Comlink

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Zine
Title: Comlink
Publisher:
Editor(s): Allyson M.W. Dyar (issues 1+), Carol Mularski (issues #1-5) & Regina E. Gottesman (issues #6-22) & Linda Deneroff (issues #50-57)
Type:
Date(s): May 1981-February 1994
Frequency: bi-monthly
Medium: print
Size: letter-sized, each about 20 pages
Fandom: Star Wars, meta, multimedia
Language: English
External Links:
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Contents

Comlink was a bi-monthly multimedia review and letterzine. While it started off with the subtitle: "A Star Wars and SF Media Zine" and soon became simply "The Media Discussion Letterzine" or "The Letterzine of Media Fandom."

It was the follow-on to the Star Wars letterzine Alderaan, which ceased publication in 1981. At the time, Alderaan editors Carol Mularski and Allyson M.W. Dyar, picked up Alderaan's subscription list to support their new letterzine, Comlink. After Star Trek: The Next Generation aired it began picking up more Star Trek content. At the time Comlink folded in the early 1990s, a large portion of the contributions were Star Trek-related.

The letterzine won a 1992 Fan Q.

The editor of "Comlink" included many fan surveys over the years and published the results in the zine.

The editor notes in the last issue that over the course of this zine's run, thirteen years, it published 980 pages and 696 LoCs.

Reactions and Reviews

I don't usually read letterzines because they usually tend to have so much space taken up by letters of personal attacks. ComLink, I'm pleased to say, is the exception. It is truly a discussion zine, and not just on fanzines, movies or television, but there were a few letters on SF books and comics. I read issue #29, which was the first issue I'd seen. There are few typos, if any. And while the print is reduced, it is not done so to the point of eyestrain. It is well laid out, simply and in columnar style. It also has a classified section for the subscriber's use, on a space available basis. It is well worth the price, and I for one, intend to subscribe to it. [1]

The Editor Looks Back

Allyson writes about her letterzine in the editorial in issue #50:

Carol and I edited Comlink together until she left after the fifth issue... Because I was living in Guam and really couldn't handle Comlink's affiars overseas, Regina E. Gottesman took over as co-editor and publisher. Regina left after issue #22 and I was a solo act until #50 when Linda Deneroff came on as a third co-editor. The early days of editing Comlink were very interesting because my only publishing experience was editing and publishing the Star Trek Welcommittee's Directory of Star Trek Organizations for five years. (While I had helped Jeff get Alderaan out, all I did was type up the letters.) What made it really unusual for me to co-edit and publish a letterzine was the fact that I rarely wrote LoCs myself, a situation I remedied with a vengeance in subsequent years. While Carol doesn't participate in Comlink as much as she did in the past, she'll be best remembered in the history of this letterzine for formulating the guidelines that we expect LoCers to follow, guidelines that debuted in issue #3. We wanted Comlink to be a publication where ideas could be discussed without fear that other LoCers would resort to personal attacks. We encouraged discussion disagreements between LoCers, but we didn't want Comlink degrading into a slug fest where nothing was getting discussed but LoCer's ancestries. We'd both seen this happen to other letterzines and took precautions that this wouldn't happen here. As many of you long time subbrs and readers know, there were many format changes over the years. We started off as a 4 1/2" X 5 1/2" booklet. In those days, the colophon and editorial were on page one with the bacover being an illo with room for a mailing page, as the letterzine wasn't mailed out in an envelope until much later. Issue #10 in the new format came out in January 1983... 8 1/2' X 11" pages because I frankly got tired of futzing around with all those damned small packages. This issue had 10 pages, and 16 LoCs. Our second double issue #13/14 (#11/12 was the first) saw the debut of computing power. Up until then, I'd typed the issue on a correcting Selectric II; while this was better than using any other typewriter, you can't PAY me to go back to editing the letterzine on anything but a computer. Our computer in those days was an IBM with a whopping 256k of RAM, two 5 1/4" disk drives and a Diablo 620 printer using WordStar 3.31... Our second-to-the-last double issue (#17/18) saw the beginnings of the now-standard format with the colophon on the backover, double column interior, and a full 8 1/2" X 11" illo on the front cover... The articles we published reflected a broad range of interest. They ranged from various discussions in the Star Wars universe (is Darth Luke's daddy; rumors surrounding Return of the Jedi; a comparison to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series; discussion of the film The Hidden Fortress and various articles on the 10 anniversary) to animation to James Bond to the campaigns to resurrect Starman and Beauty and the Beast to several essays on fannish concerns (the dearth of young fen and the dearth of men in media fandom; censorship in fanzines), and other article of interest... So, what can I say about the first fifty issues of Comlink? Well, it's been tons of fun, and I've certainly learned a lot and I sincerely thank everyone for sticking around and believing in us for as long as you have. I've made mistakes, but I hope I've learned from them... As I was reviewing the last fifty issues, I noted that we published 820 pages consisting of 614 LoCs, and 28 articles... Makes me just tired just typing those figures.

An Index to Works

In the late 1980s a fan, Bob Miller, compiled an index to the fifteen issues of Alderaan and issues of Comlink. In issue #32, he offered it to fans as a "complex, detailed index to media fandom's greatest letterzines."

The Issues: Summaries

See the subpages for details about individual issues, including quoted opinions and summaries of fannish views on topics then current:

References

  1. from Communications Console #1
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