Chalk and Cheese/Issues 01-05

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Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Chalk and Cheese 1 was published in April 1988 and contained 140 pages. Art by John Martin, Ann Leonhart, and Karen Eaton.

It contained the controversial story House of the Rising Sun which causes a fan to write:
This is an addendum to the LoC I've already sent, and I thought it was important enough to write to T.H.E.. This is prompted by my reading of the story, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, which appears in the current PROs zine, CHALK & CHEESE #1. I'd like this to be an open plea to all zine editors in the future: PLEASE, editors, when a story is actually a torture/wallow epic, PLEASE have the honesty and integrity to label it as such in your flyers and your ads! [1]
From the editorial:
"I have this story that I'm not really doing anything with. You want it?"

A simple question, isn't it? Little did I know that it would lead to the making of a zine. "Sure." "And Mary has that story of her's, doesn't she?" "So she does." "And you have all that stuff that's been cluttering up your bedside for years." "True." "And we could get other people involved, and..."

Yes, my friends, it was all because of LST that Chalk and Cheese came about. Thanks, El. For over 500 hours in front of a VDU, a constant headache, worrying about page length, inventing new curses for the computer and a heart-bursting pride that every new mother must know.
  • The Saga of Poor George Cowley by Khrystyna (1)
  • A Song for My Heart to Sing by Raynebeau O'Reilly (2)
  • Torin by Victoria Sinall (5)
  • Third Time's Charm by Kayem McKaem (13)
  • Revenge! by Mary Leonhart (16)
  • To Nick a Name by Khrystyna (33)
  • Listening at the Keyhole by Victoria Sinall (34)
  • Like Father, Like Father, Like Son by Mysti Frank (38)
  • Green Grows the Grass by Nancy Flynn (41)
  • Ding, Dong! Magic Calling by Khrystyna (44)
  • Act Well by Raynebeau O'Reilly (46)
  • An Awkward Thing by Mysti Frank (48)
  • Don't I Wish by Mysti Frank (56)
  • The Secret to Survivin' by Mysti Frank (67)
  • True Need by Shana Lisa Jensen (68)
  • To Go to Law by Khrystyna Marin (74)
  • House of the Rising Sun by LST (75)
  • The Little Elf by John Kendrick Bangs (128)
  • Pun Run: Food for Thought by Mysti Frank (129)
  • Pun Run: One for the Road by Mysti Frank (130)
  • Pun Run: Silence is Silver' by Mysti Frank (132)
  • Pun Run: Out of the Horse's Mouth by Mysti Frank (135)
  • Pun Run: I Now Pronounce Thee by Mysti Frank (137)
  • Colours of Love by LST (139)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for House of the Rising Sun.
[zine, with an emphasis on "House of the Rising Sun"]: This is an addendum to the LoC I've already sent, and I thought it is important enough to write to T.H.E.. This is prompted by my reading of the story, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, which appears in the current PROs zine, CHALK & CHEESE #1. I'd like this to be an open plea to all zine editors in the future: PLEASE, editors, when a story is actually a torture/wallow epic, PLEASE have the honesty and integrity to label it as such in your flyers and your ads! RISING SUN was labeled as "hurt/comfort", and it was NOT; there was plenty of "hurt", yeah, but damned little "comfort" apparent! I am sick to death of some of the stories I've unwittingly received lately in this fandom, without having been warned about the content first. I realize that on the circuit, you take your chances, but it should be up to a zine editor to be honest with her prospective customers. I am sick to death of reading sick "titillation" stories where one or the other of the guys (usually Doyle, it seems) is abused, raped with torture instruments, degraded, humiliated, perverted, etc. I know there's lots of fans out there that actually like this garbage; fine, they should have the right to read it, too. I'm not saying they shouldn't! What I AM saying is that the rest of us who don't care to see our favorite characters exploited and put through all sorts of S&M crap should be WARNED before buying the zine. I think that's fair enough, don't you? Mysti Frank (or any other editor in the future) could easily solve this problem by being HONEST in their ads: one little line would suffice! "THIS STORY CONTAINS SCENES OF GRAPHIC TORTURE AND SADISM." That's easy enough to do, I think. In the case of CHALK & CHEESE #1, if I had known ahead of time that the LONGEST story in the zine was a 'torture epic', I never would've bought the zine; after all, what's the point? I know I'll never read that story again, and it ruined the whole zine for me. Which was too bad, too, because the rest of the zine had enjoyable stuff in it.[2]
[zine]: It seems somehow mean-spirited to criticize the enthusiastic efforts of fandom. No one gets paid, the art, stories and vids are done for the sheer love of it -- a love shared by all within the fandom. So I'm trying to think if there's a kind way to say that the stories collected in CHALK AND CHEESE I are probably some of the very worst Pros fiction I've read. The writing is universally amateur, the characterization doesn't work for me in a single instance, and I actively disliked most of the story concepts. The only plus I can think of is that if these stories are your cuppa, there's plenty here to enjoy.

I'll limit my comments to the highlights. Or, as the case may be, lowlights.

A Song for My Heart to Sing by Raynebeau O'Reilly

While an unconscious Doyle, "huddled into a shapeless foetal ball" sleeps, Bodie reflects on the rocky course of their partnership -- and then writes a song commemorating their love and Valentine's Day.

"And I loved you at first for your wicked eyes and the laughter that loosened your bones."

Doyle's reaction is described thus: Doyle's lower lip quivered and his face contorted into an expression of happy agony. "Oh-h-h-h..." he managed.

And I concur.

Torin by Victoria Sinall

Murphy tells his lover Torin about his former comrades Doyle and Bodie -- who were blown up together on the day of Cowley's funeral some years earlier.

Third Time's Charm by Kayem McKaem

Quadriplegic Doyle insists that Bodie shoot him between the eyes, which Bodie finally does -- while shooting himself through the head. So, hey, this one actually has a happy ending.

Revenge! by Mary Leonhart

Bodie is kidnapped and tortured horribly by Krivas. Doyle is there at the rescue and later offers comfort and support for however long it takes.

Krivas had come close to destroying this wonderful man, but Doyle's love and support would alleviate the scars. Bodie would come out whole, Doyle would see to that.

(The End -- Possibly -- Perhaps Only the Beginning)

But one can hope.

Like Father, Like Father, Like Son by Mysti Frank

Bodie's son Ian comes to visit Doyle in a seaside nursing home. Doyle, suffering from dementia and Parkinson's Disease, believes that Ian is his old friend Bodie -- and Ian kindly pretends to be his long-dead father.

To add to the horror of the thing, it's gen.

True Need by Shana Lisa Jensen

Vampire-creature Cowley feeds off vampire-creature Doyle who feeds off Bodie. Bodie is angry and jealous when he learns Doyle has allowed Cowley to feed from him as the feeding involves sex. Doyle and Bodie quarrel and then get over it. Cowley is mildly amused. JGL not so much.

House of the Rising Sun by LST

This is the longest piece within the zine. It's also the closest to qualifying as an actual story despite the fact that almost the entire thing is told light-speed style rather than shown and developed in true fiction fashion. But this is actually a blessing.

Cashiered-out of the cavalry, Captain William Bodie makes a new start in New Orleans as the bouncer in a French Quarter whore house. Right away he falls in love with a curly-haired and chip-toothed man-boy -- no, not Huck Finn -- who happens to be the brothel's most popular male whore. Bodie, who was taken prisoner and brutalized by Mexican bandits during his military service in California, is now impotent. Doyle is a sexual addict who apparently likes to be manhandled. The two men become friends and Bodie tries in vain to protect Doyle from himself. Himself Doyle, I mean, not himself Bodie.

Theirs is certainly an interesting, if appalling, relationship dynamic. The characters initially show a certain amount of promise -- though neither is remotely related to canon Doyle and Bodie. The author makes an attempt at plotting, setting and research...but the story is quite insane. The characters don't behave like anyone on planet earth -- there's no reasonable explanation for any of the choices anyone makes.

Doyle is repeatedly drugged, raped and brutalized by his favorite customer. Bodie fights a duel for him and is wounded. There's a bit of hurt/comfort. Bodie recovers but Doyle decides he's now in love with an evil French "Comte." The Comte eventually kidnaps Doyle and takes him to his...official Comte hideout, I guess. Doyle is drugged with aphrodisiacs and raped day in and day out by just about everybody on the planet -- which is certainly unpleasant. No wonder that he fears for his sanity.

He knew now how horribly debauched his keeper was and was afraid that he would soon become shamefully depraved himself if he continued for very long in the man's possession.

But the worst is yet to come.

No pun intended.

Eventually, for reasons that utterly escape me, the Comte has Doyle fed "mind-stripping drugs," shaved, dressed in a white nightgown like a baby, and placed in a man-sized cradle that he apparently keeps in the attic for just such occasions. For two weeks Doyle is bound and unable to move, fed only breast milk from a black slave, and raped repeatedly by the Comte's servants.

