On the Double Interview with Chris Soto

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Interviews by Fans
Title: On the Double Interview with Chris Soto
Interviewer: On the Double and Alexis Fegan Black
Interviewee: Chris Soto
Date(s): 1987
Medium: print
Fandom(s): Star Trek TOS, slash
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In 1987, Chris Soto was interviewed for On the Double #3. It was subtitled: "Who Are We."

A similar essay is On the Double Interview with Alexis Fegan Black.

Some Topics Discussed


Tell us a little about how you work? What inspires your work? Do you prefer to work from a story or from your own imagination? Where has your work appeared?

I work primarily in ink. Very few editors do half-tones, so by default I’ve had to learn the intricacies of rapidographs. What I really like working in best is pencil (graphite or color). I also work in acrylics, oils, charcoal, pastel.... What inspires my work? A good story or poem will make it easy for me to get a visual of what I want to draw. The more enthusiastic I am about what I am illustrating, the more I want to shoot for a personal best. I’ve worked both from a story and from imagination. A story gives me specific subject matter to work from and sets a mood, but I also like the challenge of working from just a description that an editor gives me. Sometimes I’ve only had a one sentence description to work with and that is really a challenge. Though working from imagination does sort of take away from one of the cheap thrills I get out of doing fan art...and that is getting to read a story or a poem before everyone else. But best of all, I like drawing whatever just comes to mind, what I want to do, not what another person tells me to draw (uh oh, three of my editors just fainted). I’ve only been doing K/S art (any Trek art for that matter) for a year now, so my work hasn’t been around much. Primarily it’s been published in First Time, Naked Times, and As I Do Thee.

What attracted you to K/S initially? What were the first stories you read? What do you consider to be examples of “exemplary K/S work”, whether art, writing, editing, publishing?

I guess I was attracted to the K/S premise of equality in a personal relationship. And how two people so different as Kirk and Spock are can be so compatible...two opposites coming together to make a whole...a balance. And of course their love for one another; the idea that it’s the person one is in love with, not the gender. First K/S stories I read? Gee, I can’t recall. Naked Times 4/5 was the first K/S zine I ever read...I think. “Exemplary K/S work” artwise...The Southern Cross, Caren Parnes, Suzan Lovett, Marilyn C. are the outstanding artists that come to mind. They are not only good, they are consistent. I can’t pick out one individual piece of work by any one of them; they’re all superb.

Where would you like to see K/S go in terms of creativity; i.e., what kinds of stories do you feel are a benefit to K/S fandom, and what do you see as being detrimental?

As for where I believe K/S is headed, I think it’s constantly evolving, one is always going to run into the incredibly bad story as well as the exceptionally good one. But as I read each new issue of a zine, I feel personally that the stories have been getting much better. Since I’ve come to K/S very recently and have not read the earlier works (do they always have to be out of print?), I can only base my judgment on what I’ve read. I like stories that get into the character’s head, dealing with what motivates them, the character studies that delve into the psyches of what makes Kirk and Spock tick and how they deal with their relationship, in other words, it’s not just the jumping in bed, but the how and why of it. What is detrimental to K/S? 1) Stories with extreme violence and excessive S & M. 2) “Menage a trois” stories don’t do much for me. I like reading about Kirk and Spock; that’s why. Call me an intolerant purist if you want, but I was attracted to K/S by the very special love between Kirk and Spock. With a menage a trois story it just detracts from that unique chemistry between them. And adding a third party makes it lose its magic for me.


Talk about whatever I want?

  How about fanart? I don't know what fans or writers do when they pick up a zine, but I tend to scan the artwork first (force of habit, I guess). And as I leaf through the pages I'm constantly delighted at the variance in styles. As in all things there's the good, the bad and ugly(I know, some of that bad and ugly has been mine). But I always try to keep in mind that it takes all kinds... and it takes a certain courage to send off artwork to a zine, have it published and thus leave one self open to criticism, especially the negative type. I remember reading a review on a zine where the reviewer tore into the artwork with a vengeance, calling it amateurish and inconsistent. I felt like writing to that individual and saying: "Of course it's amateurish... all the artists are amateurs, baby. What did you expect? Normal Rockwell? And if fan artists were as perfect as you wanted them to be, then they'd all be doing book covers for Daw and Random House and making big bucks!"

Fortunately that negative attitude is very rare. And with K/S fans I've found them to be very kind and supportive of a fan artist's efforts... especially new artists. K/Sers may not all like every artist's work, but they understand that we can't all be the caliber of THE SOUTHERN CROSS and probably never will be. They they appreciate and encourage the fan artist's efforts. And I find that very comforting and reassuring.