Fanta's Zine N° 1
FANTA'S ZINE is the official organ of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization. Edited & published by Fred Patten, 11863 West Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, California, 90230. Telephone: (213) 397-3335.
Printed on the LASS Rex Rotary mimeograph, 15 August 1979.
Cover illustration by Mark Merlino.
Print run: 100 copies.
This is the first issue of the C/FO's own magazine. If it looks rather vague and confused, it's because the C/FO is that kind of club. At the moment we have about 75 members. Some of us think we should publish a fanzine, while others aren't sure what a fanzine is. Some of us want it to consist of serious articles about cartoons & fantasy films (illustrated, naturally), while others would prefer just an informal collation of open letters so that we can chat among each other. And a lot of us don't seem to be interested at all.
This initial issue of FANTA'S ZINE is an experiment. It's thrown together out of material on hand: letters and excerpts from letters that will hopefully be of interest to most C/FO members. What happens next is up to you. If you like FANTA'S ZINE and want to contribute to it, then it'll prosper and grow -- it may evolve into a really impressive magazine. If there's no response, it'll just fade away. We've chosen a bi-monthly schedule to begin with, though this can be increased to monthly or cut back to quarterly if desirable. Let's set the beginning of October as the deadline for our second issue. If you want to contribute a letter, a story, an article or review, some illustrations, or anything else, please send it in by that deadline.
Frankly, nobody thought about publishing a fanzine like this when we established the C/FO annual membership fee. $5.00 a year per member is enough to finance the printing & mailing of our monthly one-sheet bulletin, but it's nowhere near enough to cover the expenses of a separate, thicker fanzine. Therefore we are not going to be able to send FANTA'S ZINE free to all members on a regular basis (although everyone is getting this first issue free, so you'll know what's going on).
We'd like each person who sends in a contribution to enclose $1.00 with it to cover the cost of printing it. If you want to pre-print your own pages and send them in to be stapled into FANTA'S ZINE, as Chris Balduc has done this issue, please send me 100 copies on regular-sized 8½" × 11" paper.
Also, there is a 75¢ price in the colophon. This is to cover the expenses of postage & envelopes, and to make sure that copies of FANTA'S ZINE are not wasted by being sent free to people who aren't really interested in it. We hope that you will understand the reasons for these costs and be willing to put up with them.
Ralph Canino, Jr. (150 Mayer Drive, Highland, New York 12528) recently got a Japanese TV animation book, Roman Album #17, all about the old "8th Man" cartoon show. Ralph says that, I've always considered myself to be Sth Man's greatest tan (no one has ever challenged me for the title), and this issue energized all the memories I've been carrying for years.
For the benefit of any other "8th Man" fans in the C/FO, Ralph has gone through a filmography in this Roman Album of the 56 Japanese episodes of the "8th Man" program, and prepared a table correlating them with the 18 episodes that he has tape-recorded sound-tracks of. He says, I am writing to confirm that, as a self-proclaimed expert on 8th Man, I will try to help any member of the C/FO who wants to know background or reference information about the program. If and when I ever perfect the tape duplication system, I will let you know. He himself would like to obtain any books or magazines containing material on "Gatchaman" ("Battle of the Planets"), "Astro Boy", "Marine Boy", and "Speed Racer".
|Roman Album pg. no.
|1. Origin of 8th Man
|2. Black Fog Bank Mob
|3. Dr. Spectra
|4. Living Statue
|5. Steel Salamander
|7. Seven Days of Terror
|8. Atomic Ghost
|9. Shadow Bandits
|10. Intercrime's Invincible Robot
|11. Horrible Honeybees
|12. Martian Invasion
|13. Attack on Intercrime Island
|15. Evil Jaw and the Devil Germs
|16. Battle of the Brothers
I never recorded the opening and closing themes, which were identical. I didn't like their quality, and considered them to be not worthy of 8th Man. As I look back on it, however, I probably should have recorded them at least once for posterity.
