Blake, Rabble and Roll

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Zine
Title: Blake, Rabble and Roll
Publisher: Whatever You Do, Don't Press
Editor(s): Mysti Frank
Date(s): 1989-1992
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Blake's 7
Language: English
External Links:
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Blake, Rabble and Roll is a gen and slash Blake's 7 fanzine.

Summary

From a distributor, Agent With Style: "These zines reflect the darkness of this British series, but bright, sparkling moments shine through and capture your heart. These stories run the gamut from supremely silly to heartbreakingly sad to dastardly manipulation, but you always find something to fascinate you!"

Issue 1

cover issue #1, Leah Rosenthal. A fan in 2016 said: "Um….okay, if I had to guess, Jenna is pissed that Avon stole Blake away from her. And Cally is either stoned or has gotten so used to this argument that she’s just tuning it all out. Obviously, I need to read this one when I have a moment. Since this picture also appears inside the ‘zine, I’m guessing it’s actually illustrating a scene.... #one of these days avon....pow!#don't think she won't deck you#she once teleported a dude into space#and laughed about it [1]

Blake, Rabble and Roll 1 was published in October 1989 and is 70 pages long. It is gen.

The art is by Randym and Leah Rosenthal (front cover). "A special kudos to Leah, and especially to RANDYM, for coming through on the artwork in such sort notice when I suddenly didn't have a cover or interior art. Thanks, mates."


Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Adrian Morgan

Blake, Rabble and Roll 2 published in 1990 and is 111 pages long. It is slash and gen, and it required an age statement.

  • Letters of Comment by Youse Guys (1)
  • The Works by Michelle Christian (7)
  • Haunting Avon by Natasha Barry (9)
  • Matter of Conscience by Michelle Christian (23)
  • If I Loved You by Natasha Barry (25)
  • Though We May Have Different Dreams by Sheila Paulson (37)
  • The Final Straw by Teresa Ward (63)
  • Pale Shelter by Catocala (69)
  • Vila's Reflections at Gauda Prime by Maddog (106) (poem)
  • The Way of the Earth by Carol McCoy (107)
  • My Friend Soma by Maddog (111) (poem)

Artwork:

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Pale Shelter]:

I have it here in Blake, Rabble and Roll 2 (but I think it was printed somewhere else as well) has a long 50+ sad tense A/V/B story, called Pale Shelter. The story is set just post Gauda Prime. Vila actually warned Blake they were coming, nervous as he has been about Avon since Maladar, and Blake wore a bullet proof vest; the Feds were window dressing, and Blake immediately throws Avon into the brig until Avon turns Orac over to him -- and uses Vila to get Avon to give it up.

The story is one long tale of betrayal--each of the three betrays the other two at least once--and of loss; but because/despite all of that, it is surprisingly beautiful.

The story is in universe of theirs, following the story Crossing the Grade (Oblique, I think) and others.

Now to the point of this review. There has been some hypothesizing that A/V stories have a different feel than B/A stories, and that some reason for people being fans of the one and not of the other have little to do with whether you like Vila or Blake more (or think Avon likes Vila or Blake more) but rather the type of story you like more.

I need other people to read this story, and tell me whether it feels more like an A/V story that has Blake too, or a B/A story that has Vila too. There are a few other A/V/B stories, and I'm thinking of rereading them with the same idea in mind (not research, mistress, anything but research...).

Thoughts? [2]

[zine]:

K, but what about editors who DON'T make that effort [to alert buyers of slash content]? Or worse, those who deliberately deceive us as to what will be in a zine? Yes, I _have_ seen this happen. Worst example: an editor, who shall remain nameless, who put out a B7 genzine, then solicited stories for a second issue which she expressly stated would also be a genzine. Several unsuspecting writers thus submitted stories. When the zine came out, Ms. Editor had inserted several slash stories between the gen stories _without informing anyone_ (contributors or buyers) that she was going to do this. Then she compounded her sins by being snide, sarcastic and utterly rude to those of us who objected. (She hit the roof when I _politely_ asked for copies of _only_ the non-porn stories -- or the return of my deposit --, refused to provide either, then accused me of piracy when I went to the non-porn contributors inidividually and asked if I might read copies of their stories. How else was I to see the _clean_ stories, pray tell, short of having a friend photocopy them from the zine, which WOULD be 'pirating' them, after a fashion???) Ms. Editor finally relented and sent me an expurgated copy of the zine. But her attitude was so nasty that she lost this customer -- and several others who don't happen to like smut -- ever thereafter.[3]
[zine]: As for [J's] comments regarding "Blake, Rabble, and Roll," on the one hand, I agree with her upset since she evidently made it clear she didn't want the adult and still got a hassle from the editor. On the other hand, I was not surprised when I received our tribber copy of the zine. In fact, we had contributed an adult story, I believe, so obviously *somehow* we knew that that was acceptable in the zine. I believe that every zine Mysti does/did was open to adult. Mysti claimed, at the time, that she would have been glad to make [J] a "special" issue with the adult removed but wasn't asked or offered the opportunity to do so before the writers of the stories were contacted. Sounds like a typical fan misunderstanding to me! [4]

[zine]: Well, Blake, Rabble and Roll #2 really only has one good story, and this is it.[5] It is 37 pages (I counted this time) and the only slash in the zine, and most of the gen should be ashamed trees died for it.

