Above & Below (Beauty and the Beast zine)

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Title: Above & Below
Publisher: Polaris Press
Editor(s): Lorraine Bartlett
Date(s): 1988-1989
Series?: yes
Medium: print zine
Genre: gen
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast
Language: English
External Links:
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Above and Below is a gen full-sized Beauty and the Beast anthology. It has a sister zine, Above and Below's Dreamscapes.

Piracy and the First Issue

From the editorial of issue #1 (in later reprints: 1990):

Many of you may not be aware that Above & Below #1 has the distinction of being the only fanzine I've ever published that has been stolen. A woman in California, Bonnie V., has been selling large quantities of Above & Below #1 to dealers to sell at professional conventions (i.e. Creation Cons) for over a year now. Despite letters to her and to the people who've agented this issue for her, the selling of these unauthorized (bootleg) copies of Above & Below continues. Legally, there's very little I can do, since even publishing fanzines at no-profit teeters on copyright infringement itself. But I deliberately keep my fanzines priced low (by printing them myself in my basement on one of my mimeograph machines) and I don't make a profit. Selling unauthorized copies is pure profit (and she sells them for $4 a copy more than I do, too! Dealers are selling them for as high as $13 each! Authorized copies have (with this printing) a disclaimer printed in red on Page 1. lf you see copies without it, you know they are unauthorized duplicates. What can you do? Just be more careful when you buy a fanzine at a pro con. Make sure the person selling the zine is authorized to sell it (i.e. that they have a signed authorization form from the editors. Let's keep fandom a safe place for the work of our fellow fen.[1]

The editor also writes of zine piracy in 1992:

For those of you wondering why the price of 'Above and Below' #1 had been cut... In 1989, I was still getting a lot of mail inquiring if the zine was available, I printed it at the same price as the original -- $6 in person, $8 by mail. Unfortuneatly, about the same time, I discovered that bootleg (xerox) copies were selling at Creation Conventions for $10-20 each and those new or unfamiliar with fandom paid it. Consequently, I have only sold about 50 of a 200 copy print run. At this point [1992], I am desperate to recoup even a portion of my costs for this reprint and therefore have slashed the price of the zine; it is now available for $4. I will suffer a considerable loss.[2]

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Ann Larimer
title page of a 1990 reprint, showing the anti-piracy stickers, red print, and hand-printed issue number
1990 flyer discussing the piracy of this zine

Above & Below 1 was published in 1988 (reprinted June 1990) and contains 150 pages. It was edited by Lorraine Bartlett. Art information: Cover by Ann Larimer, interior art by Ann Larimer, Rhonda Reece, Doranna Shirer, Frank Solomon, N.A. Stasulis. It contains three stories, crossword puzzles, cartoons and poetry.

  • Above...Below by P.L. Heyes
  • Editorial by Lorraine Bartlett (3)
  • In Gratitude by Jackie Paciello (5)
  • Until Now by Glenda Young (6)
  • Wintertide by Lorraine Bartlett. (Vincent and Catherine take their trip to Connecticut against Father's wishes. Remember how much fun new-fallen snow can be? Catherine does and if she has her way, so will Vincent. Think of it as an adventure, that turns deadly) (8)
  • A Beauty of a Crossword by Karen L. Mitchell (54)
  • Father by P.L. Heyes (56)
  • If There Be Unicorns by Susan M. Garrett. (When a long-time Helper commits a crime, Catherine has to resolve the situation. A series of thefts of antiquities stops when a suspect is arrested, but the man gets away and hides in the tunnels, and Father refuses to help bring the man to justice.) (58)
  • A Beast of a Crossword by Jackie Paciello (92)
  • The Hands of Time by Karen L. Mitchell (94)
  • Dreams and Fables by Jackie Paciello. (An exhausted Catherine agrees to spend a week Below with Vincent to rest, only to be caught in a deadly epidemic that sweeps through the underground society.) (96)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Nicely done. A real bargain for $8.00. We especially liked the third story which was well plotted with an interesting twist.

Print Quality - 4.0
Proofreading - 4.2
Sexual Content - 1.0
Plot - 4.3
Character Integrity - 4.3
Believability - 3.8 [3]

I just received your fanzine. Above & Below. I have read It and am in the process of re-reading it. It Is terrific, I am very new to "fandom" of any kind. I just happened to get a card from the "Beauty & The Beast Fan Club" about the L.A. appearance of Ron Perlman. I had never been to a con before and did not know what to expect. Boy, was I ever surprised and delighted. Not only did I get to see Ron, but I got to meet some terrific people as well.

I had never heard about letterzines, fanzines, etc. There Is still a lot of catching up to do on my part. I did get two fanzines before yours. They are nice, but I commend you on your efforts. I liked WINTERTIDE because you gave the story the one element most do not: You gave It the element of passion as lovers, but separate as friends. You wrote of this "bond" they share without the overdramatlcs so often displayed in other works. Catherine and Vincent are not ready for physical love yet, as seen In last season's shows. I am not against It, I just like to see and read more about the development of their love and the colors they are adding to It as they discover each other more. I wonder where the show will head this season, I hope a little more intimate. Even a kiss on the head is better than nothing at this point. Anyway, I enjoyed your work. Please keep it up.[4]

I just finished Above & Below and just had to write and tell you what a marvelous experience it was. The cover art by Ann Larimer was beautiful. Her two interiors were good, too. The art reproduction was very well done—sometimes zine art looks sloppily reproduced so the reader has no way to judge the quality of the original piece. Thankfully "A & B" avoided that pitfall. I also liked the winsome Vincent by Stasulls on page 100, I thought at first, while just flipping through and looking at the pictures, that the lllo was going to go with a young Vincent story. He looked thinner and younger In that picture than the story indicated—but so cuddly!