Harry Andruschak, 6933 North Rosemead Blvd., apt. 31, San Gabriel, Calif. 91775
Glad to see C/FO activity and contacts increasing. I myself will be of little help in fanzine production....although I can give the C/FO some publicity in the NFFF. Before going on with a C/FO fanzine, it might be asked what market it is to be aimed at, that is not being done by your present monthly newsletter.... which could expand to four sheets of paper and still cost only 15¢ postage.
And when the mailing list goes over 200....and if the C/FO newsletter keeps to a monthly schedule, you might consider bulk mailing. Even on a bi-monthly schedule, the bulk permits of the NFFF have led to a surplus in the treasury for the first time in years.
Anyhow, I think a C/FO fanzine should only become a project if you find your monthly newsletter becoming too big. This is, of course, only a personal opinion. I will still be glad to help out in its actual production if I can.
Anytime you and Mark want publicity in Australia (I don't know why you would, to he honest about it) feel free to give me 250 copies of the monthly newsletter o whatever. My fanzine Garlic Milkshake is used for both apa contribution and trading with Australian genzines.
I notice you didn't have any advertising flyers at FANTASY FAIRE this year, but I think you should consider doing so next year. Bill Crawford has given me a tentative OK for a "Fan Table" to hand out flyers on fan organizations in the LA area. This table is basically an information distribution center for organizations like LASS, C/FO, MEGAMART, NFFF, etc. etc. etc. etc.....also cons and that sort of thing....but not professional dealers.
//Thanks for the offers of help, Harry. The C/FO is still evolving erratically between being a L.A.-area monthly cartoon screening club, and an international Japanese-animation fan club. In its latter aspect it could certainly use some publicity in the National Fantasy Far Federation and in Australian fandom. Our regular monthly bulletin has been geared to the local monthly club aspect of the C/FO; FANTA'S ZINE is intended to put our nation-wide and international members in touch with each other. We've had offers of contributions for the monthly bulletin (drawings, a newspaper clipping of Dave Fleischer's death in June, Ralph Canino's "8th Man" index) that we simply can't fit into two pages, yet I don't want to discourage members from wanting to participate. It's true that 15¢ will cover first-class postage for an envelope containing up to four sheets of paper, but a four-sheet bulletin will cost four times as much to print as a one-sheet bulletin. A bulk mailing permit may well help out FANTA'S ZINE, which doesn't have to be delivered in less than a week. But bulk-rate mail gets slow delivery from the Post Office, and our monthly bulletin with its film schedule (which is seldom prepared more than a couple of weeks ahead of time) must reach all Southern Californian members before the screening. Unless we can start scheduling our programs farther in advance, I doubt we'll ever be able to afford the slowness of bulk-rate mail delivery. As for advertising flyers, I'd meant to make up some for the FANTASY FAIR in late July and the San Diego Comic-Con early August but I simply didn't have enough time. Instead I got our August bulletin finished on August 1st and printed 300 extra copies for distribution at the San Diego Comic-Con. (Most of them got taken, but there wasn't any appreciable increase of attendance at our August screening.) But Mark Merlino was at the FANTASY FAIRE showing video-tapes of Japanese cartoons and s-f TV programs, so the C/FO had some visibility there even without flyers.//
Misao Kuze, 1-3-13 Mukaihara, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173, Japan
Misao attended our C/FO screening of September 1978, when she was a student in L.A. since then she has returned to Tokyo, where she and her boyfriend Adam Kauffman are running the laser show for the Tokyo Planetarium. Misao got a brief mention of the C/FO in a Japanese comic magazine, STARBOY, and she sent a half-dozen copies of a hotel coffee-shop paper place-mat showing Osamu Tezuka's Kimba, the White Lion in a baseball uniform, which is the official emblem of the Seibu Lions, one of Japan's leading baseball teams. She has also written some letters, from which I'm excerpting the following comments. Hopefully, FANTA'S ZINE will put American and Japanese fans into regular communication.
Last week we have been very busy. Cause we are going to have a new laserium show, here in Tokyo Sunshine Planetarium. So we keep practicing every night til 4:00 a.m. Wake up at noon, go to Sunshine, do laserium til 9:00 p.m., then go to restaurant, and back to planetarium. Every lay! New show starts on 13th of July.
