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April 1, 2016

Ink Stains 82: Fantastic Fanzine 6/7

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).

art_cockrumSpeaking 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 compriseart_thord 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.



  1. I especially enjoyed this one, as it’s the first time I’ve seen this FF…the other FFs covered in previous Ink Stains, I had bought from Groth back in the day, so it was great to see this earlier issue for the first time. I love Ink Stains…brings back great memories from the “Golden Age”of comic fandom and fanzines. Would love to see Mark Ammerman’s Comic Courier, more of George Breo’s Chronicle, PLG’s strip-zine Journey Into Comics, more of MLGs Comic
    Crusader. Maybe Carl Taylor could hook you up with some idea’s from the hundred or more zines he worked on. Thank you Ken, for all your hard work…I always look forward to seeing Ink Stains each and every month! 😂

  2. ken meyer jr

    Yeah, boy, Carl was everywhere! His stuff had such great energy. I do have at least one more Chronicle, I think…George was very generous. Don’t have any Comic Couriers, but I can look around. Glad to see you like it, and follow it!

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