Black Cover

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Title: Black Cover
Publisher: Rock Dog
Date(s): 1990
Medium: print
Genre: adult het
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
Language: English
External Links:
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Batb black cover.jpg
the flyer
the first page of "A Darkness on the Edge"

Black Cover is a 150-page adult het Beauty and the Beast anthology. The fiction is by M. Louis, and it was published by Rock Dog. There is no title on this black-covered zine and no inside art.

From the flyer: "Is it true some secrets are better left untold? Sometimes when lovers are together they are willing to unfold even the worst part of their life to that person they trust most. There are three tales here, A DARKNESS ON THE EDGE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (revised) are stories of facing an unforgiving past that can haunt a person. The third tale WEDNESDAY NIGHT MOVES is one of the promise the future can bring. The darkness of the past can sometimes light the way to an even brighter future.


White Cover

The negative response to "Black Cover" was so strong that some fans put together a "response" zine called White Cover. Although it was also a het zine, the stories were all rated G to PG-13 and focused on the more traditional romantic interpretation of Vincent and Catherine's relationship.


  • A Darkness on the Edge (a young Vincent engages in a sadistic menage a trois with two prostitutes)
  • Beauty and the Beast Revised (lawyer Catherine moonlights as a call girl, and one of her clients is Vincent)
  • Wednesday Night Moves (Vincent visits Diana to watch a movie but they ignore the movie and have sex.)

Reactions and Reviews

The zine was not well received by the Beauty and the Beast fandom. It is difficult to know how much of the outrage was organic or if it was a case of dogpiling and/or the nature of the Beauty and the Beast fandom culture of the time.

Tunnel Talk Comments

Black Cover was reviewed in Tunneltalk vol. 1, issue #6 (1990) and was described as "shocking" and "obscene." The reviewer complained that even though the zine was labeled adult, the warning was insufficient to cover "the violent slash (lesbian) and sado-masochistic stories." The reviewer strongly objected to the characterizations using phrases like "a sick depiction" and "awful and sad". And last, the zine was criticised for containing "an astonishing number of errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation" - while somehow managing to spell all the obscenities correctly.

Later Tunneltalk letters of comment called the story "sick and weird" and demanded that the zine be withdrawn from the market which the publishers did a few months later.

One letter in "Tunneltalk" by [A B] outed the writer:
The author may use a pen name to try to remain anonymous but the errors in spelling (i.e. lionine, shear), constant use of past, present and future tenses in one sentence, turn of phrase (i.e. blew out), and mailing address all match a zine titled [redacted]. I will not purchase from or read anything by this author again. I vote with my dollars! [1]
An example of an LoC from 1991 from [I P]:
The zine Black Cover: I read the review in TT: this zine should be withdrawn from the market (It has been; see letters in TT volum 1 #12- editor), and refunds offered to people who want them. I object to using our beloved V & C and the character of Diana, portrayed in this way. Freedom of speech is one thing, but it can be taken too far. I've seen the flyer for this zine; it does not begin to explain the contents. 'Sexually explicit' needs to be replaced by a different phrase, or broken down more. Love scenes between V & C are explicit in many zines; in most they are beautiful. The stuff in Black Cover is sick and weird. What is next? V & C as child molesters or drug dealers? If people must write this disgusting junk, why not make up their own characters? Why involve B&TB? I don't feel pity only anger.[2]

Later Reviews


Some fanzines have been controversial, Nan Dibble's "Acquainted with the Night" series for example and the notorious "Black Cover" zine; but, the infighting has for the most part not been about fanfic. It has been about the desire of some fans to impose their view of BATB on others.[3]


CatalenaMara: What a boring zine that was! What a disappointment! I got that zine thinking this was going to be something really interesting. Bad writing! Really, full of typos. Uninteresting story! There was nothing about it that was worth talking about, much less wanking about. (laughter)

Franzeska Dickson: That's terrible, because Fanlore made me want to read it! (laughter)

CatalenaMara: Don't bother! (laughter) If you ever see a copy, and you need to go to sleep, start reading. You'll be dozing off within five pages. (more chuckles) [4]


Review 2014: I disagree with the reviews above. These stories are diamonds in the rough. Although there are no few technical and spelling errors, the stories are beautifully and sensitively imagined - and, most importantly, Vincent's character rings true. Beauty and the Beast, a pre-series story, is both unique and very erotic - the best I have read in a long time. A Darkness on the Edge is Vincent telling Catherine of a shameful period of his youth, after Lisa left. It's a tale of self-disgust and redemption. Wednesday Night Moves is a post-Season 3 story about Vincent and Diana's growing friendship as they watch videos in her loft. Those who condemn this series as "shocking obscenity" clearly did not read it with an open mind. I have edited them all and converted them to pdf, so they are available to fans. I hope they receive some much-deserved, appreciative exposure. Early indications are positive. - Angie [5]


  1. from a 1991 issue of Tunneltalk
  2. from a 1991 issue of Tunneltalk
  3. comment at Catherine, Diana, and Bad Endings, August 22, 2000
  4. Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with CatalenaMara (2012)
  5. Review posted on Fanlore in response to the older reviews on Tunnel Talk. Posted directly to Fanlore by Angie on March 24, 2014.