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          1. Zines to share!

            From Bill Burns:

            Added today at https://efanzines.com are:

            Guy H. Lillian III’s Spartacus #56

            Octothorpe #59, a regular fannish podcast by Liz Batty, John Coxon and Alison Scott, is now on line

            Guy & Rosy Lillian’s 2022 trip report The Iconic Route UK Parts 1 & 2

            Garth Spencer’s The Obdurate Eye #17

            From the n3F: Tightbeam333

            Table of Contents
            Front Cover … In Outer Space by Jose Sanchez
            Back Cover … N3F Recruiting Poster by Alan White
            Letters of Comment
            4 … Will Mayo, Jeffrey Redmond, Jose Sanchez
            Anime
            4 … Girls’ Frontline by Jessi Silver
            Cartoons
            6 … Will Mayo Reviews Johnny Quest
            Comics
            6 … Will Mayo Reviews Alley Oop, The Archies, Richie Rich
            Conventions
            7 … Convention Report – Anime Central 2022 by Jessi Silver
            Movies
            11 … Madelines Twists the Time Travel Tropes by Jason P. Hunt
            12 … Will Mayo Reviews Swamp Thing, Angelflesh, Maximum Overdrive, Field of Dreams
            Radio
            13 … Will Mayo Reviews the CBS Mystery Hour
            Sercon
            13 … Robert W. Lowndes Bio-Bibliography by Jon D. Swartz, Ph.D., N3F Historian
            Song
            16 … Will Mayo Reviews America’s Sandman, The Rolling Stones’ 2,000 Light Years, Roky Erickson’s If You Have Ghosts, Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child
            Verse
            17 … Will Mayo Reviews ee cummings’s Pity This Busy Monster, Manunkind
            Video
            17 … Will Mayo Reviews Tales From The Crypt, Lost In Space, Nimoy’s Mystery Show
            Food of Famous Authors
            18 … Eat This While You Read That: William Joseph Roberts … Cooking by Cedar Sanderson

            MonSFFA Meeting of June 4th

            Missed the meeting? Here are the links to all the posts in order. Note that some of the meeting was only on zoom, and unfortunately, due to reasons not in my control, the video of the meeting was lost in space. Long story, suffice it to say there was much screaming and yelling, and sadly, if you missed Kofi’s presentation, you will never know of the brave tigerdogs running free over the plains of a strange, new world in their quest for the orange-glazed hams!

            –CPL

            Trains figure prominently in SF/F–here are a few. Know of another? Please add to the comments!

            Post 1 of 8: Introduction, Trains in SF/F

            Post 2 of 8: Live Sci-Fi Improv Poetry!

            Post 3 of 8: Show-and-Tell

            Post 4 of 8: Time for the Break!

            Post 5 of 8: The Terrors of Topanga Canyon—Paul Blaisdell, Monster-Maker (Part II)

            Post 6 of 8: Summer Events

            What are you reading/watching: the meeting ran late, but please do contribute by posting a comment. Are you watching Strange New Worlds?

            Post 7 of 8: What Are You Reading/Watching?

            Post 8 of 8: Wrap-Up

            Upcoming events:

            June 18, visit to the rail museum, Delson

            July 9th, BBQ in the park, probably Maisonneuve near the Botanical Gardens

            August, probably at the Atwater Library

            Post 8 of 8: Wrap-Up

            This is our meeting-closing post.

            11) THANK YOU!

            We’d like to thank Kofi, Keith, and Cathy for their contributions to today’s programming, as well as all supporting contributors to this afternoon’s e-meeting. We would not be able to put on these virtual meetings without your efforts!

            And of course, to those who visited with us today, and took in our online get-together, thank you for your interest and attention, and don’t forget to comment!

            12) WRAP-UP (SIGN-OFF)

            We sincerely hope you have enjoyed your time with us these past few hours, we again thank you for dropping in, and we ask that you pop in regularly here at for additional content. Check, too, for any updates as to our imminent return to regular, face-to-face meetings.

