Eric Mayer

Byzantine Blog

Get Email Updates
Cruel Music
Diana Rowland
Martin Edwards
Electric Grandmother
Jane Finnis
Keith Snyder
My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
Mysterious Musings
Mystery of a Shrinking Violet
The Rap Sheet
reenie's reach
Thoughts from Crow Cottage
This Writing Life
Woodstock's Blog
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

1481763 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Ink and Imaginings
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (2)

A note just in from Dave Burton (no, just to confuse you, not our Journalscape friend, but rather the Dave Burton who edits Pixel, the fanzine formerly known as Catchpenny Gazette (to confuse you further) Anyway, Dave says:

Just wanted to let you know that the third issue of my fanzine, PIXEL, is available for downloading.

This issue features Eric Mayer's "Notes From Byzantium" column (on mini-comics and their convergence with fandom); the first installment of Ted White's "Whither Fandom" column; "The Silly Season Blues" by Dave Locke, remembering the mishaps of tourists at his parent's camp; Lee Lavells' "Much Nothings About Ado" recalling past navigational errors getting to Cincinnati and Midwestcon, and diagnosing car problems; the sorry state of some copies of ALGOL that Chris Garcia relates in "Found In Collection"; Peter Sullivan reviewing fanzines and somehow managing to connect them to the World Cup in "World Cup Wall Chart"; and the lettercolumn.

It can be downloaded from

File size is approximately 620K.

As Dave says, part of my column is about mini-comics and fandom. That part ties in, kind of, with this part:

Ink and Imaginings

Almost thirty years ago, while I was living in New York City, I made a weekly pilgrimage to Bleeker Bob's record store in the Village. It was the punk era, although, oddly, punk wouldn't catch on widely for another generation. At the time I was deep into fanzine fandom and I admired punk rock's similar do-it-yourself attitude.

The idea that everyone could, and should, put out their own record, regardless of their skills, reminded me of fanzine publishing. Like fanzines, punk records often made up for technical crudity with energy and idiosyncrasy rarely matched by commercial products.

Bleeker Bob's featured behind the front counter a wall of records which was exactly what it sounds like. Right up to the ceiling, the wall was solidly papered with dust jackets from newly released singles. Some of the bands were familiar, or came to be, like the Damned, the Adverts, Radiators From Space. Others remained mostly obscure. For instance Stumblebunny or the Twinkeyz.

I bought the Twinkeyz solely because of the song title - Aliens in Our Midst. It turned out to be a favorite of mine. More new wave than punk. Psychedelic garage music. A weirdly infectious mixture of electronic noise and semi-recited science fictional lyrics. The lead singer and songwriter was appropriately named Donnie Jupiter.

There was nothing else I could learn about Donnie Jupiter or the Twinkeyz. The internet, answerer of our every question, wasn't around and none of the magazines, Rolling Stone or Creem or Punk or N.M.E. or any of the others, mentioned them. As the years went on, I figured they were a local group that like so many others at the time, had briefly done their thing and vanished forever.

During the next ten years I continued to play Aliens in Our Midst, particularly when I'd had a few beers. However, I'd abandoned fanzine fandom (which I felt had accumulated too many critics for its creative health) for yet another do-it-yourself hobby, small press comics.

My friend Tim asked me if I'd script a comic he wanted to publish. All he knew was that it was called Kiwanni, Daughter of the Dawn and would feature a cave girl, sabre toothed tigers, mastodons and dinosaurs. That was because he admired the intended artist's skill at rendering scantily clad women and animals. (Not scantily clad animals, I hasten to add. It wasn't a furry comic.)

He knew very well that humans and dinosaurs had not co-existed, my own favorite comic strip, Alley Oop, notwithstanding. But with an artist who was so good at animals, it seemed a waste not to let him draw some dinosaurs. My solution was to have aliens invade from another dimension, opening up rifts in space time through which could wander whatever creatures the artist felt like turning his pens to.

Tim was pleased with my script for the first issue. Kiwanni fought T-Rex on a glacier and then the aliens appeared -- monstrous air-borne sacs covered with tentacles. Cthullu's dirigibles. He reckoned it would really give the artist something to get his teeth into.

"Who's the artist, anyway?" I asked.

"Donnie Jupiter."

A bit of questioning quickly revealed that it was the same Donnie Jupiter who fronted the Twinkeyz. I'd never have imagined I'd meet him someday, in a manner of speaking, let alone in a comic book.

In his artist's guise, Donnie was not only terrific at drawing nubile females and lively animals, but seemed to possess a weird knack of being able to see and transfer to paper exactly what I'd been seeing in my mind when I wrote the story.

Kiwanni, Daughter of the Dawn did pretty well. It sold a few thousand copies. More than the novels Mary and I have co-written (at least if you only count the hardbound editions) and more than the only album the Twinkeyz put out. (I googled it.)

That was twenty years ago. I've wandered through many new interests since then, serial hobbyist that I am. I don't guess I'll work with Donnie again, or Tim. About the only thing I'm sure of is that some time in the future a crack will open in the space time continuum and I'll trip over a totally unexpected bit of my past. I can't wait.

Read/Post Comments (2)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.