Last weekend we went to see the movie "Superman"! It was the first night, so the place was packed. Good sound! Wow! I like this movie. Very romantic! This is important. Recently, most kids are real cool. They don't know romance. So cool, realistic, no hope ... depressing. Especially T.V. kids. Sometimes I feel kind of sad. Kids don't read any more... No imagination. Oh, well. (Mid-June)
A week ago I went back to Kyoto, my home town, with Kevin Thomas! As you know, he is a staff writer (movie critic) of the Los Angeles Times.
Tell you why. He is one of the best friends of Adam's Aunt Helen. He is one of the best critics of Japanese movies. He knows every director, actor, actress, and movie people in Japan.
I took him to the kabuki theatre in Kyoto, and saw "Tenshu Monogatari" by Bando. The music was fantastic -- a tune by Tomita. (He wrote the songs of "Kimba".)
We also dropped by Shöshiku Ofuna movie studio. Saw special effects of "Yashagaike" ("Demon Pond"), directed by Masahiro Shinoda. These SFX are by Hanime Tsuburaya, the son of Eiji Tsuburaya. This "Demon Pond' is gonna be a fantastic movie, I'm sure. Maybe it will come out in movie theatres next year in the USA.
Finally, I saw "Alien" last Saturday in Shinjyuku. The movie theatre was packed! Even at 1:30 a.m. there was standing room only. I never saw so many people in theatre before. I think more than "Superman". The movie, I enjoyed a lot. I knew the story so I wasn't scared so much. I'd like to see this again if I have the chance. I love horror movies!
From the 2nd of August to the 26th at Nichigeki the theatre will play all of Godzilla's movies. (25 movies). I have to see this. I love Goz. This is an anniversary special program, the 25th birthday of Gdzilla by Toho.
The Toei movie chain is doing a Yamato festival (again!). The animation movie of "Galaxy Express 999" will start on the 3rd of August all over Japan. Many department stores have a special expo for this movie and sell junk. (Misao has previously complained about the over-commercialization of animated cartoons.) (24 July)
Misao concludes by saying that maybe she can help American C/FO members join the official Tezuka Osamu Fan Club, if they're interested. Membership is ¥1,200 for 6 months or ¥2,400 a year -- that's roughly $6.00 or $12.00. For your money you get a membership card and button, and a bi-monthly club magazine. She isn't sure yet if the Tezuka Fan Club will accept American members. If they don't want to go to the trouble of processing individual American memberships, maybe they'd be willing to let the C/FO act as an American clearing house for them in handling memberships for American fans. This is all highly theoretical at the moment, but if you'll let me know whether you would like to join the Tezuka Fan Club at these rates, we can let the Fan Club know the size of the interest in America and ask whether they'd prefer to have prospective members contact them directly or go through the C/FO.
The one subject that C/FO members have been writing about more than any other is "Battle of the Planets", or "Gatchaman" to use its original title. Here are a number of comments and questions, taken from many letters written over several months.
Ann Nichols, 4864 Sioux Avenue, sierra Vista, Arizona 85635
(13 Oct. 1978) There's a new show on around here that reminds me somewhat of Japanese cartoons although I don't know if it is one--BATTLE OF THE PLANETS. Perhaps you've seen it? The robot narrator, 7-Zark-7, I could do without; he strikes me as rather silly. The hero, Mark, and heroine, Princess, I don't think I like that much. My sister categorized them (and Jason, second banana) as, "Come on, guys, let's go save the universe" types. Keyop and Tiny, the comedy relief members of the team, I can tolerate most of them. I think I like Jason best. He's sort of the straight man of the team, not being funny nor one of the love-birds. This means he gets less exposure and consequently fewer chances to make a fool of himself. I noticed that, out of costume, all the guys are blue-eyed with long shaggy brown hair that has never been on speaking terms with a brush. The Princess has long neatly combed black hair but often looks chinless. I suppose 3 am being rather hard on the show (maybe in defense from having my sister say "why are you watching that trash?" every day). It really is no worse, flaw-wise, than many of the Japanese cartoons I watch d and loved (despite wincing at the dialog and the over-acting) and certainly looks better than the junk on Saturday Morning, which I've long since given up regularly watching.
