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Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #235  (Vol. 5, No. 39)  This edition is for the week of September 20--26, 2004.

LA FLORIDIANA
Book Review: “Seasons of Real Florida” by Jeff Klinkenberg
 by William Moriaty
THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Mr.  3000"
 by Mike Smith
COUCH POTATO
Fanzine Memoirs, Part 3....Advent #2 Memoirs by William Moriaty
  by Vinnie Blesi
ODDSERVATIONS
How Pop Culture Drives Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films
 by Andy Lalino
SPLASH PAGE
It Begins In The Fifth Grade?....Andy Is Right....Coming Soon To A Message Board Near You
 by Brandon Jones
MATT'S RAIL
I'd "Rather" Not....Rodney, You Have My Respect....Top Ten Challenge
 by Matt Drinnenberg
MIKE'S RANT
Gabba Gabba Hey....Get Well....Thanks, Hugo....What The....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 35
 by Mike Smith
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.

Fanzine Memoirs.
In 1977 I published a comic fanzine called Advent. Subsequently I went on to publish Advent #2 and Gazette (with Ben Gregory). This ongoing feature will contain my thoughts and musings of those times.

Part 3:
Advent #1 was finally published and was sold mail order through “The Buyers Guide for Comic Fandom” as well as locally at the original “Book Nook”. Fan response was overwhelming positive as evident by the letters section that appeared in Advent #2. Honestly, I don’t think there was any negative feedback. Local comic icon Scott Gilbert wrote, “You have put the best real fanzine out in Tampa so far. It is really good to have this kind of quality coming out of our area.”

While the accolades were nice, if anyone has had to deal with printing, there is always a minimum quantity that has to be printed. Needless to say I lost what was a lot of money to a 17-year-old teen at the time on the first issue of Advent. If we had only had computers and Kinkos at the time, things could have been different.

The second issue of Advent was eventually published one year later. The page count doubled but the cover price stayed the same, which goes to show you what a bad capitalist I am. But I thought with a cover that had word balloons that said, “I don’t know if I can take anymore of this Loquacious Dementia from those hecklers”; I thought how could I lose. And making money was never the goal.

The tour de force for Advent #2 was the Go to Heck/Kanlon strip by Will Moriaty and Denis Lebrun. Please read Will’s comments for more on the actual collaboration. All I can add is that I remember being a pain in the ass to Denis Lebrun at the Tampa Tribune. Back in the good old days, I could stroll into the old Tribune building and say I was there to see Denis Lebrun and they would actually let me in.

My only regret is that due to lack of funds I was forced to use a crappy printer. The original pages of “Go to Heck” were of exceptional quality and deserved to be properly printed. They were basically professional quality comix being reproduced in a one-dollar fanzine and as such I feel the quality suffered.

Just as the first issue of Advent had been so reliant on California artist Aldo Stevenson, the second issue of Advent was carried by the excellent work by Moriaty and Lebrun. To both of them I am grateful.

Next: the rest of Advent #2.

Advent #2 Memoirs
by guest columnist Will Moriaty

Not long after first meeting in 1974, I had always wanted to do a collaborative comic book or graphic novel with one of my very best friends, Denis Lebrun.

As we had two entirely different art styles, Denis being the cartoonist, and me being a comic book and graphic arts illustrator, I thought that such a collaboration would be innovative and shake up the fanzine community, which for too long relied upon teenboys to do their own renditions of superheroes.

The first collaboration that Denis and I did was for the centerfold of Alan Rodgers Tampa-based fanzine 'period'. The centerfold was an airbrush work that appeared in the December 1975 third issue. In addition, Denis furnished limited contributions to the first "Kanlon" story, which appeared in that same issue. Denis interspersed my Kanlon illustrations with a character he created named "Herman", and also did art pieces of "Roger", a character he created for the 1970's Tampa Neighbor newspaper. Roger was featured from 1975 to 1976 in a strip called "Rolling With Roger".

By the late summer of 1976 Denis moved over to the Tampa Times where he then illustrated another comic strip series he created called "Oh Heck!" The series ran in the Saturday supplemental, and by the fall of 1976, began to run daily in the Times on the comics page along with nationally syndicated strips. With this daily run, the name was finally changed to "Aw Heck!" and was a strip about little devils in "Heck" (strangely, I don't believe the paper got any hate mail from religious fanatics about the strip's title and content, but it was the 70's and not today).

Of all of the different comic strips that Denis created, I thought that "Aw Heck" was his zenith, and I had to just somehow cajole him into doing a 50/50 collaboration.

In 1977 I picked up a copy of "Advent" at the Book Nook on Dale Mabry. Although the zine was a very ambitious undertaking, I thought that it, like 'period', could use an infusion of art and scripting outside of the fanzine box. Denis was unbelievably busy at the Times, but he was strangely very inspired to conduct such an undertaking, so we merged his "Aw Heck!" characters, Bubb, Birdie, Zeda, Hector and Rodney (a Dangerfield looking duck) with the characters that I illustrated in the stories that comprise the "Kanlon Kronikles", specifically Robert Kanlon and his aunt, Mystimetem.

Done up on high quality Bristol gloss paper, I used my Hunt 107 pen point for fine lines and lettering, while using my sable brush for inking characters and backgrounds. Denis limited his illustrations to his own characters as well as the backgrounds of "Heck". In addition we were pretty liberal with the use of Letraset bendays to give added texture and depth to our work, to make it appear like a black and white telecast, as color printing of a fanzine was prohibitive in that era. The name of this first full-scale collaboration was titled "Go to Heck!"

We finished the story by the summer of 1977 and ran it by "Advent" publisher Vincent Blesi for his review as a possible entry into his zine for a Fall issue. Initially he seemed a little apprehensive, as he had probably never seen a story of this type in a fanzine. Nevertheless, by the summer of 1978, "Advent" #2 was on the stands and featured the unique red color wrap-around cover. As the fanzine was published later than originally anticipated, Denis inked through the "1977" date on the cover, and wrote in his best cartoon lettering, "Sorry We're Late!"

Denis's art style on "Aw Heck!" was similar to that in Johnny Hart's "B.C." strip, but was an incredibly well drawn strip, nevertheless. Denis’s strongest suit as an illustrator has always been his absolute mastery of lines, going from thin to thick and vice-versa flawlessly and beautifully.

On the other hand, my "Kanlon" illustrations were inspired by many sources; faces: comic illustrator Gene Colan. Figures and backgrounds: comic illustrator Carmine Infantino. Females: Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Sky and space scenes: expressionist and surrealist artist Salvador Dali and a local surrealist artist named Fabian Cetnarowski. Graphic borders: William Morris (the Art Nouveau artist who inspired me to adopt "Wil Mor" as my pen name in his honor). And inking inspired by comic illustrator Klaus Janson.

The "Go to Heck!" story did have a conclusion three years later in my own fanzine "Zeta 1 Reticuli" , which was published in Fall 1981.

The final story was aptly named "To Heck and Back!"


"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2004 by Vinnie B.  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.