Details at 11

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Zine
Title: Details at 11
Publisher: Born to Lose Press
Editor(s): Cynthia Shannon
Type: letterzine
Date(s): June or July 1983 to 1987
Frequency:
Medium: print
Size: digest-sized
Fandom: Simon and Simon
Language: English
External Links:
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Details at 11 is a gen digest-sized Simon and Simon letterzine with at least 16 issues. They each run about 35 pages. The title of the zine comes from the pilot episode of the same name.

Each issue offered a Discussion Topic for the next issue titled, "Recipe for Disaster."

There is some overlap in publication times with Simon and Simon Investigations.

Fans in issue #3 refer to a "mock issue" that came out, which likely refers to a flyer of introduction. This makes sense, as fans seem to be fairly centered about the discussion topic in the first issue.

As of issue #6, there were 65 subscribers.

This letterzine's material is completely G-rated; no talk of sex of any sort, no discussion of violence, and some fans stated being offended by A.J.'s use of the word "bastard" in one episode. Like many fan publications of the time, some issues of the letterzine were published without copyright notices and may, in the US, be in the public domain.

An Unusually Close Relationship with the Show's Production

The editor, and at least one very active fan, spent time on the show's set and had the ear of some of TPTB. It was a relationship that had its pros and cons.

reprinted in issue #14, a letter (dated March 31, 1986) from the producer, click to read
The editor writes in 1986:
On Feb. 21, Darlene and I visited the Simon offices once again and we had the opportunity to sit and talk with Mike Piller, Reed Morgan, and Tom and Jo Perry. It was a nice informal discussion about the show, and we were able to give our opinions of the season so far. Everyone was very enthusiastic about DEA [Details at 11, this letterzine], and Reed had even requested extra copies of back issues, so he could catch up on the stuff he'd missed. [1]
The editor admits, though, that this closeness to the process, has been disillusioning and has sapped some of her enthusiasm for the show:
I want to put to rest the discussion, privately and in this letterzine, about my so-called dissension to H&Mc. I am not fickle, I have been taping H&Mc since the very first show, along with Riptide, The A-Team, Miami Vice, and Moonlighting. This doesn't mean I don't like Simon. Also, I have been somewhat dissatisfied with Simon since about 3rd season on, this has not been a sudden change. By dissatisfied I mean that have resigned myself to the fact that is it going to be a certain type of show (not exactly the type I had hoped for after 1st season). So, l've restructured my thinking and expectations. Alot of this is because over the years, l've grown closer to the so-called back office. This is not meant to sound like bragging, I chose to become involved with the Simon production offices, no one forced me to. But l've paid the price - the knowledge that real life problems such as networks, executives, ratings, production details and the personalaties of all those involved all dictate what we see on the air. lt's fun to totally immerse oneself in the fantasy world of Rick and A.J., but for me, it's become a luxury I can no longer enjoy. I know that we'll never see the type of episodes we talk about in this letterzine or in fan fiction and because I know that, I view Simon differently than I used to. Once you see behind the camera, it's hard to maintain the fantasy. I chose to see behind the camera, so l'm not asking. for sympathy here, but nothing destroys illusions better than visits to the set and talks with people involved in the show. I know many of you are probably saying,"oh, sure, listen to her complaining, let me have her problem! Well, maybe for some of you, if you want to work in television as I do, it would be a good idea to be in my situation, but for others, it is not. All l'm saying is that because of the events of the last few years, my feelings towards Simon have been altered. I still love the show, I watch it, I tape it, I discuss it, I read fiction and I publish this letterzine. So, please don't keep asking me if l've suddenly moved away from Simon. I've not suddenly moved away, l've iust reset my expectations over the years and learned to look forward to aspects of Simon other the ideal I had hoped for 4 yrs ago. [2]
The actor who portrayed A.J. responded to some questions from some of this letterzine's fans. These responses were printed in issue #13. One fan asked him what he thought of "Details at 11." The actor's answer:
It makes me nervous. how would you feel knowing you were being scrutinized so closely? On the other hand, some very interesting observations come out of it. [3]

