McPikus Interruptus

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Zine
Title: McPikus Interruptus
Publisher: Manacles Press
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1992-1995
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Wiseguy
Language: English
External Links: Manacles Press LJ
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Published by Manacles Press, McPikus Interruptus is a Wiseguy anthology slash zine centering mostly on Frank/Vinnie stories (F/V), but also features Sonny/Vinnie (S/V), Roger/Vinnie (R/V), and Roger/Frank (R/F). As with other zines from this press, these feature a very clean layout, no cover art or internal illustration, but high quality fanfic. Four issues were published over the course of the 1990s.

The title is taken from an episode of the show: Frank interrupts Vinnie and his then-fiancee, Amber, during sex. Amber dubs this "McPikus interruptus."

cover of issue #1

Issue 1

McPikus Interruptus 1 contains 147 pages (85,500 words) and was published in February 1992.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

See reactions and reviews for The Golden Years.

[zine]: I said I'd do some reviews of older zines and since we've been talking about WG so much, I thought I might start with a Wiseguy zine. But first my little reviewer's statement: The following is nothing but my opinion. If someone agrees with it, great! If you disagree with it, please say so.

[zine info and publisher contact info ommitted]

Overall, this is my absolute favorite WG zine. Period. This is also generally the one I give or suggest to people to read first when they have just gotten into WG or are kind of curious about it. Admittedly, it is heavy on the F/V side (hey, that only proves that they have taste!), but it also has some great entries for some of the other pairings. That said, here's what it's got:

"Facets" by Maggie Hall--(F/V)Just the fact that this story works proves how well written it is. Okay, it does stretch the believeability quotent a bit--but since the characters still sound like themselves, I find it hard to argue. And I love sex in the bathroom. (I think Ms. Hall has a kink...)

"Opus Six" by Dovya Blacque(F/V)--This is the strongest story from Dovya Blacque I've ever seen, though it's not a traditional story. I don't tend to like first person narratives in stories and I don't think this was completely successful in sounding like Vinnie over the whole thing, but I think the last section more than makes up for it.

"Opening Gambit" by M. Fae Glasgow (S/V)--A not-nice Sonny and a far-from-perfect Vinnie is a not-even-close-to-being-sappy story that works wonderfully. All the bite you can expect from an M. Fae story, well written and totally believeable. And it even has a cruel little stab (if you'll pardon the expression) at Frank, though he never actually appears in the story.

"Closer to the Fire" by Harmony Lewis (F/V)--Okay, we're back to romance with nice people. Wonderful dialogue (big surprise; look at the name, you'll figure it out). Frank, Vinnie, divorce papers and a beer bottle. My only complaint with this story comes from one of my mind blocks: I keep thinking about the beer bottle breaking!

"Consolation Prize" by Dawn Woods (F/R, F/V)--one of the stories Kay mentioned and to my mind the best of the bunch. I find it totally believeable and completely in character, mainly because Roger certainly gets *something* out of the arrangement...

"Safe Sex" by Sharon Idaho (R/V)--Least favorite story in here, though still strong. And I like the b&d (notice the lower cases) scene.

"The Golden Years" by Maggie Hall (F/V)--This is one of my all-time favorite stories. No explicit sex, which actually helps, since I think any full sex scene would have distracted things from the focus of the story, which is actually more about Frank and Drake. Favorite scene: When Drake walks into the bedroom at the end of the story.

"At the Heart of a Quiet Man" by Melody C. (F/V)--My second favorite story in the zine, which ends the whole thing on a very strong note. Again, great dialogue and I love how Melody writes Frank: a tough little shit whose incredibly messed up emotionally. She also writes a very strong Vinnie. A definite must.

To sum up: Great zine, well written and certainly worth the price. If you're looking for higher angst level, though, I'd probably MCPIKUS 2 more. [1]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2

McPikus Interruptus 2 contains 136 pages (over 77,000 words) and was published in March 1993.

