The Helpers' Network Gazette
|Title:||The Helpers' Network Gazette|
|Fandom:||Beauty and the Beast (TV)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Helpers' Network Gazette is a Beauty and the Beast non-fiction resource.
The issues are not numbered but some were published in December 1993-February 1994. The newsletter was also mailed to Lisa Howard on diskette, who cleaned it up and offered it via email to members of Of Love and Hope mailing list. Back issues from 1993-1996 are archived here: Helpers' Network Gazette Archives, Archived version.
Follow the Cinemaker Press Fail
There is much about the fic Bright Spirit Descending in this newsletter. See details in individual issues below.
Much About Cons
This newsletter has much information about cons, including some controversies. See details below.
The Helpers' Network Gazette: Financial Costs
From the last print issue in Spring 1996: "Some sample costs of running Helpers' Network: 3 answering machines: $225, 4 VCRs $2,000, cleaning VCRs per year $240, each Gazette, printing and mailing: $100, rough yearly long-distance bills (on Helpers' Network business): $800-1,000, extra phone line, per year: $260. Nan doesn't expect to be reimbursed for this, though her finances aren't the best...she's entirely a volunteer. But it's still is nice to get some help with it all. She'll do her best to see that you feel you've gotten value for your money, in the Gazette and the Q-fer."
The Helpers' Network Gazette: Its DemiseIn 1995, Nan decided to slowly wind down the publication, due in part to a new full time job. But, she added:
"Another problem is that the Gazette had gotten grandiose. Most issues had pictures, requiring a 20 mile round trip scooter journey to reproduce); many had material excerpted from other places, which meant extra keyboarding, formatting, and proofing. It was all good material, and I wanted to use it. But it increased the prep time by about half, as compared to just using my Hotline scripts, that just had to be combined, edited, and reorganized to be ready to go.
I have to get simpler. Though I have several articles about Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman and things B&B that people have most kindly sent me, I'm not going to use them...at least any time soon. The prospect of that much keyboarding, etc., is so daunting that nothing at all gets done. Getting off work, trying to make tapes and fill zine orders, I just can't make myself take on that extra stuff besides. Better to do what I can, and stay simple, than take on more than I can handle and end up not producing the Gazette at all, as has been the case, these past months.[snip]
This Gazette wraps up all the still pertinent news since April 1. But you're still missing issues you legitimately paid for. So don't renew your Gazette. I'll continue sending you issues at least through next June, which should satisfy everybody's current subscriptions, no matter when they were due to end. Then, come the convention next year (if not before), I'll decide whether I can continue doing the Gazette on top of everything else I've taken on, paid or unpaid.
The Hotline, I'll continue. I'm preparing the Fall Q-fer, which will be published the end of this month. I'll continue to make tapes and publish/mail zines and answer questions. Only the Gazette is in flux. I'll keep it going as long as I can, and at least until next summer, until all current subscriptions will have been fulfilled. Each issue will be available at the B&B website online, as it was before. The Q-fer is also posted there, free for the downloading. I intend to continue trying, in every way I can, to be a relay point for information to the Beauty and the Beast fandom, which has rewarded me so richly with their friendship and warm Beast wishes.
I am not going away, quitting, or otherwise regaining my sanity. I'm just cutting back to what's possible for me, working with much encouragement but without any steady, on-the-spot help, as things now stand.The Gazette will go back to being what it started out as: a wrap-up of news that's been on the Hotline, week by week, month by month. I hope it continues to be useful to you on that basis." Source: Of Love and Hope volume 3, Sept 1995.
- info about the show's stars and what they're up to
- detailed information about Helper's Network US
- TunnelCon #3
- info about the zines Storms
- information about the Cinemaker Books
- info about what the celebrities are up to
- an article by the late Andrew Rodriguez, a noted B&B fan. The article was printed in the Cornell University Newsletter: subject is Guillermo del Toro
- excerpts from an interview with Armin Shimerman from TV ZONE (#48)
- tensions about con guests and many fans' unhappiness regarding the show's third season: RUMOR CONTROL DEPT: Some people have been very concerned at the possibility that Stephen McHattie, who played Gabriel, might be invited to Tunnelcon III next summer. Rest easy: it's not going to happen. Though he volunteered himself as a guest for Great Expectations and would evidently like to attend a B&B convention, Betty Nieswender states that (a) she hasn't invited anybody at this point; memberships are dragging (as is usual for convention sign-ups at this time of year; a good reason to send in your membership just as soon as you possibly can!) and she can't start contacting potential star guests until she has a fairly good idea of how many people will be attending and therefore how large the treasury for paying said guests will be; and (b) Betty has no plans to follow up on Mr. McHattie's overture of last year. She's not inviting him, he's not coming. That should put everyone's minds at ease on this topic.
- the usual bits of news
- excerpts from an interview with Jo Anderson
- Bright Spirit Descending: Nan's new book, Bright Spirit Descending, has been approved and has gone to be printed. It's a novelization of "The Alchemist" and "To Reign in Hell". About half of it is an original account of the founding of the tunnel community. It has a Kevin Barnes cover and lovely Barb Gipson artwork (6 pictures) inside. It's a long, substantial book, but the price is the same: $9.95 + 1.50 s/h. The book should be available by the end of March or early April. Nan will accept preorders now for immediate fulfillment as soon as the books reach her. She'll also make a note of backorders-people who ordered "the first four novels". If you had such a preorder and want Bright Spirit Descending, send Nan a copy-ONLY A COPY-of the paperwork including, if possible, a copy of your check or money order, and she'll see that you get your book. She expects to get a list of these orders from Cinemaker, but if you send to Nan directly, then you can be sure your preorder will be filled. Those who preordered hardbacks will get a credit for the difference, to apply to a future order.
