Lifeline (Starsky and Hutch zine)
|Publisher:||Jenny Brown Enterprises|
|Editor(s):||Megan Kent and Molly D. Brown|
|Fandom:||Starsky and Hutch|
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This zine contains one black and white illustration by SVE.
Another zine published for the same occasion is Celebration.
From the Editorial
Hey, this May will be the tenth anniversary of Starsky getting ventilated in the parking lot! There ought to be a zine to celebrate, we thought. And so the great zine title hunt was on. Take it from us -- the hardest part of doing a zine is coming up with a title. The original concept for this zine was a small, unedited one-shot along the lines of Good Kisser. Well...as you can see, we grew. We had no idea when we started that we'd get 29 submissions and end up with almost ninety full-size pages. Our guidelines were that submissions should relate to Sweet Revenge in some way and that they should be under five pages... We took all the submissions we received, and are happy to present a mix of new writers (even one writing in a second language) and old pros. We didn't edit, but take full responsibility for all typos.
FeedbackIn 1990, the editor wrote:
By whining continuously, we managed to elicit fewer than ten LOC's on Lifeline. We had a print run of 150. Nonetheless, the responses we got were encouraging, and most went into a deeper analysis than "I liked it," we were very pleased to pass these along to the authors. 
- Brother in Arms by Lynna Bright (gen) (1)
- Prima Facie by Terri Beckett and Chris Powers (gen) (2)
- Nexus by Merle Decker (gen) (5)
- A Woman’s Touch by Debra Hicks (slash) (9)
- Could’ve Been by Lois Blaisch, poem (gen) (12)
- Could Have Been by Anne Nonna Mouse (slash) (13)
- Shaman by Pat Massie, (gen) poem (16)
- Sweet Revenge: Two Scenes by Maria Farina (gen) (17)
- Don't Cry Down My Back, Baby, You Might Rust My Spurs by MRK (gen) (18)
- There for Me by Molly D. Brown (gen) (21)
- Happily Ever After by Jenn (slash) (22)
- The Necklace by Marion Hale (slash) (25)
- A Different Kind of Pain by Lucy Cribb Walk (slash) (27)
- Quiet Night In? by Elke Mueller (gen) (28)
- Sweet Refrain by April Valentine (gen) (32)
- Thanks Be To by Pat Charles (slash) (35)
- Changes by Cheryl M. (slash) (39)
- Blintzes by B.L. Barr (gen) (43)
- Alley Cat by Pat Massie, (gen) (45)
- Sweet Comfort by April Valentine (slash) (46)
- Red-Letter Day by Belle Eyre (slash) (52)
- Coming Home by G. Burke (slash) (56)
- Progression by Elizabeth Lowry (gen) (60)
- Blue Dark Hunger by Jessica Celliers (slash) (62)
- Lifewatch by Linda G. (slash) (66) (Reprinted in Back to Back)
- Magnificent Six by Marian Kelly (gen) (72)
Reactions and Reviews
[Happily Ever After]: Destinies change, futures are turned inside out, and reality shifts more than we often would like. However, when there's someone there to share your life, the journey doesn't seem so hard. This is just a day in the life piece, a slice of what has become Starsky and Hutch's futures.
"Hey, Hutch, gonna come home to me?" Starsky whispered into the ear.
"Never left. And you know I never will."It's all about who you come home to and knowing that no matter what, they'll always be there for you.
[zine]: Have you all sent for (the few of you who didn't contribute, that is) LIFELINE? I highly recommend it -- it's happy, positive, and wonderful -- the perfect way to mark the occasion of the tenth anniversary of SWEET REVENGE. Thanks to "Jenny Brown" for bringing it to us. 
[zine]: First of all, I'd like to thank you for the wonderful Starsky and Hutch zine Lifeline. What a wonderful anniversary present to us all! It provided me some wonderful hours of enjoyable reading, as well as opportunities to explore new talents (?) and parts of myself.
As to the stories, Lynna did a wonderful job, as usual. Her writing continues to paint such beautiful word pictures. The sentiments expressed show us her deeply caring soul and beautiful spirit-as well as the spirit of Hutch. May we all be able to wish our loved ones smooth passage with as much love and compassion as does Hutch. Beautiful, Lynna, but all too brief.
