Sex or No Sex? Easy choice this time…it’s No Sex 13!
No Sex 13: 1980
Editor and publisher: David Heath Jr.
The loyal readers of this column will know from a previous installment how wonderful this little zine was, how much love was put into it, and how much its readers loved the magazine and it’s publisher, the late David Heath, Jr. Waaaaay back in Ink Stains 4, I profiled the issue following this one (see it here). Frankly, I am surprised this is only the second time I have profiled No Sex. I have almost all of the 18 (I think) issues, and appeared in many of them myself. I think part of the reason is that the zine was pretty dense with text, and I tend to focus on the more illustration oriented fanzines…my bad. Hopefully, I will rectify that in this and other columns to come. Let’s move on, shall we?
David stated in another issue that “No Sex Magazine is a ‘fanzine’ that was devoted to amateur SF/Fantasy and comic art. I started publishing it around 1973 and continued into the late 80’s. It was put out in order to satisfy a need to create art, story and feature work I liked. It became a forum for fan artists and story tellers to come together and show their wares. It was a lot of fun for me and turned out to be more than I thought it would be.” In addition to his stable of constant writers and artists, he sometimes published up and coming creatives who would go on to fill the pro ranks, such as Gilbert Hernandez. Beto said of Dave, “Oh yeah, he was very kind and patient with my eccentric comics. I’m sorry to hear that he’s passed away. I’ll always be grateful to him and Matt Bucher and Jay Van Bockel for having me in their zines when nobody else would.”
No Sex was one of those zines that looked hand made…because it was! You can tell the pages were made up of pasted up text from an old electric typewriter…and Dave used up all the space he could! Dave’s art was very reminiscent of one of his heroes, Vaughn Bode. Above you can see an example of his friendly and whimsical style.
One of my favorite contributors to this zine was Earl Geier. Earl had a no nonsense, no frills style that might have put off those lovers of overly rendered art. Probably even me, way back then. But I grew to appreciate his wonderful writing abilities, his clear storytelling style, and his understanding that the art serves the story first and foremost. He handled “spotting the blacks” as well as any fan artist back then. I think of him as a lesser known version of David Mazzuchelli, and I also believe his work leans towards masters like Alex Toth. The one thing he could have really improved upon is his lettering, but that is a small complaint. He had his own zine, Bald Ego (see my coverage of that here), chock full of these great stories. I believe he still has copies of his run, which lasted 6 or 7 issues. Below you see a few pages from his story, “Let Us Pray.” Of that story, Earl told me via email “I remember I was happy with the story, especially with the way neither side was right. I was happy with the imagery, and was intrigued when, several years later, similar imagery turned up in Vincente Segrelles’ The Mercenary. Dave was stationed in Germany at the time of #13, and I know he got around to conventions there when he could. I also know you could find a lot of borrowings in Segrelles work at that time, so…?” Though Earl has had a tough time of it lately, he said “I DID get an ego-boost from the Hernandez brothers, who did a signing at the store I work at. They remembered my stories fondly, it seems.” As well they should!
Following Geier is a pin up by Jerry Collins, inked by Heath. Then David’s editorial catch all column, “The No Sexist” appears. David talks about the zine, conventions, and his travels, including a stop in Utah, where I met him face to face for the first time while his big motorcycle was being worked on. What a treat that was! As I said, No Sex was full of articles and stories. The first prose work to appear is “Placebo” by Joseph Taclas (who also provide a spot illo). After that we get a two page strip by George Lane, titled “Evening Prayer.” Below you see an illustration that accompanies that short piece.
Following Lane, Jerry Collins and Heath inundate us with “War Star Cruisers,” a loose bit of story to wrap around the artists’ love of space ships, as seen below. That is just one of four pages of space ships!
A bit of fanciful whimsy by NS stalwart, Klaus Hiasch follows, telling us how a 4 year old David Heath Jr visited Klaus at the DC offices in 1950 and promised to be a big time artist one day…until he was kidnapped and sent into space, to appear 30 years later! By the way, that is young David in 1959 in the banner at the top of the page.
Heath’s fanzine review column, “U-Zine” is next, and he covers a lot of zines! Following the review column is a full page pin up by Gary Barker, and then another bit of SF prose, this time by Joseph Shea titled “The Coming of Age of Robot Planetary 132.” Within that is a spot illo (at top of column) by one of other huge fan faves, Rick McCollum (I did a whole column on him here). Rick was possibly the best “idea guy” in fandom. He appeared in many places, had several zines of his own, and wrote and illustrated a ton of stories. Next up is a fan folio featuring several artists, a few of which you see below (spot illo by George Kochell above, by the way), L.R. Davidson, Bill Anderson and McCollum and Mitch O’Connell.
A one page pin up featuring “Victor Hess” by Jerry Collins is next, then a very strange strip by Tom Bowen called “Track,” one page of which you see below.
That is followed by “The New Sheriff” by Tony Casoria, done in a visual style I find very attractive. Check it out below.
Now, the moment you have all been waiting for…”Mr. Matter,” by Swinging Steve Streeter, Joltin’ Josephine Brainovich, and Klueless Ken Meyer Jr.! Seriously…my art was terrible back then…but fun nonetheless. Below I will subject you to only two pages.
Oy…that was difficult…but I will endure. Mr. Matter creator, Steve Streeter, had several fanzines of his own, including Paige Profiles, Xyloman, Fawn, The Wanderer, Super Squad, Paige Feature, and Outer Limits Newsletter. Paige, by the way, is both Streeter’s middle name and the name of his great uncle’s music store, a place of great memories for him, I am sure. Streeter was another one of those young fanzine publishers full of enthusiasm for the medium of comics. When asked about that time, he said:
Mister Matter was a character that was inspired by the old Metamorpho DC comics. It was at this time I scripted out Mister Matter and The Liquid Legion at the same time. The Liquid Legion never saw the light of day even though I have 20 pages of material that I have penciled. Mister Matter was one character I had wish could have been brought into his own zine. I was thinking of doing a Tales of Suspense like format with him and Xyloman. That was the plan. We all know what “The Pressure of Our Plans” can do. Ken was one of my very best comic friends. He always supported me with his talents and for that I am his friend forever. I like what you did Ken with Mister Matter. Now I have to see Part One! Ha!
The letter column follows (“The Cosmic Stopwatch,” naturally), and then this fun little maze graphic by John Howard seen below.
Jerry Collins’ strip, “The Hunters” is next. Then there are some ads (which are just as interesting to me, seeing what other zines were coming out at the time), and the inside back cover and back cover, the latter of which is by the busy bee, Willie Peppers, which you can see below.
Now, you might notice there is a lot of stuff above, but you probably also get the gist that there is a ton more to see in the pdf on my site here. You can see work by Gene Day’s brother, Dan, as well as complete stories that you only see snippets of above, plus a plethora of other work.
David Heath Jr. remains deeply missed by his friends and those of us that were immersed in comics and the fan scene of that time. He was one of a kind. I hope you are riding your hog in pride somewhere, David!
Thanks this time out go to Steve Streeter.
Ken Meyer Jr.