- Therion Press: Besides the two excellent Classic novels by British zine writer Janet Kilbourne (Land of My Dreams and Darkness at Dawn) mentioned in the January Gazette, Therion Press is going to be publishing (in March) pro Canadian writer Jena Snyder's B&B inspired novel, Kilkenny Cats. You may know Jena as the author of At the Mirk and Midnight Hour. This present book, a mystery, is NOT straight B&B; investigator Diana has become Megan, and Vincent has become Tomas, a normal- appearing man on the run from the IRA and from the police, who believe he's responsible for the car bombing that killed his wife and young child. Tomas is living in Central Park and has become a friend and protector to the down-and-outs of the bowery. Megan/Diana is investigating the murders of several derelicts, and her first and strongest suspect is the elusive, mysterious Tomas. Although the book's spirit and dynamic is B&B, it's not precisely a B&B novel. Nan also has a third Kilbourne book, Catch the Wild Wind, an original novel following from "To Reign in Hell". Though not so strong, structurally, as the other two, it's still engaging reading. Each zine is $20 US, $22 CAN, $25 else. (postage included) to Therion Press...
- excerpts from an interview with Edward Albert & Paulette Edwards
- "Wanna Write Some Letters...AGAIN?": From Lyn Musaccio, of the New England hotline, comes a report, later amplified by Darlene Sullivan, that an executive at Spelling Entertainment (now merged with Republic) is actively considering the prospect of making a B&B movie. This doesn't mean it's a proposal that's going to be voted up or down on a specific date: it just means that this executive is aware of the series and the possibility of making a TV movie based on it. In other words, it's something she's thinking about, every once in awhile, on an ongoing basis. Nan Dibble thinks that getting a lot of letters would help her think about it even harder. This is the first time since cancellation we've had a specific person to write to who potentially has the power to do something if she judges the project (A) is possible and (B) would have an audience. We can't do anything about (A), possible, but we certainly can let her know about (B). Nan urges everybody to write this executive a letter a day for two weeks, then stop. Don't phone, please: that only annoys people to no purpose. If you can, vary your stationary and the signatures; but if that would be a hassle, don't bother: we're not trying to fool anybody, just let them know a lot of people feel very strongly about this. Nan asks, please, that your letter say simply that you very much hope Spelling will decide to make a B&B movie...and leave it at that. No ifs, ands, or buts. Quantity, here, is more important than quality. 14 simple letters will have more impact than 1 long one giving the history of everything B&B has meant to you. Please, keep it simple. Write to Spelling Entertainment, ATT: Marcia Basichis, Senior VP of Development, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90036. Please relay information about this new letter campaign to any B&B friends you have contact with. Networking pays!
- Cinemaker Update: Updating news about the new books from Cinemaker, Nan finds she underestimated the time it was going to take to publish her new book, Bright Spirit Descending. Before it's printed, Ed Gross needs to know how many copies his distributors order to know know how large the print run should be. That adds another month Nan didn't allow for. So this novelization of "The Alchemist" and "To Reign in Hell," together with an original account of the founding of the tunnel community, should be out sometime either in late May or early June. If anybody's absolutely dying of Vincent deprivation, just can't wait, and wants a foretaste of the book, for $2, Nan will send the first three chapters (send to Helpers' Network, check payable to Nan).
- "Dialing for dilithium crystals": Want to find out more about the voyages of the Starship Enterprise? Dying to learn more about the "Star Wars" trilogy? Just sign up with the America Online (AOL) Computer network and send a message to Paul Van de Kamp, an on-line coordinator for Sci-Fi Channel who operates the network's new computer bulletin board. In just one week of operation, that bulletin board has posted 1,000 messages from science fiction fans looking to communicate with Van de Kamp and other fans. It is the latest in a growing number of cable network bulletin boards appearing on AOL and other on-line computer services, including Prodigy and CompuServe. The cable networks do not have to pay to participate--in the case of Sci-Fi, for example, the cable network provides the content and splits with AOL any revenue from merchandise sales and on-line charges. Sci-Fi Channel executives say the service is helpful in building awareness within a very desirable demographic group. And, if all goes according to plan, the network hopes to use the service as an additional advertising opportunity.
- Cinemaker Update: Rhonda Collins' novel Legacy of Love has been approved by Republic. The person reviewing it said about Rhonda's novel what they never said about either of Nan Dibble's, that they LIKED it! Legacy of Love takes up with the series final two episodes, then goes beyond them with Diana trying to help Vincent finally come to terms with the fact he still doesn't remember anything about the Trilogy cave and Jacob's conception. Though it's a story of deep caring, it's not precisely a romantic story. It's very well written, with moments of joy and tenderness as Diana attempts to "lead Vincent through the dark" of inner pain and loss into renewed possibilities; all those who feel the series ended too soon and fought cancellation should enjoy it a lot. It should be published sometime this fall. The best guess for the publication dates for the next books due from Cinemaker: Bright Spirit Descending by Nan Dibble should be out by the end of May or early June at the latest, The Official B&B Annotated Guidebook by Jana Ondrechen should be out by TunnelCon. Bright Spirit is $11.45 and the Guidebook's prepublication price of $22.45 still holds. You can preorder these, or Legacy of Love ($11.45) from Helpers Network. And Nan's still sorting out any back orders for books you haven't received: send details of the orders and copies of canceled checks or whatever to Nan at Helpers' Network, and she'll try to get the problem straightened out.