From the editorial:
You may look high and you may look low, but you'll be hard pressed to find a single plot in this zine. A Wiseguy zine has been made that you'll have to search with a microscope to find a plot in. It was quite accidental; all participating authors seemed to go straight for the emotional throat, and given how much we enjoyed the submissions, we couldn't see fit to complain. We're not even disappointed. We certainly hope that you won't be, either... Last year, we had an abundance of settled relationships and domesticity (well sort of...) This year, we've jumped on the "first time" and "kinky sex" bandwagon. You know what they say about variety... (But does it work as a lubricant?)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

I realty enjoyed McPikus Interruptus 2, a very good collection of mixed doubles from "Wiseguy" with not a dud in the lot. [2]
Standard reviewer's disclaimer--My opinions, nobody else's, feel free to comment (yes, even you, Kay!).

[zine info and publisher info removed]

Overall, this is probably the strongest written zine of the series. It certainly has the highest overall angst quotent. This does not make it my favorite (I still have to give that prize to #1), but it does make it an excellent zine.

"Wiseguy: The Untold Slash Scenarios" by Jane Mailander--Exactly what you might expect. A bit of pure silliness from Jane.

"Roll Over, Indiana Jones" by Jane Mailander--More silliness from Jane, this time in the form of a sample episode guide for THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG ROGER LOCCOCO.

"Life Sentence" by Alys/Dawn Woods--Interesting and well-written and I didn't like it at all. This comes from mainly two problems I have: 1) I *do* think that Lilla was a one time aberration for Frank and have a very hard time seeing him either having a casual fling while married or having a long-term extra-marital relationship (that about covers it, huh?) and 2) I just really don't like original characters in fan stories. That said, it *is* a well-written story and an interesting take on why there is so much hostility between Frank and Vinnie in the Steelgrave arc.

"Jolly Roger" by Jane Mailander (V/R)--Talk about a screwed-up psyche. Very well done incorporation of Vinnie/Roger and and the reminder that Sonny hasn't been dead *that* long.

"What's Wrong With Any Man?" by Maggie Hall (F/V)--Great story, nice angst and a wonderfully ambiguous ending. This is the kind of thing that this particular issue seems to specialise in, especially the ending: if it's not out and out unhappy then it's "well, they're not going to be happy *right now*."

"Can't We Just Send Flowers?" by Lainie Stone (F/V)--It's a very Frank thing to say and if Vinnie is just a little too casual about starting this, rank more than makes up for it.

"The Village Idiot" by Maggie Hall (F/V)--This is the other one that goes against how I see the character of Frank, namely, his having a casual affair. Once I get past that, though, this is also a very well written story (do you get the feeling that I like these zines?). Again, lots of angst and for Frank, once more misery is snatched from the jaws of, if not happiness, then happy memories.

""A Question of Balance" by Dawn Woods (S/V)--Excellent and depressing story. It's a flashback within the timeframe of the very final scene of "No One Gets Out of Here Alive". Also has one of my all time favorite last lines in a WG story.

"...The Ones We Love" by Dawn Woods (F/V)--Auto-erotic asphyxiation. It's not just for Mulder anymore! That's all I'm saying other than that any reaction you have to this story is exactly what the author was going for.

"Hopscotch" by Megan Kent and Sharon Idaho (R/V)--A slightly different take on Vinnie from the Profitt arc through Rag Trade. Different from the way I generally see him, namely his reaction about Frank and laughing about Jenny leaving him. Roger's reaction seems perfectly normal to me at this time, but...

"Gimme Shelter" by Maggie Hall (F/V)--Another strong ending. An angsty Frank, an angsty Vinnie and a slightly postponed happy ending. I love it! I also have to say that I love bringing up Frank's print of "The Garden of Earthly Delight" by Bosch. I was delighted when we first saw that in the show since I have a sort of twisted attraction to the painting myself.