One thing I've wondered...in cartoons (Speed Raser was a great example of this but it showed up in 8th Man, Marine Boy, Kimba, etc.) the characters seem to race through their dialog, often braking abruptly at the end (after running several sentences together), and they exaggerate sighs, screams, etc.
Is that because they followed Japanese-style acting when they dubbed them in English or because they had so little time to say all the translated dialog they had to do it at top speed?
I think one reason why Astro Boy remains my favorite is, as my brother put it, it coesn't pretend to be in any way realistic so you can sit back and enjoy the fun I once wrote 10 rules for the Japanese cartoon villains, as follows:
- Never make elaborate traps for the hero -- shoot him on sight!
- Never tell the kid (hero) your plans.
- NEVER let the hero's pet escape -- he might lead the hero's allies & police to you.
- ALWAYS search the car (or whatever other method of transportation the hero uses) for the hero's little brat of a partner.
- NEVER assume, if the hero falls out of the building, off a cliff, etc.,
that he is dead. ALWAYS make sure he is!
- If you have captured the hero -- Congratulations! Now make sure you keep him by removing all possible weapons. (Strip him, if uncertain & censors will allow.)
- Hire gunmen who won't just stand there for several minutes giving the hero plenty of time to dodge or stop them before they fire.
- ALWAYS make sure, if you have planted a bomb on the hero's vehicle, that he hasn't removed it and put it somewhere near you.
- If things (like capturing rich cargo ships or armored trucks) seem too easy, make sure it isn't a decoy sent to trap you.
- IF DEFEATED (it can happen, you know) DON'T stand around and cry or hurl threats for next time -- clear out fast, review the rules, find out where you went wrong and try again (preferably somewhere where you're certain the hero won't come around).
I got tired of seeing the hero win because of some stupidity on the villain's part rather than through exceptional prowess on his.
They must take their cartoons very seriously in Japan. All of the shows I've seen have the most beautiful animation outside of Warner in their prime that I've ever watched.
(12 Jan. 1979) Speed Racer (as my sister found out) is being shown here at 1 p.m. Unfortunately, it is shown on the "home box office" channel and we don't have one of the unscramblers. The same channel shows Space Giants which I thought I'd like to see because they were in the 1978 Tezuka calendar. I rather lost interest where I saw it was live-action, as I prefer animated shows.
I hadn't seen Speed Racer in a few years and I discovered the dialog & the racing delivery of same were worse than I'd remembered. BATTLE OF THE PLANETS shows improvement in that direction.
I'll have to stop for a few minutes. My sister got a movie camera for Christmas and is making a horror film. I've already played an angry villager & the evil baron's murdered daughter. Now I must get made up for the part of the baron himself.
Well, it's done. My one regret is that, to show me dead (throat torn out by my own hell-hound) at the finish I had to have my neck liberally daubed with cold ketchup. As this scene was being filmed outside (at night) I was freezing.
(21 Jan. 1979) BATTLE OF THE PLANETS has been dropped here because of poor ratings. I wish the channel had tried it in some other time-slot first. I'd thought I'd seen all of the episodes because they repeated some for 2 weeks but then dur~ ing the last two weeks it was on they showed new episodes. I am, to say the least, very disappointed. I'm hoping I can get a friend to videotape some episodes for me so I can see them when (if ever) I can afford a video-recorder.
I'll probably never find out whether the American version of BATTLE kills off Jason or not (I doubt it). Because Jason is one of my favorite characters from the show (I prefer that name to "Joe") I'm sorry to hear it. I would have much preferred to see any of the robots or Keyop go. They all irritated me. Mary (my sister) was interested to learn about Jason/Joe being a Sicilian teen-ager She said it explained his behavior. In what ways is the American version different from the Japanese one? Does that boring 7-Zark-7 take up so much of each episode's time in their version?
I just came back from seeing tonight's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA episode I'd pretty well given up on the show--watched last week for Patrick MacNee and this week to see the end. It was so bad--the last 15 minutes made me feel quite ill. I wish they'd spent more money on some intelligent scripts instead of so much on special effects.