- TunnelCon Update: From Betty Neiswender, an update on how things are going in preparation for TunnelCon III. Registration, says Betty, has been picking up since January. Star guests confirmed at this point include those who made Great Expectations such a hit: Roy Dotrice, Edward Albert, and David (the auctioneer) Schwartz. Betty is still attempting to contact or negotiating with other favorites, so there may be additional star guests announced at a later date. Master of Ceremonies Myrrh will also be in attendance, and Phil Smith (of Helpers Above Tulsa), the videographer, will again be doing the video which, judging by the extraordinary job he did at Great Expectations, will definitely be something everybody will want to have, whether they can attend or not. Paulette Edwards will be kicking off her official Edward Albert fan club at a special breakfast, and will have posters from Albert's well-known early film, "Butterflies Are Free." Gloria Handley, of the Jo Anderson fan club, is also planning a get-together for all-season fans, details to come. For information on the latter, send to Jo's Journal [address redacted] Gloria needs to know no later than June 1st how many people are interested so that she'll know what arrangements to make (what size room, etc.). It's planned for Friday evening, July 6.
- "Talk at Blockbuster...about a B&B Movie...MAYBE": Lyn Musaccio of the New England hotline recently talked to an executive of Blockbuster (now the parent company of Republic and Spelling Entertainment), who told her there's been discussion of the possibility of a B&B tv movie. JUST discussion....but that's a whole lot better than nothing. Nothing's scheduled or even begun, but it's still encouraging. Think good thoughts! In a related item, the planned merger between Blockbuster and so-called media giant Viacom, the combo that was put together in the Paramount takeover bid that Viacom eventually won, has been called off. That leaves Blockbuster at the top of its particular corporate heap. On balance, that seems to be a good development because they'll be (Nan conjectures) more likely to be interested in making the most of what they have.... And part of what they have, through the takeover of Republic, is Beauty and the Beast. However, don't expect developments to come of this anytime soon. We're all eager for a B&B movie, but it's not worth getting your hopes up if that means crashing through the floor when early encouraging indications don't result in anything concrete for months and months and months. Nan believes we're closer to a movie than at any time since cancellation. But she urges people to keep this in perspective and keep on stubbornly waiting and hoping and sometimes writing letters, just as we've all been doing all along. We B&B fans are tough, and we're in for the duration. The letters to Spelling (still coming in, Nan hears, in record volume, thousands of letters a week) don't hurt either. If there are further positive developments, you'll hear about it here.
- excerpts from a Beth Blighton interview with David Schwartz
- about the movie: Roy's Rumor: At theTunnelCon III banquet, Gwen Lord, president of Roy Dotrice's fan club, read from a letter Roy sent her about mid-June. In it, Roy said that what he considers a reliable source reports to him that preproduction has begun on a B&B movie and that the principal actors are being contacted concerning contracts. This announcement was followed by dead silence; then somebody changed the subject. We are apparently not quite so ready to believe unsubstantiated reports as we once were. Nan started checking. None of the star guests at the convention--neither Edward Albert nor either of the Davids (Schwartz or Greenlee)--apparently knew anything about it. But that, alone, wasn't definitive. So Nan checked with her trusted, long-time source at Ron Perlman's agent's office, who said the same: nothing happening in that direction that he knew about. Lyn Musaccio, of the New England hotline, checked with her contacts at Blockbuster and they said no; also saying no, through a relay by members of the Carousels and Caverns community, reports helper D'vora Pariente, are Steve Kurzfeld of Witt-Thomas; Ron Koslow's office; and Howard Gordon. So Nan considers that this report has been thoroughly checked out and can say with confidence that Roy was mistaken. However, when calling wolf, remember that the 999th time, there really IS a wolf; so Nan takes each of these reports and rumors most seriously and checks them out, with help, as thoroughly as she can because one of these days, they're going to be true. Just not now.
- Editorial by Nan Dibble I'm about to commit my annual (more or less) editorial. As many of you now know, Beth Blighton of the marvelous artwork, wicked sense of humor, X-rated zines, and Lionheart, has decided to retire from fandom at the end of the year. In the most recent issue of Lionheart, she ascribes her decision to the backbiting, divisions, and general decline both in numbers and highmindneess in this fandom. I've received several calls from people seriously dismayed and depressed at the prospect of Beth's unique voice leaving us. And she definitely will be missed, by me as much as anyone. But she's entitled to go: she's certainly paid her dues with nearly five years' love and imagination invested in B&B. However, it's unfortunate that Beth felt she had to publicly do the equivalent of stomping off in a huff, blaming her departure on the fact that the good old days, when everybody was loving and numerous, are now gone. I'm afraid I have news for Beth and for anybody else who's convinced things are going downhill at a breakneck pace. The good old days are a myth. We've always been a contentious fandom, with deep divisions born of passionate conviction leading us, too often, to declare (usually with our 20 closest friends) that this or that person isn't "really" a fan and that only a certain portion of the series, the part we happen to like, can possibly be acceptable to any right-minded person. There have been dead roses, vituperative letters, personal attacks, people spat on in elevators, conventions sabotaged, and other assorted nastiness I won't depress the new fans among us by listing. And those WERE the good old days. I've been through it all, I'm here now, and here's what I see. The fandom is changing as all living things do. Some people leave, and we're sorry to see them go and hope sometime they'll come back. Other people come, and we're astonished by the depth of their caring and ingenuity. Like Laura Hardy, who offered the use of her Florida townhouse and a free beach vacation to any fan for the asking. Like Rita Klemp, returned from Africa, taking up her old art, silk-screening, not only to make T-shirts and totes for Helpers' Network but simply, as she put it, to do something for others. Keeping the dream alive. Like Bev Liddell, another new fan, with her late night calls and hearty chuckle at romantic imaginings concerning Vincent. Like the Carousels and Caverns Community in