Issue 1

Details at 11 1 was published in June and July 1983 and contains 22 pages. It contains 14 LoCs.

cover of issue #1, Ruth Kurz

The front cover is by Ruth Kurz. The "Recipe for Disaster" was to name one's favorite episodes, a challenge that was difficult for many fans as some did not own VCRs to re-watch eps, and they did not know the titles of episodes. Several fans mentioned that they got hooked on the show because it came right after Magnum P.I., and they were too lazy to change the channel. One fan introduced her first LoC saying she was apprehensive to write it ("I've held back from letterzines to date because of the hard words and wars so many seem to have."). This issue contains a mini-episode guide, some reprints of a pro-cartoon ("Shoe"). One fan offers to be an on-source advisor in San Diego for fans wanting to know mundane details for fiction like addresses and the cost of tickets to zoos and other such establishments.

Issue 2

Details at 11 2 was published very late; the editor apologizes. The "Recipe for Disaster" is "who is your favorite character and why?" A number of fans write letters complaining about the quality of Magnum P.I..

Issue 3

Details at 11 3 was published shortly before December 25, 1983 and contains 30 pages. There are ten LoCs.

cover of issue #3, Rebecca Walker
  • the front cover is by Rebecca Walker
  • the "Recipe for Disaster" is "What is your least favorite episode and why?"
  • a fan has this fix for those wanting to know the name of episodes: "There is a very easy way to make your own episode guide. All you have to do is buy the TV Guide each week. When S&S comes on, write the episode title on the top of the page that lists the episode. Then tear out the page and save it. You'll have a complete episode guide with will include the title, episode description, guest stars, and the date aired."
  • a fan says she doesn't have a VCR but relies instead on audio tapes of the episodes
  • one fan says she would like to see some short fiction in the zine as there aren't that many other outlets for it
  • a fan, obviously one without a VCR, says it took her three seasons to get the license plate to the "Power Wagon"
  • there are original poems by Robbie Sturm, song lyrics, and some pro-poetry


Issue 4

Details at 11 4 had a letter deadline of about January 1984.

  • the Recipe for Disaster: "How do Rick and A.J. spend Christmas?"


Issue 5

Details at 11 5 is undated and contains 54 pages. There are 18 LoCs. The front cover is by Ann Larimer. Other art by Ann Larimer, Cheryl Newsome, Ruth Kurz, Dar F.

cover of issue #5, Ann Larimer

The editor announces the future publication of Finish This Story, fans discuss episodes at GREAT length, one fan finds A.J.'s "foul language" (bastard, jackass) offensive, several fans describe their Simon and Simon scrapbooks, and fans endlessly debate Rick and A.J. ages

Issue 6

Details at 11 6 is undated (deadline for the next issue is October 8, 1984, which is a clue) and contains 70 pages. It contains 21 LoCs and a piece of art by Ruth Kurz.

cover of issue #6, Kathy Lachenauer
  • the editor announces a new letterzine, one for the A-Team, called On the Jazz
  • the editor writes that while she enjoys the short fiction, she wants "Details at 11" to focus on letters; some of the fiction she has received will be published in the upcoming Finish This Story
  • a fan comments that there has been a huge upswing in S&S fiction in multimedia and single-fandom zines
  • fans seem to agree that overall, the plots on S&S haven't been used on other televisions shows
  • after a fan remarks that she was taken back by A.J. using the word "bastard" ("Network television just doesn't have words like that on the air!"), the editor interjects "TV has progressed in recent years" and that "bastard" was used back in 1979 on Starsky & Hutch, and proceeds to list several shows that have used "bastard" and "son of a bitch" in dialogue (MASH, Hill Street Blues, and St. Elsewhere)
  • the Recipe for Disaster for this issue: "How did Rick and A.J.'s dad die?"
  • this issue has a long section called "Simon and Simon Episodes We'd Like to See" by Dar F
  • there is another "finish the story" contest, with a LENGTHY section (4 pages) already written that must be included in the finished piece


