Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter/Issues 003-004

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Zine
Title: Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter
Publisher: Beauty and the Beast Fan Club (US)
Editor(s): Deb Hense
Type:
Date(s): March 1988-June 1990
Frequency: four times a year
Medium: print
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
Language: English
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter is a Beauty and the Beast fanclub newsletter and letterzine published out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

mailing out the September 1988 issues (printed in the December 1988 issue)

It was published four times a year: March, June, September, and December.

The first issue was published in March 1988 and ended in June 1990. The newsletter spanned from the end of the first season to two months before the show was cancelled. As a result, the letters, fan discussion, and translation of information doled out to fans by TPTB reflected a cycle of excitement and optimism, fear and anxiety about characterizations and show cancellation, fervent mobilization to keep what they loved, and finally, for many fans, the crushing defeat and sense of betrayal that fractured the fandom.

This zine series was informally continued in Passages, which began the month "Beauty and the Beast: The Newsletter" ceased.

v.1 n.3 (September 1988)

Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter v.1 n.3 was published in September 1988 and contains 30 pages.

front cover of v.1 n.3
back cover of v.1 n.3, Deb Hense

Editorial and Layout Staff: Patricia Adams, Rita Adams, Eileen Hartwig, Deb Hense, Linda Palmer, and Janet Schmidt.

The art is by S. Wolfe, Joy, Bonnie Hansen, W. Sang, and Deb Hense.

This issue contains "An Apology to Roy Dotrice for mis-spelling his name in the last issue." [1]

The zine notes that club membership as of August 18, 1988 is 1250 members.

One bit of news: "The writer's strike is over!!! The writer's strike is over!!! The writer's strike is over!! I B&tB will start Hlming Oct 3rd, with the first episode scheduled to air Nov 18th. The season will be 22 episodes long!!!"

George R.R. Martin had an idea and expressed it via the editors:
Why don't you do a poll of your membership? Have everyone vote on their three favorite episodes, and their three least favorite episodes, use a point system and publish the results. The totals could be fascinating, and would give us writers an interesting measure of what the fans respond to...

From the editorial: "Ron Perlman's spoken word album is also due out in September from Arista Records. Shakespeare's Sonnets will be included. The lavish Beauty and the Beast theme will also be on the album, with lyrics specially written for the occasion. The theme, however, will not be sung by Ron." [2] [3]

  • Editorial (3)
  • Whispering Gallery (4)
  • Beauty and the Beast Double Crosstix (5)
  • Chamber Musings: An Interview with Ron Perlman (conducted at Space Trek V) (7)
  • a full page ad for "Portraits of His Children" by George R.R. Martin (13)
  • Candleglow: Letter of Comment (14)
  • Beauty and the Beast Word Search (16)
  • A Leonine Ballad, filk by Cicatrice du Veritas to the tune of "Frankie and Johnnie" (16)
  • Tunnel Visions, episode descriptions (introduced with: "These are the last eight episodes of the first season. This column will hopefully reappear in our March 89 issue. I sincerely doubt that there will be any new episodes aired in time for the next issue of this newsletter. I'm begin[ning] to really hate unions - when is this writer's strike ever going to end?") (17)
  • The Dream in the Mirror, poem by Kay Simon(19)
  • Sponsor Address (20)
  • More Candleglow: Letter of COmment (21)
  • A Leonine Complaint Song, filk by M.J. Lowrey and Cicatrice du Veritas to the tune of "Mary Ellen Carter" by Stan Rogers (22)
  • Heard It Through the Pipeline, penpals (23)
  • Con Report: Space Trek V, see that page (25)
  • Pascal's Pipeline (adverts) (26)
  • full page ad for Beauty and the Beast Concordance (""The first volume is expected to be out in early 1989; with the delay in the 1988-89 season, this should still not put us too far behind schedule." Note: this publication ended up being released in December 1991.) (27)
  • Standard Policies and Procedures (28)

v.1 n.3: Excerpts from Interviews

From the interview with Ron Perlman:

About a year ago, perhaps a little over a year ago now, I handed down an edict to my manager and agents...saying that I was going to hang up the idea of putting on makeup in my acting career. I was very serious about it. I told them, "I think its time to see if I can capitalize on my own looks - be they as they are." Some three days later my manager called and asked me if I was sitting down and I said, "Well how much makeup is it this time?"

