Strange Justice

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Zine
Title: Strange Justice
Publisher:
Editor(s): Connie Faddis & Kendra Hunter
Date(s): 1982
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
Language: English
External Links:
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"'Strange Justice' is the Interphase of this fandom."
(from a reviewer in S and H #37)
cover by Connie Faddis

Strange Justice is a gen 160-page Starsky and Hutch anthology edited by Connie Faddis and Kendra Hunter. Faddis also did the cover art. Other art is by Gordon Carleton, Jean C., Betty de Gabriele, Edith Crowe, Greg Franklin, Ruth Kurz, Chris Ripley and Paula Smith.

A Proposal

One of the editors wrote this zine proposal:
A new S&H zine in which Starsky and Hutch take a trip into fantasy, trapped in a magic dungeon, held captive by unseen spirits, forced to fight a giant sea serpent... Due spring/summer 1982.[1]

The Cover

"The cost for the cover was not passed on to the readers. The paper was standard (but carefully chosen) stock, and Connie Faddis paid for the second color and did the gold silkscreen herself." [2]

From the Editorial

From one of the editors:

Connie and I were in L.A. for Westercon 33 (July 1980) and we were sitting in Marian's living room, sharing story ideas while sipping *ye gads* Dandelion Wine. (Faddis, I love you, but that's positively the last time I let you buy the wine.) I had learned to play D&D at about the same time I first became involved with active S&H fandom (summer, 1979) and my reaction to the game was, "Gee, I wonder how much fun I could have if I stuck Starsky and Hutch into a dungeon where they could meet up with this L*A*R*G*E red dragon with a wide, white stripe?'... Everyone but Connie thought the story was terrible. Anyway, she had an idea for an S&H story involving the supernatural, and since there wasn't a home for either story, 'Strange Justice' was born... It was eight months before either of us had the time to work in earnest, and that was all right because it took us that long to come up with a title... It has taken over two years to produce this zine you now hold in your hand, but it was worth all the problems, hassles and usual pandemonium that goes with zine publishing. This fiction is some of the best Starsky and Hutch fanfic it has ever been my pleasure to read.

As with any project, there are many people to thank, because without them you wouldn't be reading this line. First, Elaine Hauptman, our typist and general life-saver, who cut much of our work In half. I shudder to think how difficult this publication would have been without her. Next, working with Connie has been an experience in work and play. Our editor/writer relationship taught me a great deal and provided you with what I consider to be a good story. Our long-distance partnership has shown me what communication and cooperation can produce. And last, but certainly not least, Diana Barbour. Her contributions are not ones you, the reader, can readily see; however, without Diana I would not have been able to complete my portion of this project. Trek gave us IDIC; Starsky and Hutch have given us workable partnerships.
From the other editor:

Connie here. The stories you'll read in Strange Justice aren't typical S&H fare -- they take the two detectives into adventures and experience that challenge their police skills, their belief systems, their partnership, and even their sanity, in the pursuit of justice and personal truth. The episode 'The Psychic' established the reality of the paranormal in the S&H universe, so Kendra and I are betting you'll find these stories stimulating and refreshingly different.

One story — Marian Kelly's "Scales of Justice" — was originally slated for this zine, but as it grew into a novella it became apparent that publishing it here was not practical. "Scales" will be published separately — as a lavishly illustrated storybook — later this year by Jan Lindner. (SASE to her at [address redacted])

For those of you with poor eyesight, we tried to keep the offset reduction to a reasonable size — 85 percent of the original elite typing. You may find the margins slimmer than usual for a zine, too, but as Kendra pointed out, on pages of text it doesn't spoil the layout and it is cost-saving. We hope you find the text readable and pleasing to the eye. Full-size type and margins would have driven up the costs another $5 per copy.