California, putting a new group together from the fragments of an old, disbanded one, taking on the monumental task of staging next year's convention and other ambitious projects. Like Lyn Musaccio, beginning a new hotline and helping to fill the gap left by the departure of Sharon Wells several years ago. Like Lisa Howard, a new fan patiently keyboarding the Gazette and posting it on a computer network long before I knew anything about it. People like David Williams in Canada, checking back in after two years away because his life had changed and he now wanted to get back in touch. David was instrumental in providing the French videos of "In the Forests of the Night," "The Reckoning," and "Legacies" before they were broadcast in the US. So David's back, and much welcomed. Like the fans first discovering the series on the SF channel and calling in to report they thought nobody else could understand how fascinating they've found it and where did the baby come from and what do the lava and roses mean??? Like everybody in this fandom, newcomer or old line, whose phone bills have gone through the roof because they can't resist sharing their lives with a pack of dippy strangers who have suddenly become friends, family...all because of a TV show. I could go on and on. Examples are endless. People go, but people also come, infusing the fandom with fresh life and enthusiasm. I see this happening, day by day, month by month. As a new fan in Washington, who'd first discovered the series on the SF channel, told me in all seriousness, It's changed her life. By golly. Imagine that. It's changed my life, too. Life is changes. And over this past year, I've seen a whole lot more coming together than falling apart. I think we're more at peace with one another, more united and committed, than we've ever been. Old hurts are healing, as well as old divisions. We are, for the first time and blessedly, becoming one fandom. We all started out as lone maniacs in front of our own TV's, convinced we were the only ones so mesmerized by this amazing series. We now know ourselves to be a worldwide fandom, increasingly united and connected with one another. So when some development, like the resistance to Steven McHattie's appearance at a convention, or someone's decision to withdraw from the fandom, makes you feel depressed and discouraged, that's understandable...but it also should be temporary. Try to remember the happy, hopeful things that are just as true as the sad ones and should lift our hearts, not make us feel there's no use and we all might as well quit, pull down our Vincent posters, and slouch back to our now-uninteresting lone TV sets again, moaning about the good old days, when everything was rosy. Remember what brought us into the fandom to begin with. Try to be there for one another. Don't worry about what anybody else is doing: contribute what you can to keep the dream alive. Live in shared love and hope, living the best we can--not perfect, but giving help where we can, taking help where we need it: what the series was about--no less true, no less strong, than it was at the beginning. Only the grave is peaceful: as Vincent put it, while we live, we bleed. But we also renew ourselves, and the hurts heal. Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. And the reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated. Good-bye, Beth. Be well. We love you. But we'll survive..
- TunnelCon III Videos: Videotapes of TunnelCon III, including all the special moments, (Stu Sheff in the G-string; the 3rd season commemorative ping-pong ball and water pistol fight; the naming ceremonies; the celebrity Q&A's, and much more!) will be produced, again by the redoubtable Phil Smith of Helpers Above Tulsa and his crew at NovTek, Inc. If you saw the extremely handsome video Phil did for Great Expectations, you'll know why the TunnelCon III video will be an absolute treat for both those who were and weren't able to attend the convention. A three-tape set, to be prepared and shipped this fall, costs $50 plus $4 s/h. OK residents add an additional $4. That's a reasonable price considering how packed these tapes were the last time....and how underpriced. These aren't merely home movies but a three tape video produced and edited by professional videographers...and the difference shows.
- A Distant Shore con and vid: D'vora Pariente, one of the organizers of next year's LA convention, A Distant Shore, says that response has been overwhelmingly positive from B&B cast and crew living in the LA area and many of them have promised to show up at least briefly next year. And she also said that registrations are already coming in, in what Nan considers remarkable numbers: in the three years Nan's been running the hotline, she's found that convention organizers say registrations don't really get going until after the first of the year. Clearly, A Distant Shore is off to a running start and promises to be one of the most exciting B&B conventions ever, with half the world who were involved in B&B and living in the LA area promising to drop in if they possibly can. If you register before the first of September, this year, there's a discount: registration costs only $75; it's $85 after the first of September. On the Monday after the convention weekend, they're planning a bus tour package including sites like Catherine's apartment building, a special Shakespeare performance at the Will Geer theater including many members of the B&B cast, and a picnic and mini-tour of Griffith Park (where B&B was filmed) including beloved sites like the carousel and the tunnel culvert. There's a separate charge for this tour: $45, and it's limited to the first 400 people who sign up. So if you're interested in the tour, register and sign up NOW. Room rates at the Doubletree, whose phone number is (310) 216-5858 or 1-800-2223, are only $59 per night, with 2-bedroom suites available at higher cost. Be sure to mention B&B or A Distant Shore to get discounted rates. The convention dates are July 7-9, and you may or may not want to include the Monday, July 10, 1995, when the bus tour is scheduled. For an information form, send to D'vora Pariente, Box 9287, Anaheim CA 92812. Mike Maloney says he expects this to be the biggest B&B convention since Tunnelcon I, and Nan wouldn't be surprised if he's right. There's a promotional video about the convention, with a lot of additional material including an original song written and performed by Mike and interviews ranging from ten to fifteen minutes with Roy Dotrice, David Greenlee, Armin Shimerman, Tony Jay, Edward Albert, Ellen Geer, Teri Hanaur, and Jay Acovone. Because copyrighted material is included in this video, they're not selling it. To get a copy, send a $30 donation + $3 s/h to Video, Box 9287, Anaheim CA 92812. A shorter version of this video was shown at Tunnelcon III, and I know I'd like to see more. So if you're in funds and can't wait for a foretaste of next year's convention, write and send an appropriate donation. The video's title is "Looking Toward A Distant Shore."
