From a Certain Point of View

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Zine
Title: From a Certain Point of View
Publisher: Shoestring Press/Whine Press
Editor(s): Carolyn Cooper
Date(s): 1985-1994
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Star Wars
Language: English
External Links:
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From a Certain Point of View was a Star Wars zine, with an emphasis on Luke Skywalker stories. There were ten issues.

The title is a quote from Return of the Jedi; Obi-wan Kenobi justifies lying to Luke about Darth Vader by saying that what he said was true "from a certain point of view".

About the Printing and Color

A fan in 2016 commented: "[This was a] zine that looked like no other zine in the fandom, with creative use of layout and color and solid contributions." [1]

In 1985, the editor explained:

How In the world could you afford all that color? Zine publishers always ask me about the color In the $7.00 Issue one of FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW. To be honest, I couldn't. At least not In the usual way. Here's an expurgated history of FACPOV 1.

By February the artists made missed deadline, the printers, a small press specialty printer In California that could give me a perfect-bound, 4-process color cover for only an extra 25 cents, had gone up 40 cents per zine base price and added an extra month load time to their schedule. Enter Shoestring Press and my education Into the world of printing.

Already friends with Katharine Scarritt and Mary Lowe, I had learned a little about printing and printers, now came the question of the color cover. I got lucky. Low cost color separations (I.e. $90 a set Instead of $200-400) were sprouting In the trade magazines and Mary was anxious to try her own 4-color process work, but she was wary of using FACPOV 1 as the guinea pig. Instead she negotiated a deal with a new firm to get my front AND BACK covers for the cost of one cover ($250) In return for using them for her color separation work. The color covers ended up costing fifty cents per zine.

Meanwhile, I agreed to do my own collating and binding. I also learned basic press operations well enough to assist. The power was intoxicating. I conned Mary Into letting me run the interior color for costs by having it ready to batch with her 4-color process run. I also ran much of my own black job and assisted during the color runs. The rainbow colors were weedled out of Mary by playing to her professionalism and by taking the dirty end of the job. (The rainbow effect takes 2 people, one of whom gets very messy.) Begging and pleading helped.

There Is no doubt that FACPOV 1 was an experimental Issue. Some of the experiments worked and some didn't. Some techniques I'll use In Issue two, others I won't. I learned. The color, however, was a hit. And by doing my own collating, binding, batching my colors with an already existing press run, and negotiating with my printers I got a downright gaudy zine for only $250 over a straight, one color job.[2]

Issue 1 ("The Art Nouveau Fantasy Edition")

cover of issue #1, the Luke cover
cover of issue #1, the Han cover
inside page from issue#1

From a Certain Point of View 1 was published in 1985 and contains 80 pages.