My favorite story was Jackie Paclello's DREAMS AND FABLES. I love the idea of Catherine taking a vacation below—even during an epidemic. I must say I guessed the transformation was a fever dream, but that didn't deter my enjoyment of the story. It was interesting to realize that I felt like Vincent did at his transformation—he's wonderful as a beast, but rather lost as a man. There've been a lot of articles written since the show came out about a woman's need for a man with some "beast" in him, which I discounted totally. So when I found myself agreeing with the man Vincent as to his unsultabillty for Catherine, 1t was rather a shock. I loved the speech she gives to him about their love having nothing to do with appearances. What kept them apart, she says, were society's rules that they chose to obey. That whole speech truly catches Catherine's spark—something not all story writers have been able to do.

So anyway, I should stop before I start gushing—so easy to do with B&B anything! I'm enclosing a SASE for A&B II. Thanks for being so prompt with #1 and for providing a zine that was such a treat! [5]

Above & Below has the best writing of any B&B zine so far—especially WINTERTIDE and DREAMS AND FABLES. Those two could be made into TV episodes with little or no change; they're well plotted, with just the right amounts of suspense and humor, and the dialog is perfect; And somehow both of you have managed the same trick that the TV writers do, of making Catherine's and Vincent's relationship seem to progress with breathtaking excitement, while actually not getting them much farther in the end than where they were in the beginning.

Have you thought about getting an agent? I'm serious. I wonder if Ron Koslow and George R.R. Martin [6] et. al. are reading any of the fan fiction.

In regard to Jackie's crossword, I suppose someone has already pointed this out, but the music at the beginning of "Selge" Is the first few measures of the second movement of Beethoven's Pathetique sonata (No. 8 in C Minor, Opus 13). If you or she want to get a copy, I recommend Horowitz.[7]

I was right. I knew I'd love Above & Below, It's just right—the stories cover a bit of everything without getting too carried away with anything. The characters are all featured and they're in character. Catherine Is just right, too. And the artwork is wonderful Doranna Shiner's backcover — I love! And the poetry — this fandom is made for poetry. A Beauty 4 The Beast zine without poetry Is incomplete.

I loved WINTERTIDE because It got Vincent out of "below." The accident was just that—it could happen to anyone. The "bad guy" aspect was okay, too, because it wasn't the pivot point or really the basic plot, and it added suspense. I loved the cop at the end. Lorraine, I don't know how you manage to handle all fandoms, but I'm glad you can.

IF THERE BE UNICORNS was lovely and of course there are unicorns. I wasn't going to comment specifically on such things because they were all so good.

I love (Frank Solomon's) Beastly Comic on page 55 about not throwing pop cans down the abyss- Cracked me up.

DREAMS AND FABLES really had two endings, and both were good ones. This one had me going there for a while. You never know with fan fiction what ending you're going to get.

Of course I'm Interested in another issue. Of course I'll send a SASE.[8]

I have to tell you how thrilled I was with Above & Below. Also, I have to commend you on the speed with which It was delivered. Us Beauty and the Beast fans are literally dying out here in the desert of no new episodes. So every storyzine is like a lifeline.

I loved WINTERTIDE, and I also have to give kudos to Jackie Paciello for DREAMS AND FABLES. Both were very believable, very true to the tenor of the show and it's characters. I would love to see both of them "done" in reality. The zine is so well done, and I appreciate all your efforts. Please continue the good work, as you are nourishing the needy out here who lack your creative skills, but sure stand up and cheer for your fruits of labor. Best of luck with everything.[9]

I was most impressed, cover to cover. And the illo for poem was fantastic!! Thank you. Doranna!!!

I enjoyed the stories and illos Intensely. I've wondered what would happen If Vincent and Catherine were to get out of the Big City for a while. WINTERTIDE satisfied that wondering (for a while, anyway). I especially enjoyed the picnic scene, although personally I'd love to see Vincent on a toboggan, soaring down a hill, mane flying....

An aside, especially I liked your lettering as each new section began. Nice touch!

Enjoyed the Beastly Comics (by Frank Solomon). But of course they recycle! Haven't worked the puzzles yet, but they look good and challenging.

IF THERE BE UNICORNS was the perfect little piece between WINTERTIDE and DREAMS.... You spaced them wonderfully. I needed a nice easy reading piece after all that trauma In the snow! Liked Father In this, trying to protect William no matter what he's done topside. I'd had the pleasure of hearing Karen Mitchell's filk before, and so good to see others can enjoy it now, too!

Which brings us to DREAMS and FABLES...by the way, my favorite! I found myself so engrossed, I actually 'felt' Vincent's transformation!! How like Paracelsus to do something like that! Yet, as much as I enjoyed the story, I had two very minor problems. Firstly, I do not see Vincent entering Catherine's apartment. (Granted, when she's needed him, there have been exceptions), but to so casually enter...I feel he thinks of that space like a Holy of Holies...entered with awe. I see Catherine always meeting him on the balcony. Secondly, and I've fussed with Karen Mitchell on this one, they give Vincent aspirin. You do NOT give a cat aspirin. Now I know Vincent Is a Beast, but he's a feline-like beast. I just can NOT accept aspirin. Okay, It's petty, but it bugs me.