So, overall, another strong entry, perhaps even the strongest. I'd recommend this one for those who prefer unhappy to ambiguous endings. This probably also has the highest number of non-F/V stories (two, count 'em, *two* Roger/Vinnie stories!), but I admit that's not saying much. [3]

Issue 3

cover of issue #3

McPikus Interruptus 3 contains 137 pages (80,000 words) and was published in 1994.

From the editors: "Previously in this space, we lamented the lack of plot in McPikus #2. We didn't know what we were talking about. We consider it an accomplishment that more than a day passes in at least one third of the stories in this issue. It was a struggle, we can tell you! But then again, the aired episodes had enough plot to make up for a few zines that are plot-reduced or plot-free. To our authors, we offer sincere thanks. Putting up with our quirks entitles you to brownie points in someone's book. (Not to mention your trib-copies, of course.)"

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 3

Reviewer's disclaimer--Blah, blah, blah. (And I will be posting reviews of other zines soon. I promise.)

[zine publisher info removed]

Overall: This is weakest overall of the McPikus zines. It feels rushed and while better than a lot of other zines out there, I think it simply suffers by comparison to the McPikuses from the past and even the one that followed. This is the problem with being known for putting out a high-quality zine: People start expecting it all the time!

"And Back Again" by Val Ferris (F/V)--the POV is a very strong one for Frank and is an interesting take on Vinnie post-Lynchboro, but there's a part of me that knd of wishes I'd gotten a little more info on why Vinnie does the flip at the end.

"Over the Bridge" by Lainie Stone (F/V)--IMO, the weakest story in the zine and also the weakest one I've ever read from the author. They are both *way* too casual about this.

"St. Christopher's Lie" (S/V)--Two words: Oh, wow. Best story in the zine. This is *so* Sonny to me with such a wonderful combination of macho defensiveness and utter aggression. And love. *sniff*

(We have now entered the silliness sector. Please fasten seatbelts and do not attempt to stand until the silliness has come to a complete stop.)

"Vinnie the Pooh" by A.A. Milano--Frankieeyore? Don't ask...

"Big Dog" by Asta--Somebody's been smokin' something...(though I do like the line about Vinnie taking in strays.)

"Escalator to Heaven" by Rokin Rolle--Spinal Tap meets Wiseguy. Okay, I admit it. I liked this one. There, I said it and I feel better.

(We are now leaving the silliness zone. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.)

"A Rock and a Hard Place" by Maggie Hall (F/V)--The second story of a series that was started and doesn't seem likely to ever be finished. (The first story appeared in, I believe, FRISKY THE 13th.) While I find the idea of Frank as a vampire certainly intriguing, I found this story frustrating. It had lots of angst, but it just didn't seem to go anywhere. I felt like I was treading water for the whole time and while I might have enjoyed some of the floating, by the end of the story, I wasn't any closer or farther away from the shore and my legs were tired.

"psycho babble" by Shoshanna --I really, really like this one. Another experiment in stream of consciousness--mainly because we're talking about a half-drugged Vinnie. Takes place during the episode "White Noise" and Shoshanna makes it look so easy, and this kind of thing is not necessarily easy to write.

"When Opportunity Knocks" by Maggie Hall--This is *so* Vinnie. This is also another story which illustrates to me what kind of feeling a good author can illicit from one action/turn of phrase. I'm really talking about the "Feel what you do to me" scene which could very easily have been a 'gag me' scene and instead gets to me everytime I read it.

"Playing Hooky" by Sharon Idaho and Megan Kent --Okay, all I have listed in my notes is "huh?" and I don't remember the story even though I just looked at it last night. Not a high recommendation for it, all in all. (Also not a high recommendation for my memory.)

"The Antidote to Civilisation" by Maggie Hall (F/V)--Once I got over the idea of F/V at a gay resort, I could enjoy Frank not getting over F/V at a gay resort. I love it when he's paranoid (which is, probably, a good thing). And Ms. Hall seems to have a definite kink for bathrooms...