Issue 7

Details at 11 7 is undated (letter deadline for the next issue is December 10, 1984, editor says in this issue that she "hopes" there will be four issues a year from now on) and contains 51 pages. It contains 24 LoCs.

cover of issue #7, Laura Virgil
  • a number of fans, like those in The Blackwood Project, find that a character's Vietnam War experiences make them want to read more non-fiction accounts of the conflict; there are numerous book suggestions
  • there is an announcement that Phantom Press has taken over Finish This Story
  • this issue has several pages of full lyrics for songs by Billy Joel, John Denver...
  • the editor states that the number of subscribers to the letterzine for this issue is 65


Issue 8

Details at 11 8

Issue 9

Details at 11 9 is undated (submission request for the next issue is July 1, 1985), has 54 pages, and contains 28 LoCs.

cover of issue #9, Ann Larimer
  • the editor announces she is publishing an "un-zine" called Not Even Related II which is a guide for the neophyte zine editor: "It's funny (we think so), so order it for a laugh and for some important pointers. Since DEA #10 will be a summer issue and people don't have much to say during rerun season, I plan to include some humorous addendum to Not Even Related II, so if you haven't read NER II, you won't understand much of DAE #10. Blackmail, get it!"
  • a fan is collecting information on all published S&S fanfiction and is putting together comprehensive index
  • this issue of the letterzine contains a fan questionnaire
  • apparently this letterzine had been recently mentioned in an issue of USA Today
  • there is the usual plentiful discussion about the episodes, the contradicting canon info about Rick and A.J.'s age, and of the characters' inner psyches and motivations


Issue 10

Details at 11 10 is undated (next letter submission date is October 21, 1985), contains 28 LoCs, and 55 pages.

cover of issue #10, Karen Eaton
  • the editor says she has been vaguely disappointed in Simon and Simon for a while now, and says it is because there's not enough information about the characters' personal lives and relationships; she says she thinks Hardcastle and McCormick fills this bill better and is launching a new letterzine called Now Yer Cookin'
  • the results of the questionnaire are published; there were about 54 respondents, which means only about 11 subscribers did not return the form -- some demographics: average age 30 years, married -12, single = 42, born in the eastern half of the US =47, born in the western half of the US = 4, born elsewhere= 4, VCR owners = 26 VHS and 11 Beta, computer owners =10, number of cats owned = 35, number of dogs owned = 25
  • fans refer to their favorite "MMM," which appears to stand for "Most Memorable Moment" in an episode
  • a number of fans express disappointment with the show in that the characters have changed in ways they don't care for -- Rick has gotten doofy, A.J. has lost his sense of humor, and the "caring and hugging" of the first season is much reduced
  • many fans comment on how much they love their VCRs as they are no longer at the mercy of tedious summer reruns


Issue 11

Details at 11 11 is undated but was published in the early fall of 1985 (the submission deadline is January 15, 1986). It contains 38 pages and has letters from 20 subscribers (one of them "from" a Hardcastle and McCormick character).

cover of issue #11
  • "Recipe for Disaster:" "If you could interview 'the boys,' what would you ask them? Also, the continuing saga of 5th sesaon --- how is it going? (There is a possibility that I will be able to compile a series of questions to ask JP and Mackie for when I visit them hopefully in the future, so put some thought into these questions!"
  • fans appear to like the fifth season much more than some previous ones: A.J. has shorter hair, is less mean, Rick is less bumbling, and the character of Liz is gone ("Ding, dong, Liz is gone... Which old Liz? The pesky Liz! Ding, dong, the pesky Liz is gone!")
  • the editor writes that she is glad that all 70 subscribers don't write LoCs, as the zine would be too big and cost about $12 an issue


Issue 12

Details at 11 12 is undated (letter deadline for next issue was April 1, 1986), contains 26 pages, and 24 LoCs (two of them "from" Hardcastle and McCormick characters).