Life was a series of bewildering sensations, pain and warmth, moments that didn't stay in his wondering mind.

Uh....

Eventually Doyle is auctioned off to Bodie who is injured in the process and takes to drink.

And who can blame him?

It would be interesting to know if the subsequent Chalk and Cheeses followed in this same vein. Without wishing to trample anyone's creative endeavors, I'd have to recommend this zine mostly as a curiosity. And to that extent, it makes for fascinating reading.[3]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

Chalk and Cheese 2 was published in October 1988, is 139 pages long and contains 33 stories, poems puzzles, and illustrations. Art by Mysti Frank, CCS, Karen Eaton, and DLF.

From the editorial:
A learning experience. That's what they call it when you embark on something by yourself and have only yourself to blame for the results. Of course, when that something turns out okay, you get to hog all the credit, too. And, lordy, has C&C2 been a learning experience. If you compare C&C1 and C&C2, you you will see what getting a job at Kinko's can do for a person. In the last four months, I have learned how to enlarge and reduce a piece of artwork so that it doesn't overshadow the story. I have learned how to reduce a whole page if it's just a little too big.... I have learned how to bind term papers of over 300 without having them flying all over the place. And most important, I have learned when the manager will not be there, so that I may have use of the place for, shall we say, 'other' interests.
  • Martin's Foibles by Ann Onomus (1)
  • Aftermath by Laura Lee Scarsdale (2)
  • Playing Piano in the Dark by LST (17)
  • Poetry in Motion by LST (24)
  • Going For Broke by LST (26)
  • Family Traits by Jatona P. Walker (34)
  • Whom the Cow Hath Joined Together by Khrystyna (37)
  • Dual Nature by Khrystyna (38)
  • The Eyes Are the Windows by Mysti Frank (39)
  • All I Ask by Khrystyna (52)
  • Afternoon Delight by LST (53)
  • Twilight Truths by Ruth Marie Katchentz (56)
  • Last Night I Had a Wonderful Dream (62)
  • Brits at Large by Ann Onomus (64)
  • Chalk and Cheese by Barbara Staton (65)
  • The First Day of the Month by Mysti Frank (66)
  • Cowless Jokes at Cowley's Expense by Ann Onomus (72)
  • An Answer to 'Battles Long Ago' by Jatona P. Walker ("An Answer to 'Battles Long Ago'" by Jatona P. Walker is a sequel to the Proslib story Battles Long Ago by Rhiannon.) (73)
  • The Word by Khrystyna (79)
  • Mouseketeers by Debra Hicks (80)
  • Mortality by Khrystyna (87)
  • After Justice by L. S. Willard (88)
  • Cartoon by KS Eaton (94)
  • Short Tails by Debra Hicks (95)
  • Bodie's Definitions by Ann Onomus (99)
  • Last Kiss by LST (100)
  • I Saw You Today by Khrystyna (111)
  • Shop Talk by Rayney O'Reilley (113)
  • Professionally Painted by Mysti Frank (116)
  • Man in Motion by LST (130)
  • Cartoon by KS Eaton (132)
  • Songs from Facelift by Mysti Frank (133)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

If you liked Chalk and Cheese I, I feel certain you'll love Chalk and Cheese II. Not only are there almost double the stories, the stories are better written. Admittedly, this is not saying a lot, but still.

The zine contains four GEN (or what I choose to think of as AU) stories, and several crossovers. Free time being at a premium, I didn't read those.

Playing Piano in the Dark by LST

Doyle and Bodie are sent to historic Delwyn Castle to capture a band of terrorists led by Lord...wait for it...Craven.

Naturally this opening got my hopes up, and for the length of one page I let myself dream that there might be a plot lurking somewhere. But by page two Bodie is so distracted by Doyle's manly charms that he nearly drives into on-coming traffic. The close call unnerves him to the point that he needs to pull over so that Doyle can aid him, trembling and in a cold sweat, to the grassy embankment.

Lord Craven may as well give up now.

Ray Doyle watched the sweep of Bodie's lashes as he sipped the cool water. They were starkly black against the pale skin and quivered like legs on a centipede.

Eventually Doyle and Bodie get to Delwyn Castle. Lord Craven and his merry band have departed, so Doyle and Bodie naturally go to bed (to sleep perchance to dream). Doyle awakens in the night to the sound of piano playing. Creeping downstairs he listens to Bodie playing his little heart out.

Bodie was in love. And his love wasn't returned, that was obvious from the tone of his singing.

Lemme guess: Doh Ray Me?

After a time, Doyle can't take it and goes to Bodie and sings him a chorus of "Never Gonna Give You Up." This does the trick.

As one they fell to their knees and it seemed as though Bodie were trying to crawl inside Doyle's skin.

Lord Craven and the terrorists live happily ever after.

Poetry in Motion by LST

Post Involvement, Bodie -- "hopelessly and helplessly drunk" observes Doyle flirt with "the newest batch of young women hired for the typing room." I'm unclear from this phrasing whether these are actually typists or they've been hired for a more frivolous purpose. I'm also unclear as to where the story is supposed to be taking place, but I assume it's not HQ.

Bodie finally has enough of Doyle's cold-hearted flirting with typists, and he walks up and kisses him in front of all.

Not the safely pleasant kiss of a friend or brother, but the full, open-mouthed, soul-wrenching, filled-with-all-the-emotions-of-the-world kiss that Bodie had never really given anyone before.

That'll give those bloody typists something to talk about.

Now Bodie was safe. He would never feel the awful pain of waiting for Doyle to leave, to marry, to die.

Because Doyle's going to kill him, right?

Wrong.

Bodie staggers off home.

TWO DAYS LATER Doyle drops by to roust the still unconscious Bodie from bed. Bodie throws up and then passes out in the shower. Naturally this inspires Doyle to confess his feelings.

I feel similarly inspired.

Family Traits by Jatona P. Walker

After ten years Doyle finally gets to meet his partner and lifemate Bodie's family.

"'S okay, love," he murmured. "Not to worry. They know all about us and are very pleased that I'm finally content."

While the calmness in his voice reassured me, that last statement got to me. Curious as the perverbial cat, I am...and you know the rest of that.

From Perverbs, right?

Oh. Let's not forget the poetry.

From Dual Nature by Khrystyna:

Please explain my dual nature -- Hard at core and soft beside. How I cry at a kitten's passing. How I smile at one who's died.

(Sure sounds like Doyle to me.)

Shop Talk by Rayney O'Reilley

Bodie's Capri reflects on Bodie's relationship with Doyle.

Hey, at least it's slash.

Chalk and Cheese II is probably the most...playful of the series. The poetry, jokes, crossover and AU stories are most plentiful here. I leave it to you to decide if this is a good or bad thing.[4]

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, TACS
back cover of issue #3, TACS

Chalk and Cheese 3 was published in May 1989, is 162 pages long and contains 28 stories, poems puzzles cartoons, and illustrations. Art by Adrian Morgan, TACS (front and back covers), Sheila Paulson, DLF, and Mysti Frank.

From the editorial:
Here for one and all, is my editorial policy: I edit.
also
I especially want to thank the unknown little man who, when I took Baby down to the print shop for a guess-timate and he got to see the zine for the first time, simply turned beet-red, harumphed a coupld of times and asked, "Will that be cash or charge?"
  • The Dream by Khrystyna (1)
  • The Waiting Room Affair by Debra Hicks (2)
  • Dark of the Moon by Lily Fulford (4)
  • Bearding the Cow by Terence (12)
  • So You Want to be a CI5 Agent by Khrystyna (27)
  • Punrun: In the Mooed by Mysti Frank (30)
  • Heaven-Sent by Shana Lisa Jensen (34)
  • You and You by Khrystyna (40)
  • Learing to Love by LST (41)
  • Questions by Khrystyna (43)
  • Of Mice and Monsters by Debra Hicks (44)
  • A Place of Mine by Khrystyna (54)
  • Calfling by Khrystyna (55)
  • The Road to Almost-Freedom by Mysti Frank (crossover with Remington Steele) (56)
  • Cooling Off Time by Sue Wells (64)
  • Packaging is Everything by Terence (72)
  • The Other Partner by Khrystyna (81)
  • Learning by Mysti Frank (82)
  • The Grand Mating Dance by Terence (84)
  • Changeling by LST (98)
  • Incident in a Stairwell by Debra Hicks (102)
  • To Bodie on December 19 by Khrystyna (114)
  • Night's Demons by Barbara A. Staton (115)
  • Shear Folly by Nancy Flynn (116)
  • Night's Guardian by Barabra A. Staton (119)
  • Desire by Lily Fulford (120)
  • Love Found by LST (161)
  • Leaving by Khrystyna (163)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

[The Waiting Room Affair]: I've always had a decided fondness for this linked trilogy that crosses Pros with The Man from U.N.C.L.E. While I haven't any particular interest in Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in themselves, they make a wonderful complementary pair when set beside the younger Bodie and Doyle. Napoleon and Illya are two older agents in the world of international espionage who are familiar with danger and partnership and tangled skeins of worry and caring, elements similarly of moment to CI5's top duo. All four of their personalities also mesh well, and Debra Hicks does a great job of defining each of them in his distinctive, recognisable form.