Prima Facie by Beckett and Power was also very nice and helped to flesh out the telephone scene in Sweet Revenge. For some reason it had always bothered me~so it was nice for someone to explain and expand the scene. Nicely done!
Merle's Nexus was delightful. Starsky was facing his limits and he still had his courage, forging ahead, etc. I definitely liked it.
Debra Hicks story, A Woman's Touch, was also delightful and believable. Edith Dobey is an interesting character and it's always nice to see stories that include Edith. Debra definitely knows the characters. Let's see more! Elke Mueller's story was also a nice Edith and Harold story and very enjoyable.
Lucy Cribb-Walk's story was a nice brief mutual worry story. I think Starsky's worry about his safety is realistic. It adds a nice touch to the story.
Sweet Refrain and Sweet Comfort were both excellent. Once again [April] spins two delightful and insightful tales regarding our favorite couple. I think the internal workings of Starsky's thought patterns were very realistic-we feel with Starsky. Hutch's reactions are good and you can't help but wonder about how we'd react. It definitely added something to our understanding of the characters. Well done, [April]! Sweet Comfort was all that-such a loving, caring story. If the boys couldn't be together on the force, I do think that Sweet Comfort would definitely have been the way they faced Hutch's decision to quit-and Starsky's turmoil. Another heartwarming story.
Blue Dark Hunger by Jessica Celliers was very imaginative and sensual. A nice change of pace story.
Lifewatch by Linda McGee was definitely my favorite in the zine. I do like stories that give us greater insight into Dobey and his love for the boys. It was a very nice piece that took us from the beginning of the tragedy to the final deluge in the hospital. Well done, Linda, and I'd like to see more!
As to all the other stories and authors in the zine, while not mentioned specifically, I'd like to say they were all good stories and I enjoyed them all. All in all, it was a great one-shot zine and you are both to be commended.My only complaint - NO ARTWORK! So many of the stories had great pictures just waiting to be drawn. Maybe the zine will stimulate artists to get busy for ZebraCon. 
[zine]: I've been reading and re-reading Lifeline since its arrival about a week ago. Thank you for an enjoyable and welcome zine with so much variety and vitality. Very nice cover design- effective and relevant. Clear print and competent binding. Congratulations on the way you kept to the scheduled anniversary week for publication. I agree with the editorial comment that, in a few contributions, the connection with S/REV editorial guideline seems a bit elusive. And there is at least one story in which I discerned indications which would suggest a category other than the one assigned to it in the editorial. Those are just interested comments-not complaints! This is a feast of reading with all those variations on a very rich theme.
Carol's short, short stories are a delight. I brooded happily over the picture of KH joining up those dots. For games you can play in a hospital, it sure beats pinochle. And that deathless line, "...at least I didn't lose an eye..." Right. Let's all be glad about that. We got a Twinkling Starsk and a Hole-ier Starsk...a sinister Uncle James...Dobey's diets. If Edith is serious, that PD is going to have some staffing problems. All of it definitely that "Best Humour" category. Also loved and laughed over the Title Search. That was an editorial creation? Nice. Neat.
Pat's poems, Shaman and Alley Cat. This poet has a gift for titles. Beautifully evocative, as always. Poetry to return to Lynna's Brothers in Arms with its moving and perceptive insights makes a perfect choice to open the zine-a beautiful beginning. "Life matters, and we should be glad of it, no matter what the circumstances," an encapsulation of the courage and truth of the whole relationship.
So...nearly thirty stories/vignettes/poems...up-beat, downbeat, some at the immediate time of the shooting, some later, so many different angles-evidence, if any were needed, of the powerful appeal and impact of this episode. It was an inspired idea to base a zine on it.
There are several instances of the Dobeys' involvement. I like that. Also like the way the Torino features.
