'Rowrbrazzle' has a new Official Editor
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Simon Barber contributes from York, England; distance isn't a serious problem.