It's worth noting the stories are pre-slash until the end of the final one. All three of the stories are so intensely focused on the caring between both couples that it's startling, even on rereads, to be reminded the characters aren't sexually involved through most of the action. This is the sort of pre-slash I love: explicit exploration of the bonds that precede their admitting their feelings and taking the final step into intimacy.

Each of the stories gets longer and more complex than the previous. The Waiting Room Affair is a vignette set in a London hospital waiting area. Doyle and Napoleon meet while awaiting word on their respective injured partners' conditions. They're two strangers who find unexpected common ground in their dual worry as brief exchanges show they share more than either had expected, all keyed to the word "partner"...[5]
[Incident in a Stairwell]: Incident in a Stairwell takes place a year later as the UNCLE agents arrive at CI5 Headquarters on a recruitment mission. Cowley worries when he hears Bodie and Doyle are two of the other agency's targets:

"Bodie's done his adventuring. But Doyle, Doyle's never been further than Paris. They can offer excitement, exotic places, important work." He stood and paced to the window. "And where goes Doyle, goes Bodie."

Murphy didn't comment. You didn't argue a fact.

The pairings off in this story are Doyle with Illya, Bodie with Napoleon. One of Debra Hicks' strengths is in writing great action, often with hurt/comfort, and this story is a prime example. After meeting a stranger on the steps of CI5, Doyle offers to escort him to Cowley's office. As they start up the stairs, they're both shot and trapped under the gunman's eye. While Doyle and Illya take the initial measure of each other under those adverse conditions, Bodie and Napoleon work together with Cowley to free their partners. Bodie and Napoleon bond, in a parallel to Doyle and Napoleon in the previous story, in their intense worry for their respective partners.

This story is my personal favourite of the three. I love all the interactions, the worry, the way Doyle's primary concern, even while shot, is for his partner.[6]
[zine]: Loved the artwork. Thought I'd split my sides laughing when I saw Adrian Morgan's illo for "Packaging is Everything." As usual, TACS was superlative, especially the Bodie on p90 and the Doyle on p148. The covers were marvelous, as well, though I may be prejudiced about the backcover due to the subject matter. Adrian Morgan's Doyle on page 69 was very good, but he caught Bodie's expression on p122 perfectly. My compliments to Sheila Paulson. Her Bodie on page 20 was excellent and her portrait of the two lads on p28 was perfectly marvelous.

Poetry—not my favourite topic, but I did like "Night's Demons" and "Love Found" very much. I found Lily Fulford's "Desire" very jarring, at least the first part where she detailed toy's rape, degradation and humiliation at the hands of Cockrobin, the pervert. The first part of the story does not meld very well with the overall feeling of Chal* and Cheese 13, which, for the most part, is gentle, loving and caring. For some reason, I can take getting one of the characters shot a lot better than I can raped. The end of the story was very nice, but, unfortunately, by that time, I was feeling very uneasy—jarred out of my mood. Please encourage Debra Hicks to contribute more. Her two U.N.C.L.E. crossovers were excellent. I want more—perhaps developing the emotional relationships into something sexual? I also enjoy Dangermouse and his hamster sidekick, and, yes, I do want to find out if mice get hangovers. Ms. Fulford's "Dark of the Moon" was very nice. Interesting how often Pros fans depict Ray as an elf. LST did a nice job with "Changeling." However, I would like to see a Bodie-the-elf story, at least once. (Your wish is my command. See Linda Terrell's *Four Left Feet," this issue. Not an elf, but close.) "Heaven-Sent" was an interesting idea. However, I felt that the ending was somewhat of a cop-out. The story sets you up for one of them to die—then reverses course and makes it all a test for the angel. All build-up and no punch-line. Loved "The Road to Almost-Freedom." I like Remington Steele and would very much like to find out how well Bodie knows dear Harry. Hint, hint... A sequel would also be nice. Does the Cow ever activate his reluctant sleeper? Loved the illos for all 3 of my efforts. They were all matched nicely to the type of story. Only one slight pick—there were a couple of typos, but only one of them was bad—you left out a critical word and the sentence didn't make much sense.

Thanks for the tribbers copy. I enjoyed it mightily. And tell Khrystyna that "So You Want to be a CI5 Agent" is positively wicked! [7]
[zine]: Greatly enjoyed the crossover Pros/Han from UNCLE stories, as well as the stories with Bodie's "Raven" in them. (Terence has now named these 'The Building to Last Universe9 stories.) It's obvious the author knows cats!

But the story that really had me rolling in the aisles was "The Grand Mating Dance." Split my sides laughing my way through that one, I did!

Don't mean to slight other stories by not mentioning them—I truly enjoyed all the plots in one way or another. But I enjoy reading much more than writing, so my LoCs are always fairly short.[8]
[zine]: Your Chalk and Cheese #3 is the best, yet! That's saying something, too, since I thought CSC 1 and 2 were fantastic! I must admit that I do prefer happy endings and humour (even in the not-all-humourous stories). So, since your latest zine had all happy endings, I would tend to love it. I can't even really narrow down what I liked best (although the Dangermouse crossovers and your Pun Runs were especially funny). Also, the TACS Doyle on page 148 was one of the best I've ever seen, and the "Calfling" poem especially touched me. (All the poems were good—I'm just a Murphy fan.) Oh, how could I forget the UNCLE crossovers, they were terrific! Debra Hicks is such a great writer. She could make me enjoy any fandom—not that I don't like UNCLE on its own. Oh, I've also just remembered how especially touched I was, too, by "Learning." [9]
[zine]: I enjoyed most of the stories in the zine. I had a little trouble with "Of Mice and Monsters" and "Packaging is Everything," but that's just my lack of a sense of humour. I understand why they should be funny, they just aren't to me.

I think my favourites were the MUNCLE/Pros crossover stories and "Bearding the Cow"/"The Grand Mating Dance." Hopefully, there will be more in those series. Though I think the first one will be harder to do than the second. "Dark of the Moon" was interesting, but I think it needs an eventual resolution. Maybe someone will write one. "Heaven-Sent" was little bit disappointing in that it seemed at first that there could have been more. Of course, when I got to the end, I understood why there wasn't more. Sometimes, it takes a while for me to figure things out. "Cooling Off Time" was a good Doyle story. Shows how people can get caught up in their own emotional needs to where they can't see others' needs. It also shows how Doyle has grown. An interesting idea. I'd like to see a sequel to this one. Can't tell you too much about the poetry. Most of it seemed to work okay, but none of it really grabbed me. But again, that's just me. Poetry is like art. I like most of it well enough, but very rarely does a piece get to me.

As usual, your Pun Runs are weird. They even make sense, which is worse.[10]
[zine]: Chalk and Cheese #3 arrived safely and I promptly sat down and read it cover to cover. I can always stand to be distracted from the mundane world! Nice fat zine (I hate paying $$$ for skinny zines), too, and a nice mix of serious and humourous stories, so the brain does not cut out to the Twilight Zone. I liked Terence's stories best—'grand mating dance,' indeed!—but tell her to write about Murphy and Chris! The other blue-eyed boy needs coverage, too. (That is, if you consider Murph 'blue-eyed.) Naturally, I liked "Calfling," because it's about Murph. I thought "The Road to Almost-Freedom" was a hoot! And a nice explanation of how a lowly buggy-boo boy ends up in clover! (...Well, almost. Cows eat clover!)...Is that Avon screaming in the background? Oh. That's the noise you make when asked... Oh. I understand. Tch, tch. Bit nervy, y'know. You'll end up in Kate Ross' office if you continue on like that! [11]
[zine]: Waiting Room Affair—could see Solo and Doyle as they waited to see if their partners were okay. Debra has them down pat.

