Dovya Blacque

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Fan
Name: Dovya Blacque
Alias(es): Alayne Gelfand, Alayne, Arlan Symons (as stated in On the Double #6)
Type: writer, editor, publisher, convention planner, artist
Fandoms: Original Fiction, Star Trek: TOS, Blake's 7, X-Files, Star Wars, Stargate: SG-1, CSI: Miami, Beauty and the Beast, Sentinel, Happy Days, Due South, Taxi, Equalizer, Nash Bridges, Miami Vice, Wiseguy, Lovejoy, Lost Boys, Young Guns, First Power, Kiefer/Lou
Communities:
Other:
URL: Mkashef Enterprises
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Dovya Blacque, the most frequently used pen-name of "Alayne Gelfand" [1], is a slash writer and artist,

She is also a zine publisher and owner (co-owner?) of Mkashef Enterprises.

Dovya was involved in An Open Letter to Fandom Regarding Zine Pirating and a signer of the letter about zine piracy written to Candace Pulleine. Dovya was also a con organizer for Koon-ut-Cali-Con.

Interview

Her Words: From Her Website

"I have been an editor of fan fiction for 26 years and a professional editor for 18 years, editing numerous short stories and novels as well as editing the entirety of my erotic vampire anthology, PRISONERS OF THE NIGHT. I’m also an experienced author and have won several amateur writing awards over my 30 year writing career (I started writing when I was 3 years old, no really!) as well as many university poetry and fiction awards. My writing career began with fan fiction based in Star Trek and moved on to other fan-based themes over the years. As well as publishing PRISONERS OF THE NIGHT and my fantasy anthology, Amaranth, I’ve been publishing fan fiction for 24 years. I’ve also sold original short fiction to many small press anthologies. Since 1981, I have edited and published over eighty anthologies and novels and am currently working on editing four anthologies.I’ve been writing fiction – original characters and fan stories – since 1976. In that time, I’ve written over two hundred-fifty stories and four novels. My original fiction, fan fiction and poetry have appeared in semi-professional publications as well as dozens of fanzines (fan magazines) edited by other publishers." [2]

Her Words: From Scribbling Women: Editors Talk Back

What made you decide to print artwork given that it is expensive and difficult to reproduce?: Dovya writes “I wanted art and lots of it. I wanted a Gayle F. cover for my first issue of As I Do Thee. I didn’t think I’d get one but that’s what I wanted. I wanted to dive right into the thick of K/S and go for what I thought was the best for my cover. To my utter surprise, Gayle was more than happy to do a cover for me, she even ‘edited’ part of the drawing that was a bit too risqué for my cover tastes. We worked together on many projects through the years, even non- fan projects. In general I’d send the story or poem to a particular artist and they interpreted the fiction or poetry in the most wonderful ways. It added such a rich texture to the zines.” Dovya explains that nowadays, “art is not expensive or difficult to reproduce if you have the right printer (which is a good thing—and a hard thing—to find). In the old days, half-tones—pencil work—were quite a bit more expensive than ink work but not so much so that I shied away from printing it. I always preferred to accept pen and ink as it is simpler to reproduce but I never hesitated to publish pencil work. Now, if you’re talking color work, before the excellent color photo-copy machines we have now, yes, I did hesitate to publish color art. In fact, until recently—because of the color photo-copiers and how good they are—I never published color work.”
When you decided to publish a zine what were your thoughts about art?: “Well, I remember that, speaking as an editor, there were more artists than you could shake the proverbial stick at when I started publishing zines. Artists contacting me to submit, asking if I wanted a cover from them. Artists, artists everywhere. Not so much, in my experience, now.” And Dovya certainly loved the art she saw, explaining, “For me as a fan, the art shows at cons knocked me out. So much talent by so many people. The variety of how people interpreted K/S was truly awesome. And I loved the art in zines, just loved it. Couldn’t wait to see the cover of the new issue of whatever zine I was expecting. I remember just staring at the covers of zines like Thrust and Naked Times and Out of Bounds and The Price & The Prize and Command Decision, etc. The art brought K/S to life for me in a way the stories themselves didn’t, couldn’t.”
How do you find artists? Have you chased artists you like or just waited for the submissions to come rolling in?!: “I managed to find artists to illustrate almost every story in As I Do Thee 1 and later issues, which is another thing that’s fallen by the wayside now. I’ve contacted artists recently—in the past 2-3 years—without much success, not even any response. But back then I’d send the story or poem to a particular artist and they interpreted the fiction or poetry.”
What was your policy—would you take all art? Or only that judged to be good? What is your policy on very explicit material? And CGA?: ”Hell yeah! But not for a cover. No penises hanging out on the covers please! Explicit covers are impossible for editors or agents to put out on their table at conventions—or should be in my opinion—which is why I choose not to print explicit covers. But inside? Absolutely...if I deem it acceptable.” But Dovya, like Robin, will not take CGAs.
How far do you try to match the fictional content with the artistic? Do you try to illustrate the stories you print, or let art stand alone as a separate treat?: “I prefer to assign stories and poetry to artists but have done it the other way; matched art to stories or poetry. But the subject really is moot for me at this point as I have enough trouble finding someone to do my covers let alone illustrate stories.”
Given that women are often said to be less visually aroused than men, do you think that the images you print add to the erotic content of the zine, or do you think they provide something more subtle?: “First, I’d have to disagree with the statement about women being less visually aroused. I have a feeling that study was done by a man!… I do think the illustrations in stories add to the impact. The art brings another textural level to the story, something richer and more “real,” if you will. Art in general speaks to us as history, as a way of recording, it’s also a mnemonic device. Quite often, if I’m trying to remember a story, remembering a piece of art brings me right to it. The art distinguishes that story from all the others that live in my head. Art is a way of telling a story as much as text is a way of telling a story. Neither is bad on their own but, for me, they elevate the experience of reading a fanzine.”
How do you feel about the visual impact of the zines you produced?: “I take great pride in presenting a pleasant, attractive zine. I try to keep the text clean and as typo-free as possible—which is never perfect but, hey, I try. I want a beautiful cover if possible. I use comb binding and try to match the color of the comb to the cover drawing as much as possible. I like white paper but try not to leave too much ‘blank space’ in the zine. I try to fill pages where stories end toward the top with poetry or art. I want the reading experience to be such that people want to read more of my zines and want to keep them in their collections.”

Fan Reaction

One fan writes:
Here's another author who writes those wonderful warm, loving stories, and does it with the flare of the poet, to boot. Another byline that always provokes a certain expectation of excellence. My most favorite of her stories was "Shadows in the Rain" (NT 9), done under the name of Arlan Symons. What an imaginative, thought-provoking, beautifully-written piece of work. Other favorites from this author are "A Strange and Beautiful Flower" (A GATHERING OF BLACQUE) and "Around Any Corner" (DARING ATTEMPT 2). [3]

Sample Art

Zines Dovya has work in

References

  1. As I Do Zines
  2. from her zine publishing website
  3. from On the Double #10