Shadows of the City

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Title: Shadows of the City
Publisher: Martin Enterprises
Editor(s): D.A. Martin
Type: letterzine
Date(s): December 1989-?
Frequency: monthly
Medium: print
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (TV)
Language: English
External Links:
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Shadows of the City is a Beauty and the Beast monthly letterzine/newsletter. Subscription cost was $15 a year.

The editor refers to the bi-monthly publication as a letterzine at times, and as a newsletter other times.

From the March 1990 issue:

"Shadows of the City" is a B&B newsletter that was started primarily for the fans in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. It now has riders nationwide. This newsletter is published monthly (for now). I will tell you how to get the next issue a little later. I print whatever is of interest to the fans, at my discretion and as space permits. To submit materials for 'Shadows of the City', send it to the address at the bottom of this letterzine.

Feburary 1990

This issue was 2 pages long.

front page of the February 1990 issue
  • an announcement that the show had been canceled and what fans could do about it, mainly a letter campaign
  • this issue included a flyer for the video campaign, see Beauty and the Beast Videotape Pledge
  • comments about the third season and short reviews of some third season episodes
  • there are very short excerpts from some letters of comment about the third season: most fans disliked it, a few liked it, one hoped the fandom would go on despite the end of the show and the fandom split, and one fan was unhappy with the consummation scene in the second season:
    We waited for that time (the love scene) for over two years and we get a rose unfolding and flashbacks from earlier episodes. I mean, I thought that what they did was beautiful but , it was not the love scene I've been holding my breath for all this time!! There are a hundred ways they could have allowed Catherine and Vincent (and us) to have enjoyed their one light of love... without offending anyone.

March 1990

This issue was 4 pages long.

It contains a crossword puzzle, some con updates, about twenty very short letters from fans commenting on the show itself (oddly, the letters are all stripped of names, addresses, or identifying clues and read more like excerpts), and some comments on Second Stories and One Night, Forever.

front page of the March 1990 issue
  • the editor has some letter campaign tips:
    I have gotten more letters about writing letters than about just about anything else, so I feel it only appropriate to give my opinion on the subject. [A lot] of fans, particularly the ones who did not like the third season, feel like they are being censured by the rest of fandom. I can only speak for myself, but it was never my intention to imply that fans should not express their honest opinions m their letters to the producers, prospective networks, and so forth. 1did, however, and still do,, encourage everyone to choose their words carefully. Consider that your intent is to persuade. "High pressure sales" techniques are probably going to be ineffective in this situation. A polite request and/or statement of your opinion is perfectly acceptable, but demands and threats are counterproductive. It helps to read your letter as though you were the recipient. How does it make you feel? Many of you are upset because you perceive that others are trying to dictate to you what to do or write. Do you think that the producers and network executives feel any differently when they get letters aimed at manipulating them?" I write for the public, sort of, and I know how I would feel. If I got a letter stating: "I was offended by (whatever) and I wish that you would change it." I would consider that person's request and at least offer an explanation if I could not comply. On the other hand, if I got a letter that stated: "I was offended by (whatever) and if you don't change it, I'm never going to read your rag again; furthermore I'm going to get all my buddies not to read your rag, and I'm going to write letters to all of your riders and encourage them not to read your rag." My response to that is: "Go for it, (expletive omitted)!! Take your best shot." No one likes to be goaded. So in writing letters, if what you want is to bring someone around to your point of view, courteous letters are the way to go. Certainly, express your opinions, but do not vent your frustration. You can say that you are frustrated or angry, but it should not reflect in the tone of your correspondence. I know that it is hard. You feel that something you care deeply about is being taken from you and you are powerless to prevent it. You want to do something to "lash out at injustice" and make yourself heard, but a negative impression 1s more detrimental than not being noticed. If you need to blow off steam, please do it in some other way.