- "HELPERS TO THE RESCUE!" -- VCR emergency: Nan found that she'd worn out the heads of her two very good original VCRs in three years of taping thousands of videos for the fandom...and by the way, she's now looking forward to doing, for the first time, the entire series for a fan in Japan. That's what the machines are for. Anyway, having replaced one machine last November, Nan was facing the problem of how to replace the other. In early July, while buying her usual two dozen tapes, Nan found the perfect replacement, discounted-a floor sample Panasonic Super-VHS, 4 heads, stereo. Exactly what was needed. Nan put a deposit to hold it and put an appeal on the hotline for help in paying the remaining $300 on a machine that normally retails for about $800. Practically like lightening, by the time she'd returned from TunnelCon, enough donations had arrived to let her pick up the machine. It's now in service copying things like Ron Perlman's Double Exposure. Nan was touched, astonished, and gratified by the speed of the response and the value others apparently put on having a reliable source of videos available to anyone, anywhere, cheap. Contributors to the VCR fund were: Joan Colbert in GA, Irene Marie Wong Seen in Quebec, Lyn Roewade in Ontario, Lynn Kramer in CT, Carolyn Wilcox in MO, Lois Roberts in PA, Marcia Kleinman in CT, Donna Hill in CA, Sherri Schultz in PA, Nan's unmet neighbor Kathy Deltufo in OH, and last but firstest with the mostest, Marion Kozlowski in CT. And there was the odd five or ten stuck into notes and orders, donations Nan didn't keep a record of. To all who contributed, both those named here and any that aren't, know that your kindness is appreciated and is helping keep the series and related videos available.
- Dial-a-Beast: Nan still has "Dial-A-Beast" (Vincent's Letters to Catherine) audiotapes...not for sale, respecting Republic's wishes, but to give away. If you're so minded, include a small donation to cover tape cost and mailing. A handsome transcript, on parchment, comes with the tape. On request, Don Davis' Hyperspace (the B&B portion) can be put on the other side.
- "BOOKS FROM CINEMAKER (SNORE)": Still waiting for Bright Spirit Descending (sigh) which is expected any day now... Jana Ondrechen's Official B&B Annotated Guidebook should go to the printer in late September (Jana's currently checking galleys, a necessary stage before any book is printed) and be published, at the earliest, about late November (roughly 8 weeks, once it goes to the printer). Bright Spirit, by Nan, is $11.45; the pre-publication price of the Guidebook is still $22.45 until it is published. Nan still has a few hardback copies (about 10) of the first two books, her Beyond Words, Beyond Silence and Prosser/Swope's Lost Yesterdays, Impossible Tomorrows. If you really wanted a hardback but couldn't get one, this is about your last chance. The hardbacks are $18.45 each; send all orders for Cinemaker books to Helpers' Network.
- "WANNA BE A HELPER?": Helpers' Network has filled almost all of the "Charter Memberships" of those who can proudly claim to have been with it from the beginning. Nan hopes all Charter Memberships will be taken by the end of the year. Helpers help in more than name, more than receiving a certificate. They're gradually networking with one another, forming special friendships, finding new ways to Keep the Dream Alive for themselves and for others: the purpose of Helpers' Network. The premiums, for those joining or renewing, are either (A) a year of the Gazette or (B) 6 months of the Gazette and the choice of a t-shirt (pale blue, with a heart on the sleeve) or a handsome (really!) navy canvas totebag, each with the HN logo. Nan's tote, which she takes to work every day, has already sparked interest and a few questions from co-workers. Non-members can get either a t-shirt or tote for $20; for current members, each is $18; or if you're joining or renewing, they come as a part of your membership, at your request. Tees come in L (18) XL (20) or XXL (22). The totes are one size fits all. If Nan runs out, there'll be a new run of tees and totes to fill current orders at the end of October. Membership in Helpers' Network is $25 per year. You know when you're due to renew. If you're re-upping for 1995, remember to tell Nan what premium you want-a year's Gazette subscription, or a t-shirt or a tote. All current memberships will be included in a drawing on New Year's Eve. The prize is a one-of-a-kind clear glass mug etched with the B&B logo on one side and a Beth Blighton portrait of Vincent on the other: very lovely!
- "TUNNELCON III VIDEOS COMING!: The 3-tape, 6 hour set of tapes from TunnelCon III will be ready to ship by the end of October according to videographer Phil Smith. He and his crew sifted through about 60 hours of tape, many scenes shot by multiple camera to provide different angles, to come up with the final version. Phil says this set of tapes may even surpass the set made for Great Expectations-which, if you've seen them, you know to be exquisitely handsome and enjoyable: the best way to enjoy a convention if you couldn't be there...and maybe even if you could, since you can't help missing something! The TunnelCon III set is $50 plus $4 s/h; the phone number for Visa or Master Card orders is 918-743-3450. Or for mail orders, send check or money order to NovTek, Inc. Video Productions...
- stuff for sale: Also available from Helpers Above Tulsa (NovTek's associated fan group) is the Helpers' Network Directory, containing the most current information available on B&B fan communities worldwide. It's $6 for a single issue and $10 for a year (2 issues). Send to Philip Smith [address redacted] However, these can't be ordered by credit card, an Alaskan fan informs Nan.
- more stuff for sale: FATHER CHRISTMAS: The Roy Dotrice Fan Association is offering sets of Christmas cards, done in color from paintings Roy did himself. They're Christmas scenes, cosy wintertime, not directly related to B&B and so suitable for sending to anybody. There are six cards in a set, shipped in a protective plastic sleeve. From the US and Canada they're $5 US cash to Gwen Lord [address redacted] England.
