Scribbling Women: The History of Our Art
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|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
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It is part of a series:
- Scribbling Women: The History of Our Art
- Scribbling Women: Artists Talk Back
- Scribbling Women: Editors Talk Back
This article examines zine art, focusing on style, the productivity of selected artists, and the subject of these illustrations. She also goes into great detail regarding statistics and subjects of K/S art as it appeared between 1976 and 1998.
When K/S fans were compared to “scribbling women,” Constance Penley was talking about our fan fiction, but we have also been busy scribbling away with pencils, pens and paints to create some beautiful pictures of Kirk and Spock. Over the past thirty years of K/S fandom we have produced an incredible amount of art. I have no idea exactly how much, but from 1976 to 1998 we drew at least 1,661 pictures... The history of our art is as long and as fascinating as that of our zines, and it amazes me how little we actually know about it, despite the awe in which we K/S fans hold our best artists and the staggering prices we have been known to pay for the art itself. You don’t need to be a K/S fan for long before you know who Gayle F. is, and you don’t go to a K/S art auction without coming away amazed at the passion we clearly have for pictorial representations of our favourite duo. It seems to me that we have always been as interested in drawing Kirk and Spock as writing about them.
Identifies the First K/S Art Published
The first K/S art published was by Diane Marchant for her story A Fragment Out of Time. It was a small, subtle non-explicit piece that did not specify who was being portrayed; the fact that it was Kirk and Spock was based on context (neither character was referred to by name in the story), this inference was made even vaguer.
Discusses the First Explicit K/S Art
The first X-rated piece of art was drawn by none other than Gayle F. and appeared in 1978, in Thrust. (Gayle’s earlier pictures, which appeared in 1977 in Obsc’zine, were also erotic, but not as X-rated as this). It is curious that although Gayle was a prolific and popular artist from the very beginnings of our fandom, her style was not particularly influential. Although Virginia S. claims she started out imitating Gayle, for whatever reason the majority of K/S art then and now remains highly realist in style. Realist drawings by Pat S. appeared along side Gayle’s more stylized pictures in Thrust.
The author and her cohorts analyzed many years of K/S art and reported statistics regarding how explicit the subjects were, were Spock and Kirk displayed alone or together...
The author explains that she defines X-rated as "sexually explicit," and NC-17 as "erotic."
The Early Years: 562 pictures were analyzed: 74 were X-rated, 81 were NC-17 rated, 101 were PG rated, 227 were G rated
"By far the most popular medium was pen and ink accounting for 403 of the images—with just 100 pictures being drawn in pencil. This probably reflects the realities of the reproduction of zines, where the greyscale printing, needed to reproduce the tones of pencil work, was more expensive, or even impossible, for some editors. The most prolific artists were Gayle F. with 75 drawings and Merle D. with 55 (that’s a LOT!) But of course you don’t have to be prolific to be well known and Leslie Fish and Pat S. were both scribbling busily during these years."
Gaining Strength: 455 pictures were analyzed: 93 were X-rated, 62 were NC-17 rated, 32 were PG rated, 132 were G rated, 99 were portraits, 31 were copies of Trek scenes.
"203 were pen and ink 169 were pencils The rest were other media. So it does seem that as reproduction technology improved, pencil work was being published more and more. A lot of artists preferred to work in pencil and so perhaps editors were bowing to artistic pressure. Prolific artists included Val J. and Barbara G., although no one was published quite as often as Gayle F. was in the first five years of fandom. Gayle herself was only published 23 times in this next period, perhaps her hands were still sore from drawing over 70 pictures in the previous few years! This time also saw the emergence of several other well known artists, including Caren Parnes, Suzan Lovett and The Southern Cross."
Established Fandom: 1044 pictures were analyzed
166 were X-rated, 173 were NC-17 rated, 65 were PG rated, 163 were G rated, 426 were portraits, 42 were copies of a Trek scene
"It looks as if portraits came into their own during these years, possibly because some very talented artists of this period specialized in them. Interestingly, there is still a dip in PG rated pictures—we seem to like our K/S erotic or clean and not half-half. I wonder why that is? Perhaps we’re just not the sort to do things by halves? There are proportionally more X-rated pictures in these years than previous ones, but not by a huge margin. I don’t think we’ve got ruder—but we are perhaps less worried about postmen and customs officials.
In terms of medium, there were 416 pen and ink drawings and 407 pencil drawings. I’m surprised that pen and inks are still so popular as several artists say they don’t care for the medium and greyscale printing was well established by 1985.
The most prolific artist was Chris S., with an amazing 124 pictures published (many of them stunning portraits), Virginia S. published 77 pictures, Kay W. 75, Jackie Z. 71, Deeb 55, and Gayle F. 41! Shelley Butler also enters the scene during these years. And the rest, as they say, is history....
Reactions and Reviews
I was surprised at how interesting this article was, since I have no understanding of Artwork, I only know what I like. I was hooked from word one, Liz did a wonderful job. The research information was more interesting than I imagined. And how wonderful that Chris S, Southern Cross and Shelley Butler tied for 1st place but I would have to add Suzan Lovett to make it a 4 way tie. 
- from The K/S Press #133