I want to thank Kendra here publicly, because without her this zine would not have been born. She has graciously handled the majority of the grub-work of the zine, leaving me with all the fun things, like soliciting authors and artists, editing the stories, designing most of the layout, and generally having creative control. It hasn't always been easy to put a zine together when we're 2,000 miles apart, but Kendra has always been willing to talk out the problems and come to a workable solution. I think both of us have grown as persons, a little, and learned a lot about cooperation, through the experience.

Contents

  • Strange Justice by Melanie R. (poem on frontispiece), winner of an Encore Award
  • Editorial (2)
  • Death Angeles by Connie Faddis. The murder of a curandero, a sort of urban folk-healer, unleashes a Thing that indiscriminately attacks anyone connected with the man's death—including the paramedic who took him in, and Starsky, who gave him CPR. (4)
  • Guilty as Hell by S. Soliste. Starsky and Hutch go to heaven and give Gabriel a hand. (45)
  • Solomon's Ring by Eileen Roy. Something has given Starsky a wild talent, and he now hears the thoughts of inanimate objects. (51)
  • Ellison Wonderland by Paula Smith. It rhymes! (78), winner of an Encore Award
  • Serve and Protect by Syn Ferguson. Starsky and Hutch as guardians of the law... (86), winner of an Encore Award
  • Some Days the Dragon Wins by Kendra Hunter (gen in zine, slash on-line) S & H enter an old bunker after an armed sicko makes a wrong turn, and find themselves in a dungeon inhabited by Darkovan clingfire, knights in armor and a fairly convincing dragon. (87)
  • Mother's Child by Jackie Wagner and Paula Smith (105)
  • Kindred Spirits by Jan Lindner. Starsky and Hutch chase a thief at an archeological dig in Yucatan, and snag a pair of ghosts as well. (106), winner of an Encore Award
  • In Vino Veritas by Terri Beckett, poem (149)
  • Midnight Clear by Melanie R. A five-inch Jordache-jeaned pixie shows Starsky the usual movie cliches of how his family and friends would have turned out had he never been there. (151)