            13) NEXT MonSFFA EVENT

            We will finally meet face-to-face for the first time in much too long! We gather at the Exporail train museum, 110 rue Saint-Pierre, Saint-Constant, QC, J5A 1G7, at 12:00PM on Saturday, June 18, for our first club field trip in over two years!

            Details were just now finalized during our ZOOM chat; we’ll put those particulars up on the site post-meeting.

            Post 7 of 8: What Are You Reading/Watching?

            This is Post 7 of 8.

            10) WHAT ARE YOU READING/WATCHING?

            On ZOOM at this moment, we’re asking “What are You Reading, or Watching?” Give us your quick book report, or your brief review of a film or TV show you’ve recently been enjoying!

            For those not participating in our ZOOM chat, today, you may still contribute by submitting your concise book reports or movie and television-series reviews via this post’s “Leave a Comment” option. We welcome your input.

            Post 6 of 8: Summer Events

            This is Post 6 of 8.

            9) SUMMER EVENTS

            We finalize plans for the club’s upcoming summer activities, including June 18’s field trip to the Exporail train museum. This discussion will take place on ZOOM.

            For those of you not participating in our ZOOM chat, today, you may still take part by submitting your questions or comments via this post’s “Leave a Comment” option.

            Post 5 of 8: The Terrors of Topanga Canyon—Paul Blaisdell, Monster-Maker (Part II)

            This is Post 5 of 8.

            8) THE TERRORS OF TOPANGA CANYON, PART II

            When last we left B-movie monster-maker Paul Blaisdell and wife, Jackie, he had recently enjoyed a bit-part in the teen-oriented film Dragstrip Girl, and modified a couple of his It Conquered the World “Flying Fingers” to double as bats for Roger Corman’s The Undead, in which Paul also appeared as a corpse! He had created the monster suit for Edward L. Cahn’s Voodoo Woman, but as it was simply a stripped-down version of his She-Creature costume and not fully his own, he remained unsatisfied with the result.

            Blaisdell was working in some capacity on no less than eight productions in 1957! Corman had approached him to create the giant crustaceans of Attack of the Crab Monsters, but Paul, who was better getting to know the pitfalls of low-budget, independent filmmaking, had assessed the special effects budget as inadequate and turned Corman down. He felt that a sufficiently realistic giant crab could not be satisfactorily realized for the money that was on the table.

            He did, however, sign on to a second Corman project that year, Not of This Earth, acquainted as he was with cast members Paul Birch and Beverly Garland.

            For this project, he fashioned a flying umbrella creature for a scene that sees the eerie thing dispatch a cast member. Not of This Earth introduced on screen an old SF concept, that of matter transmission across space, later popularized on television’s Star Trek.

            American International Pictures had entered into an arrangement with a British distributor whereby American actors and scriptwriters were loaned out to the overseas producer in exchange for a share of the resulting films. AIP got to distribute the movies in North America, and the British company got to feature American actors, which helped to successfully market a film in the U.S.

            Cat Girl, similar thematically to Val Lewton’s better-known Cat People, was the first such co-production. But AIP’s James Nicholson was unhappy with the film as delivered; he felt there was too much ambiguity as to the lead character—was she cat or girl, actually a were-leopard, or simply a mentally unbalanced and delusional woman? Audiences would want to see a transformation scene, he argued, and Blaisdell was asked to come up with a cat suit over the span of a weekend as the filming of insert shots was scheduled for Monday morning! Blaisdell dutifully delivered, but the fleeting inserts were hastily filmed and did little to satisfy Nicholson’s concerns, in my view.

            As Blaisdell’s solid reputation grew within the low-budget filmmaking community, greater in demand became his services. Al Zimbalist approached Paul about a project called Monster From Green Hell, involving radiation-mutated wasps that grow to enormous size. Paul produced some preliminary pen-and-ink sketches for the producer and was ready to negotiate a price for a full-sized wasp monster but never heard anything further! Ultimately, Zimbalist chose to use stop-motion puppets for his monsters, leaving Paul unceremoniously hanging. Blaisdell was never paid for his sketches.