Linda's Lifewatch makes Dobey a central character. I found this a very satisfying story. Remember "Solitaire" in Zebra Three, vol. 41 This story reminded me of that kind of treatment of material, in the way it fills in for us things which a screened episode doesn't find time for. Thanks to Linda for doing that the way she has. This is one of my favorite stories in Lifeline. I'm glad those 'three Bs' worked so well. Outside the Gunther scenes and the tag, S/REV seems to have comparatively little dialogue-though I've never counted up the words. The script for the KH role wouldn't take days and days of learning lines. The acting and the direction mesh superbly without benefit of long speeches. We're left to supply for ourselves all that is left unspoken and unscreened. Linda helps us do that in a story "celebrating life." There's the same sense of renewal/reprieve in several stories-in Quiet Night In, for example: "Hutch had started to pick up the threads of his life again..." Same as in Nexus or in [April's] Sweet Refrain-a whole lot of life out there we haven't explored yet." True.
I like Nexus. Convincing. I don't believe they'd fall apart totally and forever if they had to confront The Worst. They're too adult, too realist, not to cope...somehow...eventually. With toil, tears, pain, grief-sure-but cope. Adapt. Adjust. I find that more in character than any permanent, unrelieved, total desperation. Whether in or out of the Department, an essential element after that shooting would be daily awareness of survival. Still here...survival on the physical level and on the personal and emotional, because the cornerstone of the relationship is the constant. Nexus page 8 sums it all up. Boss and secretary, huh? Nice scope there for a creative illo. Merle has given us a very satisfying story here.
I like Jennifer's Happily Ever After for the same kind of reasons I like Nexus. I've read several stories which present DMS as a craftsman. Credible. That ship speaks for itself. "You can't drive a nail straight'-that's just KH in heat-of-the-moment exaggeration.
Some of these stories introduce a believable "domestic" element. So does Cheryl's Changes. A superior fixer-upper at last! And the train set. But in my interpretation of the characters, I think those financial arrangements could not remain a permanent secret—those are something both would need to know about. Thanks Be To is another in the domestic category. Glad DMS didn't pick up botulism on top of his other clinical problems.
Several stories centre on what goes on inside their heads. Lifewatch stands out here for me, but there are many other good examples of the genre: You might rust my spurs (love the vision of KH, white wings flapping), Prima Facie, Maria's S/REV Scenes. Lucy's Different Kind of Pain explores, with imagination, the conversations of convalescence. And Susan's Progression is a power evocation of the way the insistent, indelible memories would continue to surface. It's good to know—in Marilyn's story-how Starsky got his necklace back. I'm not sure that extraneous items which might impede treatment would be permissible, but the idea is right.
Reminds me of various stories in which KH cherished the remnants of Starsky's watch. He would do that, of course. The Magnificent Six makes a magnificent ending for Lifeline. If only—what if?—they'd made a sort of extended tag for S/REV...this would have made such a perfect scenario. The writing is so visual, convincing, true-to-life. One more evening to remember for a long time to come.My guess is that fandom, just like me, is going to enjoy this zine. I like the "renaissance" feeling which comes through in more than one way in Lifeline. Thank you again for doing it, for the way, in Lifeline, you make the Legend live on in a zine we're happy to have. 
[zine]: This is a pleasing drink in a brief season of drought. Lifeline is substantial, inexpensive, and surprisingly good for something that was intended as a quickie, unedited one-shot.
The zine, from Jenny (Jennifer Holland) Brown (Molly D. Brown) Enterprises, has a natural theme (I love this): "the tenth anniversary of Starsky getting ventilated in the parking lot." Ventilation aside, this is a great theme for a zine at any time. I think that's why the unsuspecting editors got more submissions than they expected. But they did a fantastic job of getting it out on time-it even looks good. There are some good stories in the zine, some fair ones and some not as good; but all know the theme.
My favorite story is Lifewatch by Linda McGee. This is an excellent story. I loved seeing Starsky, Hutch, and their relationship from Dobey's knowledgeable point of view. The writing is extremely good here, Linda. Better and better, kiddo. The story is compact, but big enough conceptually, and strong enough structurally, to hold its ideas; the images are striking, the characters are there-I couldn't ask for more. Folks, it don't get much better than that.