- "NAN'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE: MISSION TO TORONTO": About the middle of September, Nan responded to the kind invitation of Pat Dhillon and Helpers' Network Canada to be a guest at their annual Tunnelfest celebration. Nan, a stay-at-home who'd never been out of the country since childhood, found the trip a bit harrowing.... Finally rescued by Pat Dhillon, anxiously waiting outside because nobody's allowed in, or back in, to the customs area from the outside (Nan and Pat had never met one another, but recognized each other by Pat's Vincent T-shirt and Nan's Helpers' Network totebag), Nan succeeded in supplying the address and was joyously reunited with her baggage about 1 am. Rising early the next morning to help set up for the mini-con, Nan spent a happy and exciting day at Tunnelfest, where she greeted many Canadian B&B fans, met some phone friends, and passed on news about the series and its doings in the states. She learned that in its most recent Canadian airing, episodes had been shown in the following order: "What Rough Beast"; "Ceremony of Innocence"; "Beggar's Comet"; and then "The Rest Is Silence." Interjecting this third season show into the Trilogy reportedly mystified some new Canadian fans: what baby? Where's Catherine? You can imagine the effect. There was filk singing, a costume contest, a scattering of dealers' booths with zines and other B&B merchandise (Nan came back toting a huge framed Vincent Catherine poster she'd never seen before, anywhere, and instantly fell in love with). And everybody seemed to have a tunnel-ish rousing good time. Released by her hosts, Pat and Dhil, on the Sunday, when the Dhillons needed to tend their booth at a large downtown antiques mall, Nan wandered through a large book fair, escorted by two new-made friends among the Canadian fandom. She was delighted to find copies of some of her paperback science fiction books, long out of print, in the used section of a science fiction bookstore and snapped them up as guest gifts for Pat and Dhil. Eventually Nan was delivered back to the airport, allowed through despite her lack of proper documentation, and flew back to workaday Cincinnati, the framed poster balanced on her head as she trudged through the miles of deserted nighttime airport corridors. No further luggage mishaps occurred and Nan returned to her currently catless house weary but happily remembering this exciting weekend.
- ode to a fan who has left the flock: It's not usually the Gazette's policy to publish fiction or poetry, but this, we couldn't pass up. In a past issue, an editorial was published trying to put in perspective Beth Blighton's announced decision not to continue Lionheart (the Vincent fanclub) beyond the end of the year and to retreat, to some degree, from her involvement in fandom. This was helper Pat Farrar's response (in her cover note, Pat comments, "The news about Beth Blighton disturbed me: I'm such a big fan of hers. But she once again inspired me; this time, to one of my odd little poems."). We think Pat speaks for many: [for the text of the poem, see GAFIATED from Beauty and the Beast ]... Other than the closing issue of Lionheart, Nan doesn't know to what extent Beth will choose or be able to continue her involvement, as an artist, writer, and friend, with B&B fandom. But whatever it be, little or much, it will continue to be inspiring, appreciated, and warmly welcomed by us all.
- "Hard copy of the October Gazette has a picture of Jo Anderson in her role as Charlotte Bennett, the returning 5th sister from the TV Guide blurb for "Sisters"; and two pictures from Newsweek of John McMartin as Cap'n Andy in the NY revival of "Showboat." "
- "MORE B&B VIDEOS...FINALLY!": Trish Kehoe of Vincent's World Press called the Hotline to report that through secret connections, she had a promotional flyer for the next four tapes actually in her hands. The ordering date is Dec. 14, release date is Jan. 4th. The episodes involved are 9-12: "Dark Spirit," "A Children's Story," "An Impossible Silence," and "Shades of Grey." They're priced at 14.95 each. Besides Blockbuster, another good source of B&B tapes is Suncoast, mostly found in malls. They're from Republic Home Video and their ordering numbers are (for #9) 5722, (for #10) 0247, (for #11) 5732 and (for #12) 5742. Nan encourages everyone to preorder and/or buy at least one of these tapes, to let Republic know we're still here and still interested. Letters help, but money always talks. Deborah Martin of Martin Enterprises will also undoubtedly be carrying the tapes, and you'll be able to order from her, once they're available.
- more stuff for sale: The Fall Q-fer (Helpers' Network Quality Fanzine Review) is now available. It's $8 for the full Q-fer (each issue completely updated) or $5 for the update (excerpting the new or changed information) to Helpers' Network. This price good worldwide. The awaited tape of Ron Perlman's Sensations (supplied by the kindness of helper Lynn Kramer) has now reached Nan. Existing orders will be filled immediately. If you want to order a copy, it's $8.50 to Helpers' Network. Double Exposure and the dud pilot, "Arly Hanks," are also available; all three can be put on one tape at the 6-hour speed, if you want....The TunnelCon III tapes are out~and they're gorgeous! The TunnelCon III set is six hours (three tapes) and costs $50 plus $4 s/h; the phone number for Visa or Master Card orders is 918-743-3450. Or for mail orders, send check or money order to NovTek, Inc. Video Productions.
- even more stuff for sale, calendars: Here is a listing of 1995 Beauty and the Beast calendars offered by fan artists. All prices include shipping and handling. Calendars by Rosemarie Hauer: Special large size, G-rated. Either Vincent/Catherine or Vincent/Diana: specify. Both include poetry and epigraphs by Hauer and Katarina Relf, combined with Hauer's unsurpassed artwork.$15.00 us/can (US cash only); ATS 140.00 or 8.00 or DM 20.00 eur to Rosemarie Hauer [address redacted]... Calendars by Pat Leslie and Sandy C. Shelton. Both Classic. Calendar one, "Like Magic," is G rated; calender two, "Chamber Music," is R rated. Specify which calendar when ordering. Each has over 14 illustrations by award-winning artist Shelton, and Leslie's poems. Each $17 US, $18 CAN, $20 EUR in US funds to Pat Leslie [address redacted]... Calendar by Inez Brown: A passionate embrace between Vincent and Catherine, titled "Afterglow," will be with you all year with this year-at-a-glance calendar. 8+ x 13, laminated cardstock (guessed rating PG-13). $8 US/CAN, $8.50 (US cash, please) EUR to Inez Brown [address redacted].
- a con is planned: A KINGDOM BY THE SEA...IN 1996: Fans' often expressed wish for an East Coast convention is going to be fulfilled in 1996. Lyn Musaccio of the New England B&B Hotline, with the help of the very dedicated group, the Dreamseekers, is going to put on the '96 B&B convention, "A Kingdom by the Sea." It's to be held in Norfolk VA, in the Omni Waterside hotel, July 12-14 1996. The official launch and the opening of registration will be at the '95 convention, "A Distant Shore," in Los Angeles. Nan commends Lyn and the Dreamseekers for taking on this very ambitious project. All the East Coast fans whom Nan's heard wishing for a convention more within their reach should start saving their pennies now.
