Vol. 6 No. 6

December 2007


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--e*I*35- (Vol. 6 No. 6) December 2007, is published and © 2007 by Earl Kemp. All rights reserved.
It is produced and distributed bi-monthly through http://efanzines.com by Bill Burns in an e-edition only.

Steve Stiles Portfolio Supplement to eI35

Introduction: “Corflu? That’s correction fluid, isn’t it?” the customer asked. I was wearing my Corflu Valentine T-shirt, the one with the gruesomely sentimental trolls on it, at my Daedalus bookstore job, which was the jumping off point for an extended conversation about mimeograph stencils, styli, shading plates, Rex Rotaries, and the like. It was a very enthusiastic conversation, very erudite, very obscure, but extraordinary. This man hadn’t ever been a fan, but had edited and published some kind of college publication and had gotten hooked on the love of the whole process. We were very nostalgic about skills that hardly anybody uses today: it was unusual enough that we were even having that conversation.

Back in the days when I was roasting the palms of my hands on homemade lighting tables, it never would’ve occurred to me that I would miss the experience, but I do. I must’ve stenciled dozens of cartoons for Ted White’s Void and Dick Lupoff’s Xero, as well as rendering many more multicolored drawings on ditto masters (purple and red stains on everything), and some of them I still like.

But you won’t see those sixties cartoons here: I had a flat and simplified style back then, influenced by an illustrator named Jerome Martin, but the seventies saw an increased use of electro stenciling, and I got a hell of a lot fancier.

So this portfolio starts out with the 1970s, and there’s a progress in this chronological progression. With electro stencils I could throw away my styli (actually they got stolen when I was in the army) and start using Rapidographs. By the time fanzines had switched to Xeroxing, I had gotten fairly skillful with flexible pens and Winsor & Newton brushes (which helped me make the jump into comic books).

And now we’re in the era of the pdf fanzine. I won’t throw away the brushes and pens because I love what they can do on paper, but I’ve got another new toy, Photoshop, and I know Illustrator is out there beckoning.

See you on the monitors.
                       --Steve Stiles

Mainstream III. From Jerry Kaufman and Suzanne Tompkins. Although this issue is dated 1979, the drawing itself was done in 1970, probably for a convention publication. You'll get the gag if you've read the novel by Spinrad and the Anderson/Dickson Hoka stories.
Kratophany #3, 1973, from Eli Cohen. This is one of my all time favorites. Attitude is everything!
Quo-Davis. A Hank Davis appreciation issue, published by Moshe Feder in 1974. A traditional babe-bum-bem motif. (Hank's the one on the left.) I just did another one of these for LITTLEBROOK.
The sixth issue of Science Fiction Five Yearly, Lee Hoffman's classic, 1976. Isn't it sad how Ford looks so much better these days by comparison? Isn't there somebody else we'd all much rather like to see blasted by an accommodating alien?
It Comes In The Mail. From Ned Brooks, published in 1977. In 1966 fellow serviceman and fan cartoonist Colin Cameron and I were stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia. Ned boosted our morale by providing us with a retreat, from –ugh!-- military life at his place every weekend for almost a year. The man's a saint, obviously.
Worlds Beyond . This was for a media convention, hosted by John Ellis in 1981. At this point I've dropped using rapidographs in my fan art and have switched to flexible pens and brushes. (I also couldn't resist goosing up the title lettering in Photoshop.) That's Rodney Rodent in the lower right –any resemblance to, blah, blah, blah….
BSFAN #16. My wife Elaine edited a number of club zines for the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. I had done a series of comic strips, Aliens Among Us, for Stardate Magazine (edited by Dave Bischoff and Ted White), and these were recycled into fanzines.
BSFAN #18. More Aliens Among Us. Wish I had done more of these. Wish I had submitted them to a syndicate, although I can't imagine coming up with 365 gags a year. A tip of the hat to Spike Milligan and George Herriman for influencing the monologue.
Trap Door. 1998. Robert Lichtman and I go back through the years, and I first began contributing spots to his Psi-Phi, in the early 1960s. This cover has a special meaning for me: Shortly after I started the pencils, my friend Ted Pauls (Kipple) suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away about a week later. During the time he lay in a coma, I found myself totally unable to concentrate on anything: working on this cover helped relieve the stress. Ironically, this issue, which was in part a memorial for Bill Rotsler, contained Ted's first letter to a fanzine in over twenty years.
In a return to mimeography (courtesy Geri Sullivan), the eleventh issue of Science Fiction Five Yearly, was dedicated to the memory of the much-missed Terry Hughes. (Note the continents on the Earth in the upper right.)

Published in The Reluctant Famulus #57, 2001, this was the first Steve Stiles drawing run through Photoshop, although I can't claim credit: local Baltimore fan Ray Ridenour did the actual work. It's only in the last two years that I've started playing with pixels, and the cover for this issue of eI is my latest attempt.

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