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'Rowrbrazzle' has a new Official Editor

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Rowrbrazzle #1 front cover, by Greg Bear William Earl Haskell in Houston, TX, who has been Rowrbrazzle’s Official Editor since 2007, is stepping down because of worsening health. He will continue to be an ordinary member, but the Official Editor’s office and duties are being transferred to Edd Vick at 1505 SW Alaska Street, Seattle, WA 98106.

Rowrbrazzle, published every January, April, July, and October, was founded in February 1984 by Marc Schirmeister of Los Angeles fandom. At the time furry fandom was not considered to be separate from s-f fandom or comics fandom yet. It was Rowrbrazzle's discussions of the new funny-animal social events, along with the amateur sketches and cartoons (mostly of funny-animal cheesecake art), that established that a new fandom was coming into existence.

Schirmeister continued to serve as ‘Brazzle’s Official Editor until 1989, when Fred Patten in Los Angeles took over. Patten was the Official Editor until his incapacitating stroke in March 2005. It was unexpected, and no clear successor had been set up. ‘Brazzle limped along with several volunteer O.E.s for a couple of years until Bill Haskell accepted the post permanently with #94 in July 2007. Now Haskell is passing it along to Edd Vick with #125 in April 2016.

Rowrbrazzle is technically an amateur press association (APA or apa) rather than a traditional magazine. It has a set number of members (currently 30, with a few openings) who each print their own pages and send them to the Official Editor. He staples them together into the quarterly magazine in January, April, July, and September, and sends a copy to each member. There are some other APAs that have produced extra copies for sale to the public, but ‘Brazzle produces only enough for its own membership.

The first APA, the National Amateur Press Association, was started in 1876. It was a club of hobbyist printers showing off their new type fonts and sharing printing shop talk. In 1937 Donald A. Wollheim adopted the concept for the new s-f fandom with the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), as a handy way for the s-f fans to exchange their mimeographed, dittoed, and even hectographed fanzines.
(Have you ever published by hectograph, which is essentially unflavored Jello in a shallow dish? You can get only a few copies, but they can be beautiful. Since most s-f fans in the 1930s had fanzine circulations of only about a dozen copies, this was possible.)

By the early 1980s when furry fandom started, the fanzines were usually mimeographed with circulations of 100 or 200 copies, and they were less formal magazines than their editor’s blog of s-f fandom gossip. Rowrbrazzle evolved this into furry fandom. The first Rowrbrazzle in February 1984 is proof that furry fandom had become viable by that time.

APAs were primarily fanzine clubs in the pre-home computer age. At its height in the early 1990s, Rowrbrazzle had expanded to sixty members and had a long waiting list. (Most members voted against expanding again and having to print more than sixty copies.) The quarterly issues had grown to over 600 pages, and were stapled in multiple parts of about 100 pages each. Practically everyone in furry fandom was a member. Then as the 1990s advanced, many new furry fans joined who were more interested in fursuiting than in producing their own fanzines. Fans (and the general public) got home computers, and could print and send out their own material to their own mailing lists and get instant replies without having to wait weeks or months for the next issue of an APA. Today Rowrbrazzle is only a shadow of its old self. But it still exists.

If you’re interested in exchanging informal fanzines with Bill Haskell, Edd Vick, Robert Alley, Kjartan Arnórsson, Bill Fitts, Charles Garofalo, Garrett Ho, Jed Martinez, Simon Barber, Timothy Fay, and others, many of whom have been in furry fandom since the 1980s, and you can print your own pages – neighborhood photocopy shops are a big help if you don’t have access to a mimeograph or a school bulletin spirit duplicator – contact Edd Vick at edd@speakeasy.net. Simon Barber contributes from York, England; distance isn't a serious problem.

Comments

Your rating: None

Thanks for the Rowrbrazzle mention. I'll add that some members contribute by emailing their pages plus a small page-rate for printing to the editor. That can save a bit of money for those with high local printing rates, and saves postage.

Your rating: None

So, thanks for catching my slack, and all, Green Reaper (or whoever), but we've just been nominated for the Ursa Majors, and you decided now is the perfect time to run a picture of a pooping dog on the front page?

Your rating: None

Look closer… he'll soon be wiping his ass with the competition. ;-)

Your rating: None

Sorry to hear about Bill Haskell's health, wishing him the best. Greetings to you, Edd, been a while since we spoke. Fred, thanks as always for keeping us informed.

Your rating: None

Glad to see 'Brazzle still running strong. I enjoyed my years as a contributor to this publication during the mid to late 90's. Although the audience was (very) limited I felt I was getting big exposure in the furry fandom from the number of "big name" artists and writers who were also members at the time.

Your rating: None

Speaking personally, I thought that you were one of the better members while you were a 'Brazzler. I always looked forward to your contributions.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

Thanks, Fred. Your convention reports were my window into furry gatherings during those years I was unable to attend. Always enjoyed reading about them.

Your rating: None

Totally can't remember: Director Chris Sanders was a Rowrbrazzle member?? Which issues?

Your rating: None

Sanders was a member for #10 through #15. That was during Schirmeister's administration; I took over with #19 in 1989. I assume that Sanders was one of the super-good CalArts students whom Schirm made a 'Brazzle member "whether he wanted to be or not". He probably contributed a page or two once or twice to be polite, then never did anything for so long that Schirm finally dropped him from the members' list. I remember that there were several non-contributing members whom I dropped when I became the O.E., who said that they never had considered themselves 'Brazzlers but Schirm had insisted on including them on the roster.

There had been a similar issue with the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, the anime fan club, years earlier. A couple of members had wanted to make Chuck Jones or Carl Barks honorary C/FO members, just so we could boast that Chuck Jones or Carl Barks were members of our little club -- the fact that they didn't know about it was irrelevant (we had no idea of how to contact them if we'd wanted to). I successfully argued against including anyone as a member who didn't know that he or she was being made a member and was given a chance to decline.

Fred Patten

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics