Love Noir

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Title: Love Noir
Publisher: Light & Shadow Press/Moonglow Zine Production, then Agent With Style
Editor(s): Tiger Tyger/Kath Moonshine
Date(s): 2011 – 2012
Series?: Yes
Medium: Print
Genre: m/m, slash
Fandom: Donald Strachey Mysteries
Language: English
External Links:
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Love Noir is a Donald Strachey zine.

issue #1 cover by Lorraine Brevig

It contains stories about the openly gay private detective Donald Strachey and his partner, Tim Callahan residents of Albany, New York.

Issue 1

Love Noir 1 was published in 2011 and contains 183 pages.

The fiction is by Candy Apple, Storyfan and Nyteflyer. The cover is by Lorraine Brevig and the interior illo is by Jean Kluge, the latter which won a 2012 Fan Q Award.

From the editorial:

We discovered Strachey in a darkened room during the Eastern Media Con [in 2008] vid show. Flamingo had done her usual wonderful job of presenting fannish songvids from a variety of fandoms and sources. Everyone was laughing, singing, and having a great time.

Suddenly, a vid came on that caused such a stir in the room, folks were getting up out of their seats, crawling over to buddies (so as not to block the view of the screen) and whispering, “What is this show? ... I’ve got to watch this! The collective sigh of slashers as it carried around a darkened room is a singular music, difficult to describe. Slashers devote themselves to creating scenarios, stories, and images that feed each others’ romantic notions of beautiful men in love. Yet here, right there on the screen, were beautiful men in love; only it didn’t have to be created. There they were. Dancing! Hugging! Kissing! Bathing! It was a gift from the fannish gods sent to us in reward for all our years struggling to make our guys look like they were doing these things, I guarantee you, there was not a slasher in the room who was willing to leave without finding out; Who are these men? What is this fandom? Where can I get more?

Thankfully, there were some amongst us who possessed this coveted wisdom. The whispers grew, being passed from fan to fan through words, paper scribble, and text message. Light the beacons! Pass the word! The extraordinary vid goddess, Diana Williams, had created this lovely vid to the music, “I Believe In You” and the fandom was: The Donald Strachey Mysteries. We had to have MORE.

Fast forward in time to a fannish meal shared at the tail-end of the Media West Convention, 2010. Candy Apple, who had spent the con happily pimping more followers to worship at the altar of Donald and Timmy through panels, parties, and yes, of course, the song vids, proposed the idea of doing a Strachey zine. Sure! I agreed, temporarily forgetting the numerous fan projects I was already in the middle of and the very full and daunting real-life calendar I had to contend with in the coming months. The next MediaWest was a full year away. Surely, there would be time to put together a Strachey zine in time for MediaWest 2011.

You hold in your hand that zine. The road to producing it did not run smoothly. I and my fellow writers/editors at Light and Shadow Press and Moonglow Zines had hoped to have time to make story contributions, but sadly, that wasn’t the case. However, through the sheer force of her will, her tremendous work ethic, and her unwavering devotion to this fandom. Candy Apple made this zine happen. This zine is her baby and we dedicate it to her. She is the warmest, funniest, most pleasant person to work with — especially in the trenches—and she also happens to be a helluva writer as well.

Speaking of writers, our biggest hugs and thanks to NyteFlyer and Storyfan, amazing writers who worked long and — hard to make contributions to this zine. What a pleasure to work with writers who are not only talented and dedicated, but lovely and generous as well. The most enjoyable part of this project for me was getting to work with Candy, Nyte, and Storyfan. I hope to have the chance to do it again soon.

Another big, warm thanks to our brilliant artists; Jean Kluge generously allowed us to use as interior art her gorgeous piece — one that has inspired a legion of Donald and Timmy fans and hangs in my office where I can view its loveliness each and every day; and Lorraine B. for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to create our cover.

Her talent as an artist is beyond compare, and as a human being, she is one of the kindest, sweetest, most generous women I know.

Of course, thanks to Diana Williams for inspiring us all with her beautiful vids and Flamingo for finding them and including them in the vid show so that we could all have a chance to discover this romantic, beautiful fandom.

Thanks, of course, to each other. We make a helluva team, girls! Even at our worst, we accomplish more work in a day than most people do in a month. It’s never easy, but it is always rewarding and we have great fun along the way.

  • You’ll Never Know by Candy Apple ("In this AU novella, homicide detective Donald Strachey investigates the grisly case of a murdered priest. His key witness? The handsome and unattainable Father Timothy Callahan...or, is he really unattainable?") (nominated for a 2012 Fan Q Award) (1)
  • Missing Pieces by Storyfan ("Don must beat the clock and solve a puzzle to save Tim’s life. Desperate, he turns to Tim’s father for help. Can they unravel the answers in time?") (nominated for a 2012 Fan Q Award) (75)
  • Body to Die For by Candy Apple ("While Don works a baffling missing persons case, Tim does a bit of amateur modeling that attracts the unwanted attention of an unbalanced stalker.") (It won a 2012 Fan Q Award.) (88)
  • Best When Used By by NyteFlyer ("The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has been repealed. Don and Tim mark the occasion and confront the ghosts of Don’s past in an emotional, intensely personal way.") (nominated for a 2012 Fan Q Award) (170)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

This fic is specifically in regards to the Donald Strachey movies, so as long as you’ve watched at least one of the movies, you know enough to get into the universe.

Second, the wonderful thing about the Donald Strachey Mysteries is that they lend themselves so well to wonderfully detailed casefics, where you get so caught up in the fic that you don’t realize whodunnit or the fact that you just read straight through your bedtime and to your morning alarm. Candy Apple is one of the greatest authors in the Donald Strachey Mysteries fandom, and this is one of her absolute best works.

While the true guts of the story is about what’s going on with Donald as and Kenny, along with Detective Bub Bailey investigate a missing persons case, Timothy gets into a bit of a scrape on his own. Always the impeccably dressed one, Timothy lands an amateur modeling job, and somewhere along the way attracts a stalker.

I love fics that keep you guessing, and keep you glued to the page, and this is definitely one of them. [1]

Issue 2

Love Noir Deux was published in May 2012 and contains 171 pages (134,300 words).

It debuted at MediaWest*Con.

It has a cover by Lorraine Brevig. There is no interior art.

cover of issue #2, Lorraine Brevig - from the zine's editorial: "Lorraine B. [is] an artist who has done much to inspire the hearts and minds of slash fans everywhere. Thank you, honey, for crafting a cover that begs the viewer to consider exactly what is happening before her eyes: Are Donald and Timmy sharing a lovely post-coital moment, or are they about to make love? What is being discussed? And what do their expressions mean? The illustrative qualities of your work can only inspire the reader to fill in the blanks in a thoughtful manner. Thank you for your beautiful cover."

From the editorial:

A special congrats to all the writers of the first Love Noir for their well-deserved Fan Q nominations. Good luck to all. Thanks also to the fans who took the time to nominate and support our zine, keeping print fiction alive in this era of computers, e-readers, tablets, and cell phone reading. Long live the good old-fashioned book.

I leave you now with a nomenclatural consideration: For our last Strachey zine, we debated many potential titles (The Gay Dick and Cuomo 's Queers were my personal favorites); this time we debated exactly how to pronounce “deux.” Imagine fan women walking for days sounding just like Pepe LePew as they tried on various versions of deux.


  1. ^ Slash World, 2013