He told me about a project called Beauty and the Beast. I said absolutely under no circumstances did I want to see the script. I just didn't want to be tempted in any way. Well, being the great manager that he is - he proceeded to deliver the script to my door, and there it was in the morning right next to the paper. Since the script was lighter I decided to read it. I read about halfway through the script when I called my manager up and said "What do I have to do to play this part?" The rest is sort of history. I'm very glad I decided to do this because this role is like playing Hamlet every week for an actor. It's just totally boundless in its rewards and the degree in which it engages me on every level.

I'm really thrilled I went against my instincts and decided to don the makeup. What I didn't expect to have happen - because I'm so used to having my own fate be fickle.... Well every time I've liked a project and thought it was going to make a lot of money it never did. And because I loved Beauty and the Beast it was destined to fail. I'm very glad that it hasn't. Maybe my luck is changing?

[...]

I had just finished doing The Name of the Rose - where I played a real beast. Hunchbacked, ugly features - So as I was reading the script that was what kept coming into my mind. That I was going to play a troll. Someone who is very gnarled, hunched over, ugly features; Someone who is truly ugly. That difference would really point up the poignancy of this relationship. As I got close to getting the part, the producers showed me the sketch that Rick Baker had made of this incredible lion-man. I was totally surprised.and shocked Because they really succeeded in making him quite attractive, and regal. I was very taken back by it.

When we actually, finally, put the makeup on; it was quite a feeling. I was literally transformed - taken out of the humdrum of my normal existence and put on another plane.

[...]

The kiss being a cop-out at the end of A Happy Life? Believe me when I tell you that all of us when we were making A Happy Life wanted nothing more than to end that show with a kiss. All the actors, Ron Koslow, the producers, everybody! We shot 10 different takes of kissing (some at my request) and we only shot one take of us holding each other at arms length - looking lovingly into each other's eyes. So there was a definite preponderance toward ending this episode with a kiss. And to this day, we all wish that we could have, except that the opinion was once the thing was all cut and put together; That if we had done that we would have changed the nature of the relationship; What kept the relationship so special all season long.

You could say it was a cop-out but I really don't think that it was. It showed the longing and the desire on the part of the two characters without actually getting graphic and putting the relationship on a very real level. This is a relationship that exists on a very mythical plane. I think that if we're going to be successful we're going to have keep it somehow there between ourselves and the viewers. Will we start the first show of the season with a kiss? I don't know, and I may have to eat these words.

v.1 n.3: Excerpts from Fan Letters

The question of whether Vincent and Catherine can consummate their love? As a sensual romantic, I refuse to believe that consummation is not possible. An inability to consummate their love, to satisfy what is clearly a deep and powerful passion, would be too emotionally painful to contemplate or to continue. Whatever the other obstacles to their union, the hope that they may, one day, be truly joined must be kept above. Nor can I see any physical impediment to their union. Vincent's appearance is more human than beast. He has claws and his hands are covered in fur, but he does have hands, not paws. He wears a long "mane" of hair more to hide his face outside the tunnels than from any genetic necessity. His face is lionlike but still recognizably human. His neck is smooth and hairless, evidence that he is not totally covered in fur. He does not walk on all fours but stands upright. He has no tail (Yes, I have looked!). He speaks, he thinks, he dreams, he loves. Clearly, he is a man with some characteristics of a lion and not the reverse.

Should Catherine and Vincent consummate their passion? My immediate response is a resounding YES but never on the program. Every avid viewer has her/his own fantasy or idea of how the relationship should develop. Any storyline which spelled out the development of that relationship could easily interfere with those personal fantasies.
First of all, I would like to say how glad I am that someone has started a Beauty and the Beast newsletter where the members of the club can participate through LOCs. I think it makes for a more interesting fandom when we can communicate our feelings on the show or movie we happen to be crazy about I can't help but indulge myself in a paragraph of general praise for the show before I get down to more specifics. For a long time, I thought that no movie or TV show could ever mean to me what STAR WARS has, but B&B has made a sizeable dent into that first fandom love. The entire show is just such a joy and I have to pinch myself when I'm watching it and realize that this is on network TV. Sometimes I think the producers, writers, and actors have taken a peek into the depths of my fantasies and put them onto the little screen. The show from the very first episode struck a harmonic chord within me, but then I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

One of the more fascinating areas to look at is: "Should they or shouldn't they?" The last episode for this year was filmed three different ways because even the produces can't decide if Vincent and Catherine should kiss. By the time this LOC gets published, we'll know what way they have decided to go with it. I'm sure that the TV show will continue to make their relationship a rather platonic one, though after the scene in the boat from the episode "To Reign in Hell" I don't see how they can continue to ask us to believe that Vincent and Catherine are merely friends with a deep love between them.