  • this issue has an update:
    B&B Quilt Project Update: To date there have been about 200 contributions; 400 are needed. Contributions have come from all over the country and from many foreign countries. Cut off date for fabric contributions is the first part of March. After, please send monetary contributions only. About 80% of the piecing and embroidering is done. For the actual quilting, Woodlawn Plantation, which has a tradition of sponsoring quilting activities and which is an historic property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation has graciously offered a portion of the reception room to work on the quilt on the weekends of 7 and 21 April. Woodlawn Plantation is located at 9000 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Virginia. If you wish to participate, please call Sally Newman...

April 1990

This issue was 4 pages long.

front page of April 1990 issue
  • some quotes and info from the two Creation Con Beauty and the Beast cons
    • "Roy lashed out very angrily at the third-season critics, especially the Michigan group and the person who sent a bunch of dead, black roses to Witt Thomas in protest of the death of romance."
    • "Probably the most newsworthy thing was Roy Dotrice telling us that he, Ron, Linda, and Jay got together for dinner Roy sat across from Linda, who was breast-feeding Dalton, so Roy said he was "paying a lot of attention to Dalton""
    • "Jay told us about an episode he called "Roy Gets a Girlfriend". It must have been one of the ones that were not aired. He said an old girlfriend comes Below to visit Father and then they spend four days at the Plaza Hotel. Someone asked what he thought of Ron Perlman, but he said that he had never worked with Ron. They never had any scenes together and he wasn't in the episode Ron directed. He mentioned that the car explosion (in "Though Lovers Be Lost...") used more than twice as much explosive as typical TV car explosions. His stunt double was knocked down and even he felt the concussion 100 yards away."
    • "Another interesting bit of news is that Elliot Burch isn't dead. The story line that was intended was for him to SEEM to have been killed but then come back, minus all his money, and decide to be Stan Kazmarek (sic) again."
  • comment about the third season:
    For me, the third season was very painful to watch. I will continue to support it in every way I can, in hopes that the magic can be recaptured.

  • comment about the third season:
    And a few opinions to put with everyone else's views on the 3rd season: Opener - seemed more of a plot skeleton than a real story. Felt as if great parts of the story had been cut out and cast aside. The rest of the 3rd season: remarkable, wonderful, and beautiful. I found Diana to be enchanting. Anyone realize we only got one story this year? Hardly enough to judge on, whether you liked it or not.

  • comment about the third season:
    Have to agree with much of the criticism of the third season. ...the handoff from Catherine to Diana was remarkably poor. Cathy and Diana should have known each other - five minutes would have done, and set up personality differences. Diana could have been searching for Cathy in "Lovers" and Vincent at the end sent from holding a dying Catherine to rescuing Diana. Still, I wouldn't change a word of "Snow" and the worst of the others still had some beautiful moments.

  • comment about the third season:
    I agree that "Though Lovers Be Lost ..." was a dark and mostly passionless two hours except for the death scene.

  • comment about the third season:
    What a great idea, having a discussion about the episodes, I did not understand "To Reign in Hell" nor did I record it on my tapes that I watch. I saw Stephen McHattie on "Twilight Zone" in January. He also had the most beautiful voice (Ed.'s note: 'To Reign in Hell" was about revenge. John Pater (Paracelsus) founded the tunnel community along with Jacob Veils (Father), but was exiled because his vision of the world Below was a dictatorship rather than a family. He thought that he could get revenge against Father for taking what he believed was his by destroying Vincent. He used Catherine to draw Vincent into his trap. Catherine tried to keep Vincent from falling into the trap by blocking their "bond" so that he would not come to rescue her. Of course he came anyway. It was a very powerful episode)

