More Than Brothers

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Zine
Title: More Than Brothers
Publisher: Rowena Warner
Editor(s):
Date(s): 1984-1987
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Simon and Simon
Language: English
External Links:
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More Than Brothers is a gen Simon and Simon anthology of fiction and covers by Rowena Warner.

Issue 1

More Than Brothers 1 was published in August 1984. It is a 71-page untitled novel.

front cover of issue #1, Rowena Warner
Summary from the author:
A.J. is torn apart when Rick is shot and blaming himself, he decides he can no longer continue the partnership of SImon and Simon. Rick and Cecilia put their heads together and plan a bogus kidnapping to get A.J. to return to the fold, but as we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men and Rick Simon often go astray. Also, in this story, you'll find out the best way to use a leg of lamb. [1]

The author's foreword:

Hi! I'm what is known as a "Trekker", but I also have other interests, and one of them is my enjoyment of the television series Simon & Simon. I have been following Rick and A.J. since the first episode, and I finally gave in to the urge to write my own story involving the guys. I was more than a bit leery about taking on this project because heretofore my literary efforts have all been concentrated on Star Trek. If I attempted to write a Simon & Simon story, would Rick sound like Spock and A.J. sound like Kirk? It reached a point, however, where I could no longer fight it. In the beginning, I had no idea what the story would be about, but after a couple of pages, the guys seemed to take over and direct my pen. MORE THAN BROTHERS is the result. I hope you like it. This zine is dedicated to Gerald McRaney and Jameson Parker. Their humor, intelligence, and superb acting ability make Thursday evenings special. Thank you, gentlemen.

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

Like many of us in fandom, I'm fascinated by relationships, be they between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, or between West and Gordon. So, when Simon and Simon started up, I've been keeping my eye on media zines ever since, looking for Simon and Simon stories. So far, they've been pretty few and far between (although things are looking up of late). When I saw I saw a listing for 'More Than Brothers,' I ordered it. One of my friends says it was because...under $8.00!! -- I'm cheap!. 'More Than Brothers' is a simple zine. It boasts no three color cover, no special binding, and contains only one story... Rowena captures the spirit of the show very well with marvelously alive dialogue. The story line makes sense and the writing flows well. There were also very few typos -- a feat worth mentioning. This does not mean the zine was perfect. There were a few transitions in the story that were a bit rough, and the artwork wasn't as good as much of what I've seen in fandom. But my main complaint is that the novella was far too short. Now, I don't mean the story wasn't rich and full, it was. I simple wished there was more! Besides being cheap, I'm greedy. [2]


Issue 2

More Than Brothers 2 was published in February 1985 and is an 86-page novel called "Curvature of the Mind." It contains no interior illustrations.

cover of issue #2, Rowena Warner
a 1985 flyer
Summary from the author:
Rick is seeing things that aren't really there -- a tarantula on his chest, Marlowe drowning, and old war buddy who was killed in Nam. Is he breaking under pressure? A.J. thinks so and will do anything to protect his brother, including preventing him from getting professional help. Even Cecilia cannot convince A.J. that Rick needs more than their love, but after a particularly gruesome 'vision.' Rich take the ultimate step. The truth surprises the brothers and causes them to become involved in a 'ghostly' climax. in this story, meet the singing duo, the Simon Brothers. Could their act carry them to the Big Apple?" [3]

The author's foreword:

Hello again! You thought you had gotten rid of me, right? You figured I'd do one Simon & Simon zine and then that's the last you'd hear from me. Ah ha, you should have been so luck!.

To be honest, when I published the first zine, I had no plans to do another. Of course, if you're acquainted with me, you know that I never plan anything — it just happens. I received some extremely nice letters on MORE THAN BROTHERS and I'd like to take the opportunity here to thank everyone who passed on their compliments and constructive criticisms. Simon & Simon fans are some of the nicest people on Earth. (By the way, MORE THAN BROTHERS is still available at a cost of $5.50.)

Despite the favorable reaction to the first zine, I still had no intention of doing a second one until a story began to form in my little brain (we are talking little here people). I grabbed pen and paper and...well, you know the rest.

This zine is again dedicated to Gerald McRaney, and Jameson Parker, and also to Mary Carver, Tim Reid, and let us not leave out, Marlowe. The love, humor, and family unit presented in this series is, unfortunately, all too rare on the small screen.

Episodes like "Simon Without Simon", "Slither", "Double Play", and "The Dillinger Print" also contain the rare combination of superb acting, directing, and writing. My heartfelt thanks to everyone connected with this series. I look forward to viewing it for years to come.

Issue 3

More Than Brothers 3 was published in July 1985 and contains 112 pages. It contains no interior illustrations.

cover of issue #3

From the author: "My pen took off here with a potpourri of comedy and drama stories about the guys." [4]

The author's foreword:

HI! I've decided to do something a bit different this time. Well, to be honest, I didn't actually make a decision; it just happened. You see, I sat down and wrote a Simon & Simon short story, then turned the page and started on another one, and then... I think you know what I mean. The various stories kept coming so I thought, what the heck, I'll go along with them and see what develops. Here's a little bit about them.