Overall, you, the writers, Illustrators, et al did a WONDERFUL job. My compliments to all. I'm looking forward to future endeavors! [10]

First o fall, let me tell you what a pleasure it is to order from Polaris Press. Of all the Beauty and the Beast fanzines I have sent SASEs and orders to. Above & Below has the fastest response time and the clearest ordering forms. (I know Polaris publishes several other types of fanzines, but It's the B&B stuff I order, so that's all I have to compare it to.)

As for the zine Itself, you have the most consistent (and consistently good) artwork I've seen. I've ordered every B&B zine I've heard about, and some have heartbreakingly beautiful photographic covers and mediocre art Inside. And there's one which has universally terrible drawings. Above & Below doesn't have a bad drawing In the bunch—and If Ann Larimer's magnificent piece of "Father" was In an art show, I'd buy It In a second. ((ED. NOTE: Too late, I already own It!)) The cartoons may not be Picassos, but they're funny, and that's what counts. (The one about pop cans In the Abyss has become a standing joke In our house.)

The poetry and puzzles are nice, but I have always considered the stories the strength of any zine. The three you have are well written, particularly Jackie Paciello's DREAMS AND FABLES. I loved her story in Rerun 6, too. There are lots of Catherine-and-Vincent-take-a-vacation and Catherine-and-Vincent-solve-a-crime stories springing up (not that they are bad stories, or uninteresting, because both are nice, broad subjects that allow lots of different approaches), but Jackie has the virtue of discovering themes that are unusual!

My only complaint is that you only have three stories, which seems very few for a 150-page zine.[11]

The overall look of Above & Below was neat. No, I don't mean neato, keen, wow man, I mean neatly done. Nice titles, nice artwork, and nice touch with the blue ink. A nifty little package of a zine. Well, at least the one that got by the Post Awful's official mangling machine was!

Lest I omit It, I'll give the award for the biggest laugh of the zine first thing: the last Beastly Comic where Vincent is catatonic. Even Jim laughed loudly at that, and to date his only other response to B&TB has been a groan when I turn the TV to it.

As for fiction, overall. It was a pleasantly high quality. Your WINTERTIDE was nice, in that the dialogue rang so true I could hear the characters saying the words In their own voices as I read It. Their motivations ran true to form, as well, so I was able to really relax and enjoy the story. It did, however, get a wee bit d-r-a-g-g-y once they got to the cabin. And I was sorry that the only way Catherine could give Vincent a kiss was to be drunk, and confused with her pain and relief. Personally, I'm not sure what the big hairy deal Is with the two of them. I can understand why the networks don't dare show anything physical between them; they can't risk the backlash of prudish viewers. And maybe I've just been softened up by too many conventions and books, where interspecies relationships aren't so rare. Because of this attitude on my own part, I did have a difficult time empathizing with Vincent's anguish at Catherine's actions, and her own remorse. I think he should have felt free to kiss her back, though I don't know how lips that look like that would kiss. (That's okay, don't try to explain it to me!) The only other comment I have about this one Is that it got a touch too clinical at the shoulder setting scene. The way I look at It, it doesn't matter that I can remember every detail about the time Mist ((ED. NOTE: Doranna's horse)) fell and rolled on me. I remember more clearly the emotional sensations of the incident, and I think that's what's more important In a story, too. Anyhow, it was a nice turn to get Vincent out of his underground and Into a setting more familiar to us. It takes careful writing to keep a character true to himself under those circumstances, and you were entirely successful.

IF THERE BE UNICORNS, by Susan Garrett, was bound to get any attention just with the title. It seems to basically be a "Catherine proves herself to Father" story, which is fine with me. It's nice to put Father In a spot where he has to admit she's not all bad for Vincent, or for their underground. After all, they have other helpers on the surface and there's no reason she shouldn't be one of them. It was an Interesting plot and I enjoyed it.

DREAMS AND FABLES, by Jackie Paciello — well, if a story ever screamed "sequel forthcoming," this one does. But that's okay, Vincent's reactions to his humanity more than make up for the little teaser at the end. But I'm not fond of dream sequences that the reading audience Is not kept Informed of; flipping suddenly back to "real life" Is a kind of a cheat. It's In the same class of a mystery where the protagonist Is privy to the one clue that would allow the reader to solve the murder, but he or she keeps it a secret until the last moment. The story did have a lot of tension, though, and Jackie really had me going, wondering how on earth she was going to end it. It was well written and I enjoyed it, but am still irritated at being taken In by a dream.

Everyone else's art was great and makes the zine Impressive, visually. I especially liked Nancy Stasulis' art; she has managed what I can never do, and that's make a scene that fits the story.[12]

I just had to write and tell you just how much I enjoyed Above & Below. Came at just the right time. I was getting desperate after this long, long spell without B&B episodes to watch.

I loved WINTERTIDE, but I must admit my favorite was DREAMS & FABLES by Jackie Paciello. Are you all professional writers? Your writings sure show it. Since this fanzine Is nonprofit, I assume you make your living in another profession.

Jackie's poem, IN GRATITUDE, is beautiful, and so is Glenda Young's UNTIL NOW, which made me cry. Both beautiful poems. Such talent!!

The fanzine Is worth the price and much more (but please don't go too high as there are some of us that must stick to budgets). Please let me know when you put out another, for I will buy it. Great reading![13]

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed WINTERTIDE. You truly have an accurate grasp of the characters' personalities, as you stayed true to them throughout. I have lost count as to how many times I have re-read the scene where Catherine kisses Vincent and he summons up his willpower! As much as it frustrates me week after week on the show when the writers tease us, I have to admit to an admiration for the way they do it. And I must give you the same complimentary nod of admiration as you have their method down to a fine art. Congratulations and thanks.[14]

You are receiving this LOC because....