It doesn't have a price, but most of hers run around $15--It's a little small, but has a (badish) color cover.

So that explains why I didn't just say, run out and buy this (though I do think it is still in print). -- Sandy [6]

[zine]: thank you burntcandlemas for giving me BRR2. as usual i will now proceed... to be not very nice about it.

Blake, Rabble and Roll 2:

Fanlore tells me that this zine caused controversy because while the first edition was gen, this one is full of slash (and some gen). It's also, sadly, full of bad slash - so I imagine the people who read this (and there's no indication anywhere on the zine that some stories are slash and some aren't, or that the zine isn't just gen like its previous issue) must have thought 'This slash is as bad as I thought it would be! Why did I just read the phrase 'Blake caught his breath at the primal sexiness of [Avon's] form enmeshed in the clinging cloth'??(not even the worst line). I do see why they were so angry. Sheila Paulson's fic is by far and away the best - but I'd read it before (where? Why, on Hammer to Fall!). Then again, I knew exactly what I was getting and I borrowed the zine from someone else - so, am I complaining? I am not. (Just don't seek it out, OK?)

The Works by Michelle Christian: Two pages. It's about Vila eating a hotdog. No comment.

Haunting Avon by Natasha Barry: The first sign for gen readers that something is amiss... This fic features Tarrant interrogating Avon about his past, meanwhile Avon remembers his sexy (but unconsummated?) times with Blake. It's one of those fics where everyone fancies Avon (why do you think Tarrant is asking?), and Blake is described as "normally a gentle man without a vicious bone in his body". They talk about love a lot. It's bad.

Matter of Conscience by Michelle Christian: Two pages. Weird.

If I Loved You by Natasha Barry: The line after I quoted in my intro is even better: "On the Liberator, Avon seldom relaxed in clothing, no doubt fearing to appear as he was: a highly charged sexual specimen with enough charisma to launch his own revolution. No, Avon fomented distance in his relations, for distance was safer during prolonged proximity and Avon always wanted to be taken for what he was -- a fearsome intellect--rather than what he appeared-- a handsome specimen of male virility." Leaving aside one's individual tastes in Avon-related praise, and whether this is or is not hilarious, the rest of the fic does several other things that make me hate it. Avon muses on the rest of his crew, and how they are all generally better off dead - which they all are. Blake once again spends the entire time mooning about love, and being humbled by Avon, who is always right. There's a nice picture of Avon at the end though!

Rabble2-1.jpg

Though We May Have Different Dreams by Sheila Paulson: Hey, do you like B-A? Do you like smarm? Then you should definitely read anything by Sheila Paulson! Typically good set up in that it's a H/C cave fic (but straight), in which Blake does revolution and Avon protects him and then admits his feelings. This one has sentient rocks. It also has some good illustrations by Judith Boguslawski, including the surreal one below with two Blakes. It's not my all-time favourite Paulson, and there's some element of 'stupid Blake, fell down a hole' (she does generally prefer Avon), but overall both POVs are shown to be valid, Blake's perhaps more so, and the fic does its job well - showing them committed to each other, and this being an important thing for the plot of this fic and the wider show.

Rabble2-2.jpg

The Final Straw by Teresa Ward: Post Warlord. Short. Tarrant is depressed and Avon is cold of heart. It feels a bit pointless.

Pale Shelter by Catocala: This fic is almost certainly the fic referred to in a review on Fanlore that says it's the only good story in the zine. I think that's pretty unfair to the Paulson. This fic... Well, I admit I didn't read it properly, but it pushed some wrong buttons fairly early on. To wit:

"Has Blake changed so much that he would you by force?" Avon questioned quietly. He recognised with some distress that he didn't want to believe the truth of what Vila was suggesting. Vila's lips trembled, but he didn't pull away from the half-caress. Rather he imperceptibly leaned his head into it, as if it were the first succor he'd been given in too long a time. "I guess so. Because he does. Why are you surprised? You've done it before and Blake's no stranger to playing at--"

A/V alone would have been enough, good reader, but everyone raping Vila? No. Probably my number 1 turnoff. Other than that, I think it's not bad - there's some good banter towards the end (which is my sort of ending - except that there's a threesome), and some interesting turns in the PGP!Blake and Avon depression narrative - mostly that Jenna betrayed Blake to save herself, which is why he now can't trust Avon. Interestingly, also, the illustration from the front of Southern Comfort 10.5 was originally for this fic.

