The Fanzine Lounge
The following are some examples of photos and literature from earlier days of Columbus and Ohio Fandom. These examples are from the archives of the Sprawl Library which is located in Columbus Ohio.
Special thanks to Sally Kobee and Arlie Adams for donations of both information and materials to the library which are used in this exhibit. The convention photos on this page are from slides which were shot by Larry Smith and digitized at the Sprawl Library.
Note : Some of the documents accessible from this page may contain offensive language or images. They are historical, and may not agree with the mores and values of the current time period.
MARCON (originally a MARch CONvention and currently the Multiple Alternative Realities Convention) is one of the longer running fan conventions still currently in existence. After the first few years, the convention has been and continues to be held in the Columbus Ohio area.
It began in 1965, and the following are years for which some photos exist :
MARCON VIII (1973)
This shows the single room where the convention programming took place. (Original Photo)
And yes, there was a dealers section in the programming room, so that the dealers could attend the programming as well. (Original Photo)
Here the audience sits and listens to a presentation. And you can almost count the number of participants from this photo. (Original Photo)
MARCON X : Program Guide (1975)
These are hall shots from the convention, showing the fashion of the time. Note the person coming out of the doorway clutching their copy of the program. (Original Top Photo, Original Bottom Photo)
Here we see several people enjoying themselves at one of the room parties. (Original Photo)
MARCON XII : Program Guide (1977)
Here are Mark Evans (left) and Ross Pavlac (right) who were the vice chair and chair respectively for this MARCON. (Original Photo)
Here we have Bob Hillis and others working the registration desk, with a good line of people waiting to get into the convention. (Original Photo)
One of the notable attendees was Howard Devore (left) who participated frequently in Columbus fan activities. He is pictured with John Miesel. (Original Photo)
But well before MARCON was formed, MidWestCon was a Midwest relaxacon. It claims to be the first ever relaxacon, and started in 1950.
Unlike the general conventions, a relaxacon pretty much just involved a weekend of hanging out with other fans at the pool during the day and in various room parties at night, or wherever the fans felt like hanging out.
These photos appear to be from MidWestCons in 1974/1975 or around that time.
Steve and Sue Francis, our fan GoHs have attended a few MidWestCons, so you can sit down with them sometime this weekend and see if you can get them to tell you some tales.
Clearly some hanging out by the pool is called for. (Original Photo)
Or in view of the pool, as the case may be. (Original Photo)
And there are different kinds of art, which of course were on display. (Original Photo)
And some were available for purchase in the “hucksters room.” (Original Photo)
Rumor has it on Saturday night of the convention there was a banquet! (Original Photo)
Of course after the day is done and all of the strenuous hanging out by the pool is over, it is good to relax with a room party … (Original Photo)
… which sometimes even involves a cat. (Original Photo)
The Central Ohio SF Society
COSFS was a central Ohio fan club which was formed in late 1965 to essentially collect and organize the central Ohio SF/F fans. It quickly became the driving organization behind MARCON. The club had a newsletter, a couple of examples are listed below. If you read Cosign #1, the front has a brief history of how the organization was formed.
Many of the same folks who were involved in the early days of the convention were members of this club, and also had their own fanzines.
- But the club also put out its own zine, titled Cosign.
Cosign #1 (July 1966)
- Cosign #2 (August 1966)
Larry Smith was one of the more active fans in the earlier days of central Ohio fandom, and in addition to being one of the driving forces behind MARCON, he was also involved in a number of zines which are accessible from this page.
- One of the earlier examples in the library is this zine. John Ayotte and Larry Smith are listed as editors, and it does have an offensive symbol on the front cover (though it is listed as an interpretation of Zelazny’s “9 Princes in Amber”).
Kallikanzaros #1 (June 1967)
- Later examples are these which were edited by him, published by his wife Cele Smith, and include regular articles from Bob Hillis and Larry Coon. The editorial in #1 indicates that the original COSFS group became dispersed in 1969, and in 1972 Larry, Bob, and others were working on reviving the group again.
Cozine #1 (January 1972)
- Cozine #2 (May 1972)
- Cozine #3 (March 1973?)
It’s unclear whether the copyright by “C0SFS” (with a zero instead of an oh) was a new corporation from the earlier COSFS. But this occurred roughly around the time of MARCON VII.
- At one point Larry wrote a zine which was printed on blue paper titled “Ethereal Vibrations.”
Ethereal Vibrations Vol. 1 No. 2
- Ethereal Vibrations Vol. 3 No. 1
- And published during the same period was a zine by his wife at the time Cele Smith titled “Mundane Torpor” which was printed on pink paper.
Mundane Torpor No. 1
- Mundane Torpor No. 2
- Ross was a fan who moved from Cleveland to Columbus in the early 1970s, and became quite involved with central Ohio fan activities. In addition to helping Bob Hillis and Larry with MARCON, he also had his own zine titled “Avenging Aardvark’s Aerie.”
Avenging Ardvark’s Aerie #1 (Possibly January 1975)
- Avenging Ardvark’s Aerie #2 (January 29, 1975)
- Avenging Ardvark’s Aerie #5 (November 18, 1975)
These appear to have originally been intended as part of the APA Myriad, however here they are as individual zines.
What About Filk?
One of the pieces the library has come across is this record album, recorded here in Columbus by a group known as the Solar Sailors. While the front side depicts an entertaining look at a major science fiction franchise of the time, the back side shows the band and the play list.
Ohio Valley Filk Fest
Another current and long running central Ohio convention aimed much more at the music (filk) community was formed in 1984, the Ohio Valley Filk Fest.
- OVFF was started by Van Siegling, and was originally intended to be a convention which took place in different cities (in different states) each year, somewhere around the Ohio River Valley. But it became clear that the driving forces were in Ohio, and so OVFF now takes place in Columbus each year.
For OVFF X, the Guest of Honor was . . .
Those interested in information about filk from the early days should talk to our guest Juanita Coulson and attend her panels. She’s a published author, famous filker, and yes also a zine publisher! She has done almost all the things. While she now lives in the Ohio area, a large part of her past life was spent living in Indiana.
The library has a few (sadly very few) copies of her zines, but at this point it is also useful for us to mention fanac.org, a site which is collecting all the zines (or trying to at any rate) as well as other fan history.
- Juanita’s zines are available there, with a few linked below :
Yandro 50 (March 1957)
- Yandro 244 (June 1978)
- Yandro 259 (February 1986)
For more information about Juanita Coulson, just ask her! Check the program guide for her panels.
For more zines, you should visit www.fanac.org and if you have some in your house that aren’t on the site, please contact them about submissions.