✓ The whine finally got to me. (How does Frank put up with it?)

✓ I prefer my hot cocoa with whipped cream, too!

✓ The zine's better than good, better than better!

✓ I wish I could write like Susan Garrett!

✓ I wish I could write like Jackie Paciello!

✓ All right, all right—I wish I could write like you, too.

✓ I love all the illos, but I want a poster of Page 100.

✓ I think you're going to get a Fan-Q this year.

✓ I hate Karen Mitchell's crosswords.

✓I rank Solomon makes worse puns than my husband (CAT-atonIc—boo, hiss!)

✓ Elliot Burch can go fly a kite. I'll kiss furry lips any day.[15]

I did enjoy Above & Below thoroughly. It was so nice to read Beauty & The Beast stories where the writers understand the characters and the emotions which motivate them. I have read others where there seemed to be little or no understanding of Catherine and Vincent whatsoever; their main concern is to put them Into a bed, or on a floor, or in a cave, etc....you get my drift. There is so much more to their relationship than just the physical side. I wish more writers would or could show that along with the physical. I know I wish the writers on television would broaden their relationship, add a caress here, a kiss there. But does "bed" have to be the next step? I know, maybe I'm getting pure in my old age, but my imagination is still working. I don't need things spelled out for me in one-syllable words or in only four letters. A little imagination can take you to wondrous places.[16]

On a scale of one to ten, IF THERE BE UNICORNS Is a seven, DREAMS AND FABLES is a nine—but WINTERTIDE is a twelve! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. You really have a gift. But have you been peeking at my desk? During the "barren" months (May through November), I kept myself marginally coherent by writing. Feel free to browse through my brain anytime—you certainly improved on the material. Seriously, I think yours is the loveliest (and truest) of the Catherine-Vincent stories I've read. And I thank you most sincerely. Bless you all for sharing your work with fellow romantics. Keep on writing—and dreaming! [17]

I absolutely LOVE Above 6 Below. It's fantastic! It's my first B&B fanzine, and I've read it so many times I've lost track. I liked MINTERTIDE the best. It's the story I wish I could've written. It's perfect. It should be made Into an episode! The other two stories had a few Imperfections here and there, things that weren't quite right. I loved IN GRATITUDE (by Jackie Paciello). The others were good, especially FATHER (by P.L. Heyes). But WINTERTIDE had the exact, perfect romantic feel about It. I especially liked getting both Vincent and Catherine's viewpoints about their bond, about how they really feel, even though those thoughts can never be spoken. I wish there was more of that In the show.[18]

I give It a "10!" Fiction, artwork, covers—all of it! This was only the third B&B zine I'd ever gotten, and the quality is right up there with the other two. In a word—excellent!

My favorite story In the zine was WINTERTIDE. (In fact, when I recently saw "Remember Love," the second episode of the second season, the scene where Vincent and Father were arguing over Vincent going off with Catherine made me think of a similar scene In WINTERTIDE.) I loved Vincent's excitement and wonder at the "adventure," although I did understand Father's concern, too, that Vincent will be hurt by his Involvement with Catherine (because "It can never be"). And, how he Is worried that the world above will hurt Vincent, as It had done before—or that this Involvement will bring unwanted attention to the tunnels by attracting "unsavory people!" All of them were legitimate concerns, but so was Catherine—so afraid of her feelings for Vincent, especially since they were sharing a vacation ALONE, together! And afraid her feelings would get out of hand.... Anyway, I loved all the vacation things they did; the picnic In the snow, the sledding, the snow-ball fight—and Vincent cooking for them both (I loved that!)

favorite part of all, though, were the hurt-comfort scenes, when Catherine was badly hurt; earlier, Vincent was touched by Catherine's trust in him when she fell asleep on his shoulder. I loved the scene where the drunken Catherine revealed her deepest feelings to Vincent! They told each other they loved each other, but each of them was suffering and hurting with the frustration of what can never be. They do live in "two different worlds," but even more than that—Vincent said he wasn't ready for them to go any farther, so that was good enough for n«! I loved it that neither of them was ever about to "give up" on the other, though, and that this "bond" is so beautiful and special and unique, which compensates for all they can't have. Another favorite scene was when Catherine saved Vincent from being shot, and even when she was badly hurt her first concern and worry was for Vincent. I thought the parallel was very good between how Vincent had felt after Paracelsus had drugged him, and he hadn't wanted Catherine to see that side of him, and the way Catherine felt now, after Vincent had seen that side of her, when she was drunk! Luckily, though, Vincent did understand—just as Catherine had understood when Vincent had been drugged. And the secondary characters in this story were so interesting, too. Larry Richards was not a cartoon, cardboard BAD craay, and I like Dan Jenkins—especially after what he did for Catherine and Vincent. I give thi sstory **** (four stars! I always wanted to rate something with stars!).