Rabble2-3.jpg

In conclusion - YMMV, but this isn't for me.

The Way of the Earth by Carol McCoy: Interesting idea, which I'll now ruin for you - in that Cally was taken over by the alien in 'Sarcophagus' but just pretended not to be. Tarrant knows, and this is about his relationship with that alien. I actually really like it as a concept, and although it's not badly done here - I think we could have done more.[7]

Issue 3

Blake, Rabble and Roll 3 is gen. It was published in August 1992 and contains 94 pages.

The art is by Kay Wells, Suzie Molnar, Corinna Hansen, Jane Mailander, and Phoenix (cover). The table of contents says there is an illo by Adrian Morgan on page 94, but this is not true.

cover of issue #3, Phoenix -- "I have to confess, I bought it at a con because I loved the cover. It's a nice color piece by Phoenix of Blake, Avon and Vila." [8]

From Mysti Frank in the zine: "Blake, Rabble and Roll 3 is a non-profit publication of WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T PRESS! All printing rights are returned to the authors and artists upon publication of this zine. Contributors get a free copy of this zine in exchange for their tribs , or a pro-rated discount. No money, font cartridges, Vinnie Terranovas or vacations to Disney World were involved in any negotiations (although the last two will get you free broccoli-and-cheese soup for the rest of your life). Enjoy. Laugh. Cry. Send LoCs!"

Frank thanks someone: "Thank You -- To my sister, who told me to go to bed when I was tired, and babied me when I had a cold, and bitched as she punched an endless supply of zines [9] to help get me to a con on time. You make it all worthwhile, Jen."

Issue 3: Editorial -- Decline in Fandom, Plagiarism, Dishonesty, and Email

The editorial discusses three things: lack of submissions and the possible decline of Blake's 7 fandom, plagiarism, and email.

The first is how long it took to get submissions for this zine. Oddly, the editor (Mysti Frank) either seems completely oblivious to The Blake's 7 War that had put a giant damper on the fandom, or is disingenuously not mentioning it here:

Well, folks, we made it. For a while, I didn't think BR&R3 would ever see the light of day. As one friend put it, my other zines kept rolling off the presses, but the deadline for BR&R3 kept receding into the distance. The main reason for the fact that it's been nearly two years since the last issue is because of a dearth of submissions. I kept waiting to see if anything else would show up in my mailbox. After two years, you hold 100 pages.

Is there a decline in Blake's 7 fandom? It seems to me that, lately, there's be a resurgence. So why no stories? Only you fen can answer that. I'm opening up BR&R4 for submissions and I will wait one year from this date. At that point, I will decide if what I have is enough to go to print with or not. Please keep this zine alive; it's had a good run and can only get better. Send me stories. Send me illos. Send me poems. Send me anything! That said, I'd like to thank the folks who stuck it out for two years, waiting to see their work in print. You people deserve a giant lollipop for your patience. Thank you.
The second is fan manners and plagiarism, and Mysti Frank leaves out a very important fact in her scold here—the fan who did the plagiarizing from her zine, Kay Wells, is one of the artists in this issue of "Blake, Rabble and Roll." Since Frank couldn't possibly be unaware of this (having written about it four months earlier in "Chalk and Cheese", it means she overlooked this fact on purpose, and printed Wells' two illos knowing full-well the artist had been recently censured. It also means Frank was being dishonest with her readers in this editorial.:[10]

A bit of a flap sprang into being when someone who enjoyed a story I published in one of my other zines took that story, rewrote it using another fandom, and submitted it to another zine ed, who, not knowing the circumstances, printed it. All without the original author's knowledge or consent. I'm not going to start naming names--I don't want to start that again. I simply want to make the point that if you plan to borrow someone's work, be they fan or professional, Barbara Cartland or Shakespeare, please notify the author (if possible) and ask permission! When (and only when) given, also tell the zine ed to whom you are submitting the story that it borrows heavily (if not lifts whole paragraphs intact) from another source. Otherwise, fen, what you've done is committed plagiarism, pure and simple.

We 'amateur' writers don't have much, but we've got our stories and they are ours. To have someone steal one behind your back, rewrite it with characters that may not even fit the storyline, and then submit it to an unknowing zine ed, is the worst kind of feeling in the world. Please don't do this. We don't need this kind of tension in any fandom. IDIC's more than just a concept, you know. And the rest is just plain common courtesy.