Interior art samples

Reactions and Reviews

1982

Strange Justice is the Interphase of this fandom. This is one terrific zine. Not only is nothing in it bad, nothing in it is less than fine. Connie Faddis as editor has cajoled, wrestled, and compelled work from some of the top writers and artists on the theme of 'Strange Justice': Starsky and Hutch as enforcers of law in unusual, paranorlal, or occult situations. Faddis herself sets the tone with 'Death Angeles.' quite the strongest and most intriguing story in the zine. The murder of a 'curandero,' a sort of urban folk-healer, unleashes a Thing that indiscriminately attacks anyone connected with the man's death -- including the paramedic who took him in, and Starsky who gave him CPR. 'Kindred Spirits' also involves Mexican (specifically Mayan) magic-making, as Starsky and Hutch chase a thief at an archeological dig in the Yucatan and snag a couple of ghosts as well. The ending is similar to 'Death Angeles,' and a bit anticlimactic in that S&H simply tell the ghosts they can go home now, and they do. Nevertheless, this was my favorite story in the zine. 'Solomon's Ring' is told in a very spare, almost hypnotically simple fashion, but it makes the strangeness of her plot all the more jolting. Something has given Starsky a wild talent, and how he hears the thoughts of inanimate objects... In Dungeons and Dragons-based, 'Sometimes the Dragon Wins, S&H enter an old bunker after an armed sicko, make a wrong turn, and find themselves in a dungeon inhabited by clingfire, knights in armor and a fairly convincing dragon. Indulging briefly in references to fantasy fandom, the story builds with proper spookiness right up to the point where S&H and the reader learn the how-come of the place. Though admittedly lifted from the movie 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'Midnight Clear' has a pleasing originality. A five-inch Jordache-jeaned pixie shows Starsky the usual movie cliches of how his family and friends would have turned out had he never been there... The sequence where Starsky watches his other-universe friend slime through ten minutes of his day is a piece of excellent characterization by description. 'Gilty as Hell' lacks a definite ending, but has a lot of charm nonetheless, as S&H go to heaven and give Gabriel a hand. 'Ellison Wonderland'... rhymes. The graphics of this zine are gorgeous, in layout, in calligraphy, and art... particularly astonishing are the pieces Ruth Kurz did for 'Death Angeles' she has stretched herself far beyond anything else she's ever done before.[3]
This zine, as the old commercial used to go, provides the comfort of reliability. It also demonstrates a return to top form of two of our most talented fen and some interesting perspectives on Starsky and Hutch. The cover is gorgeous. I don’t know where they found the paper, and I certainly don’t want to know how much it cost, but it was worth every cent. It’s sensuous, lush, and feels good. It’s a bit Medieval and a tad Mexican, and if we were still giving out awards for Best Cover, this would be it. The calligraphy is also an outstanding feature of this zine. There’s much to be said for setting the mood and reference points on the first page of a story, which is what these letterings try to do. As for the artwork, although Kurz’s is not the best in the zine, it is quite worthy of the company it keeps. Ripley continues her crisp, disciplined style. Faddis’ work is (what can one say?) Connie Faddis’ Work. She’s used a style here that she hasn’t in quite some time, to most notable effect in the illo on page 86. And her Hutch and the Dragon on page 103 is excellent –- except for the hands! I love Connie’s work – who doesn’t—but those hands drive me crazy! [Jean C.]’s work is the first bonus of the zine. She has in recent outings done some sloppy, derivative, undisciplined work. It’s a pleasure to find her back in stride here. Her illos for ‘Kindred Spirits’ are careful, fascinating and original. The high quality of the material she was given to illustrate many have something to do with this. With lesser words for inspiration, [Jean C.] tends to get lazy. But give her the Good Stuff, and she’ll give us something as luscious as the two-page spread (pp.144-145) in which the eyes in particular are breathtaking. She does that better than anybody else; cleaving through the surface expressions of her subjects by letter their eyes speak. She’s done a fine job, especially in this two-pager, wherein Hutch’s features skillfully metamorphose into those of a Mayan warrior. Distinguished work. I can comment on the opening poem, since it is mine, except to say that B.C.’s calligraphy and framing design would make anything look terrific. And I won’t comment on the last story in the sine, since it’s also mine, except to say that it’s a helluva note to be following a class act like ‘Kindred Spirits.’ For this story, which is the best Jan has ever done, is the heart and guts of this zine. It has an intriguing plot; pacing which doesn’t falter for an instant; authenticity; several well-woven themes; and best of all, a warmth and completeness which has been missing from Jan’s work since Bomb Scare. There are also the usual miserable puns, but it wouldn’t be a Lindner story without them…. ‘Kindred Spirits’ is a fine example of How To Do It. Jan and her resident editor should be very proud… [Regarding the other stories]: ‘Death Angeles’ is the customary strong, well-crafted Faddis piece. ‘Solomon’s Ring’ will I think be less satisfying to readers because of Eileen’s extremely spare prose style. She leaves out more than she puts in, and you have to become familiar with her signposts and how to read between her lines. ‘Some Days the Dragon Wins’ was an interesting idea competently handled. The zine’s poetry was speculative and provocative… But it is Jan’s story, which, for me, carried the zine. It has something in common with the majority of the stories in that Starsky is the focus of the action – the ‘strange’ action of the zine’s title. What is it about him, I wonder, which makes him a favored candidate for such things? In ‘Kindred Spirits,’ he’s in communication with a centuries-dead Mayan; in ‘Solomon’s Ring,’ he’s suddenly gifted with the talent of hearing things that aren’t accessible to the rest of us; in ‘Death Angeles,’ he’s the one who gets glommed on to by the Whatever-It-Is; in ‘Midnight Clear,’ he gets a tour of what life would have been without him. Does Hutch’s dogged persistence in grounding himself in reality have something to do with this? Or is it that the ‘child’ in Starsky makes him more susceptible to weirdnessess? Perhaps it’s simply that his spontaneous soul, much more open and much less skeptical than Hutch’s, makes his an attractive mind to fiddle with in stories of this type…. And at this point, I’ll say something which will sound a little foolish. I really can’t regret the loss of Marian Kelly’s Scales of Justice from this zine. By the number of pages stacked on her desk (which she won’t let me read!), it’s going to be a monster of a story. I think that if it had been included here the collective effort of the zine would have been one of exhaustion rather than satisfaction. Strange Justice gives a good, solid read of well-crafted stories, lovingly presented and carefully arranged – without straining eyes, imagination, or endurance. Highest possible recommendation.[4]