IF THERE BE UNICORNS — my only complaint about this one is that it seemed to concentrate more on "the-crime-of-the-week," other than the relationship — still, there was so much about it I really liked, too! Icould understand Catherine's need to be closer to the people she works with, and her friends, but she has no time because Vincent is foremost in her life. I also enjoyed Vincent's attempts to bring Father and Catherine together, and could understand why Father had misgivings about Catherine's relationship with Vincent, that plus the fact that Father and Catherine do not see eye-to-eye on anything at all! I love all this (dynamic tension going on here. And Vincent's relationship with Father was also so well-portrayed, as were Father's pressures running the tunnels smoothly and safely for everyone, and Father does know he must accept Catherine "someday" or risk losing Vincent! And though she needs and wants Father to be proud of her, she resents Father thinking that she could ever hurt Vincent, and on the other hand, she understands Father's fear, too, because she, too, often feels she'll cause Vincent to be hurt someday.

My favorite scene probably came at the end, though—Catherine's poster-gift to Vincent, the famous "Unicorn in Captivity." In a way it was sad, because Vincent can never be with Catherine to see the real tapestry—yet he can still "see" it through Catherine. Stars: * * *

DREAMS AND FABLES—this one really got to me. I loved how Catherine wanted to spend her vacation "below," because it had everything she wanted and needed—Vincent! Vincent would be afraid to let them be together for a week, because of how their love for each other would be tested. But at least they've both come so far from the night when Catherine returned from Connecticut ("A Happy Life). Also, I liked it that Catherine's relationship with Father was a little more relaxed now. I could also understand that Vincent was so afraid that having Catherine so near he wouldn't be able to control his "demon," his "passion," is so afraid he'd end up hating her if she did—and then Vincent wouldn't have even his dreams anymore. All of them are very legitimate fears and worries. Also, I could really feel for Father so frustrated with wanting to save his people, but he can't let them go above, and Catherine would rather have Vincent exposed than dead. (This week—Dec. 2nd, there's an episode called "Ashes, Ashes" about plague in the tunnels. Does the series imHate fanfic, or what?)

The fairy tale dream Vincent had was the highlight of the story for me—I guess it had to be a dream, because it was so much like the original fairy tale "Beauty and The Beast," with Catherine's kiss and tears making Vincent human. I loved It, though. Paracelsus would do what he did to Vincent, just to make Father suffer. I could also understand why Father never told Vincent, and would now be afraid Vincent didn't love him anymore. The scenario of Vincent actually being human was chilling, though; he really did lose everything, his sense of self, his powers of self-preservation. He was no longer special or unique, and he realized that Catherine had fallen 1n love with the beast he*d been, now they'd even lost their unique bond. Catherine told him that their physical differences had never kept them apart, but society's rules had done that; she loved who he was inside. But Vincent realized he still couldn't live with Catherine above, because it still wasn't his world. I was so glad it was all only a dream. The dream showed Vincent that he should be glad of who and what he was, and that Catherine does love him for exactly who he is. I loved how she kissed him at the end, despite Vincent's apprehension. The ending was chilling, though—almost as though Vincent's nightmare was coming true. (Sequel to this one?) Stars: ****

Guess that's about it. I loved the zine and can't wait for #2. Not only is this one of the best B&B zines around, but also one of the very most affordable. I don't know how you do it.[19]

Your Beauty and the Beast zine, ABOVE A BELOW, is are a delight. To begin, I'm impressed with the high quality of the writing. My favorite poem is Patti Heyes' FATHER — although the other poems are very good, too. The "Beastly Cartoons" are funny—I believe Father would gripe about the lost nickels—and the three long stories are wonderful! WIMTERTIDE is better than the "let's go away for a weekend" story they did on TV, because your story faces issues where the show's writers backed down. I always knew Vincent had what it takes to beat the odds, and it was nice to see an ACTION story in a fanzine!.'! The scene where he fixes Catherine's shoulder was properly dramatic, and the almost-love scene is sweet and sad. IF THERE BE UNICORNS is topnotch Garrett stuff, which is saying something, because I always like Susan's stories. The art-museum Involvement shows the writer's expertise, but it's not intrusive, because it's part of William's situation, which is the problem Catherine must help solve. DREAMS AND FABLES knocked me out! Jackie anticipated the writers, as you did in WINTERTIDE, and used the plague theme very effectively. I loved her use of traditional magic themes, and her characterization of Paracelsus. For me, one of the main attractions of the show is its rich visual quality, all too rare in network television. It's clear that this has inspired the fan artists as well. The cover is excellent. My favorite pages are Ann's drawings of Father, page 57, and of Catherine and Vincent, page 90, and N.A. Stasulis' Vincent on page 126 (I love Kipling, too!). The crossword puzzle was too difficult for me, but It was probably fun for the fans who've repeatedly watched all the episodes.

Congratulations on a fine issue![20]

I recently ordered and received from you with astonishing promptness copies of ABOVE & BELOW and RERUN 6. I want to thank you for putting together an excellent fanzine in A4B and for providing me with the opportunity of reading the B&B poems and the story "A Place Among the Shadows" from RERUN 6.

The poem Vincent from RERUN somehow hit home with me. I mean, how do you keep from hurting someone who knows what you're really feeling behind your mask? And how can Catherine avoid hurting herself, considering the situation she's In? I liked the way Susan Garrett portrayed Catherine In IF THERE BE UNICORNS. I'm not quite sure it's strictly accurate, but I like It anyway. Now I ought to mention how I feel it was inaccurate, should I not? On the whole, Garrett's Catherine seemed to have it together in a way the television version never quite achieved. And for her to playfully cuff Vincent is not in character, although the line that goes with it "So you be careful or you'll have us both after you" is terrific. I also enjoyed the mention of her fixing her make-up before meeting Vincent. Given the chance, of course she would!