"Dear Diary--Today I Bought A Car" is about the day A.J. went car-hunting and took his brother along.

In "The Man" I have written about a teenage Rick and his younger brother and have offered a possible explanation for A.J. s morbid fascination of dead bodies.

"He Who Laughs Last Gets All the Fruitcake" is my own version of a "jail scene". What would happen if Rick and A.J. were locked up with three guys who tried to force their attentions upon them?

The "Missing Scenes" are scenes which I would like to have seen included in the episodes to which they relate and which offer a possible answer to certain questions. For instance, in "The Club Murder Vacation", what did A.J. say to Rick when he dragged him into the bedroom? In "Simon Without Simon" after the big argument, we next saw the guys in the office packing, obviously in amicable terms. What happened "during the commercials"? "Double Play" is very simple—Rick finally breaks down and tells A.J. about the nightmares* Reg Marracino suggested the scene for "The Least Dangerous Game". She wanted to know what happened after Rick carried A.J. upstairs to their old bedroom. Did A.J. come to, and if so, how did Rick manage to get him to bed?

I'm going to have to refrain from telling you anything about "Cracked, But Not Broken", "Double Play Times Two", and "Rub-A-Dub-Dub" because to do so would give away an important part of the plots. I just want to say that "Cracked, But Not Broken" is probably the hardest story I've every written and after reading it, you may wonder why I did so. My answer is very simple; as Edmund Hillary once said, "it was there".

I hope you like at least some of the stories. Thank for everything!

It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it -- Rowena
  • Dear Diary, Today I Bought a Car (1)
  • Missing Scene: Club Murder Vacation (10)
  • Rub-a-Dub-Dub (13)
  • The Man (19)
  • Missing Scene: The Least Dangerous Game (29)
  • Missing Scene: Double Play (34)
  • Cracked, but Not Broken (42)
  • Rick Simon's Bachelor Cookbook ("Make It or Fake It") (68)
  • Missing Scene Simon Without Simon (70)
  • He Who Laughs Last Gets All the Fruitcake (79)
  • Double Play Times Two (86)


Issue 4

cover of issue #4

More Than Brothers 4 was published in November 1985 and is a 168-page novel called "White Hats and Silver Bullets" by Rowena Warner.

This issue has no photos or illos.

The author mentions in an ad that there are smudges on some of the pages. The zine remained totally legible, but she didn't want to sell it at the original $13. Instead, the first 100 copies were $11, and then the price would go back up.

Summary from the author: "The job sounded simple -- break into Alexander's mansion and steal his jewelry from the wall safe, all without setting off the alarm. If they're successful, they will get a $5,000 bonus. Simple, yes, but the consequences are not. When A.J. is arrested for burglary and murder, Rick must take drastic measures to bail him out. Now, they're both wanted by the two big T's -- Tightwad and Telaferro. One wants his money back, and the other one just wants their lives." [5]

The author's forward:

In case you're wondering why I had typed this story first in manuscript form, let me explain. Scott Meredith with the Scott Meredith Literary Agency (who represents such celebrities as Arthur C. Clarke, Dr. Carl Sagan, Norman Mailer, and Judith Krantz) encouraged me to submit this story to him (for a "slight" fee of $250). He turned it down obviously, and in a four-page-'--letter told me my writing about the guys was simplistic, a cartoon plot, and "extremely simple-minded in conception and handling— for an audience which isn't really there, because there are two such different audiences here (the audience which might watch a Simon & Simon is not the same audience which might read about a Simon & Simon). You understand the nature of this television program—but in the act of bringing it into prose, so much of that very charm, the very dynamic which makes it work, is missing completely." He went on to say that teenage boys would buy S&S novelizations, and they want action/adventure,"not the dynamics found in the characters' relationships".

I had to quote those last few lines to you because were you aware you wouldn't buy a S&S novel (that is, unless you're a teenage boy)? I sure as heck didn't know I was supposed to buy one.

Anyway, after Meredith's condemnation, I was ready to shove this story in File 13 and crawl in after it, but in a fit of impulse, I wrote to Michael Piller, one of the producers of S&S, and asked if he'd-, like to see it. He did, but turned the story down because he and .another writer felt it "works better as a novel than it wauld-in film". He added that he hoped I would continue to write, and. it was that encouragement which led to my decision to publish this story as a zine. I leave it up to you to decide whether or not I made the right choice.