            The Milner Brothers, Jack and Dan, sought Paul’s input on their occult/horror production, From Hell it Came. Blaisdell produced a number of beautiful colour sketches of his design for the script’s required tree monster. Again, crickets. The producer-brothers had contracted Halloween mask manufacturer Don Post Studios to create the tree monster suit, without Paul’s knowledge or involvement. Their tree monster was virtually a carbon-copy of Paul’s design.

            Feeling ripped off and disrespected, the na?ve Blaisdell was beginning to sour on the rapaciously ego-driven, thankless, often dishonest, and miserly low-budget film industry.

            For the sci-fi/comedy Invasion of the Saucer Men, Paul, assisted by close friend Bob Burns, created one of the 1950s’ most memorable space-alien designs. Five individually-crafted costumes were fabricated, one of these the finely detailed “hero” costume, so-called, used for close-ups. Little-people actors portrayed the saucer men.

            Paul sculpted a master alien head in plaster over chicken wire, from which he fabricated fiberglass and latex headpieces. He employed Styrofoam balls as eyes, and ran liquid rubber through a cake decorator to create the protruding veins visible on the aliens’ bulbous craniums. The saucer men’s hands were built up over gardening gloves.

            Paul also carved from wood the film’s swoopy flying saucer.

            Interestingly, Invasion of the Saucer Men depicted a government cover-up in relation to the alien visitors well before such beliefs began to permeate UFOlogy years later.

            The nature of the low-budget film industry’s tight schedules was such that production time was quick and often eleventh-hour improvisational. Work sometimes went uncredited. Paul, for example, contributed to both Teenagers from Outer Space and Teenage Caveman, special effects props and a “Beastman” costume, respectively, without acknowledgement for his efforts.

            He also fashioned props for Bert I. Gordon’s The Amazing Colossal Man, notably the giant hypodermic needle employed in one scene. Footage shot for the film was recycled for its sequel, War of the Colossal Beast the following year.

            He and Jackie were credited, as special designers, however, on Gordon’s Attack of the Puppet People.

            They built most of the oversized props used to give the impression that the actors were no taller than a doll—producers had borrowed the telephone, which was a promotional showpiece used for marketing purposes by the phone company.

            Gordon’s The Spider, sometimes called Earth vs. the Spider, used split-screen to meld together on screen a tarantula on miniature sets with full-size actors and locations. Blaisdell’s contribution to the production was that of a dummy police officer emaciated by the giant spider.

            If his films are any indication, it seems that for Bert I. Gordon, size matters!

            How to Make a Monster was about a disgruntled make-up artist fired by a movie studio who subsequently seeks murderous revenge on the company’s executives! Blaisdell’s collection of movie-monster masks and costumes were used to represent the make-up man’s work.

            Paul made wax replicas of his pieces for the climactic scene, filmed in colour, during which the entire collection is destroyed in a fire. Sadly, art imitated life when later, his collection was, in fact, destroyed by fire, leaving him disconsolate.

            The pinnacle of Paul’s monster-making almost certainly came with It! The Terror From Beyond Space. This tale of a deadly Martian creature stowing away aboard an Earth rocketship, and picking off the crew, one by one, was apparently an inspiration for Ridley Scott’s Alien. It’s a well-made B-movie that transcends its pedigree.

            But Paul’s experience working on the production wasn’t entirely a pleasant one. His presence on set was challenged on one occasion by an assistant producer who didn’t know who he was. Paul had showed up with a prosthetic he had made for shots in which only the creature’s arm would be visible. He was told to just leave it, and to get off the set, further embittering him with regard to the industry.