1983

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … gryphon? Well, almost. Strange Justice isn’t quite that exotic, not even quite as exotic as the editorials would have the reader believe. Still, it remains a fascinatingly hybrid beast, possessed of both beauties and implausibilities. The presentation is, in a word, gorgeous. The pale yellow paper is both aesthetically appealing and easy on the eyes, the type is clear, the layout and graphics are skilful and effective. The quality of the artwork is not uniformly high, what do you do after that bravura silk-screen cover, after all? I was especially impressed by Ruth Kurz’ illustrations from ‘Death Angeles,’ not only for their expressiveness and growing expertise, but for the individually of the faces… and [Jean C.’s] work for ‘Kindred Spirits’ is the best she’s ever done, simply splendid in composition, technique, and insight… ‘Death Angeles’ is not about Starsky and Hutch…. the two characters could be rechristened McGinnis and Kowaliski, and on one would ever know the difference. The officers are partners, friends. But there is no sense of the special relationship that draws most of us to Starsky and Hutch… the second problem is the resolution… those who groove behind Faddis’ penchant for gore and mutilation will probably find it just their cup of O-positive…. Solomon’s Ring… of all stories in the zine, Roy’s conveys the strongest sense of something eldritch… The prose has a coolness and remove, reflected in the static quality of Chris Ripley’s illos, that keep the reader at a distance… ‘Some Days the Dragon Wins’… since this piece has neither point nor wit to bless itself with, one assumes that its presence is due to Hunters’ name on the masthead. Unfortunate. Next to last comes ‘Kindred Spirits,’ a story so good its difficult to decide where to begin to praise it… My favorite story is Syn Ferguson’s ‘Serve and Protect, ‘who’s greatest poignancy is never explicitly stated… Highly recommended.[5]

2016

A zine with a supernatural theme, eliciting from the contributors some of their finest work. Paula Smith called this zine "the Interphase of S&H fandom." Higher praise hath no fan, and I agree with it. [6]

2018

[Rachel] The second time we went [to Iowa] I really wanted to just sit down and read a couple stories. Um, so when I first looked at was Strange Justice, which is an anthology and it was the most gorgeous zine I've seen. It had, um, like gold foil on the front of it. It was absolutely beautiful. And I read the first story in that which was Death Angeles. Unfortunately, I don't have the, um, author's name written down. I apologize. We'll have that in show notes. Um, and that was, that was a really fun story to read. I really want to read more on the collection because I do find the lack of SFF stories in Starsky and Hutch a bit lacking and I do enjoy that a lot. So I like seeing those tapes and I thought this was um, a real organic incorporation of the supernatural into the Starsky and Hutch universe, which we have as, as this, the opening note in Strange Justice noted is established because the psychic.

[Monica]: there is some supernatural canon happenings in Starsky and Hutch, which is a little odd because you could easily have told the story of the psychic without making it clear if the psychic was actually psychic. But no, it's clear. He's actually psychic.

[Jen]: They're very explicit about that. So I read the first story in that..... [7]

References

  1. from the "Proposed Zines" section in Universal Translator #13
  2. comment by a fan in S and H #38
  3. from S and H #37 and the duplicate review in Warped Space #48
  4. from S and H #37
  5. from S and H #38
  6. comment by kslangley at What was your first fandom?, August 28, 2016
  7. From a transcript of a 2018 podcast where three Starsky & Hutch fans discussed a roadtrip to the University of Iowa Fanzine Archives -- MeAndTheeAndThree #2.