Progression by [Elizabeth Lowry]: This lady is prolific..and I've noticed that she writes all kinds of stories. Progression is kind of experimental and is refreshing because of that. Susan could have carried it through a little more-it feels foreshortened as a story-it's almost too abrupt and minimal for its own good. But the idea is an effective one-Hutch haunted day and night by visions of the shooting.
The Magnificent Six by Marian Kelly: Marian, Marian, Marian; it's so easy for some people, isn't it? I'll bet you just tossed this light story off, didn't you? No sweat. Probably sat down and wrote it after dinner one night. But it's good anyway, and that's how good you are, my friend. I did wonder why S&H would want to have a reunion with the hospital staff, but I went along with it because those two so rarely seem to have other people in their lives. And because you are a craftswoman who knows how to tell a story—any story.
Could Have Been by Anne Nonna Mouse (wince): I like S&H-meeting-at-the-academy stories, and I like this one. but it may be too brief to cover it's ideas adequately. It's a long story wearing a short short story's dress. Or maybe I just wished it was longer.
Necklace by Marilyn Hartsell: Marilyn, if this is your first story (I wasn't sure), then it's a fine start. Contrary to what you've been saying in private, in public you're a good writer, with potential to do more. I like this story, the way you tied it to other things (like the episodes, and Rawn's story); and I liked the way you used Starsky's necklace~a small thing-to link two men's hearts together.
Sweet Refrain and Sweet Comfort by [April Valentine]: Gee, [April], don't you ever write a bad story? You never do, you know. But I think there's a cut-and-dried odor seeping in here; the scenes of sexual nature in Sweet Comfort feel gratuitous to me. (Even for our crowd! And we love a good sex scene, gratuitous or otherwise.)
But I feel this more in Sweet Comfort than in any of your others. This is one story that just doesn't need a sex scene. I like the idea of Starsky trying to deal with his disability, with not being able to be the kind of cop he always was. This hasn't been dealt with often enough. (Though it's dealt with in several stories in Lifeline-among them Ginger Burke's tender Coming Home.)
I like Starsky's weeping, his sorrow... Hutch's comfort is necessary. Then the sex hits me like an intrusion—seductive, but an intrusion; a party-crasher, albeit a sexy one. Sex becomes the subject of the story, and it's not. This was my first gut reaction to the story, but intellectually I still feel that. Sweet Refrain is the charm, here.
Prima Facie by Terri Beckett and Chris Power: Strangely compelling, well-written as always and ever. Beckett-Power's stories grab me in some weird places every time. How do they do it? Cast spells?
Nexus by Merle Decker: Ah, Merle, you write them so dear. I think you should write a LOT more. A lot.
A Woman's Touch by Debra Lynn Hicks: Another "S&H as seen from an outside point of view." That Edith-what a saint. The story is brief and...pleasant. I think it's the kind of story everybody likes to read. An outsider observing The Relationship brings it into focus.
Pat Massie's Shaman is touching. The words are full of feeling. When I read it, I pictured some place, some one, a long time ago~or maybe never.
Don't Cry Down My Back...etc by [MRK]: This is a very cute story-a serious reality, but the story is light-hearted, easy to take.
There For Me by Molly Brown: That pesky Nick. Once and for all, what the hell does he want from his brother?! This story sounds like him-can't you just hear these petty, wounded thoughts rattling around in his unfurnished head? Starsky was adopted.
Happily Ever After by Jennifer Holland: Another favorite. When I read this I thought, "Of all the 'S&H retire together' futures, this one could work." Them settling down, making a life-you make it work, Jenn. The story succeeds by its wonderful details (...brushing the sawdust out of graying curls...); that's why everything in the story seems like part of a real happy ending.
A Different Kind of Pain by Lucy C. Walk: Nice, a tight little exploration. And yet another angle on the Sweet Revenge theme.
Quiet Night In by Elke Mueller: Quite an achievement, Elke, if as someone has told me, English is a second language for you. Wow. Writing is hard in any tongue, but do more and more. Watch the episodes, catch the rhythms of speech. Changes by Cheryl Maier: I love the secretly wealthy Hutch here, plotting for his love behind the scenes. As written, they are both solidly in character.And on various pages throughout the book, there are little poison pills... Carol... Just...Carol. Inimitable and terribly, terribly warped. Come, child. Lie down and put a cold compress on your feverish brow. 