Dark of the Moon—good job, Lily. Poor Bodie, he doesn't stand a chance against that elf, Doyle. Hope we see more of them. I think Bodie should find out that Ray is an elf, for sure. Bearding the Cow—can imagine how Cowley would react to the news that his top team were now living together. Poor Ray. Cowley really made him angry, saying his feelings for Bodie were a whim, and then accusing him of experimenting in art school with homosexuality. Cowley has a soft spot in his heart for Bodie, no doubt about it. Enjoyed this story. Punrun: In the Mooed—Mysti knows how I feel about pun runs—so enough said. (Just kidding.] Heaven-Sent—One of my favorites. I love Ray trying to explain to his partner that he is talking to a guardian angel in the back seat—one that Bodie can not see! Of Mice and Monsters—when Debbie first submitted this story to Mysti, I thought it was hilarious. Bodie doesn't think too much of Dangermouse in the first place, and to have his boss send them off to check on the Loch Ness monster, and find out Dangermouse and Penfold are there, well I think Bodie really likes Penfold and learns to like Dangermouse, too, before the story ends. I can see Bodie and Dangermouse as they are captured by Greenback and DM has to chew through the ropes. Bodie begins to respect DM after that. Keep up the work, Debbie. First Step—Yes, I can see Remington Steele as one of Cowley's men. Makes more sense than what we were told on the series. On the Path—explains why 9.8 stayed Remington Steele. Deviation—shows how much of a fox Cowley really is. Steele One of Us—poor 9.8, he didn't stand a chance against Cowley—once he has you, there's no getting away. Cooling Off Time—like the look into Ray's background. It filled out some missing pieces. It also let Ray know that Bodie had been there for him all the time—and would always be. Packaging is Everything—Loved it I Terence knows just what a cat can do when it is not happy. You do not make a cat mad—not if you want to live an¬other day. I could picture the boys running all over the flat trying to catch Raven. That cat made them look very silly. When they were driving over to the new flat in the car, I thought I would die laughing. Poor Ray, he had the cat and was scared to death Learning—liked the way Mysti showed the vulnerability of Ray concerning his painting. Bodie had to learn to be very careful of what he said or he could hurt Doyle. The Grand Mating Dance—laughed at how shocked Ray was when he read the Revised Policy on Fraternization Within CI5 Ranks. Then, poor Bodie when he saw Anson in the hall with Fern, and Carstairs groped him, and he didn't know about the new policy. Loved the boys standing up for Susan (I like her). Also loved the talk they had with Murphy. Good job. The Changeling—very good. Can see Ray as a lost elf. I can also see him refusing to back and leave Bodie. Incident in a Stairwell—love hurt/comfort type stories. Bodie and Solo made a good team, as did Doyle and Illya. Hope to see more stories along this line. [Hint, hint, Debbie.) Desire—felt so sorry for Bodie when Ray refused to go with him on holiday. Felt even more sorry for Ray when he was raped by Robin. Lily handled it very veil, not too much torture. Bodie felt so guilty about his feelings for Ray, and Ray was having the same problems, but things worked out. Thanks, Lily.

Didn't mention the poems by name, but every one of them were enjoyable. The artists did a very nice job, also. I get envious when I see all the talent that is out in fandom. Keep up the good work—we need more stories, I know, I'm selfish—what can I say?J I truly enjoyed everything in Chalk and Cheese #3...[12]

Issue 4

cover of issue #4, TACS

Chalk and Cheese 4 was published in October 1989 and contains 174 pages. Art by Justin, Kate Nuernberg, Rolaine, and and TACS (interiors and front cover).

  • LoCs by Various and Sundry (1)
  • Crazy Quilt by Sue Wells (6)
  • Murphy's Side by Khrystyna (13)
  • Consequences of a Sweet Tooth by Jatona P. Walker (14)
  • Building to Last by Terence (18)
  • Mr. Doyle's Kitchen and Bodie Buffet by Linda Terrell (54)
  • A Thought by Khrystyna (60)
  • Newly Partnered by Khrystyna (61)
  • Nobody Waves Goodbye by Cathy L. Bryson (62)
  • Pre-Doyle Bodie by Khrystyna (69)
  • Werehamster of London by Debra Hicks (70)
  • Partnership—That's What It's All About by Mystery Frank (78)
  • Doyle by Khrystyna (80)
  • Four Left Feet by Linda Terrell ("Four Feet" and "Four More Feet" by Linda Terrell are set in an alternate universe in which Bodie can shapeshift into a centaur.) (82)
  • Murphy by Khrystyna (90)
  • Why I Love a Rainy Day by Janie Lukens (91)
  • Bodie by Khrystyna(93)
  • The Lily and the Rose by Susan Douglass ("The Lily and the Rose" by Susan Douglass is the third story in her Silent Lily series, set in an historical AU about Raimond, a slave whose tongue has been cut out, making him the Silent Lily, and Guillaume, a soldier who falls in love with him. The previous two stories appear in Other Times and Places I and III. Sequels appear in Chalk and Cheese 6, The Hols of CI5, and Other Times and Places II.) (94)
  • The Convalescent Cat by Terence (108)
  • Cowley's Sacred Band by Eros (132)
  • O-pun and Shut Case by Khrystyna (134)
  • Four More Feet by Linda Terrell (135)
  • Cowley by Khrystyna (149)
  • Sweet Dreams Are Made of These by Linda Terrell (150)
  • In the Dark by Lily Fulford (154)
  • Not Forgot Hall by Nancy Flynn (172)
  • The Mileage by Khrystyna (175)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

Some general observations about Chalk and Cheese 4. Like all the Chalk and Cheeses, the zine is far too tightly bound, making it difficult to turn pages without ripping them -- this is a minor but important point that I wish all zine publishers would pay attention to.

One of the most fascinating things about the later Chalk and Cheeses is the Letters of Comment section (this is true of many older zines) where readers and contributors both sound off about what they liked in earlier issues. So you have, for example, a writer like Terence commenting honestly, if not always favorably, about her fellow authors' efforts -- it's refreshing. In fact, this section alone is almost worth the price of the zine if you're intrigued by the history of Pros fandom and its literary development.

By Chalk and Cheese 4, the writing in these zines had improved enormously. Authors like Ellis Ward and Stew had been apparently blackmailed into contributing. Unfortunately, the bulk of the material in this issue is still the kind of thing I'm not interested in.

I find the poetry -- all by Khrystyna this time around -- well, I place before the jury Exhibit Number One, entitled "Bodie."

Blue eyes of cold diamond fire A mercenary bastard for hire A granite rockface He keeps firmly in place But in private, he's proven a liar.

e.e. cummings she ain't.

The artwork in this particular issue is mostly scary.

And the stories...well, let's talk about the stories. Again, In all honesty, I did not -- could not -- read all the stories. So, it's possible I missed a gen -- er, gem -- or two.

Nobody Waves Goodbye by Cathy L. Bryson

"They've finally killed me, Bodie," he said softly, in a voice devoid of any trace of bitterness.

"So they have," Bodie agreed solemnly, never one to mince words with his partner.

Seven pages of Doyle and Bodie saying goodbye (you'd think someone would at least let a doctor look at Doyle after he lasted five and a half pages, but nope). Finally, Bodie decides to kill himself by popping the little tab of cyanide he apparently always keeps handy.

The vicar knelt down beside the bodies, sighing as he noted that the hands still clung together, only now in a true death grip, and that Doyle had gone with the proverbial smile upon his face.

Yeah, 'cause watching someone you love commit suicide by cyanide is such a pleasant sight.

Yeesh.

The Werehamster of London by Debra Hicks

Lemme just say...a Pros and DangerMouse crossover? What fresh hell is this?

"Look, DM," I explained slowly, "I accept the fact that you and Penfold are real. I accept the fact that Cowley knows your boss. I accept the fact that we fought a mechanical dog...and a...fake Loch Ness..." The list sank through, helped by the look of utter hysterics on Doyle's handsome face and the fact that I was talking to a mouse in a white suit with a black eye-patch."

I want whatever Debra's drinking.

Four Left Feet by Linda Terrell

Alternate title: Comes a Horseman. Kidding. As far as I can tell, Bodie is transformed into a centaur. He and Doyle (who retains his human shape) have sex with an entire HERD of "females...mares...women" and then Bodie wakes up himself once more.

Those wacky GEN writers.

Four More Feet by Linda Terrell

Because it was such a brilliant idea the first time, we now have fourteen pages of sequel. And the only thing more appalling than Doyle also turning into a centaur and having sex with the lead mare/witch who first transformed Bodie and now himself into horsemen (literally) is Cowley's "Scottish" accent. "It's Doyle for yew, then y' both back to y'sels. More, I cannae dew!"

They shoot horses, don't they?

Crazy Quilt by Sue Wells

Doyle arrives at a flu-stricken Bodie's flat and proceeds to restock "Bodie's dwindling supply of fresh fruit, orange juice and ginger ale."

Dear God, Doyle, you're in the wrong flat!

But, no, apparently this is the right place. Bodie whines that he wants his grandmum's crazy quilt. Apparently, although his room is littered with glasses and plates and books and trash that he has been well enough to procure for himself, he requires Doyle to trot across to the guest bedroom and rifle through his hope chest and find this treasured family heirloom.

Doyle tucks the quilt around Bodie who snuggles into its smarmy folds. "Tell me a story, Ray. Grandmum always told me a story when I had the measles, or a cold or the flu."

