Gary Groth strikes again! Fantastic Fanzine 6/7, present yourself!
Fantastic Fanzine 6/7: April/May 1969
Editor and publisher: Gary Groth
If you follow Ink Stains, you will have seen several issues showcased already of Gary Groth’s fun, energetic, and progressively excellent project, Fantastic Fanzine. I will admit up front, I am bereft of time at the moment, so I chose a zine that already had all the background information presented in earlier columns. The main draw this column will be the pdf download…unfortunately, no interviews or extra comments from those involved in the actual production of the publication.
This is a comparatively early issue of FF (6/7), so Groth’s stable of artists and writers was still somewhat small. Al Grinage Jr is the workhorse of this issue, providing around 70% of the visuals, including the Daredevil piece you see above. Grinage would continue throughout the fanzines run, though he would be eventually outshone by Dave Cockrum, John. G. Fantucchio and the like. Grinage has a nice, serviceable style…just not that dramatic or polished (few were, at this early stage).
Speaking of Dave Cockrum, at left you see the only illustration from the late fan favorite (Groth laments the small output from Dave in his editorial, promising much more later, a promise he would hold to). I only now just realized that Marvel Girl somehow lost the right leg of her costume!
The content in this thin issue (12 pages, including the cover) is comprised of Club Memos (editorial), a bit of fan fiction called The Search by Robert Kowalski, Mark Evanier’s Graphic Traffic (the Daredevil article), Anne Henry’s lamenting of the lack of good female characters in The Comic Heroine, The Incoherent Kree by Tom Crawford, more fan fiction by Pat Salter (The Land of the Seven), a Galactus piece by Mike Vitti, and best of all, a very early interview with Barry Smith. Smith was only 20 (!) at the time of this interview, which was conducted through the mail (that’s right, folks, the post office)! Groth complains that even though Smith answered immediately, the time for the post to get from Gary to Barry and back again took about 3 months! Too bad Groth wasn’t able to get any art from Smith for this issue, but that would come later.
Well, that about does it for this way too short incarnation of Ink Stains. Sorry, folks, a combination of life, conventions, and work got in the way of doing a longer one. As always, please feel free to suggest zines you would like to see covered, and I am always grateful to those that send zines for me to cover (whether print or scanned already). And please, if you read the column, leave a comment…it can be anything, it is just nice to know there are actual readers out there!
The pdf is available on my site at www.kenmeyerjr.com (look for Ink Stains on the top pull down tab), along with all previous columns and pdfs. Thanks to the wonderful Aaron Caplan for loaning me this zine!
Ken Meyer Jr.