(4 Feb. 1979, after getting a Japanese magazine with a photo-article) Interesting cover--is that supposed to be Jason as the grim stalker in the foreground? Because there is no sign of 7-Zark-7 in any of the BOTP material I've seen I'm wondering if he is a USA addition, perhaps added to help make the material into separate episodes. Certainly the building on pp. 10-11 doesn't look anything like the Center Neptune I remember. If that is the Japanese version of Zoltar, then that supports the conclusion reached by the episode ALIEN BIGFOOT in which Zoltar was briefly unmasked--that "he" is a "she" However, they continued to refer to Zoltar as a "he" in all the subsequent episodes I've seen. Finding out that Zoltar was female made me feel better about those very feminine lips the character has.
(7 Feb. 1979) I've rather suspected that Zark's reassurance that everyone got out of those doomed cities was a sop to American critics. I don't see how they could have unless they all move with the speed of the Flash.
My brother is back from Maryland--evidently the show is still on there. My friend in West Virginia has agreed to tape BATTLE for me. My sister (who is better off, financially speaking, than I am) wants to get herself a video recorder so I may not have to wait that long.
Keyop should shoot the American distributor. I suppose the sequel will just be the 4 of them. I hope they don't kill off anyone else.
(29 March 1979) ANIMAGE 5 cleared up a puzzle for me, namely, if Joe/Jason got killed in the original BATTLE OF THE PLANETS, why did he show up in the article on the sequel (holding a new weapon), and more importantly, why a new vehicle that was obviously designed for him? From 2 pages on the sequel in ANIMAGE #5 it seems they pulled an old comic trick and resurrected the character somehow. (That his teammates weren't expecting his return I can gather by the surprised looks on their faces when they see him standing there.)
(4 April 1979, after getting another Japanese photo-book) Thanks muchly for the BATTLE OF THE PLANETS photocopy. I see they changed all the names for the American version. I think I like "Jun" better than "Princess". Keyop/Jimpei evidently is a child in the Japanese version. In the American one they said he was a clone and in one episode Mark said he was "not a child." I'd assumed they were all the same age because 7-Zark-7 said they'd 11 been trained "almost from birth". (I also assumed their "cerebonic implants" were put in when they were very young, probably because it seemed to make the most sense about why not have those implants done generally? Of course, I made up similar theories about why only Marine Boy used oxy-gum and that electronic boomerang, but later episodes of the show showed him giving the gum to others in an emergency, also others borrowing his boomerang. I guess I should not try to make some sense out of these shows.)
I see they say Ken/Mark is an eagle after all. Hmm, a condor for Jason--never thought of that. The personality notes go pretty well with what I got from the show, except I don't recall Joe/Jason whistling any tunes. The rivalry between Mark and Jason was definitely brought out, though, particularly in an episode called THE AWESOME ARMADILLO in which Mark was having grave doubts about his ability to lead G-Force and Jason was reinforcing those doubts. It got to the point where Princess had to physically restrain Jason from attacking Mark. But then, Jason doesn't seem to take orders very well, anyway. I forget how many times he went ahead and did something he was told not to -even though this usually led to disaster Gallactor Syndicate? is that what the Japanese called Spectre?