I threw up at this point and turned to the end of the story for the final denouement:

Ray crossed the room and flicked out the light, thoughts centered on Godley and the Yard. Still, it's useful ammo, he mused, walking toward Bodie's room, in case Bodie ever susses out me own great-grandfather, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Whereupon I threw up again.

The Lily and the Rose by Susan Douglass

This is another overwrought and overwritten installment in the Silent Lily saga. In this historical AU series Doyle is Raimond, an artist who was taken prisoner as a young man, sold into prostitution -- and had his tongue cut out (something I bet Cowley often dreamed of). He became a famous -- but naturally traumatized -- whore known as the Silent Lily. Bodie is his childhood betrothed, Guillaume, now working as a mercenary soldier to support both of them.

If your kink is a fragile, traumatized, emerald-eyed Doyle who gets raped in just about every installment, you are going to love this series.

Not Forgot Hall by Nancy Flynn

Murphy, now apparently the CI5 tour guide, takes a group of new recruits around to check out the Memorial Wing AKA Not Forgot Hall.

I ushered the newest group of lambs down its length, pointing out each portrait's face and listing. The plaque beneath gave the year and the code name of the op the agent was on when he or she bought the farm. Very cold. Very sanitary.

And very unlikely that George Cowley would have approved this kind of wasteful expenditure.

Enywhooo, Ray Doyle, dead these last four years, is 'anging there with a little golden halo of light above his ragamuffin mop. Bodie, now the CI5 controller, pops in, says howdy to the lambs, and makes a lunch date with Murphy. Murphy tells the portrait of Doyle what a great job his lover is doing running CI5's finances into the ground.

The one, slow, green-eyed wink must have been a trick of the light.

Musta.[13]
Well, I promised an LoC. First, I want to say that each Chalk and Cheese has gotten better. Second, that I've never, gotten hooked on a cartoon series without seeing it before—and that's Debra's fault. It's so stupid it's great. It appeals to the part of me that's never entirely grown up. Is Bodie going to pull a wereprank on Doyle? (-Stay tuned. Maybe Debbie will tell us.-) My favourite Is Terence's "Building to Last" Universe. More, please. As one of the previous LoC's stated, this is obviously a person who knows cats. And I really like, the Bodie and Doyle in this universe. I'd also like to see a bit more of Chris and Murphy, (-your wish is our command. See 'Assault and Battery' in this ish.-)

"Crazy Quilt" was fine until the last line about Conan Doyle. Quite like the idea of tying together Godley and Bodie—but pulling in Sir Arthur was a cheap shot that blew the whole bubble for me. (-Afraid that was my fault. In several of our conversations, I told Sue Wells about an idea I had for a story where Ray was great-grandson of Sir Arthur. In as much as she had written 'Crazy Quilt' to which I was dying to write a sequel where Bodle finds out about Doyle's past, she added the line to help me along. So if it annoys you, blame me, not Sue. In addition, the sequel Is still a possibility, so keep your eyes peeled in future issues.-) "Nobody Waves Goodbye" was very well written. Death stories are most definitely not my favourite—but at least in this, one wasn't left behind. Liked "Four Left Feet"—prefer the alternate ending. "Why I Love a Rainy Day" was a real turn-on. In "Sacred Band," I couldn't get the picture of Bodie dressed in black with a disgusted Ray, hands on hips, expostulating, "Not thieves, Bodie! Thebes I" out of my mind. (It's warped, but it's all I've got.) (-I called Karen Eaton and explained to her over the phone your idea and she drew the wonderful cartoon on the next page. A bit different than what you had imagined, but everyone sees The Terrible Two in a different light. IDIC, right?-) Liked Lily's elf story—wonder what she'll come up with next. Of the poetry, my favourite was "Mileage." Anyway, I'm looking forward to #5.

P.S. I was delighted to find someone whose puns are worse than mine.[14]
I just wanted to say that I enjoyed C&C4 very much. My favorites were Linda Terrell's two "Four Left Feet" stories and Terence's "The Convalescent Cat." Wish I'd gotten my portfolio to you sooner—would have loved to illo Linda's stories. (I do good horses!)

Debbie's DM story was fun, if not quite up to the first two (and I would love to see the results of Bodie's plot.)

Only disappointment was only having one of your stories. Maybe more next time? Well done.[15]
"Crazy Quilt" had some nice touches, but a bit too expository. But then just how much can there be in speculation? Do I detect another in this line? I did enjoy Collin's character in the "Jack the Ripper" mini-series.

I certainly hope Fulford's elf saga will finally present us with an elf-Doyle who does something besides screw up. Or is that the idea? "Cowley's Sacred Band"—an intriguing thought. I've often considered that Cowley would indeed pair certain agents, knowing full well they'd, er, "bond" beyond mere partnership. After all, why shouldn't gay men be given the same chance as straights to become crack agents? And pairing two men already, er, bent that way, you'd forge a hell of a team. Too many people dismiss the idea of B&D as lovers because "that would have shown up in their psychological profiles and they'd have been weeded out long ago." Indeed? And why not team them because they'd become lovers? "The Convalescent Cat"—someone not only knows cats... "The Lily and the Rose" brings me to two of my biggest complaints in any fandom: 1) writing a series and sending the different parts to different zines! Please don't do that, dammit! 1 hate having to hunt all over a fandom for the various zines I need to complete a series. Gawd, please give a zine exclusive rights, like the Hellhound authors did. Argh! (-Susan Douglass, author of 'The Silent Lily' Universe, has graciously consented to give me and fellow zine ed Nina Boal the exclusive printing rights to any future stories, one of which will be appearing in C&C6....-) 2) Although this story on its own is relatively "sweet"— in between the more harrowing parts— two characters who happen to look like B&D, who happen to have some of their characteristics (the rest often being invented), yet who happen to be running around In some segment of history as sailors, swordsmen, soldiers of fortune (makes the most sense for a Bodie-like character), highwaymen, whatever, with sound/look-alike names like Raimond, Raven, Brodie, Baudry, etc. are NOT Bodie and Doyle! And the stories are NOT The Professionals and, frankly, I feel 'cheated' when I read them. I mean, where is CI5 and Cowley? However, "The Lily and the Rose" happens to have the advantage that I find Raimond very sweet and pretty, as I feel the author does. But more of Guillaume, please. So far, he comes across as merely a caretaker. Damn, I do not look forward to having to wait for In the Public Interest 3 to come out to get the beginning of this series. Dang! (Especially since that particular zine has been promised for nearly 2 years now...)... By the way, people who have had their tongues cut out are not mutes, they just can't articulate. Ya wanna make someone a mute, you cut out their vocal chords. Tongue-cutting tends to leave'em drooling and messy eaters. I don't have to beg for more DM/Pros— I know the lady who writes them and I get to cheer her on in person. Okay, I get to pester her on in person. Sometimes I whine and plead in person.

"Partnership..." is a fine example of a PWP (-'Plot?...What plot?'-) tale. And a good look into what makes B&D tick as just friends.[16]
Thanks for making "Crazy Quilt" the first story in the zine—first time a story of mine occupied the lead slot. And I'm wondering if anyone caught the cameo appearance by a Yank series? (-If not, go back and read it again. It was a wonderful series knovn as 'Alias Smith and Jones.'-)

"Building to Last" was superb and I liked Terence's other story, "The Convalescent Cat," as well. Looking forward to the next story(ies) in C&C5.... "Werehamster of London"—I've been a fan of the Dangermouse crossovers since the first one appeared in C&C2. However, upon rereading this, I noticed that Bodie doesn't make a single right move or decision in the story. Bodie's nowhere near stupid and even a humourous portrayal should reflect this. And we still don't know if mice get hangovers, or what happened during the White Wonder's binge with Doyle (or Bodie, assuming they had one?) So I hope the next story is a pubcrawl. Inquiring minds want to know. "Four Left Feet" was definitely different. Like the way Linda snuck Bodle's altered appearance into the story tail first. The ending seemed a bit weak, Bodle's believing that everything would be back to normal in the morning struck me as wishful thinking (and if wishes were horses...). I liked the alternate ending in "Four More Feet" much better, Doyle looking after a colicky Bodie was totally in character. Cowley's convoluted deal with the woman was also believable. Linda's other stories were good, too. Interesting character studies. I'm undecided about Cowley's phonetic speaking, though. When I'in reading fanfic, I've usually immersed myself in the characters enough that they "sound" like the TV shows already, and the unexpected spellings were sometimes distracting. ... "In the Dark" was interesting. Bodie finally finds out that Doyle is an elf (shouldn't keep such secrets from your partner) and it doesn't really change things much. The murklness of the villainess in the story was good, too. Was the Witch ever really there? Was she responsible for the string of mishaps? Did Doyle's holy water get rid of her? The readers have to draw their own conclusions. "Nobody Waves Goodbye"—a sobering piece written with restraint. Doyle's saying that Bodle's decision was entirely up to Bodle doesn't ring true. Doyle has the power to sway Bodie to his way of thinking, and if Doyle had asked Bodle not to suicide, Bodie would've kept on living. In this story, their thinking on the final option (ouch!) coincided. (My general reaction to a death story is to cry "Alternate Universe" and quickly proceed to the next story.) "Not Forgot Hall" was a somber end story, with superb artwork by Kate Nuernberg. The fragile-looking art by Justin blended nicely with the historical piece, "The Lily and the Rose." The rest of the artwork was good. TACS' cover left me wanting to do a Bodie-ism and ruffle Doyle's curls, too. I'm drawing a blank on the poetry right now; I did like Khrystyna's descriptive snippets of the guys.

