Bill and Ann Hupe
|Name:||Bill Hupe, Ann Hupe|
|Alias(es):||Ann K. Meyer (?)|
|Type:||fanzine publisher/zine editor; fanzine agents and distributors; printers for other fanzine publishers; indexers|
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Bill and Ann Hupe both were fan writers, but they're best known as fan publishers, and then re-publishers and agents for other fannish presses.
Zine Publisher Names
Bill worked together with Peg Kennedy to edit and publish their own zines as well as agenting and distributing for other fanzine publishing. Ann, who worked full time, provided the financial backing for their publication efforts and also edited a number of the zines that they published.
- Footrot Flats (with Peg Kennedy)
- Gypsy Moth Productions (with Peg Kennedy) (starting in the mid 1980s)
- Peromyscus Press
A 1995 Catalog
The Honorary K/Ser Award for the biggest boon to fandom in '94-to Bill Hupe, "with hugs & kisses, for his excellent work in publishing, agenting, reprinting, and distributing zines. And he's a nice guy, to boot." -- given at Shore Leave.
In Their Own Words
In remembering Gene Roddenberry after his passing Bill wrote:Almost to this date ten years ago [May 1993], our first fanzine Abode of Strife #1 debuted in time to be turned in for our Science Fiction Literature class at California State University at Fullerton. When the professor found out that two of his students were into Star Dreck (as he called it), he said that a fanzine would be our class project (it sure beat making paper mache' aliens, or the other suggestion of several of us getting together and doing a sequel to Hardware Wars called 'The Toasters Strike Back'). Edited by Bill Hupe and Ann Meyer (now Dr. Ann Hupe), the first print run sold out immediately, as did the second; a handful of the third resides in our basement yet. We realized that improve was an operative word, which we did over the next few issues. A move to Michigan and Ann's starting of medical school forced a year and a half off from new material. The time was spent improving and soliciting writers and artists. 1986 MediaWest*Con saw the premiere of issue #6, 'Shadow's, featuring several prominent fannish artists, and one professional. That issue won the 1986 FanQ for 'Best Star Trek Zine'. Some of the artists from that issue did work for one or more of issues 19, 20, and 21, all premiering together at 1993 MediaWest*Con. Including, Marie Williams, who did the cover for this issue, winner of the 1992 FanQ for 'Best Star Trek Artist', and Michael C. Goodwin again outdid himself for issue 20 (Betsy Fisher's 'Ry') that stands on par with any of his other bookcovers on the sf bookshelf at your local bookstore. In the interim between issues 6 and 19-21, over a 150 writers and artists have contributed to the pages of 'Abode of Strife', other editors have assisted and actually guest-edited issues (Barb Erickson, Susan Clarke, Marie Williams, Peg Kennedy [who won two years running for FanQ 'Best Star Trek Zine/Editor' and is up for a third and final.time in 1993]), an impressive number of FanQ's and nominations for stories and art found within these pages, and hundreds of pages of Star Trek fiction, as well as Star Wars and some other fandoms that found their way into Abode of Strife's pages before zines for that fandom or our multimedia fanzine Lions and Tigers were created. We also started Authorized Reprints of older zines with the original editor's permission some time along the way, and then soon thereafter publishing outright zines for other editors, and then finally a few years ago, newsletters and other like materials for Star Trek fan-oriented groups like Com-link, Beverlyophiles, etc... It's been a lot of fun and we've gained hundreds of new friends allover the world in the meantime. The last few months have been like no other wrapping up the edited, typing, layout, and more, as well as the printing of all the new publications for MediaWest (the number of master pages for new MediaWest publications has now climbed over 15,000 pages. Sleep in the last few weeks has been reduced to a couple of hours a night. Next year, with our luck, will be even more. But as long as everyone is enjoying reading these zines, as well as the overwhelming 'pitching in' response when we asked 2 people if they'd like to help bind in trade for a contributor's copy at MediaWest (and we now have entire 'binding parties' scheduled!); this makes all of our effort seem more than returned. 