Fans could request either Luke or Han on the front cover; the one they didn't pick went on the back cover. This was an example of turning lemons into lemonade! In the 1986 essay Walking the Tightrope: Experiments and Risk Taking in Zine Design, the editor commented on this stylistic "choice":
When I got the front and back FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW 1 covers from the printer I found the printer had offset the pictures of Han and Luke the same way so that both of them were technically for the front cover instead of Luke on the front and Han on the back. Mary Lowe came with the creative suggestion that I just alternate; half of the Luke's on the front and half of the Han's on the front and vice versa for the back. With the exception of one completest collector, the fans loved my comment that it all depended on whom they wanted to wake up seeing. I almost felt compelled to do it deliberately with issue 2. By working WITH the buyers and letting them feel they were participating in the zine, I turned an "oops" into a "thanks".
From a flyer:
Thrills, chills, romance, adventure and fiin! Does everyone have the Force? Why does Leia have those Wedding Bell Blues? What passes between a Father and a Son? What "little" surprise does Han have for Luke? And what One Small Thing gets in Han's way? Seeing the amazing artists and cartoonists gallery and much more in the issue that started it all.
  • Nothing Ever Happens (Running away from home solved six year old Luke Skywalker’s boredom—with a vengeance) (7 pages)
  • Cartoonist’s Gallery (6 pages)
  • Wedding Bells (Leia’s getting married—but to whom, or what?) (11 pages) by Susan Sizemore. (From a reviewer in Southern Enclave: "The main character has to be one of my favorite fan-created personalities-- Leia's Aunt Aliin, a terribly officious and wry woman who decides that Leia must get married to a rather cumbrous, unattractive prince from a race that refers to women as "things". Much to Leia's rage. Aunt Aliin decides this is the best way to save her rebel niece's life from the Emperor's clutches. Having absolutely no pretensions about itself, this story was thoroughly enjoyable for its freshness and sense of humor.")
  • Artist’s Gallery (9 pages) by Dani Lane
  • Echo (Somehow Leia always knew Luke was her brother, but how and what past shadows came forth that night) (3 pages)
  • Between A Father and A Son (What passes between a father and a son when one is found and lost again) (1 page)
  • One Small Thing (Han Solo was just minding his own business, enjoying some free time when a starving pickpocket made his day) (12 pages) by Carolyn Cooper.
  • Just A Little Something I Picked Up (Luke Skywalker gets a little surprise. What do you do with a Jedi’s daughter—especially when she prefers Han) (20 pages) by Carolyn Cooper.
  • Not Everyone (Does everyone have the Force? Han thinks not and with good reason) (2 pages) by Marcia Brin (Offers a great little argument between the Big Three about that nagging question, "Does everyone have the Force?" Han adamantly says no, but watch for that clever ending.)
  • Ben's Lament, a poem by Linda Vandiver, illustrated by Dani Lane (Ben regrets his failure with Anakin.)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Stressing the upbeat and humorous, FACPOV offers an easy evening of light reading and some rather striking interior colors and cover art. The best of the long fiction is Susan Sizemore's "Wedding Bell Blues" and Carolyn Cooper's two connecting pieces, "One Small Thing," and "Just a Little Something I Picked Up." Sizemore's story is told in a deliciously sardonic tone. The main character has to be one of my favorite fan-created personalities--Leia's Aunt Aliin, a terribly officious and wry woman who decides that Leia must get married to a rather cumbrous, unattractive prince from a race that refers to women as "things". Much to Leia's rage, Aunt Aiiin decides this is the best way to save her rebel niece's life from the Emperor's clutches. Having absolutely no pretensions about itself, this story was thoroughly enjoyable for its freshness and sense of humor.

Cooper's two pieces introduce us to a child character [whose special relevance to the Big Three I Shall not divulge). Cooper grabs you immediately with a strong introduction and a fine ability to establish a setting. The idea is certainly not original, being a highly overused source of cutesy fan fiction: a lost, starving waif whose special lineage is suddenly discovered and complicates the lives of our main characters. Nothing here surprises. Nevertheless, it is an engaging alternative. (Han fans take note: he is the most prominent.) A complaint, however: I would hope that at the very least fan fiction set after ROTJ would take into account that film's "humanizing" of Leia. Leia in Cooper's stories is utterly bereft of any warmth or humanity- only Han has that. The old one-dimensional cliche about a single minded devotion to a cause is piled on ad infinitum. Would the same young woman who sensitively befriended Wicket not show any compassion whatsoever at the sight of a ragged, starving, frightened orphan? (And why would Leia be upset at the idea of Han having been previously married?) My own personal prejudices are operating here, admittedly, but it seems to me that many fans make fantastic leaps in speculation about Leia that have no basis on screen. In the wake of ROTJ, especially, Cooper's characterization seems particularly primitive. Yet another Marcia Brin vignette appears here called "Not Everyone," which closes out the the zine; This one offers a great little argument between Big Three about that nagging question, "Does everyone have the Force?" Han adamantly says no watch for that clever ending.

Dani Lane's powerful spree of images which company Lynda Vandiver's evocative poem "Ben's Lament" (about his failure with Anakin) is probably the most striking in the zine. Lane's work seems at once complex yet simple. Lane's intro illo to "Wedding Bell Blues" is not only lovely in its detail and breadth, but also captures the story's wry humor. It is Lane's ability to capture the mood and feel of the works she illustrates that strikes me the most. Also remarkable in its scope and detail is her intro piece to the "Artist's Gallery" section -an impressive effort of portraits of all the major characters, and a few extras thrown in. The color covers of Han and Luke are a visual delight, although a bit stiff in their rendering Carolyn tells me that half the copies have Han on the front, while the other half have Luke. you specify which one you want--that is, if you care. There are a few problems--typos. too little space between text and between columns (I think it is better to have no line between columns; not every space should be filled) and a little faded repro. Borders are overly thick and the columns are much too wide. FACPOV's interior colors are certainly pretty, but they are also far too random. It gives the zine a "messier" look. But it may be a worthy experiment on Carolyn's part. I hope she uses it in a more structured way next time. I do have mixed feelings on the merit of interior colors. On the one hand. I do enjoy looking at them. They provide an added spice to the content. But on the other hand, they can be a distraction, and a bit glaring. First issues are usually hard to recommend, but I can't un-recommend this one either. Up to you.[3]