[zine]: Received Lifeline on 5-15-89, I thank you for such prompt delivery. Enjoyed you folks' labor of love ever so much. It was well worth the wait and cost.
Lifeline was a joy to read. And thanks for letting us know which stories were which ("/" etc.). Not that either universe bothers me. The story is the most important thing as far as I'm concerned. And Lifeline was packed with something for everyone.
Loved all the poetry, little add-ons at the end of each story as well. One of my favorite stores was/is The Magnificent Six by Marian Kelly. Made me chuckle in parts-especially like Auerbach. Great! Poor Hutch in the doorframe when he told all that happened on his way to Starsky's place. Loved [April Valentine]'s Sweet Comfort too. Ahh!
Pat Massie's Alley Cat touched me too.
Blintzes cracked me up. I loved Starsky's mother.
Dobey and Edith are so excellent in Quiet Night In! Fell in love with Elke Mueller's people. You could feel their caring. So moving. I've always been fascinated with them from the aired episodes. Everyone should have friends like them and Huggy too.Each and every writer did an excellent job and kept the characters I've grown to know and love. I do not mean to short change anyone or the artist, either. You've all put one welcome zine into our hands. Your labor of love is one super zine all about (or after) an episode that left us wanting more. For this zine, Lifeline, am I truly glad you gals put it together and shared your brain child with the rest of us. Thank you again. 
[zine]: I have already written and told Linda McGee that I loved her story, which is no lie. I think it is the best story of the zine. The dialogue's straight (in other words I believe the words coming from each person's mouth) and I like the idea of the story being told from Dobey's pov. He reacted exactly as I thought he should (based on what I saw in the series) right down the line; from the shooting, to his worry over Hutch's mental balance, to his discovery of their more- than-partnership, to the final scene in the hospital lounge. All right on target. Linda's stories are always worth the wait.
On the other hand, I was disappointed by the contributions from both Lynna and Marian Kelly. Marian's story just seemed silly to me and not up to her usual standards. I didn't even feel that the people she was writing about were Starsky and Hutch. Lynna's story was just too short. When a writer of her calibre sits down to write, the reader expects to see something. Maybe that's our fault, expecting too much; still I have to say it was a disappointment.
About the only one page story I did like was Molly's. And I'm not just saying that because you are a friend and co-publisher. Your idea was very original and the story was as long as it needed to be. I think you captured Nick's personality perfectly. Selfishness, jealousy and restrained anger; sums up the jerk perfectly (though at the same time there is the tiniest amount of pity for him too, how could he compete against such a friendship?)
Cheryl Maier's story, Changes, bothered me a bit. It was very hard for me to see the Hutch she sees; more than a bit manipulative. Though it is a caring manipulation, it still jarred me. Definitely-not my Hutch.
I told Carol on the phone, but I should tell you too-her little bits made me laugh. What a black sense of humor she has. My favorite was on page 24, the one concerning Edith and her wish that her husband lose weight. Almost makes one wonder if she might go out and gun down a few of Dobey's people just to accomplish her goal. Also enjoyed the 'Godfather' one and the Twinkle, Twinkle, little Starsk.
On Progression. Though I suspect it is an accurate psychological study of Hutch, I still found it almost unpalatable. Ah, well, one person's hot fudge sundae is another person's axle grease. To each their own.
Blue Dark Hunger was very interesting, one could want more to this story, to fill in those questions the reader will inevitable have after reading it. The author had piqued my interest about Tim, who he is, what he was doing at Starsky's place, and exactly what did Starsky know about him. Hmmm.
Coming Home, Happily Ever After, Sweet Refrain and Sweet Comfort were...nice. And I mean that. Nice, warm, loving stories. Being a sappy person by nature, I'm always glad to get those kind in whatever anthology series I read.Well, I'm sorry I didn't mention every story in Lifeline; it would take hours. But then I wouldn't have even bothered sitting down to type this at all. I guess, what I have included here made the biggest impression, either good or bad.