Now, as to what fandom will do with them is another story. It seems that most of the information I have been receiving on B & B zines is stating that they will accept no adult material; but that doesn't preclude people from hinting at, or all out admitting, to the fact that the relationship has been consummated. Perhaps this will turn into one of those issues that becomes a controversy. (I'll state right now that I think we're all entitled to our own opinion regarding this and no answer is right or wrong.) One thing I wish, is that the writers and directors would get it straight how they feel about it. One episode Vincent and Catherine are embracing and staring lovingly into each others eyes and the next episode they barely touch.
I can't write an LOC without making a few comments about Vincent, after all, he's the main reason that I'm so enamored with the show. He's really the embodiment of all that I find appealing in a man, or hero of a story. He's strong and protective, yet has such a gentle nature you can almost imagine him doing anything in his power to keep from hurting someone. He's never afraid to show his emotions, be they anger, sadness, joy, or love. He's intelligent. I mean, who wouldn't just love to have someone who means a great deal to you read you Shakespeare or Dickens. Vincent is a true Renaissance man - I mean he can even draw.

v.1 n.3: Sample Interior

v.1 n.4 (December 1988)

Beauty and The Beast: The Newsletter v.1 n.4 was published in December 1988 and contains 36 pages.

front cover of issue #4
back cover of issue #4, Deb Hense

Editorial and Layout Staff: Patricia Adams, Rita Adams, Scott Coppenoll, Eileen Hartwig, Deb Hense, Chris Janovitz, and Linda Palm.

The art is by L. Curry, D. Hense, N. Miller, M. Skelly, H. Smith, and P. Yagodinski.

From the editor:
A word of warning: The Perlman Association that was reported in the June issue of the newsletter this year, appears to have gone out of business. We have not been able to get in touch with them. We can only conclude that they were eager fans who didn't realize how much work was involved in running a fan club. And when they were overwhelmed with potential members, they decided to quit while they were ahead. If you are planning or would like to start a local fanclub please consider carefully before doing so. The members of your club will depend on you to be there - whether you're having regular monthly, or even weekly meetings. This is not a short term fling. I fully anticipate that the show will be on the air for at least three full years, possibly five, if Ron can hold up. So be prepared, and get out there and start your own local club. It really is a great feeling sharing with friends your fascination for this wonderful modem fairy tale.
Also from the editor:
There have been some nasty rumors circulating that the show has been cancelled. This is not the case. They have been renewed for 22 episodes. An entire year! But let's plan ahead for next year. Keep writing your monthly letters to CBS, and to Witt/Thomas. Also scribble a few notes to the advertisers now and then. (We published a list of some of them in the September issue).
  • Whispering Gallery (3)
  • Chamber Musings: Interview with Jay Acovone (5)
  • Double Crosstix (answers for the puzzle in the previous issue) (11)
  • Fan Quality Awards, description, history, ballot, list of eligible BatB fan publications (12)
  • Candleglow: Letters of Comment (16)
  • My Phantom Lover, poem by Rae Barackman (20)
  • Ever a Dream, poem by Kathryn Kaye (21)
  • To Vincent, poem by Deborah Sargent (21)
  • Season's Greeting from the B&B Cast (22)
  • Chamber Musings: Interview with Linda Hamilton (23)
  • Mid-Winter's Song and Story (28)
  • Filksongs (29)
    • Mid-Winter Feast Ballad, filk by M.J. Lowrey to the tune of "Here We Come a Wassailing"
    • A Mid-Winter Night's Dream, filk by M.J. Lowrey and Cicatrice du Veritas
    • Now and Then, filk O.M. MeMenomy, K. Wittke, K. Nelson, and C. Jones
    • A Do Ron Ron, filk by O.M. McMenomy
    • A Wee Irish Tune, filk by O.M. McMenomy
  • Jean Cocteaus's Beauty and the Beast, film reivew by Kathy Jentz (30)
  • Double Crosstix for December (31)
  • Heard It Through the Pipeline (33)
  • The September Mailing Party, photos (34)
  • Poll Results (35)
  • Standard Procedures/Addresses to Write (36)

v.1 n.4: Excerpts from Interviews

From the interview with Jay Acovone:
[My mailbag is] looking real good. I have certain fans or people - I don't like to use the word fans. I mean I like to use the word people because they are people and they just admire the show. And thank God they admire me for my talent. The people that write to me, some have been writing since the day I went on to As the World Turns and some of them have just started writing to me in the past month, two months. I try to answer all my mail.
From the interview with Linda Hamilton:

What did I think when I saw Ron Perlman in make up for the first time? Very impressed, and very happy. Absolutely nothing alien in his face. I had seen a drawing of him. That was one of the selling points of the meeting, because it was very well done. I did a pilot for a series called "WISHMAN", which was the best kept secret of the network at the time. It was supposed to be the hit of the season. It was some of the worst special effects makeup I've ever seen in my life. I mean for that reason the whole thing just was just terribly trite and silly. You know these things make or break a show. I saw this diagram of Vincent that Rick Baker had drawn up, and I just went WOW! Then when I saw him, I just thought he was extraordinary looking. My feelings changed. I mean, he transforms you. Not that he's not a pretty terrific person without makeup, but something extraordinary happens to him, and I find him extraordinarily attractive. I still do.

[...]

When you are out walking about, like on a weekend, do people recognize you now? Does that bother you? It depends. No, it doesn't generally, because I like people. Which is fortunate. It's tough, when its every person you meet, and you have to go through it every single time you meet. Nobody in this life is forced to live under this kind of pressure except a presidential candidate. It's every single person you come across; you can see people awaken with that flash of recognition, then go through a litany of what you've done, and where they might know you from.

It bothers me when people don't deal with me like I'm a human being. When people will just, "Ohhh!" and then walk away. You know, it's like they never say any thing. Or use me to solve a bet. Run up to me, "Weren't you in this movie?", and I'll say, "Yes". "I told you so", they'll say to their friend, and then walk away. There's absolutely no acknowledgement of me as a person. I mean I don't need to be admired, but I do need to be dealt with like a human being. So in that sense it does bother me.

People forget. I mean, they just forget how to be. They are so overwhelmed, they just forget I'm not a stickler for politeness, or anything. But any kind of social skill they have, sometimes disappears when they realize that they're dealing with a celebrity. I just don't think that that is necessary.

[...]

I built Catherine Chandler. I built her on parts of myself, parts that might not always be in play, but parts that are there nevertheless. The part that I would say is least like me is her constant doubting of herself. Is she strong enough, is she this or that? That's tough. I find that kind of dialogue very tough to play. They've actually taken my character away from there a little bit. It's not that I don't have any vulnerabilities, but I find her (Catherine's) constant harping on them very frustrating. I mean obviously I have my places of fear, great fear, great vulnerabilities, but I don't parade them.

[...]

I hated [the episode "A Happy Life"] ! Didn't like the end at all. I dreaded that one. It was probably some part of me being afraid to play her very vulnerable and very open. Very, very hard work! I just dreaded it. You know, you look in this room and burst into tears here, burst into tears there, burst into tears there, and over here. So very scary. I liked the episode ok, especially when I saw it about six months later in re-runs. I liked it. I'm a very hard judge on myself. In fact, I am my own harshest critic.

I do watch all of the episodes once. I don't watch re-runs ever. It's was hard when I was I was on hiatus. I completely forgot the show. I mean literally, a Friday would come and go and I'd say, "Oh yeah, B&B I remember that." It would be completely out of my mind. Which is very good, to be able to let go. I do not live for this show. I do, when I'm working on it. But not, when I'm not. I try to have a life too.

I was really frustrated with the ending. I burst into tears. I was with my mom. We had rearranged the living room, and we had candles going, and a fire going, and just this wonderful low mood. My husband wasn't home, and so as soon as it ended, I became hysterical. I started weeping hysterically, I was so shattered. I thought that even at its most dilute we'd get more than that So my mom got up and started turning on the lights very seriously, like all the mood is gone. Perlman called me. Ron was in New York. He's been waiting three hours to see how I liked it Neither of us had seen it before it aired. So he called me, which at this point is eleven or midnight his time. I'm sobbing. I let the machine pick up because I didn't want to answer the phone hysterical When I heard it was him, I said "Hello", (sobbing). He put down the phone and yelled to everyone in the room, (he was having this party), "She's crying", he says. He was so happy with the way the episode went, and I was devastated that we didn't get our kiss. It was very funny.

v.1 n.4: Excerpts from Fan Letters

Yes, we all realize it is fantasy at its best, but the characters were so realistically portrayed that surely if we traveled to New York City, we could expect to catch a glimpse of Catherine and Vincent melting in each others arms near a tunnel entrance. Most certainly there must be a way to tunnel through my basement and connect to the labyrinth underground network. I know many of the B&tB fans have joked about these thoughts but, in the back of your minds, you dream.

