Let’s go back…way, way back, to 1968 and a young Bill Wilson’s The Collector 13!
The Collector 13: November/December 1968
Editor and publisher: Bill G. Wilson
First off, sorry for missing last month…the con circuit combined with the current workload was just too much! I hope my scantily clad friends from the east kept you company. Now, onward to the brand new Ink Stains featuring The Collector 13!
What you see this month is a very early issue of what became one of the best fanzines around during the 70s. You will see toddler steps preceding what became the young adult fan fave. Mainly what you will see is an interview and a lot of work by John G. Fantucchio! So, let’s get this black and white, zip-a-toned party started!
John G. Fantucchio (left), he of the huge, spiky, ornate signature, stood out. His work was unlike anything else seen in the fanzines of this time period. When most tried to be smooth and clean, emulating the popular, slick professional comic artists of the day and their squeaky clean superheroes, Fantucchio’s style was somewhat singular. Figures with long pointy toes and fingers set against psychedelic backgrounds of moiré patterned zip-a-tone, his illustrations stood out from the rest. In addition to pure ink work supplemented with zip-a-tone, you would often see collage, painting, and various combinations of all of his tools. The kitchen sink was not out of the question, as you can see from the front cover below!
Bragging that the interview was the first of its kind in fandom, editor and publisher Bill Wilson mainly was interested in Fantucchio’s interests in comics and fanzines, along with the usual questions about how the artist got started, etc. But, you have to remember, Wilson was only in his early teens at this time, although his fanzine already had 12 issues under its belt! More art below from Fantucchio.
There are several more illustrations accompanying the interview, as well as spot illustrations scattered throughout this half size fanzine, so download the pdf to see the whole package! Though the interview is obviously the main course of this half-toned meal, there are several other morsels to feed the reader. After an editorial and the interview, we are treated in succession with an opportunity to win a Fantucchio original (which, if I remember correctly, was won by Aaron Caplan, who graciously supplied this fanzine for review to me), a Dwight Decker column on how to collect comics entitled “A Prescription,” a letters column, “News and Views” from editor Wilson, as well as a partnership with artist Alan Hanley on “A Childish Look at Comic Heroes,” with one example seen above. We also get another installment of Wilson’s own superhero character, Hyperman (a “pulse pounding” example seen in the banner at the top of the column), as well as a column on EC Comics and censorship by Tom Christopher. Coincidentally, an ad for the last actual Ink Stain column subject, MCR, appears in this issue of The Collector.
Of course, there are illustrations in this issue not by Fantucchio (although, to be honest, none of them hold a candle to the more developed interview subject’s work), including work by Bob Cosgrove, James Shull, Martin Greim, Kurt Luchs, Dave Transhue, Gary Robinson, and Gordon Flagg Jr. You can see Shull’s work at left.
Again, thanks to Aaron Caplan for supplying this (and several other zines) for me to actually hold in my hands (and scan), review, and share with all of you. Remember, you can download the whole pdf here! I scanned this fanzine two pages at a time, due to the half size nature and the wraparound cover. Tune in next month, ladies and germaphobes, for even more pulse poundier fanzine fodder!
Ken Meyer Jr.