Essential Sentinel

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Title: Essential Sentinel
Publisher: Secret Pleasures Press
Date(s): 2000-2005
Medium: print
Size: digest-sized
Genre: slash
Fandom: Sentinel
External Links:
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Essential Sentinel is a slash Sentinel digest-sized anthology. The No Frills Edition are issues published without art.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, Suzan Lovett: "Breakdown" -- original art was sold here

Essential Sentinel 1 was published in March 2000 and is 228 pages long. Artists: Suzan Lovett (cover), Hindman & MegaRouge are the interior artists. It is a half-size zine like Transience and was printed on orange paper, making it very difficult to read.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

The art-work in this 'zine, both inside and out, is beautiful. Legion's contributions alone would make this a wonderful 'zine. I loved Legion's primal Sentinel in The Elemental Man. Pure Spirit is marked as a "companion piece", but I can not see why. It is a wonderful angsty, first-time, Blair-owie story, but I can't see any relationship to The Elemental Man.

Megarouge's The Ice Man Returneth gives us a wonderful, first-time story, also.

Morning After The Night Before, while well-written, is not a slash story, though Blair gives it a shot!

Once again, I have to make a special mention of one of the fandoms most talented artists, Suzan Lovett. I am so happy Suzan chooses to paint for the fandoms. She is incredibly talented and we are very lucky she shares with us! She paints in many fandoms, and you can see her work and buy it online...[1]
WHEN will I learn? WHEN? Just because a zine has a to-die-for cover by Suzan Lovett (upon reflection, this could apply to TACS as well) that is just plain Yummy does *not* mean the zine is worth buying/reading. {sigh}

This zine contains 3 hurt/comfort novellas, two by Legion and one by Megarouge (and one short story by another author so bad I don't even want to think about it, so I won't). The story by Megarouge ('The Ice Man Returneth') was so predictable and trite I was just livid. The first novella by Legion had been published in 'Come to Your Senses 7', so I'd already read it. The only story that was moderately interesting was the last novella by Legion, called 'Pure Spirit', in which Blair, after days of drugs and torture, develops aphasia (the inability to understand language of any kind - spoken or written). These stories were all hurt/comfort with heavy emphasis on the 'hurt' part of the equation. I only ended up being interested in the one story, but it wasn't a page-turner for me. The justification for the aphasia plot was far too unrealistic.

The main thing I hated about this zine, though, was the format. This zine, a tiny half-size zine like 'Transience', was printed on *orange* paper. Beyond being just plain tacky, it was extremely difficult to read. Gave me quite the headache! And also, how nice of the publishers to number all the pages, and yet not include page numbers for the stories on the table of contents page. {snort!} Maybe if this zine had been printed on easy-to-read white paper I'd be a little more positive about it. But I doubt it. As it was, I felt I was suckered into buying a zine because of a gorgeous Jim-n-Blair pic by Suzan Lovett on the cover. No offense, Suzan - love your artwork, and I know it's not your fault. I keep thinking the stories inside such a zine will live up to their cover, and painfully often, they *don't*. {sigh} [2]
The first issue's tone is small and intimate. Three authors and three artists combined to create this zine.[3]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, by Suzan Lovett: "Touch." A fan says: "Why you should buy this zine? The back cover. It is absolutely the most beautiful picture I have ever seen. "Touch" by Susan Lovett. I bought this zine, my first ever, at Electicon. I knew that most of the stories were on the net, but I wanted a copy of a couple of my favorites that were included in this zine, 'Bid Him Come or Bid Him Go' and 'Quack'. I forked over my money and man, I'm glad I did. I sat down one afternoon and started reading. There is something really comforting to be able to sit with a book in hand, curled on the sofa. So different from reading on a monitor.[4]

Essential Sentinel 2 was published in November 2000 and contains 151 pages. The art is by Suzan Lovett, Hindman, MegaRouge and JM Griffin. The cover art also appears on Favorite Things.

  • Heartbeats, Pt. 1 by J.M. Griffin (3)
  • Isolation by Hindman (23)
  • A Brother by Choice by Wendy Myers (61)
  • Heartbeats, Pt. 2 by J.M. Griffin (67)
  • I am a Rock by Wendy Myers (99)
  • Silent Conversation by J. Ellison, B. Sandburg (107)
  • Heartbeats: Epilogue by J.M. Griffin (109)
  • Home by Legion (113)
  • Outside Looking In by J.M. Griffin (125)
  • My Turn by J. Ellison (151)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