(12 April 1979) Dr. Nambu of Gatchaman is probably the same person we know as Chief Anderson. I would not be a bit surprised if the Gallactor Syndicate were earth-based, instead of being "in the crab nebula" as Spectre was supposed to be. It would certainly make more sense. The idea that Spectre was a very old and torn-out planet that was trying to take over earth for its resources seems economically ridiculous to me. If they're so depleted, resource-wise--where do they keep coming up with the materials for the monsters they send to earth? I dare say the action in GATCHAMAN rarely, if ever, involved other worlds. I always thought it was strange that the other worlds G-Force visited looked exactly like earth, even assuming they might be colonies o earth. (This led to some strange scenes such as THE SPACE MUMMY episode where G-Force went to a newly-discovered world the Federation named "Zark" in guess-who's honor--I wonder what the inhabitants might think of that--and the planet just happened to look like earth. In THE MAD NEW RULER OF SPECTRE the action is supposely taking place on the main world of Spectre. If so, I couldn't see why they would be stampeding those mechanical horse-bombs toward what looked like an earth city instead of an orderly procession to the loading rockets. Then, too, Commander Kronus of planet Riga's plane did not look capable of outer-space flight yet he was supposed to have come to earth in it. The prize lame explanation for why this should be another planet comes from the episode called PERIL OF THE PYRAMIDS, one of the last I got to see. The plot of this one was incredible--Spectre was supposed to have a secret mining operation on a remote planet inhabited by the descendants of exiled crooks & their families. Oddly enough, the planet's culture looked like a modern-day Arabic one (one would assume such a planet's population would have been more diversified). The real idiocy is that Zoltar's master plan was to steal a pyramid from earth and rebuild it over the mining operation so that no one would suspect anything! Frankly, I can think of few things more likely to bring G-Force to investigate.)
(16 May 1979, after getting the Gold key comic book) I got the BATTLE OF THE PLANETS #1, thank you. I was not impressed by the comic. I wish they'd had one longer story instead of two short ones. I was annoyed by the lack of attention to details (such as 7-Zark-7 and the interior of the Phoenix) and the total inaccuracy of the individual vehicles. Also, I think coloring the Phoenix gray was a bad move--its actual blue looks better. I noticed that they left the wristbands out on the G-Force members. I was also put off by that "We're helpless if we can't communicate with Zark" bit--that's bull. They consulted Zark on the show-- but they could do just fine without him if necessary. The portrait shots of the characters weren't too bad--noticed the lack of coloring to the underside of the cape and the artist didn't get the eyes right for anyone but Keyop, but those are minor things. Frankly, this looks like a hasty-job-for-bucks comic to me.
(24 May 1979) I complained about the BATTLE OF THE PLANETS comic quite lengthily in a letter to a friend. She asked me if I ever thought of writing for it myself. That was Saturday. By Sunday I had a plot all worked out. I read it to her over the phone and she thought it held together well. I typed it up neatly Sunday night and mailed it to Gold Key on Mon lay, before I could lose my nerve. Now that I look it over, I still think it's plausible and is pretty faithful to the show. My only regrets are I think I could have worded it better here and there. really don't expect Gold Key to be interested, but I hope they'll take it even if all they want is the plot and let someone else script it.
(7 June 1979) LA's channel 11 (channel 10 on our cable) is showing BATTLE OF THE PLANETS now. Thus far this week, except for ATTACK OF THE SPACE TERRAPIN, they've confined themselves to some of the dregs of the later episodes. I can't see how that will help build a following for the show. I did notice the credits at the end give a non Oriental name for the composer of the show's music.
Is there any way of finding out what happened in the GATCHAMAN episodes that didn't make it to BATTLE OF THE PLANETS? There's a big difference between 85 and 105.
Funny, but when I saw THE FIERY LAVA GIANT episode repeated (before you told me about the changes, I think) I thought those space hero monuments looked an awful lot like Mt. Rushmore.
A BATTLE fan, Jerry Simon, wrote to me because of my letter in THE BUYERS' GUIDE. He told me that Jason got bigger roles in the later episodes, but was alive and well the last episode he saw. Spectra destroyed the "Space Center" of which Center Neptune was a part. The most interesting thing he said was that (he compared it to the unmasking of Racer X in SPEED RACER Commander Kronus turned out to be Mark's father. Here's a direct quote:
"Mark discovered his father's identity moments before Kronus embarked on a suicide mission to stop Spectra's most deadly plan to exterminate humanity--the destruction of the Van Allen belt. In the inevitable and annoying 7-Zark-7 epilogue, Kronus was said to have escaped death and was returning to 'Riga' (without even saying goodbye to Mark! How rude!)"