Issue 2 ("The Fantasy Edition")

From a Certain Point of View 2 was published in 1986 and contains 187 pages.

front cover of issue #2, perhaps inspired by the artist Maxfield Parrish
back cover of issue #2

From a flyer: "You wrote & we listened! So this year there's more! More pages, more color, more Hanna Beru, more art & more fun! How did Han lose his cookies? The real scoop behind the royal wedding? Is the honeymoon over? Will Beru make the worst dressed list? What secret ritual do Luke & Leia share? How's Admiral Piett stayin' alive? Is it all right to be afraid?"

From another flyer: "Does a Royal Wedding always end happily ever after? Did Princess Leia marry Prince Charming or a scruffy, nerf-herder? Or does kissing transform the groom? What secret rituals do Luke and Leia share? And what could the Princess and the Pauper possibly have in common? What does a hero do after the battles done and story ends? Can Luke solve the riddle of fashion quest? Or does Han stir up a witch's brew and lose his cookies? Plus cartoons, fabulous art galleries and more."

Issue 3 ("The GQ Edition")

From a Certain Point of View 3 was published in 1987 and contains 146 pages (five stories).

front cover of issue #3
back cover of issue #3

From an ad in Southern Enclave: "What monumental battle are the Rebels losing the day after the Death Star? What's General Solo's son up to with a heavy blaster and a bottle of Upland Reserves? Han and Chewie with a steady, legal job? What Naughty Bits of trouble is Hanna Beru in now?"

From a flyer: "This is an issue with style! A Jedi craves not these things - well, not often. Hanna Beru gets an "educational" lesson in social proprieties that puts Han and Luke in a tight spot. The Death Star has already gone bang, so what battle are the Rebels losing on Endor? General Solo gave his son two gifts for his return to Nammerin ~ a heavy blaster and a bottle of Upland Reserves. Both are very dangerous. And there comes a time when even Jedi Masters must admit the truth about their lives - and their limits. Han Solo and Chewie have found a nice steady, honest and legal job. What could go wrong? Plus plenty of beautiful art."

Issue 4 ("The Enquirer Edition")

cover of issue #4, Melea Fisher

From a Certain Point of View 4 was published in 1989 and has 138 pages.

From an ad in Southern Enclave: "The secrets of the Rebel stars exposed! Will a certain former smuggler complete his mission or end up in the slammer? Was the Bespin incident really a happy ending? Were those Kessel runs as peaceful as Han remembers? Plus, the exciting 76-page conclusion to Hanna Beru on Ord Mantell."

From a flyer: "The secrets of the Rebels exposed! Will a certain former smuggler complete his Alliance mercy mission - or end up in jail thanks to his Imperial buddy? Did the Bespin incident really have a happy ending? And those Kessel Runs, were they as peaceful as General Solo remembers? And don't forget our exciting 76-page conclusion to Hanna Beru's life on Ord Mantell (Does Han Solo "cheat" at sabaac? You decide!) And will somebody please get the Wookie out of jail?"

  • Contact In Issquay by Debra Doyle and J.D. MacDonald (reprinted in Alliance & Empire #2) (34 pages)
  • Always In Motion Is The Future (12 pages)
  • An Average Day On A Kessel Spice Run (12 pages)
  • A Fine Time Was Had By All (65 pages)


Issue 5 ("The Romance Edition")

cover of issue #5 -- "A lot of folks take one look at the Johanna Lindsey spoof on the cover of FACPOV #5 and say they don't want an "adult" zine. I have to convince them it's a satire of the romance novel covers (for those reading who haven't seen it, Melea Fisher did a fabulous spoof of the romance cover that was banned from a number of groceries stores throughout the country. Naturally, this doubled sales. On FACPOV#5, you see a side shot of a naked Han crushing Leia, in a flowing, off the shoulder ante-bellum style gown, against his chest. A strategically-placed bush covers a third of his tush. And Bespin floats in the background.) It was certainly an unexpected reaction. But I've had to make very clear that FACPOV is a PG-PG13 zine in many areas." -- comments by the editor, Carolyn Cooper, in Southern Enclave #39
cover of the mainstream romance novel cover spoofed was 1985’s "Tender Is the Storm" by Johanna Lindsay. [4]
flyer for issue #5, printed in A Tremor in the Force #5

From a Certain Point of View 5 was published in 1990 and is 198 pages long. It is the "Romance Edition."