  • comment about the third season:
    I would like to respond to something you put in as an editorial note to my letter. As I stated, I was offended at Diana s murder of Gabriel. I do not find this to be hypocritical - it was Vincent's child that was about to be murdered and Vincent's life that was destroyed by Gabriel. He had killed, perhaps justifiably, to protect Catherine - self defense of another is not always legal justification. Here he was acting to protect his child, and ultimately himself. Once the rage was gone, there should have been no further action by either Vincent or Diana. Where to put Gabriel then(?) What bothered me most was the need Ron Koslow felt to keep Vincent's "purity" in tack (intact). I fall to understand the need to maintain Vincent as a virgin and despite the other killings, the final victory over his enemy was not to be Vincent's. (Ed.'s note: Diana realized how much Vincent loathed killing and she tried to spare him the act by distracting him, diverting attention to his child, the one part of Catherine left to him. Catherine could always stop his rage. But after she had done this, she realized that Gabriel would endanger Vincent as long as he remained alive. Remember she was falling in love with Vincent- She risked everything to protect Vincent, the same way Vincent killed for Catherine, it may not have been legally justifiable, but I believe it was morally justified. As far as Vincent s virginity, the child has his blood, or similar blood, so he obviously is not a virgin, even if he can't remember it. My personal opinion is that they were just too lazy to write a decent love scene.)

  • comment about the third season:
    I was so glad to read that you loved "A Time to Heal" It was my favorite too. My favorite scene was when Vincent woke up and was watching Diana sleep. Although I miss Catherine I have really come to like Diana. After an appropriate period of mourning, he could have a very special relationship. I was also glad he did not kill the doctor and Gabriel. However I was totally surprised and satisfied when Diana killed Gabriel. Never in my life have I felt an act was so completely justified, and with Catherine's gun no less. Terrific writing.

  • comment about the third season:
    When I have talked to other fans, they have all expressed the same devastation that I felt when Catherine was killed. It was just too final! To me the point of the story was not just Vincent, it was Vincent and Catherine together. It was their relationship and its complexity and its ramifications that drew me week after week. I am one of those who choose to pretend the third season never happened.

August 1991

This issue was 4 pages long.

cover of the August 1991 issue
  • a comment about a zine, and tears:
The last few nights I spent long hours deep into the nights reading a few of the newest fanzines I had received, one of them was yours, "In Another Life, Part I". I cannot judge it real right now, because I am so overwhelmed on Catherine-has-returned stories right now, it is time I chance upon a different track of stories. At least she can return, while I do read them, I do not enjoy stories where she remains dead and Vincent falls in love etc. with Diana. I rather read about Vincent and his Catherine. Nevertheless, I will look forward to part II of your stories (maybe please do not let Vincent cry so much, the poor guy is FOREVER in tears)...

  • a compliment, and back-handed criticism:
I enjoy getting [Shadows of the City] and it has helped put me in touch with other helpers. In your own way, you are like the Helper's Network only faster.

  • disappointment with Family Channel, and a rant about genetic mutations and hypocrisy:
I seem to be informed more in your n/l in regard to what FAM is doing about BATB than I do anywhere else. In fact, I haven’t heard or read anything from or about FAM in many USA months. I don't know if they're not doing their FAM n/l anymore or if they’re just not sending me one because I wrote them months ago in Feb to voice my displeasure at their handling of BATB and to ask how they can justify 'Maniac Mansion' which deals with outright manipulation & mutations of God’s Creation, but with the 2 objects of their fooling around a 6’ 4-yr-old child and a human fly — both having "normal" facial features. So was their objection to Vincent being his face wasn't "normal "by their standards? They kept defeating all the lessons of BATB whereas all ’MM' does is make a joke out of everything. [FAM] always had a reputation of answering their letters (they even answered yours), yet they never answered mine. I sent copies to Mosier and Weirich, so I know they got at least one of them. Maybe they're just not answering their BATB mail anymore. Or maybe just not the negative stuff? I haven't heard or read of anybody getting anything from FAM, have you? Please keep us posted on anything you hear in your n/l. [Ed. - The Family Channel’s one-year run of Beauty and the Beast ends in August; I imagine they feel well rid the show and its fans.]