- "Hard copy of the November Gazette has pictures of Cyndi Mitchell and Bill Whitefield, author and composer, respectively, of the new play "Once Upon A Time In the City of New York" and a flyer for that play, presented as a dramatic reading; and a handsome color flyer from Republic promoting the release of the next four videos."
- show your love and support and buy some VCR tapes: EVEN MORE NEW TAPES FROM REPUBLIC! For the first new set of 4 episodes (9-12) the ordering date is Dec. 14, release date is Jan. 4th. The episodes involved are "Dark Spirit," "A Children's Story," "An Impossible Silence," and "Shades of Grey." They're priced at $14.95 each. Besides Blockbuster, another good source of B&B tapes is Suncoast, mostly found in malls, and the new chain, Mediaplay. Nan encourages everyone to buy at least one of these tapes, to let Republic know we're still here and still interested. Letters help, but money always talks. Debbie Martin of Martin Enterprises will also undoubtedly be carrying the tapes, and you'll be able to order from her, once they're available. Not only are the next four episodes coming in January--another four, 13-16, will be released in September. Nan finally will get a commercial quality tape of "Alchemist!" Republic's new marketing director, Peggy Ray, didn't know whether laser discs would also be available. Ms. Ray promised to check and get back to Nan, who'll relay when she hears. At Ms. Ray's request, Jim Grace, of Republic Home Video, sent Nan the handsome promotional flyer for the tapes that's included with this Gazette. In his cover letter, Mr. Grace also remarks that, "Republic pictures only owns distribution rights to the Beauty and the Beast series. Therefore we have no influence over production of additional episodes or a film version. Writing letters concerning additional episodes or a film version to Republic Pictures or Mr. Ron Castell at Blockbuster Entertainment is, honestly speaking, a waste of time. These letters should instead be directed to Witt/Thomas Productions, the owner of the rights to and sole producer of the series. Passing this information on to your fan club will ensure that your fans get heard." Feel like writing some more letters in '95, hmmm?
- "CINEMAKER NEWS...FINALLY!": For the first time since summer, Ed Gross of Cinemaker talked to one of us, in this case Jana Ondrechen, who relayed to Nan. According to this conversation, Ed is very apologetic for the delay in releasing the next books and probably still doesn't understand why the silence, the lack of information on what was going on, was even worse for us. Anyhow, he says he still hasn't succeeded in collecting from the distributor in Canada who owes him $30,000, and that's hampered him in all kinds of ways, especially producing the next few books. However, Nan's next book, Bright Spirit Descending, is at the printer. Though Ed didn't say specifically, it should be published in the next couple of months. And Ed assured Jana that her Guidebook (The Official Beauty and the Beast Annotated Guidebook) would indeed be published (she'd begun to wonder) sometime after that, probably late spring or early summer: before the convention, anyway (Nan's guess). Nan knows those who've ordered, and intended to order, these books have been waiting with increasing impatience and frustration, and so have Nan and Jana and the next author in line, Rhonda Collins. Ed's call, the first since summer to any of us (who have left practically daily messages on his answering machine), again reassures Nan that despite delays, the books will indeed be published in the relatively near future. Ed's license to publish B&B books comes up for renewal next year and Nan has no idea whether he intends to renew. However, this has no effect at all on the intended publication of Perlman and the Beast, since it's Ron Perlman's own personal recollections, and nobody's permission save Ron's (which Ed already has) is needed for Ed to publish it. Whether Ed has the license or not makes no difference at all. Since this book is the most marketable of any Ed's had in the works so far, and since nearly all the work on it has already been done (the interviews were done long since), Nan has no question whatever in her mind that it will eventually be published. This is, however, a conclusion on Nan's part, not anything Ed has said; but at this point she's more willing to rely on her own conclusions than Ed's sometimes overconfident estimates. Nan believes that everyone who ordered a copy of Perlman and the Beast, either signed or unsigned, will eventually get it. Please don't be anymore impatient than you can help. We're all dancing as fast as we can--Ed Gross included.
- a Beauty and the Beast musical from a fan who "sold or stored everything she owned and moved from her lifelong home in LA to New York to develop this play": ONCE UPON A TIME IS NOW...AGAIN! From, originally, the Mirror Pool, the publication of the Carousels and Caverns community, Nan learned about a dramatic reading of Once Upon a Time in the City of New York, a new musical based on OUR B&B in New York in January. Actors will read the lines and sing the songs rather than performing them. No costumes, no sets. Nan talked to the author, Cyndi Mitchell, who said that she sold or stored everything she owned and moved from her lifelong home in LA to New York to develop this play. B&B changed her life, too, and she's arguably as crazy as the rest of us. Cyndi has a background in theater, but this is her first full-length play. She's invited critics and potential backers to this dramatic reading in hopes of mounting a full scale play that might then tour cities where there's a large enough B&B community to support it. Once Upon... may be staged for A Distant Shore, but that's not decided. The musical is based primarily on the pilot and "A Happy Life," Cyndi said, but with some original material and some things drawn from "Siege," "A Kingdom by the Sea," and "The Rest is Silence." Vincent gets to do a duet with the Other, which sounds intriguing. The music and songs, all original, are by Cyndi's partner, Bill Whitefield. The readings are at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of Lincoln Center on January 9 and 10, a Monday and Tuesday. The doors open at 2:30 and the reading begins at 3:00, lasting about an hour and a half. There is no admission charge. Nan truly hopes everybody who can go, will, to show support for this new project. Promotional material about the reading has been enclosed, supplied by the kindness of Ms. Mitchell herself.