I am intrigued by the writer's leaky faucet method of divulging bits of information about the characters and tunnel world. The viewer is not flooded with material but, week by week, drip by drip, we are allowed to savor each precious drop of insight into this fascinating world. This allows for our minds to construct our own fantasies and our hearts to ponder the connection between the last show's statement and our own personal values. It gives us the freedom to believe that, "we are such stuff as dreams are made of and "anything is possible".

Watching Catherine and Vincent's relationship grow was akin to a painful dance with two steps forward and one step back. Collapsing into each others arms one week gave way to a mere longing look the next Oh, the frustration of true love, though the surrealist kiss in the last episode did more for my romantic soul in that one instant then a rack of lusty paperbacks could ever hope to accomplish.

If ever asked what is Beauty and the Beast about, I could easily sum it up with three words - wisdom, heart, and courage. There will never be a more powerful combination.
I've noticed from letters, comments, etc., that most of the club members seem to be women. I can certainly understand Vincent's appeal to female viewers. He apparently provides the hope that not all men are shallow, insensitive louts, using smooth lines to get women in the sack. Let me say that he provides hope to a lot of men, too. Intelligent men who are quiet and reserved; men who are not comfortable playing the social game; men who prefer reading, fishing, or hiking in the woods to bar-hopping; men who will never be mistaken for Robert Redford; men kind of like me. These are men who see a bit of themselves in Vincent Now that "Prairie Home Companion" is no longer on the radio, Vincent has become the new Garrison Kiellor... the champion of shy persons everywhere!
If I could ask Catherine Chandler one question, it would be... If you are so in love with Vincent, yet repulsed by his looks, why don't you use some of your Daddy's big bucks to pay your expensive plastic surgeon to work on Vincent? I mean for her sake - not mine; I like him just the way he is. I realize such an action would ruin the show, but I'm just looking at it from a realistic and logical point of view. After all, with her family's money she could care for all the tunnel people. And her high paid lawyers, not to mention her Mends at the D.A.'s office, could easily keep other people away - even if Vincent didn't change his looks. In this day and age of injunctions, lawsuits, etc., there's no way anyone could take advantage of Vincent Especially with Catherine, and a good lawyer, by his side. But of course this show is fantasy, not reality.

As for Vincent's physiology, I'm sure he's capable of making love; but he may be sterile. As for whether Catherine will consummate the affair - I doubt it. Usually once a strong romantic friendship such as theirs is consummated, it is never quite the same. The reality almost never lives up to the passionate dreams or fantasies. And once the affair is consummated its very difficult, if not impossible, to go back to being "just friends". Besides, how long can either of them live up to being the other's fantasy ideal? Especially with Vincent knowing exactly how Catherine feels all the time... There's no faking possible! Eventually one or both of them will search out a temporary, or permanent, partner more compatible to their needs. They are both very feeling and passionate people after all.

I would love to see the show bring on a new love interest for both Catherine and Vincent to see how well they resist temptation. I would also like to see how Vincent reacts to a passionate woman after him, with her full arsenal of charming games and winning looks. He's not used to all the games a woman can play with a man when she really wants him!

v.1 n.4: Sample Interior

References

  1. ^ In the previous issue, "Dotrice" was spelled "Doltrice."
  2. ^ In the June 1988 issue: "The spoken word album as mentioned here in the last issue had been delayed. The latest word is that it will now come out on Capital, and will be released for Valentine's Day. This is fairly well firmed up, but not set in stone. As the album has not yet been recorded, anything can happen to delay the release date."
  3. ^ In the March 1989 issue: "The spoken word album by Ron Perlman, is making headway. I know that it has been recorded. Or at least most of it. I've heard several rumors that it should be out in late March, but then I just heard it won't be until May. The only confirmation I do have is that it will be out on the Capital label sometime this year. So keep checking the stores."