[snipped]

Welp, that's it for me this time. I hope I raised a few consciences here and didn't piss off too many fen. Hopefully, I'll see you in a year with another great issue of Blake, Rabble and Roll!
Frank also mentions this relatively-new thing—email!
Finally, I wanted to let everyone know that I belong to two different computer services and would be more than happy to receive e-mail from anyone who cares to send it. On GEnie, my id is "M.Frank7" (no spaces) and I visit this one the most. E-mail is free and is transmitted instantly here. On Prodigy, my id is "XJSSOOA". (That's 'zero-zero', not 'oh-oh'.) E-mail is .25 each here if you go over your limit of 30 per month (and believe me, it's extremely easy to do!). I check in here every other day or so. Want to send me an LoC on BR&R3, but don't want to actually pullout a pen and paper? E-mail me!

Issue 3: Contents

  • This is the Life by Michelle Christian (2)
  • The Ultimate Gauda Primer by Jane Mailander (6)
  • Cartoon by Jane Mailander (9)
  • Fool's Paradise by Renya Spratt (10)
  • Brief Encounter by Carol McCoy (12)
  • Cartoon by Jane Mailander (19)
  • If Thoughts Were Spoken by Michelle Christian (20)
  • More Precious Than Gold by Roxie Ray (23)
  • Demon in a Bottle by Vickie McManus (32)
  • Believe It or Not by Sue Wells and Dee Beetum (34) (crossover with The Greatest American Hero)
  • Top Ten Rejected Lines from Blake's 7 by Jane Mailander (41)
  • Time: The Greatest Healer of Them All by Renya Spratt (42)
  • A Lesson in Loyalty by Teresa Ward and Carol McCoy (44)
  • Famous Last Words by Agnes Tomorrow (56)
  • Children of the System by Vickie McManus (59)
  • Delta Blue Brew, It's Gonna Getchu! by Maddog (60)
  • Duel: Vila, Duel: Avon by Michelle Christian (69)
  • Dreams by Marian Mendez (71)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

I have to confess, I bought it at a con because I loved the cover. It's a nice color piece by Phoenix of Blake, Avon and Vila. I won't go through all the stories, just my favorites.
  • BRIEF ENCOUNTER by Carol McCoy. I liked this one, which is amazing because I usually hate Tarrant stories. But this one made me like it. Tarrant and Jarvik against Bayban. It almost made me like Tarrant (almost!).
  • MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD by Roxie Ray (A Friend in Need Universe story) Nice Soolin and Vila pairing. The scene where they gang up in embarrassing Tarrant is hilarious.
  • BELIEVE IT OR NOT by Sue Wells and Dee Beetum. This was an interesting twist. Blake and aliens bring Cally back to life. The aliens turn out to be the guys from The Greatest American Hero and no, they don't give Blake the suit. They give it to Cally who becomes Blake's advisor. It was a little unusual but I rather enjoyed that show when I was little.
  • FAMOUS LAST WORDS by Agnes Tomorrow. Blake quoting Hamlet? It was amusing and I rather liked the idea. Especially the line about "too solid flesh"!
  • DREAMS by Marian Mendez. This was a favorite as I love longer stories. Avon is in Servalan's hands after GP and dreams of Anna, Cally, and Blake. Blake is alive (YES!) and he manages to get Avon to partially accept reality again, and that the others are also alive. Jenna comes to their rescue and Avon finally accepts that he too has survived.[11]

References

  1. bruinhilda.tumblr, February 5, 2016
  2. Sandy Hereld at Virgule-L, quoted with permission (May 4, 1993)
  3. Lysator, [J G], 1995.
  4. Lysator, [A W], 1995.
  5. Probably referring to "Pale Shelter".
  6. post to Slashfen, "Mysti Frank, a depressed semi-rant" by Sandy Hereld on May 4, 1993, quoted with permission, full post at Controversy Regarding Quality
  7. a review by Aralias: some blake stuff - zine reviews etc , April 19, 2017
  8. Subject: zine review: Blake, Rabble & Roll 3 by Catherine S. on Lysator dated Aug 2, 1993.
  9. A reference to hole-punching zines in order to put comb-bindings on them.
  10. Breaking Cover, a Pros story by Ellis Ward, was in an issue of Chalk and Cheese #10 (Frank's zine) and was plagiarized by Kay Wells as the Kirk/Spock story Cover Up. See Breaking Cover for more.
  11. Subject: zine review: Blake, Rabble & Roll 3 by Catherine S. on Lysator dated Aug 2, 1993.