WINTERTIDE was good, too. Vincent in Raybans?! But he lost his picture of Catherine: that was mean. I thought Deputy Jenkins was very well done. And I really liked the part where he was wondering if they are going to kill him. Of course. If I had a headache like the one Catherine had I'd be temped to kill, too. During the scene In the kitchen, after Vincent has gotten Catherine's shoulder back into Its socket, I don't know which one of them to feel sorrier for. Vincent has to cope with Catherine's feelings as well as his own, but Catherine is going to have to live through the hangover and the memory of what she did "under the influence" at the same time. Grim. Jackie Paciello's DREAMS AND FABLES was something of a mixed bag. My opinion. The beginning and ending sequences were very well done and enjoyable. But the fever dream sequence.... It didn't Inspire "the willing suspension of disbelief" In me. Thought It did bring up a fact that I consider Important. Catherine doesn't love Vincent In spite of what he Is, she loves him because of what he Is. And that Includes his appearance.

I'm enclosing a SASE with this LOG so I can get the particulars on Above & Below 2, when It's available, etc. Perhaps you might Include a little more poetry In the next Issue.[21]

Thanks very much for Above & Below—I loved It! I was very Impressed with the art. It was all remarkably good. The front cover really set the tone of the zine, and Is an especially excellent Catherine. Inside, I liked Doranna Shiner's Illustration on Page 95, and most of all, N. E. Stasulis' on page 100 for Vincent's pose—perfect! I enjoyed the stories very much. (Wish there'd been more!) They were well-plotted, believable, and nicely diverse. It was Interesting to see the contrast In Catherine's and Father's relationship In IF THERE BE UNICORNS and DREAMS a FABLES—both sides of the coin, so to speak. WINTERTIDE was especially good from the emotional point of view — it really brought out the characters thoughts and feelings well, and was tender and romantic without being overly sentimental. I thought IF THERE BE UNICORNS had the best plot, very Interesting and original. And the end bit was super! I liked the fact that DREAMS a FABLES was so related to events from the series. Plus, the idea of Catherine spending a week below with Vincent sounds wonderful—there's a world of possibilities In that!

The poetry was all quite nice, with Jackie Paciello's IN GRATITUDE being my favorite by far. It's lovely. Also enjoyed all the little comics and the crossword puzzles. But no way do I ever write In a zine![22]

Thanks for Above & Below from the bottom of our hearts! Just finished DREAMS a FABLES and must write now, with the fresh memory. That was quite a story! I am still exhausted — Jackie has a way with words, they can hit like a sword or soothe like a lullaby. When the dream sequence started, I first thought I knew It was "only a dream," but then everything seemed so real. And though I resented the idea of Vincent being transformed to "roan only," It took form, and with sadness I looked upon the situation as reality (anything Is possible...). Vincent is half beast/half roan — him being a man, there only would be half. It was marvelous how Jackie developed that, leading to the only conclusion possible for a man totally lost. The end Is magnificent. Paracelsus did not poison the water, but he can poison a dream. And he will continue. Great! Greater than great now, with just having seen "Ceremony of Innocence." I also loved WIWTERTIDE as a test of the relationship Catherine and Vincent share. The happy moments they share, the way they are shy about being so close, it all feels right. The threat of their peace being disturbed slowly builds up (creepy, creepy), and the climax is hair-raising. They get hurt, and I suffered an endless time when they tried to reach the house. And I never ever want to have an arm being wrenched out of its socket—nor brought into place again. Just reading it brought sweat to my face.

IF THERE BE UNICORNS also was very well done, with Catherine being torn between her job and her commitment to the tunnel world. Willlam Sundeland is a guy I'd like to see in the tunnels more often.

The artwork is wonderful, some realistic sketches, some illustrations which were not drawn from a photo, and a beautiful cover. The zine is not only good to read. It's also great to look at. I had a helluva laugh with every single Beastly Comic. They are hilarious—a big hug to Frank Solomon.

I loved the filk song and the poetry, with IN GRATITIDE being my favorite, maybe Jackie should also start numbering her poems, and we will be referring to "Paciello Sonnet I" one day. and have Vincent read it in an upcoming episode.[23]

My compliments on the first issue. The cover was spectacular— my compliments to Ann Larimer! The stories were uniformly excellent. When I first read WINTERTIDE, I thought, "Catherine would

never make a suggestion like that. It's too dangerous." Then came the episode "Remember Love.[24]

To make a long story short, let me say that Above & Below is one of the best B&B zines that I have read. The embellishments and artwork all seem very polished. Please give my sincere compliments to the artists, particularly Ann Larimer for the cover art, and N.A. Stasulis for her illos on pages 112 and 126. I was so glad to see verse so well represented and especially liked IN GRATITUDE and FATHER. Please continue to Include the Beastly Comics — they are indeed beastly, but I laughed myself silly over them. The crossword puzzles make great trivia sources.

I enjoyed the stories. You and Susan and Jackie clearly understand the way the characters Interact and make very effective use of Incident. Briefly, I liked the literary quotes In WINTERTIDE. A good way to Illuminate and comment on the situation. I was taken aback by Catherine's nervousness at first, then began to understand and it had me jumping out of my skin. (Though I would still say that that would have had to happen fairly early in their relationship.) The sledding scenes were great fun, and the blizzard scenes were appalling. What happened between them afterwards was distress? Sad? I don't know. (The episode "Arabesque" certainly sheds light on all that, doesn't it?) Seeing Dan Jenkins reaction to Vincent was a revelation. It has been a long time since I saw Vincent with any but admiring eyes.

