Commitment (Starsky & Hutch zine)
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From the Author's Editorial
Last October, at Zebra Con, basking in the satisfaction of completing Half You, Half Me 2, I thought, 'This was fun. I should do a zine all by myself.' Well, in the first place, nobody does a zine alone. There are dozens of supporters, artists, editors, contributers, etc. that help in producing the finished product. My biggest mistake was from the beginning thinking it wouldn't take long. I mean, I did have two companion stories already that needed only minor editing to be print ready. All I had to do was get an artist or two to contribute, one final edit and I was ready to go, right? WRONG! Sydney said this isn't long enough. Marion found a glaring hole in the first story and all my visions of a speedy (six months) production went down the drain. Now twelve months later it is finally ready.
- Lifetime Lover by Cheryl Maier (1)
- My Road Less Traveled by Lucy Walk (37)
- Test of Commitment by Cheryl Maier (39)
Some sample art:
inside art by J. Jones, winner of a Huggy Award
Summary of "Lifetime Lover"
It's post-SR. Hutch has a new partner and Starsky is still in recovery. However, Starsky is being cleared for limited duty, something for the duo to celebrate. Starsky tells Hutch he has something important to tell him. When Starsky turns up to their date on Sunday, one of Hutch's flings surprisingly turns up as well - and Hutch invites her to join them. Starsky's disappointment is palpable and the mood is strained. After the evening Starsky avoids Hutch. Then Hutch finds out that Starsky dates a blond man and when he follows Starsky and his date to the blond's apartment he sees that they're making out. When Starsky leaves, Hutch follows him home and confronts him with it. Starsky admits that it was exactly what it looked like and crudely tells Hutch that he got screwed through the mattress. But he also tells Hutch that it's all about him and that he loves him. He knows that Hutch can't love him that way, even though he can't quite understand why. Since he is not able to be around Hutch anymore, Starsky tries to make a clean break and transfers permanently to the DA's office and their partnership is split up. Meanwhile, Hutch tries to wrap his mind around what happened between them and why he is so afraid of crossing the line. He knows he loves Starsky. Then Hutch realizes that his fear is about what happened to him in his past: it turns out that Hutch has been abused sexually by his stepfather. He understands that his relationship to Starsky is something entirely different. Hutch wants to give it a try and come clean about what happened to him in the past. When Hutch reaches Starsky's apartment, he is gone. Things escalate when Starsky is held as a hostage in a bank and gets shot. In hospital Starsky sends Hutch away. But when he is released home, Huggy tells Hutch to go and care for Starsky. When Hutch reaches Starsky's apartment, he finds him half drunk. Finally, they talk about their relationship and Hutch tells Starsky about his past and they make love for the first time.
Summary of "Test of Commitment"
Six months later, Starsky and Hutch have moved in together and are in a steady relationship. Starsky is still at the DA's office, but wants to return to homicide to be with Hutch again. He is also stressed out with his lieutenant's exam, but Hutch encourages him to continue with it. When a letter bomb goes off in his office and he is contacted by Army Intelligence for a special assignment, things get tricky. He gets the assignment to break a code in a letter. We learn that Starsky was a cryptographer in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the assignment also triggers flashbacks and nightmares from his time in Vietnam. He is also haunted by more than dark memories: a man named Jimerson, who was responsible for the death of Starsky's lover Bobby in Vietnam, returns. He captures and tortures Hutch. When Starsky comes to the rescue and sees what he has done to Hutch, he loses it and kills Jimerson.
Reactions and Reviews
There is some really nice H/C when Starsky comes home all shaken up from the explosion in his office. I also loved the sex scenes in the shower and on the sailing boat. Hot!
Unfortunately, I don't have the original zine, but even from the online version you can tell that this was / is a really beautiful zine with some really lovely artwork.
All in all I thought it was a nice read, but I also had several problems with this. I felt that the cases were too vague in both stories. If you don't want to deal with the cases, why bring them up in the first place? I would have liked to read more about Hutch's dead L&M Escorts case and the whole connection with James Gunther. As it is, this was basically just mentioned casually and randomly. I felt that the ending of "Test of Commitment" was too rushed.Also, Starsky felt out of character for me at times. The whole drinking whisky stuff felt off to me. I can see a tendency for self-destruction in him, but somehow I can't see him turning to alcohol, but hey, that's me.
Actually I didn't care for this story at all - I found the 2 main characters to be - well - OUT of character....and I didn't really like either of them in this story either.....which is odd since I freaking LOVE S&H..
It seemed badly contrived to me.....I know that stories have to be contrived but I usually don't notice this fact in most of the stories I have read here at Lj or at either Flamingo's or the M&T Archive....and other places I have found....
Many times I recall saying to myself...."this is bullshit" even tho its a work of fiction - like everything we read post-series....but I don't recall myself ever thinking that way when I've read other stories....
Guess this one just didn't do it for me....and I feel badly about that coz I'm sure the author and artist worked very hard to put it all together...I know writing a novel or zine of this magnitude like the next one coming up, is tough work which is why I feel badly when one I read doesn't work for me....Oh well - onward and upward.....:-) 
I thought maybe I hadn't read it, and then once I got into it, realized I had read the second one fairly recently.
I'm rather with others here - too out of character, not enough character development, too much glossing over of the details of various cases. I needed to know more about Jimerson to make him more real, and understand his threat.
I felt there were too many instances where Starsky was very concerned about Hutch's safety, yet still let him go places alone, and kind shrugged his worry off, with, "Well, in the meantime, I'll do this mundane task instead of watching my partner's back." It just didn't make sense.
I admire the author very much for having a story vision and seeing it through into zine form. It's a wonderful project, to have a book with just your things in it, but I think she didn't quite execute the stories well enough. It was as if she couldn't really get into Starsky's head, or was afraid to, held back by the fear of what those feelings might really feel like - or, she simply didn't know what to do next, so she sprinkled some emotion in and jumped right to the next action.I wanted - no, needed - more introspection, more understanding of exactly who these people are, who Starsky was in a Vietnam theater, why this was happening and how important it was.
I don't care for the first of the stories at all, and the only reason I like the second is because of my Starsky-in-Vietnam jones. But I agree with folks above who said that the boys, particularly Starsky, seemed OOC to them, because they felt that way to me as well.
It was almost as if the author was attempting an original novel and only using the boys' names to have a readymade fanbase, or someone to show her work to. That's not meant to be an insult, as it's something that's always occurred as long as fanfic has been written. But it did feel that way to me, most definitely, because even though I'll read anything that talks about Starsk in Vietnam, this one was just really off to me.
That said, a couple scenes do stand out in my mind even if I haven't read the zine for a long while now. One is the scene at the bank during the robbery. That was well written and I could see it easily.
The other was the scene when Ninja!Starsky! finds Hutch after he's been kidnapped.Other than that, it just wasn't my cup of tea.
I couldn't get past the first chapter and never read the rest--I was completely uninterested in Starsky and Hutch being that far apart at the very beginning and it felt really angry with so much alienation.
- from enednoviel at SH Zines, posted May 30, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
- from enednoviel at SH Zines, posted May 30, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
- from enednoviel at SH Zines; reference link, posted May 30, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
- from jazzybabe56 at SH Zines, posted May 30, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
- from lauramcewan at SH Zines, posted May 30, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
- from dipslikeramon at SH Zines, posted May 30, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
- from dawnebeth at SH Zines, posted May 30, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013