"How has Gene Roddenberry affected my life? Well, basically most of what I do now is because of him. Compared to my job as a computer consultant, which takes up very little of my time, putting zines together on the other hand, is a full time job. I actually got into Star Trek fandom over ten years ago through a science fiction class at the university I was attending at the time. A class project turned into my first fanzine..."
Blakesindex and Other Zines
In 1985, they released their first zine, Abode of Strife, issue #1. Bill also worked with editor Pat Nussman, and with editor Sheila Paulson, publishing many of their Fan Q award-winning zines. Bill also wrote one fan novel, Shadows.
Among other fandoms, Bill and Ann were huge Blake's 7 fans, and in the early nineties, Bill edited Blakesindex, proposed to be a full index of B7 zines, with stories listed by author, title, and subject, and poetry and art. Although obviously a huge amount of work, it was far short of a full index, as several large B7 presses, such as Ashton Press, (publishers of the long running B7 series Southern Seven and Southern Comfort), among others, weren't included. Hupe's fanzine catalogs are also a valuable source of bibliographic information for past zines.
Zines as a Business
By '87, Bill Hupe had a double-page spread in Datazine (a long-running slash and gen adzine) advertising his by then 25 fanzines. This was the beginning of a period where the Hupes (along with Peg Kennedy) gradually became media fandom's largest fanzine publishers and re-publishers, putting out their own issues as well as obtaining permission from several other publishers to agent and reprint various titles. This meant spending most weekends schlepping hundreds, if not thousands, of zines from con to con, across the country, then spending 90% of the con sitting in the dealer's room. At a time when adzines came out infrequently, many fans only found zines they wanted because of the Hupes, and Peg Kennedy's willingness to drag zines everywhere they went. Peg & Bill kept lists of their zines looking for submissions as well -- a lot of fans (especially gen fans) had their first stories published in one of Bill, Ann or Peg's zines. All of the zines they edited were gen, but over the years they agented many slash zines. When April Valentine had so much trouble with mailorder that she changed the name and policy to InPersonPress, ordering her zines from Bill was the only way to get them if you couldn't make it to a con in Maryland.
Bill also sold used fanzines, pricing them according to their condition, about half or two thirds their original price. He then added on a 15% commission.
And expanding out from zines, they also sold VHS conversions of British shows (Sapphire and Steel, Pros (of course) and others), and agented fan art for many artists. Bill and Peg also started taking fans' orphan zine collections when they gafiated and selling them for 15% over cover price. Bill also ran the Dealer's Room at MediaWest, probably the biggest existing con for fanzines.
The next step after putting out his own zines, and agenting other people's zines, was fanzine packager -- editors give him copy (on a disk by this time), he did no-frills reproduction and mailing: standard xeroxing on cheap paper, no fancy fonts, no discernable graphic design, no special handling for art (if there is art), and charged about $22 for a zine (or $11 for a disk with that zine on it).Bill may have also been one of the earliest fanzine distributors to offer e-zines.
However, since Bill Hupe exited fanzine distribution in 1996, the impetus to offer ezines may have come from Peg Kennedy and Linda Knight who took over his business in July 1996:"I was looking at the last note from Bill Hupe, and he lists 8 e-zines, all done in Acrobat, the Adobe program that allows you to make files that are printable and readable on almost any computer, but doesn't allow you to fiddle with the files. We've talked about e-zines a few times here, but I didn't realize that people were already doing this.
Way cool! Has anyone actually ordered one of these? The zines are cheaper (though not as much as you'd think: between $4 and 11 dollars for PC or Mac disk versions of these zines, which you either read online, or print out yourself).