DREAMS AND FABLES is a good read on many levels. As an exploration of life Below, the interaction between Joe and Catherine, between Catherine and Vincent, and an intriguing exploration of what fears might be lurking in Vincent's subsconscious. That dream had me going in circles, screaming and yelling all the way. Objection after furious objection and finally ending up in tears. It took multiple readings to begin to comprehend what was going on, to realize it was much more than a mere literary device. Now I can read it and smile with relief over Catherine sleeping in Vincent's arms.

IF THERE BE UNICORNS is well written and cleverly plotted. I love the weaving (sorry!) in of the Unicorn Tapestries to Catherine's and Vincent's world. It is good to see Mouse again and to get to see Catherine and Joe In

action. Nicely done.[25]

I finished Above & Below in one afternoon! What can I say except, "Yet another superior zine from Polaris Press." It was a pleasure to read. I found myself "lost" in Vincent and Catherine's world. The many illustrations were truly works of art. I loved all of the mini-treasures (in both blue and black inks)—examples; the beautifully intricate calligraphy, snowflakes, open volumes with smoking candles and hour glasses. The blue-inked treasures seen were just the perfect touch!

The poetry pieces were beautiful. I especially loved the filksong HANDS OF TIME by Karen Mitchell. (After all, songs are really just poetry set to music.) I just wish I could hear It sung with full background accompaniment. Lorraine, your story WINTERTIDE really captured the spirit of the show. I loved the idea of Vincent enjoying (however briefly) a vacation in the mountains. It was a pleasant change to have Vincent flying downhill on a toboggan, instead of on top of a subway train. The B&B episode "Remember Love comes to mind. (Talk about deja vu.) Catherine asked Vincent to come with her to the country with almost the same dialog. (Of course, Vincent's answer was different.) What was it you mentioned about' great minds?'

I have always enjoyed stories written by Susan M. Garrett, and IF THERE BE UNICORNS was no exception. Ms. Garrett is one of a gifted few with the talent, training and imagination to capture a reader's attention. As a fan, I could only hope she continues her efforts.

Jackie Paciello's story DREAMS AND FABLES was yet another treasure in this wonderful zine. (Another case of deja vu as well!) An episode from this current season dealt with a plague in the tunnels. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the story was the implied reference to the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. (One kiss from Beauty (who had learned to love the inner self of the Beast) was enough to free the Beast from his cursed fate.) One hoped that the fears that surfaced in Vincent's nightmare were only that — fears. Because Vincent's uniqueness and individuality are more than his appearance and great strength with which he is imbued. Vincent's appeal is his inner self (his wisdom and soul). While his outward appearance undoubtedly had a great affect on his inner being, his inner self should not change simply because of an outward change. Like Catherine, in Ms. Paciello's story, I do not believe that if Vincent suddenly changed into a human that their love would be lost in the process! My husband and I watch B&B regularly (although he claims to like the show for its haunting music). We are just glad that there are other fans out there with love for the show.

Keep up the good work, guys! (Maybe you should do the writing for the show. As often, your stories are more imaginative and interesting than those that make it on the air!)[26]

First, let me thank you for sending Above & Below so quickly* Most of all, though, I want to thank you for the wonderful story WINTERTIDE. I also enjoyed DREAMS AND FABLES, but WINTERTIDE was a standout. I've read a number of B&B stories In recent months. Mostly, they've left me laughing at grammar and syntax and spelling, torn between laughing and crying at the twists and turns the characters make for no apparent reasons, and feeling as isolated as I felt before I found out what was out there In the world of B&B fandom because no one seemed able to capture the essence of the relationship between Vincent and Catherine or Vincent and Father the way I saw it. Until now, of course. I loved the way you developed WINTERTIDE. You were true to the characters, and you told a wonderful story! I was especially Impressed with your Insight and sensitivity—even more so when I realized you wrote It before the revelations of the second season. It just reinforced my certainty that you know these characters very well. In addition, you write beautifully, saying just what you mean to say. In this day of desk-top publishing, anyone can put a bunch of words together and call it a story. You actually wrote a well-thought-out piece, and presented It beautifully. What more can I say? I treasure it. So, thank you! [27]

Issue 2

front cover of issue #2, Karen River, the back cover is blank
flyer for issue #2

Above & Below 2 was published in October 1989 and contains 160 pages. Art Information: Cover by Karen River, art by Emily Penfield, M.A. Smith, Frank Solomon, Rita Terrell.

From a 1992 ad in Zine Scene: "Winner of 1989 Fan Q award -- best B&B fanzine." [28]

A publisher's flyer stated that: "This issue will not be sold at conventions." This was due to the bootleg problems from which the first issue suffered. From the editorial:

Unauthorized photocopies of Above & Below have been appearing at a number of conventions around the country, at nearly twice the price! (If you purchased your copy of Above and Below #1 at a convention after May 29, 1989, you have one of these copies in your possession.) That's very disheartening. I've been editing and publishing fanzines for 12 years, and it involves a LOT of work to keep my fanzines at what I consider a reasonable price. So, to hear that a woman named "Bonnie" in Sherman Oaks, California, is selling bootleg copies of the zine in bulk to unsuspecting dealers around the country has really shaken my faith in fandom. I have taken steps to stop this, but I need your help. If you believe you purchased one of these copies of Above & Below #1, please let me know where you bought it and from whom. And, if the copy of Above & Below #2 you hold in your hands does NOT have red roses and a disclaimer on page 1, you have in your possession a bootlegged copy. (Even when the original print run is sold out -- the photocopies will STILL have red roses on page 1, and something else which I won't mention—so that I can keep track of possible unauthorized copies.) I am the only one who will sell this fanzine. NO ONE ELSE is authorized to sell copies of either issue of Above & Below.

