, every two weeks at the rate I printed paper copies. After my stroke I don't know what happened to that printer. My sister bought a new computer & printer for me in 2007, and the toner cartridge hasn't run dry yet. Of course, I hardly print anything today. I still liked the old Apple printer I had since 1999 to 2005 (and it was the Streamline Pictures' office printer for about five years before that), where the black ink cartridges lasted nine or ten months and gave about two weeks' notice before they ran dry. But when my 1999 iMac wore out and I had to buy a new one (just before my stroke), it turned out that no new computer was compatible with the "obsolete" Apple printer so I had to buy a new "modern" one whose toner cartridges ran dry almost immediately. ## I read Li'l Abner in the L.A. Times all during my childhood and teen years, and I distinctly remember a statue of Gen. Jubilation T. Cornpone, Dogpatch's Civil War hero, on horseback and waving a sword, appearing prominently in the background of Dogpatch's town square whenever it was shown. ## Superman (or the DC Comics editors) decreed several decades ago that his Clark Kent clothes including his glasses were made from some comicbooky superscientific cloth that was flameproof, creaseproof, and generally indestructible. It could be compressed into pea size and stored in a secret pocket in his cape and restored to full size when he was ready to change back into Clark Kent. Nyaah!
Vanamonde #743 - (Hertz) You don't know what kind of creature Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid, was? Obviously the same kind as Wakko, Yakko, and Dot Warner in Animaniacs. Probably Goopy Geer, too - no, Goopy was too clearly a cartoon dog. Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research reprints two of Harmon & Ising's rare 1934 Bosko newspaper comic strips, which "freezes" him in closeup on paper (http://www.cartoonresearch.com/warner.html). ## I was occasionally handed a glass ballpoint pen to sign credit cards or receipts at stores, invariably at a cash register with a display container of the pens for sale. They worked perfectly well and looked snazzy, but I was never tempted to buy one. By then I had long since eschewed all fancy pens, which were always being borrowed and never returned, for the cheap free ballpoints given away at convention hotels.
Godzilla Verses #152 -- (DeChancie) I do not know the size of Harry Warner's house, so I do not know whether to be impressed that his fanzine collection had grown large enough to crowd him out of it. My collection (of much more than just fanzines) had grown large enough to overflow my two-bedroom apartment into two large rental storage units by the time I had my stroke and it was all donated to the Eaton Collection. Bruce Pelz had at least one large storage shed in his back yard for his fanzines that had overflowed his house. Did Warner have any storage units, or was his collection still all in his house? ## The Portuguese bank note scandal of 1925 is fascinating if presented as a true-life crime case. If presented solely from the economic standpoint - as in the lengthy The Effects of The 1925 Portuguese Bank Note Crisis, by Henry Wigan - it is BORING! But Portugal had so many other crises and scandals during the 20th century... ## Your grandmother buried the fig tree every winter!? I cannot imagine that. The fig tree in our back yard when I was a child was taller than the LASFS' lemon tree. It was impossible to reach the figs on the top branches, which was why they over-ripened and rotted on the tree, drawing every bee and wasp and butterfly and fly and bird for blocks around, making it hazardous to get close enough to pick the ripe figs on the lower branches. They were too sweet for my taste. Maybe we are talking about different kinds of fig trees. I know that they all start out as small seedlings, but I cannot imagine any fig tree small enough and supple enough to bend over and cover with dirt being mature enough to bear fruit. One of the most unconvincing children's fantasies I ever read starred a Persian cat and her fig loyal sidekick as two Conanesque interstellar barbarian warriors (Spacebread, by Steve Senn; 1981). The author admitted that he based the characters on his own pet cat and backyard fig tree. Too cute to stand.
AMAzine - (Cantor) Maybe I should ask June Moffatt if she considers that 1910 Portuguese national flag parody design funny enough to be worth printing in color as an Apa L cover. ## Oh, now I have got to get Michael Burlake or Sherry to take me to Los Burritos! ## Everybody used to carry pocket watches; everybody today carries a cell phone. I don't see anything wrong with the comparison. ## A solid gold pocket watch? I had my grandfather's gold pocket watch, but it was only gold-plated. (I haven't seen it since my stroke. Hmmm; that would not have been donated to the Eaton Collection, would it?) I don't know how much a solid gold pocket watch would have been worth - or, considering how soft gold is, how long it would have lasted.
Toony Loons #54 - (Zeff) Thanks for letting me know that the Westercon Bylaws are still being published in its Program Book as required. Now has anyone checked if the membership badges have the members' names in as large a type size as required? ## But does anyone eat French fries with both pepper and mayonnaise?
I Kick Start Ballads - (Gold) No, no, don't drop out of Apa L! Please!