Final gripe: I didn't like the slash/straight ratio. Chalk and Cheese has been running about half and half. This issue vas maybe 25% straight. There's an audience for straight Pros stories, we just need more writers. Come on, ladies! Think how easy it is to write an original straight Pros story as opposed to coming up with a never-been-done-before variation on B/D.[17]
The last issue was probably the best yet, since you had two stories which were really good by anyone's terms, and when seven out of ten zines have nothing worth remembering in them, when one pops up that sticks in your mind weeks and weeks after you read it, it's a credit to the zine.[18]
I told you in my last letter that I really not much on poetry, but please tell Khrystyna that she is single-handedly responsible for me finally changing my mind. Her work in C&C4 was truly incredible. In "Murphy's Side," leave it to Murph to see the things the boys haven't been able to. And that last line is just so well written! Her limericks were right on the mark, as well. I especially liked Doyle's and the last line of Bodie's. They were all so good, but I do have two favourites—"A Thought" and "The Mileage". "A Thought" is one of the sweetest and most beautiful things I've ever read. I can just see Bodie saying these gentle words, worrying over what poor Ray will do if Bodie's ever killed in action. Definitely a two-hanky piece. "The Mileage" is a wonderfully clever way to chronicle Bodie's life. And once again there's that worry over Ray, and Bodie's beautiful words to set things right. I can't wait to show these to my friend Jody. Please thank Khrystyna for changing my attitude and for the lovely work! [19]

Issue 5

cover of issue #5, Kate Nuernberg: "Although I've seen the photo she used as reference, Kate has brought out that innocent waif appeal that lurks in Bodie. It's the kind of look you see in Pet Store windows...yum. As close to "aww" as I've ever seen Bodie. 'sigh' And we're promised a like treatment of Doyle and Bodie for the cover of C&C 16. gawd..." -- from Linda Terrell in Short Circuit #2 (July 1990)
flyer for issue #5

Chalk and Cheese 5 was published in April 1990 and contains 200 pages. The editor notes that it is a month early because it got so large and "I had to split it in two, so C&C6 will be out next month for MediaWest, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise."

It contains a massive amount of art by DLF, Karen Eaton, Sheila Paulson, Daphne Hamilton, Tamy Vermande, Alexandrea Burcop, TACS, Adrian Morgan, Kate Nuernberg (front cover), Suzan Lovett, Dani Lane, and Paulie.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

[People Bending Broken Rules]: People Bending Broken Rules is set about two years later, in the aftermath of Doyle's shooting in Discovered in a Graveyard. Doyle has just come back to full strenth on the squad after his recovery. He and Bodie are sent on a joint mission with Napoleon and Illya to an isolated house as they act as decoys for terrorists gunning for an Arab sheik. The tension in the story comes not from the external danger, however, but from conflict between Bodie and Doyle as Bodie is having a much harder time dealing with Doyle's near death than Doyle is:

"Bodie's had a rough time of it," Doyle defended. With a touch of weariness he added, "Can't blame him for being a bit...protective; he's had to take care of his invalid partner for a long time. Can't blame him for wondering if I'm able to handle it."

Debra Hicks' ability to plot good action scenes mingled with intense relationship interaction shines in this third story, the longest of the trilogy. The relationships between both sets of partners transform during the action as both couples move forward.[23]
[People Bending Broken Rules]: I have a fondness for Man from Uncle so enjoyed the MfU agents contribution to the story. This is written seven months after Doyle's near death and focuses on the changes in the partnership brought on by Doyle's shooting. While Bodie and Doyle deal with their feelings and worries during a rather violent and risky joint operation with the MfU agents, their experience is mirrored by Illya and Napoleon as they reflect on a similar incidence that broke up their partnership for nearly fifteen years. Nicely written mixing violence and angst in almost equal measure. Incident in a stairwell and The Waiting Room Affair are the prequels.[24]
[zine]: Please ask Lily to write a sequel to "In the Dark." I want the boys to sit down and talk about Doyle being an elf.

"Four Left Feet" and "Four More Feet" were fascinating. And besides that, we got some genuine caring (Ray handfeeding Bodie to keep up his strength) and a touch of horse lore as well.

From my standpoint the above two random quotes from the Letters of Comment section in Chalk and Cheese 5 probably tell you everything you need to know about what to expect from the Chalk and Cheese zines.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong per se with stories about Doyle being an elf (as a matter of fact, I confess to adoring Jane's The Hunting series) or Bodie and Doyle shapeshifting into centaurs or dogs or...or koi. I'm just saying...'s'not my cuppa, right? And my reviews necessarily reflect that.

BUT even I have to admit that C&C 5 was a vast improvement over its predecessors. For one thing: the art. By this juncture, talents like Suzan Lovett, Kate Nuernberg, and Daphne Hamilton were contributing. Nuernberg's front cover (of Bodie) is really quite nice.

Also quite nice is the significant reduction in the number of poems and puns. There is one rather ghastly "play," The Pieing of CI5, that was apparently a scream when it was performed live at some long ago conference, but I've never been a big fan of the pie-in-the-face school of comedy.

It was whipped cream inhalation, sir. Death was instantaneous.

Oh, my aching sides! In fairness, this kind of thing is often very funny in real life -- when everyone has had A LOT to drink.

More amusing to me was the bitching and moaning (again in the Letter of Comment section) about the skewed proportion of slash to gen stories. I find myself snickering at this in a fandom that began as slash -- in a zine that relied (as they all must) on voluntary contributions. Even Mystery Frank, the editor, couldn't help pointing out the obvious here, which is if you're not happy with the stories available in fandom, write your own. Apparently in C&C 8, the balance swung back the other way with gen stories outnumbering the real --er, slash -- stories (one cannot help but hope it was a final twitch in the death throes of Pros gen).

Another point of interest: this edition of C&C was dedicated to Gordon Jackson who had recently passed away from spinal cancer. In fact, one of the stories, Shades to Blossom, is about Doyle and Bodie, following Cowley's funeral, each having a dream about the old man. It's a sweet if mawkish tribute to a character that likely would have had little patience for such nonsense.

I think it's only fair to point out that some of the stories that appalled me in C&C 4 were huge hits with the readers (and contributors) of C&C 5. And I feel certain this will continue throughout the series. Nonetheless, here goes nuthin' as they say.

Bookends by Natasha Barry

Doyle and Bodie are captured on a drug stakeout. They discuss their relationship because...what else would you do when your life is in peril? Things begin to heat up between them, but don't get too excited. It turns out that they are dolls belonging to a little girl -- a child who would undoubtedly give Dr. Ross many thoughtful hours.

Discovered in a Run-Down Motel Room by Joan Enright

Doyle and Bodie discuss the film The Children's Hour in context of their own relationship.

Come on, it could happen!

I can't recall if the lads agreed as to whether Bodie should play the Audrey Hepburn role. She did have rather large feet as I understand it.

People Bending Broken Rules by Debra Hicks (Man from UNCLE crossover)

Why ask why?

Personally, I think crossovers only work if the reader is familiar with -- and interested in seeing fic from -- both fandoms. I've yet to read one that clicked with me, and this is no exception. Somehow the awkward collision of TV shows just messes with my suspension of disbelief.

Following DiaG, Bodie is having trouble trusting that Doyle won't get himself injured again or even killed. Illya and Napoleon help our lads work through the lack of faith and trust issues while ironing out their own relationship kinks. Ray talks to Illya, Bodie talks to Napolean, Ray talks to Napolean, Bodie talks to Illya, Bodie and Ray finally talk. Meanwhile, the bad guys are closing in.

It's what you call A Very Special Episode.

The Last Few Feet by Linda Terrell

What is it with the centaurs?

Doyle draws a picture of Bodie as a centaur while Bodie sleeps. Bodie wakes up. They make love. OFF-STAGE.

Horse feathers indeed.

Leap Year by Linda Terrell (Crossover with Quantum Leap)

ZZZZZZzzzz. Hmm...huh? Where am I?