So there it is. Even though I still think it's the weakest of the McPikus zines, I'd still recommend it to anyone looking for a good read. Just not before I'd recommend the others. [4]
Just wanted to let people know -- McPikus Interruptus 3 definitely lives up to the high standards established by the previous two! It contains hysterical parodies in 4 (four!) different frameworks, and powerfully angsty stories from several very talented writers. I was especially impressed by (why don't I write down titles when I know I'll forget them?) Maggie Hall's vampire story, and a story in which Vinnie's planned seduction fails... As a real fan of Vinnie/Sonny, I was pleased to see a very fine V/S story too. In fact, I can't really find anything to complain about in this zine--unless it's the fact that we now have a (probably long) wait in store for McPI 4... [5]

McPikus Interruptus 4

cover issue #4

McPikus Interruptus 4 contains 130 pages and was published in 1995.

  • St. George (by Lainie Stone)
  • A Loyal Man (by Keiko Kirin)
  • The Old School (by Erica Little)
  • The Bludgeonings of Chance (by Sharon Idaho)
  • Laugh-a-While You Can-a, Monkey-Boy (by Michelle Christian)
  • None Too Soon (by Maggie Hall)
  • Wiseguys of the Caribbean (by Nancy & Peggy Blackett)
  • Revelation (by Maggie Hall)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 4

[St. George]: That's a good one, but I'm more partial to "St. George" by Lainie. I saw an earlier version of it and it was good then and better when it got published. Wish she had that novel finished, though. [6]

[zine]: Standard reviewer's disclaimer--It was there, I read, I wrote 'em down. Next!

[zine details omitted]

As always, a strong zine, but even though there is not a single, true S/V story in there (sorry Steelgrave fans), it has a very eclectic feel, mainly because of different styles. In a lot of ways, this is a much more lighthearted zine than previous McPikuses.

"St. George" by Lainie Stone (F/V)--Excellent take on the post-"Fruit of the Poison Tree" scenario and a personal favorite. I really like the whole idea of Frank getting Roger and the two of them going after Vinnie. And what happens next.

"A Loyal Man" by Keiko Kirin--It's a Patrice/Vinnie story. Just two words--EW, ick!

"The Old School" by Erica Little--F/V...sorta. Odd, kinky, definitely silly and I kinda liked it.

"The Bludgeonings of Chance" by Sharon Idaho (R/F)--Well written, but it shows Roger as a lot more settled and domesticated than I generally see him or want to see him. Goleta or no.

"Laugh-a-While You Can-a, Monkey-Boy" by Michelle Christian--Buckaroo Banzai/Wiseguy cross. I refuse to say any more on the grounds that I may incriminate myself...

"None Too Soon" by Maggie Hall (F/V/R)--The weakest story in the zine. It may sound a little more like Roger than the one in "Bludgeonings..." (sounds painful), but I still prefer that story. Even though I know *why* this one was written. Actually, I know a couple of reasons, not the least of which is a certain Suzi Lovett picture...

"Wiseguys of the Carribean" by Nancy and Peggy Blackett--More silliness and I have to say I completely enjoyed it. The Dread Pirate Rogers, Captain Sir Francis Pike (who has long, flowing hair that keeps getting in his face) and a certain cabin boy named Vincent. What's not to love?

"Revelations" by Maggie Hall--Only Frank McPike would come out to Vinnie in a Howard Johnson's. Typical solid story from Maggie Hall. This is the requisite "Frank is angsty over being in love with Vinnie, but it all turns out okay" story.

Once more, a solid zine. Not the best, but certainly not the worst, which wasn't even that bad. [7]

References

  1. In 1996, Michelle Christian posted this review to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  2. comment in Strange Bedfellows #1 (1993)
  3. In 1996, Michelle Christian posted a review of issue #3 to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  4. In 1996, Michelle Christian posted a review of issue #3 to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  5. quoted anonymously at Virgule-L, quoted with permission, February 20, 1994
  6. comment by Michelle Christian on Virgule-L, quoted with permission, October 16, 1996
  7. In 1996, Michelle Christian posted a review of issue #3 to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.