[Heartbeats]: A/U set @2006, first-time. Blair and Jim have apparently had a falling out and have gone their separate ways. Nine years later Jim finds himself the guardian of Blair's six year old son, while Blair himself is unable to escape the political hotspot of Haruwanda, Africa. Part One begins with Jim taking guardianship of Eli (Blair's son) and shows us the many changes the Major Crime department has seen through the years, and lets us have a look at Jim's regrets for letting things fall apart between he and Blair. Part Two shows more of Eli's life and Jim's adjustment to parenthood. Jim also finds hope that Blair may soon return. The Epilogue finally finds our guys where they belong.... in that big bed in the loft!.[5]
[zine]: Once again, I have to make a special mention of one of the fandoms most talented artists, Suzan Lovett. I am so happy Suzan chooses to paint for the fandoms. She is incredibly talented and we are very lucky she shares with us! She paints in many fandoms, and you can see her work and buy it online... We also get some excellent interior pieces including two matching pieces by J H Hindman. Both full color; each features Jim or Blair with their respective spirit guides. All the art in this 'zine is very nice. Why you should buy this 'zine: I bought it just for the Suzan Lovett cover and the Legion story. Works for me! [6]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3, Wendy Myers
cover of issue #3, No Frills Edition

Essential Sentinel 3 was published in 2001 and is 142 pages long. Art is by MegaRouge, K9 and Wendy Myers.

  • Thaw by J.M. Griffin (1)
  • Drugs to a Junkie by Rebecca Avery (7)
  • Neanderthal by B. Sandburg (50)
  • Virgin Territory by J.M. Griffin (53)
  • Not Beautiful by J. Ellison (53)
  • Familiar Territory by J.M. Griffin (61)
  • Until Proven Innocent by J.C. (64)
  • Real Fantasy by Zach Nitzyekov (111)
  • Break by Legion (125)

Issue 4

cover of issue #4, Suse

Essential Sentinel 4 was published in November 2002 and contains 236 pages. It has art by Patt and Suse.

  • Jim's Fear by Khylara 1
  • Unbreak My Heart by Marie Waters 3
  • All You Wanted by LilyK 17
  • Because I Can by Shamaness 53
  • Plastic by Jamie Ritchey 74
  • Jim's Plea by Khylara 81
  • Just Married? by LilyK 83
  • Panther by Ophelia 99
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Patt 108
  • Then Love the One You're With by Valaria 127 (Henri/Jim, a great romance)
  • The Witch of Boggy Creek by Cherokee Girl 154

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

There are so many stories, that I decided to go the lazy route. There isn't a bad one among these. I loved every single one and they all left me totally satisfied. They will you too. Why you should buy this 'zine: It's a really nice Digest size with a lovely color cover from Suse. Lots of great stories inside.[7]

Issue 5

cover of issue #5, Patt
cover of issue #5, No Frills Edition

Essential Sentinel 5 was published in October 2002 and is 257 pages long. The art is by Patt and Shar. (winner of 2003 FanQ)

  • A Heart with Wings by Lady J. (1)
  • Moonlight Musings by Khylara (26)
  • I Don't Know You Anymore by Cassandra Lee Alvarez (29)
  • Without Walls by Catherine (57)
  • Not Wanted by KAM (90)
  • Long Journey Home: Whispers I and II by J.M. Griffin (101)
  • The Past Echoes, Pt. 1 by Legion (103)
  • When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best by Jamie Ritchey (127)
  • Reverberations by J.M. Griffin (133)
  • Sing Me a Love Song by Angelise (146)
  • Long Journey Home: Guide I and II by J.M. Griffin (191)
  • Shortcomings by Lisa, Duncan's Twin (193)
  • Faries and Orcs and Gryphons, Oh, My! by Lady J. (204)
  • The Past Echoes, Pt. 2 by Legion (211)
  • Long Journey Home: Whispers III by J.M. Griffin (257)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 5

This is also a digest Zine, with a lot of wonderful stories in it. I'm not going to review each one, or I'll never get the reviews done. This one like #4, is filled with great stories that will keep you entertained for days. (Hours if you're a fast reader.) I enjoyed every single one of them. Why you should buy this 'zine: Not a bad story among them. The art is nice too.[8]

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Lilac
cover of issue #6, No Frills Edition

Essential Sentinel 6 was published in 2005 and contains 142 pages. Color cover and interior by Lilac. B/W interiors by akablonded and Hindman.

  • Reason to Love by LilyK 5 (Sometimes facing the past is a prerequisite to having a future. Sometimes the help to do it comes from unexpected places.)
  • The Plan by KAM 18 (Friends can sometimes see things a man, or two, can't see for themselves. Then again...)
  • Have You Seen This Man? by Legion 30 (A fluke accident, caused by carelessness, may have ended Jim's life, and this time, it's Blair to the rescue.)
  • Getting It by Akablonded 61 (Sometimes men are dense. Sometimes they 'get it.')
  • Secret Santa by Jamie Ritchey 71 (As the holidays approach, Jim discovers the perfect gift for Blair.)
  • Edges of Heaven by J.M. Griffin 83 (Jim and Blair's son, Eli, and his Sentinel, Nick, finally can have everything they wanted, but when Nick is injured, some ugly truths surface that may end their relationship.)


  1. ^ from Destinies Entwined
  2. ^ Raonaid's Zine Recommendations, Archived version
  3. ^ Lynn W, via Wayback, accessed March 7, 2014
  4. ^ Destinies Entwined accessed 3.21.2011
  5. ^ from Destinies Entwined
  6. ^ from Destinies Entwined
  7. ^ from Destinies Entwined
  8. ^ from Destinies Entwined