cover of issue #12, Dar F
  • according to the editorial, not all fans are as enamored of the fifth season; strangely the LoCs are almost uniformly positive -- perhaps the unhappy fans are writing and phoning each other and not writing letters?
  • the editor is feeling the heat of her written criticisms of Simon and Simon and her lauding (and new letterzine) of Hardcastle and McCormick:
    I want to put to rest the discussion, privately and in this letterzine, about my so-called dissension to H&Mc. I am not fickle, I have been taping H&Mc since the very first show, along with Riptide, The A-Team, Miami Vice, and Moonlighting. This doesn't mean I don't like Simon. Also, I have been somewhat dissatisfied with Simon since about 3rd season on, this has not been a sudden change. By dissatisfied I mean that have resigned myself to the fact that is it going to be a certain type of show (not exactly the type I had hoped for after 1st season). So, l've restructured my thinking and expectations. Alot of this is because over the years, l've grown closer to the so-called back office. This is not meant to sound like bragging, I chose to become involved with the Simon production offices, no one forced me to. But l've paid the price - the knowledge that real life problems such as networks, executives, ratings, production details and the personalaties of all those involved all dictate what we see on the air. lt's fun to totally immerse oneself in the fantasy world of Rick and A.J., but for me, it's become a luxury I can no longer enjoy. I know that we'll never see the type of episodes we talk about in this letterzine or in fan fiction and because I know that, I view Simon differently than I used to. Once you see behind the camera, it's hard to maintain the fantasy. I chose to see behind the camera, so l'm not asking. for sympathy here, but nothing destroys illusions better than visits to the set and talks with people involved in the show. I know many of you are probably saying,"oh, sure, listen to her complaining, let me have her problem! Well, maybe for some of you, if you want to work in television as I do, it would be a good idea to be in my situation, but for others, it is not. All l'm saying is that because of the events of the last few years, my feelings towards Simon have been altered. I still love the show, I watch it, I tape it, I discuss it, I read fiction and I publish this letterzine. So, please don't keep asking me if l've suddenly moved away from Simon. I've not suddenly moved away, I've iust reset my expectations over the years and learned to look forward to aspects of Simon other the ideal I had hoped for 4 yrs ago.


Issue 13

Details at 11 13 was published in 1986 (submission deadline for the next issue was July 1, 1986). It contains letters of comment from 20 people (one fake one) and has a cover by Lizabeth Tucker. There are 30 pages.

cover of issue #13, Liz Tucker
  • "Recipe for Disaster:" "Would you like to see Rick and A.J. involved in a paranormal case? If so, what?"
  • there are a number of fans in this issue who write letters expressing their displeasure with the fifth season, the direction the show is going, and their dissatisfaction with character development
  • a fan responds to the editor's comment of disillusionment with Simon and Simon due to exposure to its behind-the-scenes action; the fan asks why the editor doesn't think the feelings apply to Hardcastle and McCormick:
    • "[You say TPTB] are to blame for S&S becoming what it is, how is it that H&Mc, which Is subject to all those same Influences and has had a lot less time to get established. Is able to grab you as you describe in your editorial In DAE #10?"
    • The editor responds: "I can answer this very simply, because each show handles these factors differently. Also, the main difference between Simon and Hardcastle is that Simon is made by a production company within a studio and Hardcastle is made by a production company period. Simon must answer to not only network pressure, but also studio pressure. Cannell productions only produce Cannell shows and the only people H&Mc must answer to besides ABC are the creators of the show themselves, Stephen Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh; there is no studio liaison telling them how the show should look and what the characters should be doing. I really don't see what Is difficult to understand about what I said, every show on television Is subject to those factors and they all deal with them differently, that's why there are good shows and bad shows and in between shows. Why doesn't Knight Rider grab me? Personal taste, I guess, which is the deciding factor in all this."
  • this issue has a reprint of a letter addressed to the letterzine from the producer of the show, Michael Piller, in which he thanks "Details at 11"'s readers for their support; he announces he will not be back as the producer


Issue 14

Details at 11 14 contains 21 letters of comment. It is undated (the submission deadline for the next issue is October 1, 1986) and contains 34 pages.