[From a flyer]:

Lightsabers of Love Proudly Presents: From a Certain Point of View No. 5.

Han Solo — Handsome, dashing smuggler. . . until that fateful day in a cantina on Tatooine.

Princess Leia Organa — She fought for the Rebel lion... and she fought her passion for him. Luke Skywalker — He was a heroic and hot-blooded warrior. . . but haunted by his past and afraid to embrace his desires.

Chewbacca — Tall dark, and hairy ... his insatiable appetites were nearly the death of them all. ... A teeming zine of men, women, and Wookiees caught in a whirlwind of unexpected love, intrigue, and sudden passions...

The Galaxy's Publisher of the Hot Side of the Force.

Our hottest issue ever! With ail the quality and fun you've come to expect from FACPOV. (Do you have any idea, how many romance covers I had to read to come up with those blurbs?) Over 200 tightly-packed pages of action, adventure, romance, passion, humor, heartache, and fun with a fuii-coior cover sure to tickle your fantasies. ARTWORK: Melea Fisher, Nora Mayers, and Carolyn Cooper. Ail for only $17.00 (U.S.), including first-class postage. Due to the costs, FACPOV #5 is a limited-edition publication. From A Certain Point Of View\s available from Whine Press (It's not my fault!).
  • And They Call It Puppy Love (short story) by Carolyn E. Cooper (He drew women like a magnet. And Hanna Beru could not resist him. How could her father forbid it? What dark forces plotted against them?)
  • Empire and Foundation (short short story) Anne-Virginie Dutech (The dashing pirate captain wanted Princess Leia at any price. Even if it meant dealing with the Emperor himself. Can Leia survive the desires of two men?)
  • And For the Republic (novella) Nora Mayers (What dark destiny struggles to keep Princess Leia Organa from the arms of the handsome, heroic Han Solo? What tragic secret is Han Solo hiding? Will Luke Slqrwalker die a traitor's death? Must they seek sanctuary in another galaxy?)
  • Past Shadows, Future Voices (novel) Scotty Perkins (Luke Skywalker is the last of Jedi Knights — unless, he can find the lost Jedi secrets. And his only link is a mysterious and desireable woman. But is her destiny along the Dark path? Must the Princess Leia Organa choose between love and conscience? Can Han Solo find his missing friends in time?)


Issue 6 ("The Family Values Edition")

From a Certain Point of View 6 was published in 1994. It is the "Family Values Edition." From an ad in Southern Enclave: "I'm looking for some good stories and art with our heroes and their childhoods, children, family relationships (maybe Han and Leia's wedding?), etc. As always, FACPOV prefers upbeat, positive pieces with our heroes as a prominent part, but I'll look at well-written dark drama."


References

  1. comment by kslangley at What was your first fandom?, August 28, 2016
  2. from Blue Pencil #1
  3. from Southern Enclave #11
  4. "The “clinch” became the standard and remained so throughout the 1980s—the industry term for those covers featuring the protagonists locked in a passionate embrace, their clothes frequently on the verge of melting away, seemingly caught in flagrante delicto. It might be more or less torrid. For instance, writer Johanna Lindsey had a string of truly outrageous covers that peaked with 1985’s Tender Is the Storm; illustrated by Robert McGinnis, it features a frankly shocking amount of naked, manly haunch and appears to depict a man outright thrusting his penis between a woman’s abundant breasts. Carson probably couldn’t have shown it without FCC complaints. In the book The Romance Revolution, Carol Thurston suggests that in at least one city, Minneapolis, romance novels got caught up in the anti-pornography ordinances that tore the feminist movement apart in the mid-1980s—specifically, the ones with “lurid” covers." -- The Steamy, Throbbing History of Romance Novel Covers