The editor felt the initial submissions to this zine were not of high quality and solicited fiction from two friends:

I was really disappointed in the amount and quality of the stories submitted to Above & Below #2. There was so much enthusiasm for the first issue that I anticipated many, MANY creative stories. Imagine my disappointment when I received only three, and the main theme was "Catherine and Vincent consummate their relationship." Also, of those submitting, NO ONE was interested in rewriting their sacred tome, despite the fact my submission guidelines stress that ALL materials will be subject to edit—and that rewrites are the norm—not the exception. Sigh.... That's when I asked (badgered, cajoled...you name it) Jackie and Susan if they would be willing to write stories for A&B #2. I knew both these wonderful writers would come up with truly unique stories that were well plotted and well written, and both of these ladies know the value of a rewrite. (The fact that neither story needed much extra work made the whole process infinitely easier!)

It seems Jackie, Susan and I all wrote our stories under trying circumstances. Thanks, guys, for hanging in there with me. With the stories coming so late, the art deadline was very tight. But Emily Penfield, Rita Terrell and Frank Solomon pitched in and illustrated the stories beautifully. Thanks for your tireless efforts! Thanks to Jackie Paciello, Sara Arnold and Laurie Haldeman for all your helpful comments on my story. An editor simply cannot edit her own work, and it's good to know that my friends are willing to step in and help me out!

The editor's comments regarding a third issue:

Will there be a third issue of Above & Below? I'd like to think so. The changes In the series are sure to generate a lot of comment and, I'm sure,

spawn a lot of fan stories. At this writing, the future of the show is still up in the air. We don't know if there'll be more than 12 episodes. With the cast changes and adjustments, we don't even know if the show will have a "love" interest. But the dream of Vincent and Catherine (Diana?) can live on in fanzines, even if we can't see it on the small screen at some future time. So let's keep the dream alive. If you are Interested in submitting your story to this next issue, please be prepared to rewrite. Send me a SASE for submission guidelines. I'll be waiting for your letter of comment! Enjoy! Believe In the dream, Lorraine

  • Just A Few Words by Lorraine Bartlett (3)
  • Letters of Comment by The Loyal Readers (5)
  • Portraits by Marcia Brin (17)
  • No Spill Blood by Susan M. Garrett. (A file belonging to Catherine's father leads her to a meeting with someone who may know the secret of Vincent's ancestry: the last survivor of the island of Doctor Moreau.) (18)
  • Catherine by Sue-Anne Hartwick (50)
  • Noble Rapture by Susan M. Garrett (52)
  • Where the Heart Is by Lorraine Bartlett. (After twenty years, Mouse's parents have found him...but Mouse doesn't want to be found, and for good reason.) (54)
  • Terribly Tacky Episode Guide by Justa Twitte (104)
  • Winter Under Ground by Susan M. Garrett (105)
  • Shadows by Marcia Brin (106)
  • Checkmate by Laurie Haldeman (108)
  • The Quality of Mercy by Jackie Paciello. (Lucy of "No Way Down" reappears, dying of AIDS. She seeks shelter in the Tunnel world, and Vincent, Catherine, and another new arrival must fight the Council on her behalf. A story about AIDS, compassion and facing death with dignity.) (110)
  • The Pipe Song by Susan M. Garrett (158)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[The Quality of Mercy]: ... was so heartwarming, I cried and cried. What a wonderful quest Vincent and Catherine were one.[29]

[The Quality of Mercy]: ... was beautifully done. The artwork is beautiful. I'm sure Above and Below 2 will do more than just be nominated for a Fan Q at Media*West Con this year.[30]

[The Quality of Mercy]: I cried buckets while I read and then reread The Quality of Mercy.[31]

[Where the Heart is]: I loved [it] -- it tore my heart in two.[32]

[Where the Heart Is]: I liked Where the Heart is best. It was tightly woven and the scenes of Mouse and Jamie were so sweetly honest. The antagonists were real people and that p.i. sounds like someone who should come back in another sttory.[33]

[No Spill Blood]: ... was certainly a creative twist on Vincent and those around him. The artwork by Emily Penfield was very lovely.[34]


  1. ^ from a 1990 reprint of Above and Below #1
  2. ^ from a 1992 issue of The Monthly
  3. ^ from Beauty and the Beast Lifeline Review (October 1991)
  4. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  5. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  6. ^ Martin said he read fanfiction: "One point that some fans are not really cognizant of, the society Below is hidden. Vincent makes this point several times and you see Catherine getting lost. But I guess some people haven't gotten that because I have seen fanzines and so forth that say that there are people wandering down there all the time." -- from a talk given by Martin at the Ottawa, Canada Convention July 30th, 1988, as reported in Pipeline v.1 n.5
  7. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  8. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  9. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  10. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  11. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  12. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  13. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  14. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  15. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  16. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  17. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  18. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  19. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  20. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  21. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  22. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  23. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  24. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  25. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  26. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  27. ^ from a letter of comment in "Above and Below" #2
  28. ^ Not listed at the Fan Q Award site.
  29. ^ from a publisher's flyer
  30. ^ from a publisher's flyer
  31. ^ from a publisher's flyer
  32. ^ from a publisher's flyer
  33. ^ from a publisher's flyer
  34. ^ from a publisher's flyer