Peg Kennedy also began emailing the fanzine catalog to interested buyers - something that many fanzine publishers had been doing. However, to the consternation of some fanzine publishers, a copy of the flyer was posted online in 1997. It is unclear whether the flyer posting was done at either Bill's or Peg's request:"D-zines (zines on disks) The following zines are now available on disk IBM (windows) and Mac. They are written on ACROBAT -- which Peg & Linda have purchased and are licensed for -- these disks MUST be read by ACROBAT; they DO NOT load into your computer's word processor. The Reader can be downloaded on line or purchased from us $3.00 IBM $6.00 Mac (sorry, it takes 3 disks to load the reader on Mac). See previous mailers or our full catalog for breakdown of the zine. **Rebel Destinies 2 - B7 - $4.50 OR download $4.25."
I was surfing the Web a while ago, which I do from time to time to make sure no references to [my press] or my fanfic are floating about out there, and was startled to find a page listing fanzines available from Bill Hupe, who retired back in July of last year. They had typed in an entire flyer of his which listed just about every fanzine in the world. It had typos - "New Summer's End" for example, and "Nudge Nudge Wink Wink 13" .... The good thing is that these were listed as agented zines and thus did not have addresses other than Bill's; the bad news is that my name was listed (as author on my zines) and I'd rather not see my name and "slash" together anywhere on the Web, and of course, the really bad news is that people can't actually order these zines from Bill and they included an order form on the page. I'm really starting to hate this stuff. I have never given *anyone* permission to advertise my zines on the Web, ever. This just *PISSES ME OFF*. If any fans find this, and try to get my zines this way, they're gonna get pissed off when nothing happens."
Agents vs Publishers
A large portion of Bill and Anne's business was agenting for other fanzine editors and publishers. A zine agent could do one of two things: they could resell stock that another publisher had printed. This type of agent carried none of the upfront publication costs and risks. Or they could be responsible for the printing of new copies which they had to fund themselves. This type of agent faced a greater financial risk, especially in the days before print on demand. The Hupes offered both kinds of services. For those zines that they actually reprinted in order to agent on behalf of the publishers, they would add their name and address alongside that of the actual publishers of the zine.
The number of zines the Hupes edited and published was quite small when compared to their fanzine catalog (see list below). However, because of the size of their catalog, many fans were confused for years thinking the Hupes edited and published every zine that they sold and that they had exclusive rights to the zines. Often when the actual fanzine publishers attempted to sell their own zines at events, they were accused of being fanzine pirates. So murky were the agency/distribution waters that Bill Hupe and Peg Kennedy were themselves accused of selling pirated zines at Farpoint in 1993.
Bill's aggressive stance towards unauthorized redistribution of the zines he agented also created confusion. And last, the informal nature of most fanzine agenting fed into the complexity. Few zine publishers and agents signed any agreements, let alone exclusive ones, leaving the field wide open for the Hupes' "ownership" claims. In a time and era when communication was done by letters, verifying the "legitimacy" of the original fanzine publisher could take months.
The issues of agenting vs publishing is one that many other large scale fanzine enterprises have faced, such as Lionheart Distribution and Agent With Style. After Lionheart received a C&D notice by Warner Brothers in 2005, they reopened under the name "Distribution" and made it clear they were only agents, not publishers to reduce their liability.
