Inside the Old House

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Zine
Title: Inside the Old House
Publisher: Old House Publishing
Editor(s): Dale Clark editor, Mark Etheridge co-editor (for a while in the beginning)
Date(s): 1978-1983, then 1987-2000
Frequency: bi-monthly
Medium: print
Fandom: Dark Shadows
Language: English
External Links: archived link to the zine page
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Inside the Old House is a gen Dark Shadows zine. It ran for 65 issues.
Established in 1978, each bi-monthly issue of Inside The Old House is 52-60 + pages and contains original fan fiction, poetry, artwork, unusual photos, letters of comment, character biographies, news, classified ad section and more.
THE FAN PAGE: This is a regular open column dealing with various aspects of DARK SHADOWS. Some of the more recent columns have dealt with "Who Was the Perfect Woman for Barnabas", and "Why the NBC DARK SHADOWS Failed." Any subscriber may submit a column.
FROM THE CELLAR: Letter of comments from the readers. This column often turns into an informal " rebuttal" page for the previous issue's THE FAN PAGE. Readers are encouraged to speak freely about whatever they wish to discuss regarding DARK SHADOWS, fandom in general, or whatever they feel like discussing.
FAN FICTION: Original stories by some of the best DARK SHADOWS fan fictionwriters in DS fandom.
CLASSIFIED ADS: The perfect place to find that particular piece of DARK SHADOWS memorabilia that you've been looking for -- or trying to sell. Classified ads are free to subscribers. [source]
Reprints from this zine were published in The Best of Inside the Old House.

Hiatus

This zine took a three year hiatus between 1983 and 1987.

The Editor Writes of This Zine's History

From The World of Dark Shadows #65/66:
In early 1978 I believed, like many other people, that I was the only Dark Shadows fan left on the face of the Earth. I was involved in other fandoms, specifically comics, and would occasionally cone across some of the old DS comic books...

I was flipping through the pages [of Rona Barrett's "Daytimer"] and found a classified ad section. To my surprise there was a Dark Shadows fanclub! For a small fee I would receive membership and something called a fanzine. I was certainly game for anything after years of starvation for Dark Shadows so I gambled the $1.00 and not too patiently waited. When I received that first issue, which had several advertisements for other DS publications as well as memorabilia, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy store. However, I was not satisfied. This is neat, but I think I could do it better. It was only a stray thought, but it was one which was to grow over the next several weeks.

Before long I was subscribing to several of the publications, some mediocre, others bad and a few very good. The thought of "I could do this" began running through my head more and more often until I finally started checking with different printers to see just how much it would cost to run a fanzine. It was an education; one of many to follow.

After writing to Kathy Resch who was running, in my opinion, the best of the publications that I saw, I decided to throw my hat into the fanzine ring. I placed ads in the fanzines that I was subscribing to and began work on my very own Dark Shadows fanzine. I had managed to talk a friend into helping me, even though he knew nothing about DS and had no real desire to learn. It didn't matter, it was a helping hand and I felt that I was going to need one before long. It took a lot of work but I soon had my first issue ready for the printer.

Hell, almost. I had the 'zine all completed, pictures, pasted, story written and typed, ads in place. I had it all together except for a name. What was I going to call this opus. The World of Dark Shadows already had the best name. I didn't want a "society" (yikes!), a fellowship, or anything like that. What could I call it? I was scheduled to take the thing to the printer in a couple of days and I needed a title - fast! Mark, my DS ignorant assistant editor, provided the answer. Or rather, his lack of DS knowledge supplied the answer. He very casually asked, as he pointed to the front cover, "Who's that?" Slightly irritated at his not knowing, even though I had told him what seemed like a dozen times before, I answered, "It's Barnabas and Elizabeth inside the old house."

Bing! if this had been a cartoon there would have been a lightbulb over my head.

That was eleven years ago and I'm still scratching my head every issue over one thing or another. I have mixed feelings whenever I see that first issue. Nostalgia and horror. It was small and filled with errors, but it was my first. Since that time I've learned a lot about pleading with printers, the post office, and people.

One of the most obvious errors I ever made was with issue #13 Once again, my assistant editor was instrumental. I had just picked up the "zine from the printer and was proudly stuffing them in envelopes for mailing out. Mark very nonchalantly asked what number this issue was. I told him, "Thirteen of course. Don't you ever pay attention?' "Then why does it say twelve on the cover?" It was too late to correct the error. So, in a way, there are two different copies of ITOH #12. ((Actually, the numbering on the inside front cover is correct. To further cloud the issue, there are reprints of ITOH #13 with the correct number on the outside. Just a bit of trivia for you completists.))

In 1984 I decided to retire the 'zine for a while. After two Dallas Dark Shadows Conventions and running ITOH for six years, not to mention trying to have a personal life, I was burned out. I retired the "zine, not knowing for certain if it would ever return. But of course it did. After a two and a half year sabbatical, ITOH returned to DS fandom and I've not regretted the decision.

Over the years I've been delighted to work with some incredibly talented people and made some wonderful friends. This article gives me a chance to publicly thank them for all of their contributions. Be that in the form of a story, artwork, poetry, or a letter of comment. You are what makes INSIDE THE OLD HOUSE more a pleasure than a chore. Thank you.

And if you are thinking about running a fanzine -- do it!

Issues

References