Mirrors (Beauty and the Beast zine)

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Zine
Title: Mirrors
Publisher: Checkmate Press
Editor(s): Karen Bates-Crouch
Date(s): 1988-1991
Series?:
Medium: print zine
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
Language: English
External Links:
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Mirrors is a Beauty and the Beast gen anthology.

Issues #1-#3 have covers by Barbara Fister-Liltz, a color photo affixed to the front, and issues without this attached art are common.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1

Mirrors 1 was published in July 1988 and is a 109 page novel by Karen Bates-Crouch. Cover: "Never to Part" (third in "The Promise" series) by Barbara Fister-Liltz.

In this zine, the past and present intertwine in a story line dealing with Paracelsus' attempts to destroy Vincent and flashbacks to how the Tunnel community began. The story continues in Mirrors 2.

cover of issue #1, affixed art missing

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

"Mirrors I", written by Karen Bates, is a novel whereby Paracelsus hopes to yet again take over the tunnels from Father and Vincent. It is a complex spinning web involving cloak and dagger intrigue (too bad it's not Vincent's cloak involved). Unfortunately, much of the action is set Above, with niggling dilemmas, etc., yet another near rape of Catherine villains conveniently being assassinated .... and in this modified re-run of the televised "Quest/To Reign In Hell", none of the principals die. The novel also introduces several new characters to be carried into Part II. Despite other, smaller problems, such as (Devin's mother was Grace, not Evelyn) involving continuity with the series, the novel does hold one's interest, although B&TB people always want more Vincent and Catherine together. I recommend this as a prerequisite to "Mirrors II", which is even better, for the writing is excellent, although the plot could use a bit of polish. [1]

Issue 2

Mirrors 2 is a collection of 7 stories and has 115 pages. It was published in September 1988. Authors are Karen Bates-Crouch, Jane Comb, Sara Boots, D.D. Cooper, Layne Devaney, and Karen Dorrell. Interior art by M.K. Burns. Wide variety of short stories including "Kingdom of the Night" by Jane Lamb, "According to the Baker's Manual" by Sara Boots, "Look Forward to Yesterday" by D.D. Cooper, "Queen For a Night" by Layne Devaney, "Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On" by Karen Dorrell, and "Mirrors, Part II" by Karen Bates. Following the story begun in Mirrors, this story ends at "To be continued." One of these stories is a vampire story and a first time story. Authors are Karen Bates-Crouch, Jane Comb, Sara Boots, D.D. Cooper, Layne Devaney, Karen Dorrell.

cover of issue #2, without art
  • Kingdom of the Night by Jane Lamb
  • According to the Baker's Manual by Sara Boots
  • Look Forward to Yesterday by D.D. Cooper
  • Queen for a Night by Layne DeVaney
  • Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On by Karen Dorrell
  • Mirrors 2

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

"Mirrors II", by Karen Bates, is an overall better offering than "Mirrors I". The continuing novel portion is shorter, and most of the stories accompanying the novel are competent. Besides the installment of the novel, the other offerings within include: some bland poetry, a vampire-story with multiple coincidences and too pat an ending, a short baker's story with poor characterizations, a story about a woman who has different but also exceptional gifts which acts as a Catherine-jealousy vehicle, a romantic woman in Catherine's office who quotes Lochnivar and sports many coincidences, a sexual fantasy, and some artwork. (Can't these authors think of more imaginative endings for the villains of the pieces than the Abyss? After this offering, the Abyss has passed quota on the bodies it shrouds.) The actual "Mirrors, Part II" again showcases Karen Bates powerful and complex writing. The actual plot revolves more around the Above -- Catherine and Devin, and the intrigue which John Paeter/Paracelsus has unleashed to occupy them, while again drawing Vincent to a trap Below. Does this make Vincent stupid, or what? How many times can Paracelsus get away with this trick of drawing Vincent? The motivation for this trap is a merely a scrap of map, with Jamie and Mouse wanting to go adventuring ... come on ... ! One haunting sequence stays with me, however, a dream sequence almost a page long in italics. The voice of the dream is unclear, but it describes major scenes from the "life that cannot be" (except through fandom). Such a short space beautifully detailing wedding, birth, death ... a poem of the mind. I believe it is a dream of Vincent's while Paracelsus' prisoner. It could stand alone as a short story commensurate with Bates' two excellent but grim previous stories done for "Faery tale". We shall all watch with interest for "Mirrors III" to find out: Will Vincent survive? Do Crystal/Krysteen resolve their differences? Is Paracelsus defeated? Is Joe left in the lurch again (and does anyone care)? Does Catherine have a job to return to? Does Devin make further peace with Father? All in all, the book is an entertaining read, one I would recommend highly in comparison to most of the other B&TB offerings currently on the market. [2]

Issue 3

Mirrors 3 was published in April 1989 and contains 112-pages. Interior art by Karen Maureen. Authors are Veronica Engel, Opal McMenomy, Beth Blighton, Donna Straley, LA. Caskey, Karen Dorrell, M.K. Bums, Jane Lamb, Karen Bates-Crouch.

cover of issue #3
cover of issue #3, another version
Volume 3 contains 10 vignettes and short stories encompassing a variety of story lines. In "The Wanderer," Vincent discovers a lone girl wandering the Tunnels; "Rights Of Passage" has Catherine and Elliot's son returning to the Tunnels 4 years after his mother's death; Charles Chandler meets Vincent in "Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On"; and in "Lineage," Catherine accidentally discovers Vincent's mother. Both the vampire tale (Catherine and Vincent become vampires) and the "Mirrors" story line continue. [3]


  • The Wanderer
  • Rights of Passage
  • Lineage

Issue 4

Mirrors 4 was published in 1991 and has 246 pages. Cover by Barbara Fister-Liltz, other art by Beth Blighton. Authors are Elizabeth Behnke, Veronica Engel, Trinette Kern, Layne Devaney, Anne Evans, Pearl Ann Snow, Judy Moisey, Sara Boots, and Karen Bates-Crouch.

cover of issue #4
Volume 4 of the series contains a mixed selection of story lines. In "A Winter's Song," Vincent nurses a sick Catherine, and their relationship progresses in "At The Same Time." Catherine survives the events of the third season and is reunited Vincent in "And Death Shall Have No Dominion." Diana appears as a friend. Catherine also appears as a ghost in another story. Readers should note that in "The Mirror," Vincent and Catherine finally consummate their love but a magical mirror, a gift from Brigit O'Donnell, destroys their happiness when it becomes a gateway between worlds, irrevocably exchanging our Catherine for another. Vincent feels a Bond and reaches for a second chance at love with the other Catherine while Catherine resolves to start a new life with Elliot Burch in the alternative universe. Nice art. [4]
  • A Winter's Song
  • At the Same Time
  • And Death Shall Have No Dominion
  • The Mirror

References

  1. from Datazine #53
  2. from Datazine #53
  3. from The Beauty and the Beast Buyer's Guide to Fanzines
  4. from The Beauty and the Beast Buyer's Guide to Fanzines