List of zines that the Hupes edited and published (note: Some of these zines may have only been agented by Bill Hupe and/or Peg Kennedy. This list is subject to verification against the copyright notices in the printed zines)
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Federation (jointly with Peg Kennedy) - Star Trek
- A Matter of Honor (multiple issues) - Star Trek: TNG
- Abode of Strife (many issues) -- Star Trek
- Beyond the Farthest Star issues #4-8 only
- Beyond the Mirror - Quantum Leap
- Blakesindex – Blake's 7 zine index
- Devourer of All Things- original fiction
- If Their Mothers Only Knew (edited by Peg Kennedy) - multiple fandoms
- Fresh Beaver Tails - Alien Nation
- Invictus – Alien
- Laff Trek - Star Trek
- Lions and Tigers and Zines, Oh My! - Quantum Leap
- Living Year to Year - Quantum Leap
- The Measure of Affection -- Blake's 7
- Ni Var - Star Trek
- On the Wings of the Knight - Forever Knight
- Prophet Margin -- Star Trek: DS9
- Quantum Mechanics (edited by Peg Kennedy) - Quantum Leap
- Qubed - Star Trek: TNG
- Rebel Destinies edited by Peg Kennedy) - Blake's 7
- Tales from the Litterbox – Beauty and the Beast
- The Old World Affair (edited by Peg Kennedy) - MUNCLE
- The Pirates of Avalon (edited by Peg Kennedy) - Star Trek TNG
- The Small Rouge One - Red Dwarf/Quantum Leap
- X-Posed - X-Files
Controversy One: Open letters on Zine Pirating
The controversy became stronger in 1993, when two open letters circulated about xeroxing (or zine pirating, to use their language) of in-print zines. The most outrageous rant was from Alexis Fegan Black (co-signed by Wendy Rathbone and MKASHEF), directed wildly to fandom in general (see here for the full letter); the other, slightly calmer argument was from Bill Hupe, directed to Candy Pulleine (basically suggesting that she should make an effort to educate her local Kinkos about zine copyrights and so on) and threatened a Dealer boycott of RevelCon if she didn't address this problem (see here for the full letter).
Other zine editors responded that they didn't believe that fans copying a zine or two for your friends was responsible for the decline in zine sales. They pointed to changes in fandom, the recession at that time, etc. There were comments like "What the hell did he EXPECT for a plump, expensive, Multimedia zine from an editor whose standards have slipped?" and "I don't have the kind of $$$ to buy a $20-25 mixed media zine for the 1/3 in which I might be interested, so I copy that 1/3rd from my friend's copy, and no, I don't feel guilty."
Controversy Two: Profit
Some authors had got pissed off when the Hupes and Peg Kennedy first started taking over printing zines edited and published by other fans in the early 1990s. Their interpretation was that they had granted the original publisher the right to print their story, but that right was not transferable to another publisher. The authors didn't give him reprint permission, just the editors. Some demanded another trib copy. (The conversation about this (and of course, the spread of the Internet) eventually led to authors giving rights to their zine eds for the first year or two, and after that, getting the right to put their stories up on the web.)
Another concern over Bill Hupe and company was that having him agent such a large percentage of zines was leading to the collapse of the fannish mutual promotion network. Zines used to come with ads in the back. It used to be that, once you got that first zine, you had a bunch of addresses for that fandom, and the list grew exponentially as you got more zines. Now, you had to either find an adzine or keep ordering from Bill, who was making a job out of all this.
Other fans felt that reprinting zines interfered with standard practice at the time, which was to not allow copying of a zine while it was in print, but to allow unlimited copying once the zine went out of print. With zines never going out of print, fans didn't ever have a chance to just copy their favorite few stories from a zine for a friend.
Still other people were merely annoyed by how hard it was to shop at his tables: the zines generally weren't organized by fandom, or genre, and there would be boxes and boxes and boxes of them.
By this point, Bill and Peg's operation (Ann was still publishing zines, but wasn't part of the zine agenting business) was so large that a backlash was inevitable.
Others entered the fray on Bill's side, saying that he provided an incalculable service to fans -- providing them access to fanzines that they might never have been able to see or be able to afford, especially fans outside the US, who could use Bill as one-stop-shopping. He also sold for dozens of small presses that couldn't afford to get to many conventions and sell zines for themselves.
Other fan comments:
- Bill is overworked, and one of the most maligned people in fandom. He also is one of the most generous with his time and energy. Just as well Ann earns a good wage, otherwise he couldn't afford to keep selling the zines -- I know that he doesn't make a profit with the business and I know by how much.
- Bill took on the zines as his "bit" for fandom and it is sad that people can see it in suspicious light.
- Bill Hupe had tried to be superman and lost his health, good name and a lot of his spirit over it all.
- Without Bill I would never have found Slash fandom. I'm from a small town in the middle of nowhere, and fanzines, gen or slash, are very much an underground thing. We spent years trying to find "slash," but it is difficult to find something when you don't even know the vocabulary necessary to ask. He is one of most helpful people I have ever done business with. As an initial contact to fandom we couldn't have asked for a better introduction. Bill has my eternal thanks.