Notes on a Phone Conversation by Linda Terrell

Operator? Operator! I've been cut off!

If only.

Doyle calls in sick for Bodie post-Fall Girl. This should be a big hit with those in love with floating dialog fics. Both of you.

Assault and Battery by Terence

Yet another thrilling installment in the "Building to Last" universe AKA Curtains, Cuddles & Cats. A worried and fretful Bodie reluctantly leaves "Raven" (his kitty cat, not Doyle in elf form) with a thirteen-year-old cat-sitter while he and Ray go away for their annual two week "fitness review." WITH MACKLIN, you berks. You've got bigger problems than will the kid change the litter box!

But no, apparently they don't.

Ray loves to kiss; and I love to kiss Ray.

Etc., etc. All I can tell you is this series was a huge hit with fans of curtain fic -- of which, you will be astonished to learn, I do not number.

Trial Run by Ellis Ward

Doyle and Bodie move in together with Cowley's blessing -- and try to make a go of a romantic relationship. I don't know if this is technically "curtain fic" as no curtains are actually discussed in the story. However stoves are cleaned, floors are hoovered, and there is one hell of a lot of emphasis on housekeeping. Maybe it's AU?

By now Ward was dominating the C&Cs. Her stories were often the longest and generally (judging by the LoCs) the most popular in each issue.

I'm fond of her work myself, but despite a promising beginning -- and some very nice bits -- I found Trial Run overly long and too thinky/talky.

It might have become a source of contention between them, had Bodie not been so clearly dependent on his partner's good graces. Doyle knew an almost suffocating sense of responsibility for this man-child who had placed his heart and soul -- nothing more, nothing less --at his feet. For Ray Doyle, who, despite delusions to the contrary, was terrified of wholesale commitment, it was an immense offering. But Cowley -- damn him! -- was right: Doyle had wanted someone to love for too many years, and Bodie, crazy as he was, was precisely what he needed. Doyle hoped he did not fail him, for a tiny, niggling voice questioned whether this was what Bodie needed. To salve his conscience, and to satisfy Bodie's protective instincts, he finally agreed.

So on and so forth for 80 -- Eight zero -- pages. I think if the little details had been right I could have more easily swallowed the big, heartburning premise, but there are so many unrealistic touches -- for example, half the squad is also seemingly gay. But if you love Ellis Ward and/or domestic drama, you'll undoubtedly enjoy this offering. It is by far the best story in the zine.

All in all, C&C 5 is a cute and cozy schmoop fest. Beyond the Cowley tribute Shades to Blossom, I don't think there were any death fics or much that would disturb anyone -- other than me.[25]
[zine]: First, THE cover--Gosh. *Sigh.* I've a copy of the photo it's from, but Kate really captured that "awwww" quality that lurks in Bodie (yeah, Doyle has it, too, but you expect it from a gamin face and feral curls...). There's a "waif" look there. So appealing. Haven't I seen it in a pet shop window? And all in color for a few tribs....[26]
[zine]: "Bookends"--wasn't this done on The Twilight Zone In 1960? DuPont Show of the Month in 1955? C.E. Theatre in 1958?

"One-Man Magical Shown--Sorry, I hate "Face Lift" and especially Zax. He has no saving graces whatsoever. The whole thing is bad plot, bad dialogue, poor singing, bad directing, bad editing, bad cinematography, lousy effects. And any A/U fanflc based round it will not capture my sympathy. However, I did read it all, and I admire the poetry for itself and the neat turn-about wording. --MPH (talk) 19:00, 10 October 2014 (UTC)(-Julia Ecklar actually wrote 'One-Man Magical Show' as a song and you'd have to hear it to believe it. The words Just can't do the feeling of the song Justice.-)

"Assault and Battery"--this piece reads like the middle of a trilogy: no beginning, no real end. Lots of angst. Seemed to be mostly a character study and I think I don't much like Chris. I did like the details of life with The Wrecking Crew, but Chris's whining about made me toss the zine across the room a few times (in lieu of Chris). Loved the illo on page 49. Yum.

"People Bending Broken Rules"-- my only gripe with this story is I can't see Napoleon kissing Illya in front of anyone. Well, Debbie and I have been all through that discussion. She's about the only writer who can make me enjoy UNCLE stories. I'm a First Generation UNCLE fan, you see. I burned out on UNCLE before some of you were born (way back when, once upon a time, before the Great Flood, when I went to school with Noah, and went to "love-ins" and "be-ins"...). Lovett's lllo on page 87 --a wwwww *sigh*

"Trial Run"-- mixed feelings here, 'cause an aspect of it sets off an old pet peeve of mine: its premise does not warrant its length. I do not like finding any zine in any genre given over to 80 (or more) pages of ONE story--especially a story that could have been told in half the length. I also don't agree with the premise that a 30+ year-old man (or woman) "suddenly" discovers he's bi/gay or not gay, but "loves" his male partner. Sorry, it don't work that way. He may finally admit he's bi/gay, but he's sure as hell known it, likely since he was 17 or 18. Most bis hide it more successfully because they are capable of truly loving either sex. There are far more bi men than women, too. Many marry, have traditional, successful family lives—for 10, 20, 30 years. They are rarely caught -- though some confess to their wives later on (usually after the children are grown).

Bi is not gay 'cause it is not one-sex exclusive. Which is the way I picture "my" B&D and write them that way. After all, many behaviorists, psychologists, anthropologists agree that we are all born bisexual--and probably could spend our lives happily that way if it weren't "taboo." We learn hetero behavior. We are not instinctively monogomous, either, merely possessive.

Off my soapbox back to "Trial Run"--it's not to say I didn't enjoy it. Parts of it were very special and tender. I found especially warm the paragraph on page 126 detailing Bodie's contentment at just being close to Ray, unfettered by obligations of sex (having to "perform"); sharing companionship and tenderness, caring and understandlng; realizing that sometimes, that's all that's needed--being with someone who wants to be with you.

"The Pieing of CI5"--too bad this can't possibly read as hysterically as presented at ZCon last October.[27]
[zine]: First, the artwork. Kate's fantastic "Take Bodie Home and Love Him" cover was the beginning of a good deal of truly excellent artwork. There was some really mediocre art, as well. Sigh.

The stories were quite consistently good. Several were fantastic. A few I must mention, no matter how hurriedly: Linda Terrell's "Leap Year"--an excellent Quantum Leap crossover. This was the first I'd seen, and handled extremely well.

"Assault and Battery" by Terence. Nice to see Murphy being the one getting patched up and fretted over. I especially like stories showing the workings of CI5, and training sessions are included here. The conversation between Bodie and Murphy while tied up in the closet, playing hostage, was damn good. The whole story was excellent.

Debbie Hicks' "People Bending Broken Rules" took me a bit by surprise, showing that only at this time do our heroes (both sets) see what Is happening in their respective relationships. I kind of thought that was already happening in her earlier stories, but she handled it extremely well. I've been following this UNCLE crossover series with a great deal of enjoyment. (I love her Dangermouse crossovers as well, being a long time fan of the White Wonder and his faithful hamster companion). "Trial Run" by Ellis Ward. I don't remember noticing this author before, but this story is put together far too competently to be an early work. Excellent construction and pacing. Sharp, snappy writing.[28]
[zine]: The cover was super. Bodie looks like a man-boy who needs an understanding cuddle. Hard, and yet vulnerable.

Poetry: I read and enjoyed the poems, even though they're not my favorite. "Funny..."--Hits the nail right on the head. Has Bodie and Doyle down pat as to how they view each other. "One-Man Magical Show"--Good. Real good. Artwork: Absolutely breathtaking. I'm considering getting a respirator. "The Last Few Feet"--Cute. I'm enjoying this continuing romp through the hay. "Bookends" and "Notes on a Phone Conversation"--I liked both of these. Very interesting POVs. "The Pieing of CI5"--0nly one word describes this story: FUNNY! "Shades to Blossom"--I'm not fond of death stories (and this one was Just a little too close to home), but I liked it. I'd rather read stories that keep our heroes breathing. "The Way to a Man's Heart"--An interesting look at one evening in the lives of the new partners. Will there be more to chronicle the following months as they struggle to make their partnership work? "Leap Year"--What fun, especially since I'm not into Quantum Leap. However, I'm jealous--I want to share one of their bodies. Would 4 people sharing 2 bodies having sex be an orgy? "Discovered In a Run-Down Hotel Room"--! like the way the story handles the changing and redefining of their relationship.

"Trial Run"--I liked this story. For one thing, I love 1-o-n-g stories. Another reason I like It is because the relationship is thoughtfully developed, but they continue with their assignments. A lot of stories forget about their work, but this one had everything: a little work, a little adventure and a lot of relationships.[29]
[zine]: I love the cover of C&C5. Those blue eyes are to die for--and this from a confirmed Doyle fan! I hope the Doyle on C&C6 is of equal quality. If it is, I just may have to keep smelling salts handy when I open the package.