Oops--Jerry said that Zark's station was untouched when the space center blew up (too bad). Oh yes, he said that Kronus had left 6-year-old Mark with Anderson before going off on a secret mission and faked his death. I don't know about you, but I think that if I were in Mark's place I'd be upset/angry/resentful/words I'm not likely to use in public with Kronus and Anderson no matter what their reason for keeping Kronus's secret. You gave up on the show too soon. There were a fair (more than fair) share of turkey episodes, but a number of them were quite interesting.
(14 June 1979) Sorry, my mistake--Commander Kronus is Col. Kronus. Today's episode was a repeat of the second on Kronus appeared in. I was interested to learn that Kronus was Red Impulse in Japan--not only does it explain that "Theme Red Impulse" on my [Japanese] record, but that silly little "r" on his hat. At first I thought it might stand for "Riga" I'll bet that's why they said he was from Riga. The first time G-Force went to Riga--I think it was the first time--Kronus wasn't mentioned at ail, which one would have expected because Riga was devastated by a Spectra attack, and in ATTACK OF THE ALIEN WASP it was revealed that Kronus was supposed to have died in that attack. One amusing thing I've noted--in several episodes the same red-white-black fighter planes (such as the one Kronus flies) appear. In THE GHOST SHIP OF PLANET MIR they were called the patrol or whatever of Mir. In A SWARM OF ROBOT ANTS they were said to be "our fighters". But when Kronus appears in an episode, that type of plane is referred to as a "Rigan fighter", I'd rather figured he'd gotten killed in that suicide mission.
(21 June 1979) I am fooling quite angry. The turkeys down at our cable tv station (may maledictions dog their footsteps) have decided to replace 4 LA stations with other stations. Mary and I are unhappy with this. Since most of the original shows are real dogs, we depend a lot on syndicated reruns. We're losing several favorite programs, among them UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, TWILIGHT ZONE, and BATTLE OF THE PLAÑETS (only a favorite for me, though). Fortunately, I'd not been taking chances because I wasn't sure how long the show would be on this time, and I've been taking a lot of pictures of the team in and out of uniform, the vehicles, the buildings, etc. I'm hoping one of the replacement channels will carry it. The change isn't until July 1, so I still have 6 episodes to see. Only 2 so far have been of ones I haven't seen before. I was amused by one of them, THE ALIEN BATTLE, because those "Rigan fighters" (identified as such by Zoltar) helped G-Force by showing up out of nowhere. Col. Kronus was there. Now I could see Red Impulse suddenly showing up from somewhere else on earth, but what brought Kronus there from the planet Riga? Also, on today's episode, THE SEA DRAGON, the regular fighter planes that went up against the Spectra menace had wIn" on their wings (or one of them, anyway). Supposedly they were Irom Urse Major
(7 July 1979) I have BATTLE OF THE PLANETS #2--cover taken from the front cover of the Gatchaman record album (or maybe they got it from a common source). The two stories are just a teeny tiny bit more exciting than in the first issue, but the art is as boring as ever.
(21 July 1979, after getting a Japanese 8 MAN comic book) 8 Man #1 really took me back to the days I watched 8th Man. I recall that he was Tobor (!) in his civilian identity, his secretary was Jenny Heartsweet (!!) and her brother was Pepper, and the other robot is Samartha 7. The name of the chief scientist of Spectre, the chief of police, and the professor who built him eluded me but I'd started to write down the first episode from memory years and years ago (never completed it) and it did give me the Professor's name--Genius (!!!). I do remember the episode in which the Professor's son, Ken, showed up in a robot body ard it was revealed that 8th Man's face was modeled on his land the memorable scene of a crazed Ken shouting "give me back my face!"). Is that one adapted in the series?
I'd forgotten all about Prof. Genius giving 8th Man energy boosters in the form of cigarettes. Until I remembered them I was very confused about this robot who kept taking time for a smoke. The origin sequence on p. 198-203 differs from the one I remember seeing on TV. The relationship between Jenny and Pepper looks the same. I remember Pepper chiefly as teasing Jenny about her liking for Mr. Tobor. I don't think he had much respect for Tobor--was always wondering why they never had clients. The appearance-changing sequence isn't quite the same as I remember--though it would have been difficult to draw that split second change from Tobor to 8th Man to whoever. The disposal of the food on p. 91 makes me think of Asimov's THE CAVES OF STEEL.