            Paul’s final film was released in 1959. The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow was a poorly executed send-up of AIP’s monster and teenaged hot-rodder movies. Paul, in his old Day the World Ended costume, essentially played himself, affecting a squeaky voice when, at a costume party, he is discovered to be a phony “monster” inhabiting the supposedly haunted mansion used by the teens as their new club house.

            While he continued for a couple more years to submit designs for various projects, none ever came to fruition. The science fiction/horror boom of the 1950s had waned, giving way to teen-oriented movies about motorcycle gangs, juvenile delinquents, hotrod racing and, ultimately and most successfully for AIP, the beach party and surfing films of the 1960s.

            After a failed venture publishing, with his friend, Bob Burns, a magazine about movie monsters and the crafting of same, he left the entertainment business altogether, earning his living instead as a carpenter.

            He died of stomach cancer in 1983 at the age of 55, just as interest in the monster films of his era, and of his own contributions to the genre, began to rekindle. His devoted wife, Jackie, lived the lonely life of a recluse in their deteriorating Topanga Canyon house until her death in 2006.

            Paul Blaisdell achieved much with very little over his brief film-industry career. His best monsters compare favourably to big-studio backed contemporaries like the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Metalunan Mutant. While these creations were designed and fashioned by trained Hollywood special effects people working with the resources of studio art departments, Paul was self-taught, and worked out of his garage.

            Post 4 of 8: Time for the Break!

            Post 5 of 8: Time for the Break!

            Club news, raffle prizes, display table

            Get yer bheer & chips, it’s time for the break!

            Why do fen spell bheer with an “h”? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bheer

            CLUB NEWS
            • We have a Field trip to the Rail Museum, Delson, on the 18th of June.
            • The Picnic in the Park is scheduled for July 9th.
            • Our return to in-person meetings may happen in August!
            • Danny is looking for your submissions to WARP! Send in your art, stories, photos, puzzles, etc! <warp@>
            • Got an idea for a future presentation? We need your input!

            THE VIRTUAL DISPLAY TABLE

            From Mark Burakoff

            From Wayne Glover: All 1/72

            Starfury MK I, CRF-105C Arrow, Shuttlecrart MK13, RAF B-25C Michell III Medium Bomber, RAF Lancaster MKI Heavy Bomber
            PT-109 Torpedio Boat, Hawk MKIX Fighter, Eagle Transport, Runabout USS Rio Grande, US Navy Skipjack Class SSN

            1/350 Bird of Prey landed, and also the Bird of Prey along side of Colonial One & the Federation Shuttlecrart

            Clck thumbnail to view full size

            Daniel Kenney has been creating a diorama for his Blue Dragon. Click the thumbnail to view photos full size.


            RAFFLE PRIZES

            Click the thumbnail to view full size

            Board game published by Metagaming Concepts in 1982 as MicroGame #21, donated by Brian

            Game donated by Brian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fantasy_Trip

            16 stories by well-known authors, intro by Greg Bear, condition: new

            Tentacles, free-standing jigsaw puzzle designed by Judy Peterson, cut by CPL from birdseye maple. About 16 cm long.

            Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold, hardcover, pages a bit yellowed, Sylvain’s legacy

            Sequel to King Kong, being released just nine months after and is the second entry of the King Kong franchise. Sylvain’s collection

            Trade paperback, donated by CPL, condition: new

            Boris, series 1, from Sylvain’s legacy, box of 90 cards, each card described on the back

            First of a duology by Ben Bova & A J Austin, dust jacket a bit scuffed, otherwise looks unread.

             

             

            Post 3 of 8: Show-and-Tell

            This is today’s Post 3 of 8.

            6) SHOW-AND-TELL

            For those participating on ZOOM, today, we open the floor to any club members who have “fancraft” projects to showcase—sci-fi scale models, SF/F woodworking or needlecraft, whatever genre-themed, hands-on project it may be that you are working on at present, or have recently completed.

            Those not able to join our ZOOM chat for the show-and-tell may contribute by using this post’s “Leave a Comment” feature to type in a quick description of any such project on which they are currently working.

            Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association