Issue 5

More Than Brothers 5 was published in April 1986 and is 191-page novel called, "Dad, We Wish We Could Have Been There" by Rowena Warner. It contains some photos from the show, but no illos.

cover of issue #5
inside pages from issue #5

About: "191 pages of the past and present of the Simon family. Investigating the possible murder of an old family friend, Rick and A.J. become involved in blackmail, murder (possibly) their own, and some some startling revelations about their parents. Agonistes is back and not in a small role, either. This issue has a color photo of the guys on the front cover, and I think you'll like it." [6]

Issue 6

More Than Brothers 6 was published in July 1986 and contains 117 pages. It contains some photos, but no illos

cover of issue #6
  • The Streets of San Diego (3)
  • Goblins and Ghoulies and Things That Go "Rick!" in the Night (4)
  • Reach Out and Touch Someone (12)
  • Wreck the Halls with Howls of Jolly (17)
  • My Own Private Little Hell (26)
  • Hearse Today and Gone Tomorrow (36)
  • My Brother, the Deal Man (47)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 6

Although there are no official totals, S&S currently accounts for approximately 50% of the small fandom marketplace. Obviously, we're dealing with something other than your typical "buddy" show here, which makes the title of Rowena Warner's series of zines rather appropriate. Because so much of Rowena's writing (particularly "missing scenes") assumes the reader is familiar with the Simons, those with limited knowledge of the show might find the stories a bit confusing. To the already converted. More Than Brothers VI should deliver enjoyable, though somewhat predictable, entertainment. Physically, this is an attractive zine. I'm not a fan of xeroxed tv photos, but in this case, they appeared to illustrate the stories as well (if not better) than some artwork I've seen in other zines. Cover is a color xerox publicity photo (properly protected by plastic), and the contents held together by a heat-meld binding. I found no typos, and reproduction was very clean. Zine consists of five short pieces, plus My Brother, The Dead Man, a 71-page "keep your tissue handy" thriller. I had a problem with nearly every tale in this book, and more often than not, it was the same problem - believability. Goblins and Ghoulies and Things That go "Rick" in the Night, Wreck the Balls With Howls of Jolly, and Hearse Today and Gone Tomorrow, are all humorous "missing scenes". "Goblins" concerns an incident raised in The Skull of Nostradamus, in which Carlos (I assume, a close friend) talks about the time he accidentally set A.J.'s sofa afire, during one of the Simon's infamous Halloween parties. "Wreck" (derived by the episode Yes, Virignia), is another Carlos inspired tale; this one centering on how he took a dive in the canal, accompanied by Cecelia Simon's Christmas oranments. "Hearse" involves an ill-fated repo job of a funeral limo. While all three tales are somewhat amusing, I found them rather juvenile (the characters behaved as though they had a combined IQ of 10) and basically pointless. If the purpose of a missing scene is to provide enlightenment and/or interesting physical description of an unexplained line of dialogue, these stories accomplish little on either count. (Although "Hearse" did work better as a stand alone story than the other two). Taken in context with the episodes upon which they were based, a regular "Simon" fan would probably recognize the in-joke, and find these tales more satisfying than I did. My Own Private Little Hell is an entry from A.J.'s diary* describing his personal reaction to shooting a man, who would have killed Rick, had the younger Simon failed to pull the trigger. On an emotional level, there is a ring of truth to A.J.'s musings. On a literary level, it's a disaster. The repetitiveness and melodrama are extreme, even for a diary. It is difficult to imagine a man describing himself in these terms, and the feminine handwriting (this story was not typed) contributes to this view. Tightly edited, with a more masculine approach, "My Own Private Little Hell" would be able to pack the emotional wallop the author intended. My Brother, The Dead Man is a good title for an interesting story that, unfortunately, loses a great deal of its impact by being too long and too straining on credibility. A.J. is abducted from a hospital and brainwashed (through drugs) into believing he is a criminal, and that Rick was killed when the two of them attempted to break out of a Mexican jail. Waiting in the reception area. Rick, (who thinks A.J. is being treated for food poisioning) is delivered an urn, supposedly containing his brother's ashes, which leads him to believe A.J. has also met with an untimely death. The abductors need A.J. to twart a security system guarding a priceless artifact owned by Martin Fielding, the man they have convinced A.J. is responsible for Rick's death. Rick, believing A.J. really dead, slips into a depression that appears unending, until he accidentally spots A.J. standing on the bridge behind their house. So begins a twin tale of search and revenge, as each brother tries a contemptible wrong. Given the ages and occupation of these characters, the acceptance and irrational response to events so lacking in credibility seems absurd. Free of repetitiveness and a more mature Rick and A.J., MBTDM could be a very compelling tale. Rowena conceives, writes, and packages all the material herself. It is strictly a sharing of ideas, and taken in this light, the problems noted above should not deter any true "Simon" fan. With a little harder work on the editorial side, MTB VI would be pleasing to all. Let's see what the future will bring. [7]

Issue 7

cover of issue #7

More Than Brothers 7 was published in May 1987 and is a 113-page novel by Rowena Warner called, "Has the Fat Lady Sung?"

"Clients are not clients, murder is not murder, and A.J. is assaulted by Rick. The brothers try to discover the truth as a shadow from their past returns to haunt them in a deadly way."


References

  1. from an ad in Pop Stand Express #7
  2. from Datazine #37
  3. from an ad in Pop Stand Express #7
  4. from an ad in Pop Stand Express #7
  5. from an ad in Pop Stand Express #7
  6. from an ad in Pop Stand Express #11
  7. from Pop Stand Express #16