The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Get Your Geek On – Day Four

Posted by BigWords on September 15, 2011

Part and parcel of being interested in SFF and horror (along with the downright weird – I still haven’t come up with a catch-all term to cover shows such as Twin Peaks, American Gothic and Wild Palms) is the community which grows naturally with the scene. It isn’t just dressing up as Klingons for a convention, though people do that, but encompasses fanzines, game mods (and total conversions), fan videos, filk, role-playing and other RL activities and events. It has been a while since I have had the opportunity to do anything fun, which is why I always puzzle at the people who want to move out of the city to the “peace and quiet” of the countryside, so far from the places where conventions are normally held. There was a while when I was really into writing and drawing for fanzines, though that seems to be more and more an online thing rather than the glorious photocopies I remember – the likes of Sick, Happy, Idle, or Dek Baker’s wonderful Wargods Of Atlantis. Somehow, reading fanzines on a computer monitor is less interesting.

I fell out of the fanzine scene around about the time a bunch of misogynistic, racist, violent and poorly drawn material began drowning out the good stuff. It wasn’t an overnight decision to stop buying titles, but as I found more and more of the titles I was purchasing to be of a questionable nature, I slowly began to scale back how much I was willing to spend in any given month. Eventually the bad overwhelmed the good, yet I still have the good stuff. If you haven’t read The O Men or Psychosense, I suggest you go hunt for them. The writing is much, much better than in a lot of Marvel and DC titles, and the characters are sympathetic and interesting. See? I really do like superheroes, only not the overblown and endless stories mainstream publishers foist on readers.

Writing for fanzines was always a hobby, and I never thought of putting together anything too precious (Bellamy never appeared in those stories, not the Faerwither stuff), and when I went back to those pieces I struggled to find anything worth reprinting here. I’m sure most people would, at this point, make sure their early material never saw the light of day, but I am more perverse than that. It would be cruel and unusual punishment to subject you to the poetry, or the awful, awful RPG settings I put together, but the art isn’t all that bad – not brilliant, but not shame-worthy.

I’ve already mentioned the Babylon 5 mod I worked on, so it isn’t as if I have hidden the amount of fan-material I have produced. The revisionist Star Trek fanfic got bogged down in detail (unlike most fanfics, mine was a complete reboot), but that is probably going to appear online somewhere as well, possibly under a pseudonym to keep the ardent fans from baying for my blood. I should shut up now, before I dig myself into trouble…

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