- I have my problems with what Bill Hupe represents, but he is a nice man who works hard and provides a valuable service to both readers and publishers.
- "And what about the Bill Hupe's of fandom? These groups are another layer of bloat that fan dollars have to support. Nothing is for free. Pay ore at the door, pay more for your zine.
- "Mr. Hupe, BTW, is currently on my Shit List. At first, I sent him copies of zines to sell; later, as the titles grew, this became impractical, so I authorized him to do his own copies from my masters. And I included very clear instructions on cover stock and binding. COMB binding, to be precise. All spelled out in the letter of authorization for each zine. "All copies should be comb-bound with black combs, not stapled" is what I wrote. So at Zcon a box of zines appeared at someone's table, marked "B HUPE", with copies of my zines, STAPLED. I asked the dealer if they were from Bill, she said yes. Suffice to say I was not pleased. I have sent word to him about this. If it isn't fixed, he won't be agenting [my] zines any longer.
Bill and Ann Leave Fandom
In 1996, Bill announced he was retiring ("Me and Ann bought 40 acres and we're going to 'live the mundane life'"), turning the whole library of unsold zines (both their own, and ones they were agenting for others) to Peg Kennedy and Linda Knights, who named the new enterprise (New Leaf Press/New Leaf Productions).
From Media Monitor #34: "Contact Peg/Linda for new shipping and handling costs before ordering. Prices have gone up since they took over from Bill Hupe and must ship from Washington. Peg and Linda have taken over most of Bill Hupe's inventory and are handling a great many other publications, (gen, adult, and slash), for various writers and presses. There are hundreds of titles available and representation in almost any fandom you could desire. Please send a SASE and $1.00 for their latest catolog."
But Peg didn't have the in-place group of helpful fans that Bill did, and within a few months, grew completely overwhelmed by the business. Many fans started to ask what was going on, that they'd sent in money for orders and heard nothing back. Months of no information followed.
From a disappointed fan's letter in The K/S Press in February 1998: "Peg Kennedy apparently took on more than she could deal with when she assumed control of Bill Hupe’s empire. She's got lots of people from many fandoms angry at her."
Then, some of the zine editors agented by Peg (ones that had their addresses in their zines) heard from a non-fan that a huge storage locker, with thousands of zines and pieces of art, worth thousands of dollars, had been auctioned off by a storage company for non-payment. Kathy Resch and some other fan publishers got together and bought the assortment of zines from the man, (some ruined by water damage) and tried to as fairly as possible partially pay back those people who had lost the most money.
Eventually Bill and Ann settled in Alaska where they operated a small photography and publication press The TwinS puBlications with their Australian friend, Susan Batho. Bill passed in October 2009. His obituary was published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Memories and Tributes
After Bill's passing several fans share their memories of the impact he had on their fannish lives:
- "This was the time when Bill Hupe's zine-empire still existed (remember his terrific postage calculation? I still use it to calculate US postage!)" 
- "I don't know if any of you knew him, but I just heard that BNF Bill Hupe passed away recently. He'd been involved with active Trek fandom forever it seemed (and SW fandom too, I think, but I'm not sure)...served on many con committees and was responsible for the publishing of many zines. He and his wife lived here in Michigan for a while, my mother was acquainted with Bill's wife as she was a doctor at the hospital where my mom works, and in the early 90s the Hupes were part of the committee that put on one of the best Trek cons I'd ever been to, and both were regular attendees of the Media West Con for years."