Isoline Sanderson, 25 Washington Drive, North Lindenhurst, New York 11757
(5 June 1979) I have a question about a couple of Battle of the Planets episodes and I was wondering if you know the answer. In "Raid of the Red Scorpion" they say that a Spectra agent - Gartz - killed Mark's father, but in another one ("The Sky is Falling") they say that Colonel Chronos is Mark's father, and even Chronos says that he is. Which one's true? And if Chronos is Mark's father then who did Gartz kill?
(19 July 1979) Do you have any idea how Mark's mother was killed? I've been wondering for quite a while. Also, in "The Awesome Armadillo", Mark visits a grave, and the gravestone has a Rign plane engraved on it. Mark says, Brother, I come to you because I have no one to turn to!" Does this mean chat Mark once had a brother? Also, whose grave is it?
Rich Campbell, 520 Weldon Street, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650
For a year, I have been trying to get an episode guide/index for "Battle of the Planets". I tried getting one from Sandy Frank, Inc., but failed to get a response. I read of your club. I would be glad to join if you can get me an index for BOTP. I will pay for this episode guide.
The Japanese BOTP album (with an index of shows) is another item I would pay heavily to obtain. Can you help me get a copy?
I'm also interested in episode guides for any Japanese TV show: space Giants, Kimba, Speed Racer, 8 Man, Astro Boy, Ultra Man, etc. I will pay if you can help. Please be specific.
//For indexes of the American versions of these shows, I hope that C/FO members can help compile this information. We have Ralph Canino's list of "8th Man" episodes in this issue, and we have an index of "Kimba" episodes for our next issue. For the Japanese indexes, you might contact Misao Kuze. Another new C/FO member, saki Hijiri (Azuma-so, Kugayama 5-33-35, Suginamiku, Tokyo 168, Japan), has already promised to help us get some Japanese "Gatchaman" albums.//
Sandy Busch, 416 North Ontario Avenue, Lindenhurst, New York 11757
(May 1979) I finally found a channel that has Battle of the Planets in the morning at 6:30 so I've started taping shows again. Do you think there are any coloring books of Battle of the Planets in America? Me & my friends were wondering. It would be nice if they did. Me & my friends have Battle of the Planets fever. We write our own little stories and have drawings all over our rooms. One of my friends recently went to California and visited Japan Town [in San Francisco?] and found a Battle of the Planets poster from Japan. It was funny because they don't have the same uniforms and all members of G Force like out here.
(16 July 1979) Thank you for the American comic book. Like you said the drawings aren't very good. Do you have ANIMAGE magazines? If you do how much do they cost?
Someone said they saw a BOT coloring book in a store but I don't know if they were kidding or not so I thought I'd ask you if they made one.
Do you know if they'll be putting BOTP back on again? I hope they do but after summer.
How many original episodes are there in America? I figure I've seen about 60 but I missed a couple of weeks. My friend said they did a whole month of new ones not shown when it was on in the evening. Why did they take it off if they still had all of them?
//I sometimes have copies of ANIMAGE available but it sells very fast. The price is around $5.00, depending on the values of the dollar and yen. I'm sold out at the moment. I'm afraid I don't know of any American coloring book. "Battle of the Planets" is shown in different cities at different times, so I don't know when or if it's likely to appear in New York again. The April 18, 1979 issue of VARIETY magazine had a full-page advertisement for "Battle of the planets" claiming that the show bas already been sold in 75 U.s. markets (TV areas) and 22 Canadian markets, and that the show consists of 85 brand new, all-color super half-hour ad-ventures" //
This concludes FANTA'S ZINE #1-- just in time, because I'm getting drenched in ink from a mimeograph that was condemned ten years ago. Thanks to Mark Merlino, Chris Balduc, and Wendell Washer for printing their own contributions. Special thanks to Tom Minton, who we don't even know -- he's a co-employee of Wendell's who saw Wendell printing his page on the company photocopier, decided it looked like fun, and whipped out two pages for us. We hope to see you again, Tom.