cover of issue #14
  • "Recipe for Disaster:" "There have been rumors, due mostly to newspaper items, that Rick and A.J. would lose the agency and struggle more this season; that Rick would turn back to being a rogue and A.J. would try to get an agency going again. Plus there is talk that the broad humor would disappear and the show would be more serious. None of these rumors has been confirmed I might add. Anyway, what do you think of them losing the agency and how do you think it might happen? Get those noggins going and construct a scenario--we have to do something to keep occupied in the summer."
  • the editor says she now has a computer and that the next issue will be produced on it; she says one result is that the letterzine's size, and price, will go up
  • a fan writes of characters, actors, and expectations:
    nobody's more anxious to see Mackie's episode than I, but I hate to see everyone putting so much pressure of expectation on him about this. Expecting THE definitive Rick episode, THE definitive Vietnam episode,etc. The higher and more fevered our expectations about this, the more Impossible It will be to meet, and he's probably under enough pressure over this thing already, right? It's like with Leonard Nimoy—he feels because he's created and played Spock that he has final word on Vulcans and on Spock's character, but Spock has taken off and gone on to a life of his own for almost 20 yrs. and some of how LN sees Spock Isn't necessarily how the majority of ST fandom views him. Spock lives, and so does Rick, and so he will continue to long after StS has died and gone to rerun heaven. He's that real, and that fine a character.
  • another fan makes a comment about the bridge between characters and fans, and brings up Jameson Parker's comments from the last issue:
    :I must admit that I don't blame Jameson at all for feeling 'nervous1 about DAE. As I read letter after letter asking for more feeling and brotherly love between Rick and A.J.# my first thought was how about a little more love and feeling for Rick and A,J. from their fans? Please don't misunderstand. I think the letterzlne Is a great Idea and I think It's wonderful that we have a place to share our hopes for the show as well as our criticisms. And since we all have the right to our own opinion, I think that It was very evident this season that the writers, producers, JP and Mackle had all worked hard to make this season better than last. Sure, there were some things I would have changed and I have voiced my opinion to the powers that be too. But, I would like to say now that the season Is over and Vm already missing Rick and A.J, Thank you guys, for the many laughs, simple smiles and drama you have given us this year.


Issue 15

Details at 11 15 contains letters from 20 people. It is undated (deadline for submissions is February 1, 1987), and it contains 35 pages.

cover of issue #15
  • "Recipe for Disaster:" "The new season, of course!"
  • this issue is typed on a borrowed computer:
    What you see is Apple generated type, not MAD 1, my computer. I won't go into the sordid details, I'll just say my computer and my printer are still conversing in a language unkown to me.... God willing, I'll be able to type #16 on my very own computer at home. Whatever happened to the days when an electric typewriter was enough to send on to nirvana? Gone the way of fiction zines under $7.00 I guess... which leads me to none too cleverly to my next topic. My proposed letterzine sized fiction zine now has a new zine -- "Old Zine With New Tricks". And I'm now accepting submissions of stories of any length -- from 2 pages and up. No poetry, please. I will consider artwork, please send copies only and if possible, make them 8X5 (letterzine size or smaller)... Primarily I am interested in the following M&Mc, S&S, Professionals, S&H, Riptide, MV, and A Team.
  • a fan is disappointed by the new season; she writes that the best thing about it is the new opening credit montage:
    I have vowed never again to fall for a show as completely as I did for Simon. When it starts falling apart and looking like the people involved don't care anymore, it's just too frustrating.
  • this issue has a long poem by Christine Jeffords
  • a fan writes that the recent ZebraCon had a Simon and Simon panel, that two S&S episodes were shown and that one of Ruth Kurz's S&S artworks won "one of the best con art awards"
  • a German fan gives details on the German-dubbed episodes


Issue 16

Details at 11 16 was published in 1987. It contained letters from seventeen people. The cover is by Lizabeth Tucker.

cover of issue #16, Liz Tucker
  • "Recipe for Disaster:" "Since Mackie's script will probably be history, let's discuss it."


References

  1. from issue #13
  2. from issue #12
  3. from issue #13