Helper's Network US
|Name:||Helpers Network US|
|Founder(s):||Mark and Kimberly Hartman|
|Country based in:|
|Focus:||Beauty and the Beast|
|External Links:||WayBack Archived links (scroll back to 2005 for the last newsletter)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Helper's Network US is a Beauty and the Beast fan club that was active from the late-1980s through the mid-2000s. The Network initially began as a phone hotline where fans could call to get information about efforts to protest the show's cancellation. In 1991, the Hotline was handed over to Nan Dibble who then turned it a mailing list and later a website.
Also see Helper's Network UK (fan club).One of the Helpline's more unique features, for the time, was the editor's willingness to have the information broadly disseminated and shared. In her 1998 post to the Usenet newsgroup alt.tv.beauty beast, Nan Dibble write:
"In that same context, I've recently had some requests for permission to fax or otherwise send on the information provided in these updates. For the record, and for always, YOU ALL HAVE MY PERMISSION to relay this anyplace you want. This is news FROM the fandom, FOR the fandom--just as it's always been. NO FURTHER PERMISSION IS OR EVER WILL BE NECESSARY for people to share it in whole or in part, anywhere, by any means."
HELPER'S NETWORK (US) An organization dedicated to promoting Beauty and the Beast, the whole series; supporting and encouraging the fandom, in all its wonderful diversity; and making friends.
Membership in Helper's Network costs $25.00/
WHAT YOU GET:
1. A membership certificate attesting that you are a genuine HELPER, a valued member of Helper's Network.
2. A year's subscription to the Helper's Network Gazette, a monthly newsletter providing the freshest, most current news on what's doing with the series, the stars, the fandom, B&B products, and all related matters (a $15.00 value to non- members).
2a. If you're already a Gazette subscriber, you'll get the next 2 full 1994 Q-fers (the Helper's Network Quarterly Fanzine Review) (a $12.00 value to non-members).
3. Your choice of ONE of the following: a. the next full Q-fer (an $8 value to non-members) b. a videotape of any two episodes of your choice, done directly from my master copies (an $8.50 value to non-members) c. a copy of the complete Beauty and the Beast Compendium, covering literary references for episodes from all 3 seasons, together with an audiotape of Vincent's Letters to Catherine ("Dial-a-Beast") whose text is included with the Compendium (a $30 value to non-members).
WHAT YOU GIVE:
Of your dues, $5 is a contribution toward the cost of maintaining the Helper's Network Hotline, a free service to whoever calls to get the latest, most accurate news on all matters related to Beauty and the Beast. So right from the first, you'll be a true HELPER.
The first 100 people to become HELPERS will be the charter members of Helper's Network, and proudly designated as such on their membership certificates.
Those joining by December 31, 1993 will be entered in a drawing whose prize is an autographed (by the author) manuscript of Nan Dibble's next book for Cinemaker, Bright Spirit Descending, complete with Barb Gipson artwork. The novel deals with the pivotal and dramatic episodes The Alchemist and To Reign in Hell and also includes a completely original story of the founding of the tunnel community. If Nan can wrangle it, she'll get Ron Perlman to sign it, too. This would be the original manuscript, typeset and bound like a zine-a unique keepsake-and good reading, too!
IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE:
A list, available in early January, of all members, with names, phone numbers, addresses, interests, expertise (professional and personal), special slant/interest about B&B, and anything else they care to share, so that all members can truly NETWORK with one another.
Stephanie Wiltse and Nan Dibble are planning on bringing out a real keepsake, The Best of Pipeline, with Stephanie's most memorable interviews and articles, photos, artwork, and all that made Pipeline so special. HN members would get a substantial discount on the price at which this book would be offered to non-members.
Club T-shirts, to be designed by either Beth Blighton or Barbara Gipson (depending on whose arm Nan finds the most twistable) in time for Tunnelcon III, next summer.
A Helper's Network 1995 B&B Calendar.
Whatever the membership would be interested in as publications, projects, or ideas to pursue.
This will be a club reflecting the interests and enthusiasms of its members. Is there a service Helper's Network could offer the fandom? Is there something you've been wanting to do but didn't want to take on alone? As a group, Helper's Network will be able to do things none of its members could do alone. That's the strength of community: where each gives help where it's needed and accepts help, in turn: sharing who and what we are and trying to live "the best we can," in the spirit of Beauty and the Beast-Keeping the dream alive in our own lives...and together!If you'd like to become a member, please fill out the membership form and send it to Helper's Network [address redacted] 
2001From the 2001 website FAQ:
"The Helpers' Network Hotline, fan-driven information service, was born of fans' efforts to quickly mobilize to stave off a threatened cancellation at the end of first season in 1989. Because of the Hotline, when cancellation at last hit in January, 1990, fans were able to respond to support the show, writing and phoning potential new networks, both broadcast and cable, in overwhelming numbers. This quick mobilization and exchange of information, nationwide, was instrumental in launching a letter-writing campaign and petition drive (reportedly, over 200,000 signatures received)...In the summer of 1991, the Hartmans passed the candle to Nan Dibble, pro novelist and all-round, all-season B&B fanatic. With Mark and Kim's blessing, Nan took over the operations of Helpers' Network and its Hotline ....""Updated weekly and carried originally phone and now by e-mail and the Helpers' Network website (over 100,000 hits to date), Helpers' Network reports what's going on in B&B fandom--news, books, magazine articles, merchandise, fan-written fiction, poetry, and art ("fanzines"), rumor control, conventions, videos, recordings, present activities of series castmembers, the hoped-for prospect of a B&B movie or miniseries (often rumored, never delivered...so far): whatever is of interest to the fandom. News comes in from and goes out to Beauty and the Beast fans worldwide, reflecting the show's international loyal fandom. Fans ask questions, relay news tips, and pass on rumors to investigate: it's not only a message line, it's fully interactive--a way for fans to both get and give information."
The website supporting the newsletter went offline some time in 2004.
Hotline Updates from 2000-2001 can also be found archived here.
Hotline Updates from 2001-2003 can be found here.
- Nan Dibble's Helpers' Network Hotline update 5/17/98 post to alt.tv.beauty beast.
- Helper's Network Gazette - November 1993,
- Hotline History WebCite.