- "I illustrated fanzines for [Bill] from around 1986 to some time in the late nineties when I got a new job and drifted away from fandom for a while. He was a pal, easy to work with, supremely generous. He was the person who got me firmly hooked on Anime. He'd mail me boxes full of vhs tapes of shows like Vampire Princess Miyu, Urusei Yatsura, and my beloved Ranma 1/2 for free in the days before DVD when no one was selling anime and there was no station in the U.S. was broadcasting the stuff. It must be stated: Bill Hupe published some of the worst schlock to ever see the mimeographed page. The nadir for me was the time I, greedy for the reward of another box of Rumiko Takahashi goodness, agreed to do a cover illustration for a novella length 'zine (that Bill published, but did NOT write) in which Picard is inflicted with dementia by some mecha-baddie. There were scenes where Riker changed his captain's adult diaper. Let's move on, shall we? Despite the fact that he published some of the purest of the pure and total crap that made its way through Kinkos in the 1980's, Bill had pretty reliably good taste. His recommendations for things to watch and read (usually not things he himself had published) were almost always excellent. I might have missed Blackadder and Red Dwarf entirely if not for him. And now he's dead. I went on a Google Quest to find him last week. Bill always knew everyone and everything. He was computer savvy back in the days when only the geekiest of the geeks thought it was worthwhile to own one of those fancy TV-typewriters. Bill was a natural to be on the Internet. If I could find him, I thought, I could find links to everyone. Bill was a linker. He hooked folks up with their fannish drug of choice, be that programs about Japanese adventure teams based on characters from esoteric Buddhism or 'zines about Picard in diapers (with a very tasteful cover, I might add.) But now he's dead... Bill had left fandom in a flurry of controversy in the late nineties. (It just sounds too Victorian to say he left around the time of the turn of the century, doesn't it?) It was something over reprinting out of print 'zines. Really he just got too big. The weight of his 'zine empire collapsed in on itself like a dying sun. An editor who worked with him had volunteered to take over the whole thing. This inevitably led to the whimper not bang ending of someone eventually finding the rented storage unit packed to the leaking tin ceiling full of 'zines and manuscripts and art that was being auctioned off by the storage company people for non-payment.....I guess I saw the Hupe Empire at its very height right before The Fall. In 1996, he invited me to visit while I attended my one and only MediaWest con. His house was... I think it may be sadly misleading to think of where he lived as a house. It was a giant dealer's room staging area where people happened to live while they worked on putting together fanzines and duplicating tapes. We collated and bound 'zines while we chatted in the same way another host might have a coke and eat some peanuts with you. It was astonishing. He packed me off with a box of impossible to find British and Japanese cult TV he'd been duplicating in one of his room full of VCRs while we were talking and the manuscript of some completely awful TOS novel he wanted a color cover for by the end of the month. It was a great night. Fannish Baroque. But now he's gone."
- from the editorial in Abode of Strife #19 (1993)
- Bill Hupe's letter to Starfleet Communique #48 (Dec 1992).
- Sandy Hereld's July 15, 1996 post to the Virgule-L mailing list, quoted with permission.
- Electronic Flyer from New Leaf Productions mailed to fandom mailing lists in the summer of 1996.
- email posted to a private mailing list in March 1997, quoted anonymously with permission. A copy of the flyer is archived here; reference link.
- See The Zine Pirating Message Comes Full Circle.
- post to the Virgule-L mailing list September 1995, quoted anonymously by Sandy Hereld.
- post to the Virgule-L mailing list September 1995, quoted anonymously by Sandy Hereld.
- post to the Virgule-L mailing list July 1997, quoted anonymously by Sandy Hereld.
- post to the Virgule-L mailing list September 1995, quoted anonymously by Sandy Hereld.
- Sandy Hereld's post to the Virgule-L mailing list September 1995, quoted with permission.
- post to the Virgule-L mailing list September 1995, quoted anonymously.
- post to the Virgule-L mailing list October 1995, quoted anonymously with permission.
- Bill Hupe Obituary, San Gabriel Valley Tribune December 20, 2009, accessed Jan 10, 2010
- from a fan in The K/S Press #21, 1998
- Dec 13, 2009 post in Triaxiansilk The Upsetting News Thread.
- Bill Hupe and FanLib: Why I'm Here in 1000 words or Less, dated June 8, 2010.