TACS' Zax was marvelous--and a perfect accompaniment to Ecklar's "One-Han Hagical Show." I really appreciate Sheila Paulson's B/D and Raven illo and Alexandrea Burcop's B&D for "Assault and Battery." Adrian Morgan's art was marvelous, especially the Bodie on page 192. Suzan Lovett's illos for "People Bending Broken Rules" were gorgeous--my favorite was Doyle comforting Bodie. I'll admit that the Doyle kissing Illya was terrifically erotic, as well. As usual, Karen Eaton's cartoons were hilarious! 'Thebes!' indeed! Not much poetry this time around, which is okay with me. I've always liked poetry that told a story--which means true poets consider me crass and uneducated. I like the Ecklar and the Brin in this issue. On to my favorite part of the zine--fiction! Thank you, thank you, Debra Hicks! You gave me the Pros/UNCLE sequel I'd been yearning for. I'm glad the two couples finally look like they're going to get it on with their partners. Of course, I'd like to see more In this universe, but if she doesn't write any more, that's okay, too--because now I know that they're going to try. My other favorite in this issue was "Trial Run." I love long stories that give you time to know the characters. I like the touch of humorous byplay between B&D. Let's hope Ellis Ward continues writing.

Linda Terrell was great, as usual. I'm glad Ray ends up with some sort of reminder of the "Feet" escapades. Also, the Quantum Leap crossover was a fascinating idea, though, nasty creature that I am, I can't help wishing that we'd had a bit of how Sam would react if he were still stuck in Bodie's body when the Bisto Kids first got it on.[30]
[zine]: "Assault and Battery" was a very good story, lots of Murphy In It. This is the second time Terence has mentioned that Murphy rather fancied Bodie, so I'd expecting to read about some sort of triangle or even quadrangle developing in one of the future stories, maybe? Chris is starting to be an interesting character, too, but I can't picture his face. We know he looks like Bodie in general, but what does he have in place of Bodie's quirky eyebrows, luxurious eyelashes, pout and mesmerizing midnight eyes? Inquiring minds want to know. (So I used the same phrase for two LoCs in a row. So Sue me.)

"People Bending Broken Rules" was a nice blend of action/adventure and commitment-making. Is the fifteen-year separation between Napoleon and Illya an attempt to tie in with 'The 15 Year Later Affair' (the recent movie) and the Janus Incident that sent Illya Into the fashion scene? Loved Suzan's lllo of Doyle and Bodie. Did a double-take when I saw the one of Doyle and Illya, though! (In fact, there seems to be a lot, of artwork in this issue. I thought you were having trouble digging up artists?) (-Not in digging them up. Just in getting some of them to realize that a deadline means some time this century!-)

Speaking of artists, "The Last Few Feet" was wonderful. Linda did an absolutely terrific job of describing an artist's creative process (or it seemed so to non-artistic moi) and she handled Doyle's fading memory perfectly. The illo went hand (er, hoof?) and glove with the story, too.[31]
[zine]: Overall, the zine is vastly improved from its earlier incarnations. Nuernberg's cover is absolutely stunning. I would have bought the zine for the cover alone. The interior artwork was a variegated mix and for the most part quite good. It goes without saying that Lovett's illos for "People Bending Broken Rules" were superb. As always, a little bit quirky, but wholly appealing. TACS' Zax set my mouth watering, and managed that with just a few deft strokes. Hamilton's right: she does do good horses, even when it's a centaur Bodie. Her illos for "Trial Run" were occasionally stick-figurish, but were right on the money for describing specific scenes; as was Paulle's pub setting in the same story.

Terrell's "The Last Few Feet" was, in my opinion, an improvement over its two predecessors. Not having watched Quantum Leap, I found the stylistic convention awkward, and the plot necessity for it somewhat tedious, but it was interesting all the same. Terrell can produce a lovely turn of phrase, but has an annoying tendency to assume an arch tone now and again that I find rather off-putting. It isn't needed because she's a more than capable writer--and yes, I know when it's employed as part of a character's stream of conscious, but frequently it is gratuitious.

"Notes on a Phone Conversation" was a bit fatuous; never could see B&D involved at that stage, and certainly not in that episode (Fall Girl); but to each his own.

Hicks' "People Bending Broken Rules" was a fun continuation of the previously established Pros/MUNCLE crossover, although having both couples undergo virtually concurrent romantic epiphanies created a degree of redundancy. It only hurt the story a little bit, however, as the characters retained their characterizations themselves. My only real complaint is that the story wasn't a little more fleshed out--and no, I'm not referring to the sex scenes. I quite enjoyed this unexpliclt approach; it suited the story very nicely. But some scenes would have played a little better had there been a bit more exposition, avoiding the abruptness that resulted when shifting from one point in time to another. Lovett's illo of Doyle initiating Illya into a little "man-kissing" was lovely, but it's probably a bloody good thing that Bodie didn't see it!

Enjoyed Terence's "Assault and Battery," although this B&D are a "kinder, gentler" B&D than I've grown accustomed to. Envisioning these two as "smug" lovers Is stretching things a bit, as far as I'm concerned. But it's a good-hearted fantasy, and I have a soft spot for those.

Barry's "Bookends": Is this how slash-writers came to acquire that twisty-turny bent of mind ? I don't recall having any dolls like that!

Enright's "The Way to a Man's Heart" had lots of potential, but was much too short. Not many other writers have explored the origins of the lads' intuitive communication, which was so evident in its full-blown form in the series. After all, it had to develop at some point, didn't it? And Enright gave us an idea of how that may have come about.

Thanks for committing "The Pieing of CI5" to paper, I saw it performed at ZCon, but with the audience's enthusiastic (and noisy) response, I missed some of the best lines.

The black cover following "Shades to Blossom" was a nice touch—wish there had been no need of a reminder that we're all still mourning Gordon's passing, though. And for anyone who cares to know, that story would not have been written if Mysti had not specifically requested it. I hate death stories, but apologies up front to anyone who may have been offended. Despite my complaints, I confess that it helped to to write it. After all, it would be consoling to believe Cowley'd communicate his certain love for his incorrigible paladins, even If he had to do it after the fact.[32]
Lovely cover! But then, your covers usually are great.

I was surprised to find the text of a filksong among the contents for the zine. I wasn't aware that Julia Ecklar is a Professionals fan (or at least a Martin Shaw fan). (editor interjects - I'm not sure if she is, either, but her song fit Zax so beautifully, I couldn't resist.-) "Leap Year" was fun to read. I showed it to a friend who is a Quantum Leap fan and we both had a good laugh about the fights between Bodie and Sam. "Assault and Battery"—since this is the first story I ever read about the Building to Last Universe, I wanted to read more. (I still haven't read the first part, but that'll change soonl) I like the humour and the progressing relationship. As to Raven, well, I've three of those little monsters with which I share my flat and can vividly imagine all the little catastrophes even one cat can produce. "People Bending Broken Rules"—a well-written story and those lovely pictures! My favourite was the one on page 87. Makes you go all soft inside.

Trial Run"—I love long stories and so far I haven't read something from Ellis Ward I didn't enjoy. Liked the way she presented the developing relationship.</ref> from an LoC in "Chalk and Cheese" #14</ref>

References

  1. from The Hatstand Express #16
  2. from The Hatstand Express #16 1988
  3. review by JGL at The Hatstand, Archived version
  4. review by JGL at The Hatstand, Archived version
  5. 2010, comments by istia, prosrecs, Archived version
  6. 2010, comments by istia, prosrecs, Archived version
  7. from the LoC section of Chalk and Cheese #4
  8. from the LoC section of Chalk and Cheese #4
  9. from the LoC section of Chalk and Cheese #4
  10. from the LoC section of Chalk and Cheese #4
  11. from the LoC section of Chalk and Cheese #4
  12. from the LoC section of Chalk and Cheese #4
  13. review by JGL at The Hatstand, Archived version
  14. a LoC in issue #5
  15. a LoC in issue #5
  16. a LoC in issue #5
  17. a LoC in issue #5
  18. a LoC by Jane of Australia (who only very rarely commented or LoCed in other people's zines) in issue #5
  19. from an LoC in "Chalk and Cheese" #15
  20. from an LoC in "Chalk and Cheese" #14
  21. from a LoC in "Chalk and Cheese" #6
  22. from a LoC in "Chalk and Cheese" #6
  23. 2010, comments by istia, prosrecs, Archived version
  24. alicambs, Archived version
  25. review by JGL at The Hatstand, Archived version
  26. from a LoC in issue #6
  27. from a LoC in issue #6
  28. from a LoC in issue #6
  29. from a LoC in issue #6
  30. from a LoC in issue #6
  31. from a LoC in issue #6
  32. from a LoC in issue #6