- only ten more spots for charter members: CALLING ALL HELPERS--PRESENT AND FUTURE: Only 10 memberships remain to complete the charter memberships in Helper's Network. Everybody will be welcome to join afterward, but there's something special, Nan thinks, in being a charter member: one who's been there, helping get an organization off the ground and support what it's doing, in its sometimes wobbly beginnings. If you'd like to join this select group, you'll need to act before the end of the year to be a charter member. Membership in Helpers' Network costs $25 a year. A membership form is enclosed for those who'd like to join or renew. On a personal note, I (Nan) want to say that the support and encouragement of members of Helpers' Network has done a lot to keep me going this past, very financially trying, year. Helpers have contributed to a new VCR, so I can keep making tapes for (it sometimes seems) half the world, listened to my whining, sent me a drawing of me and Vincent looking soulfully into each other's eyes, sent me calendars and other unexpected goodies, and generally engaged in acts of random kindness I will always treasure. I hope I've been able to return some of this crazy kindness, and I know that other helpers besides me have gained support, friendship, and renewed energy from belonging. Try it: you'll like it! On New Year's Eve, there will be a drawing in which all current members are included, the prize being a beautiful etched glass mug with a Beth Blighton head of Vincent on one side and the B&B logo on the other. If you're in doubt when you're due to renew, look at your certificate to see when you joined.
- "Hard copy of the December Gazette has an ad for Linda Hamilton's "The Way to Dusty Death" and a picture of the new poster, Vincent At the Threshold. Copy for that poster is included, however."
- another letter campaign: Send a Different Kind of Valentine's Day Card to Witt-Thomas: Many B&B organizations, including Helpers' Network and the New England B&B Hotline, have combined to encourage fans to write Witt-Thomas Productions, the originators of B&B (as an executive of Republic recently reminded us, encouraging us to write!) centered on the day for celebrating romance, Valentine's Day. Besides, it's their turn: we haven't sent them letters since the pledge drive, which some of you are too new in the fandom even to know about. While knowing perfectly well that everybody's going to do exactly what they want, because they always DO, here's what Nan would like you to do. Starting the 1st of February, write a letter a day until Valentine's day. Then STOP. (Poor Marcia Basichis at Spelling is still getting letters, Nan hears!) A letter a day for two weeks should make the point we want to make without persecuting and annoying people we want to be our friends and kindly disposed toward us. Second, keep the letter short and to the point. Say Thanks for bringing us Beauty and the Beast in the first place, and I WANT A MOVIE! If you feel compelled to explain exactly what kind of movie you want and why, there's nothing Nan can do but try to discourage you with the well known fact that these letters are seldom, if ever, read. What Nan's after is volume--fourteen letters from everybody--not a long explanation, in a lone letter, of everything B&B has come to mean to each and every fan. Emote some other time. Nan asks most earnestly, if you want a movie at all, say so...and leave it at that. Please be brief. Use postcards, even! Long letters serve no purpose and confuse the issue. The address is Tony Thomas, Witt-Thomas Productions, 1438 N. Gower Street., Building 35, 4th Floor, Hollywood CA 90028. Thanks to helper Lisa Howard, news about the letter campaign will be going out over the Internet, but in this scattered fandom, everybody's help is needed in spreading the word. Let everybody you're in contact with know about this newest letter-writing campaign, especially those you think are less likely to hear about it by other means. Let's really give Witt-Thomas some major mail here, because it's Nan's unprovable theory that, now that all the corporate pieces are in place from Viacom, through Paramount, through Blockbuster and Spelling, on down to Republic, we have a better chance of getting something started on a movie this year than we ever have before. Just say she feels it in her bones. The dream is alive and well and getting closer. So write, people!
- an unattributed article about the Beauty and the Beast play/musical, Once Upon a Time: An Interview with Cyndi Mitchell: by Jana Ondrechen: Beauty and the Beast is known for changing lives. Cynthia Mitchell's love for Beauty and the Beast led her from Los Angeles to New York City to write and direct Once Upon a Time in the City of New York: a Musical Fable, based on the television series. She wrote the book and lyrics, and William Whitefield wrote the music. A Los Angeles native, Mitchell directed several award-winning West Coast productions, including The Lion in Winter, Into the Woods, Amadeus, Rumors, West Side Story, 100 in the Shade, and A Chorus Line before moving to New York to pursue her dream of putting Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Composer Whitefield's previous work includes an adaptation of Ray Bradbury's short story "The Day It Rained Forever." (He continues to collaborate with Bradbury on new musical interpretations.) Whitefield and Mitchell are also working on Tomb, a musical set amid the pyramids of Giza. These projects show a clear preference for imaginative material. "I've always been interested in fantasy and horror," Mitchell admits. "Bill, too. He's a big Anne Rice reader." Although much of the material in Once Upon a Time is taken right from the television episodes (particularly the pilot and "A Happy Life"), some adjustments were made for this adaptation. Mitchell notes that television scenes are shorter than theater scenes, and can be intercut with other action, so she had to "sew scenes together" to tell the story effectively on stage. Mitchell also had to "set together characters" to limit the cast and reduce complexity. For example, Nancy became a blend of Nancy Tucker and Jenny Aronson, and Elliot became the sole rival for Catherine's love, replacing Buddy in the storyline from "A Happy Life." But fans of Beauty and the Beast will find the musical is overall "very faithful" to the series. Mitchell also laced the work with inside jokes that fans will appreciate. For this professional production, only the best talent was considered. Casting calls were placed in trade papers, and response was good: "We got almost 900 pictures and resumes," Mitchell recalls. After picking through the applications, they saw 100 people with strong experience in nationally and internationally acclaimed productions. They quickly selected Michael Park (whose credits include James in Shenandoah, and the stand-by for Billy Bigelow in Carousel) to play Vincent, but had a tougher time finding the right Catherine to work with him. "Then a girl ran in late, and was perfect," Mitchell reports. The late arrival was Stephanie Douglas, also a veteran of Shenandoah (Jenny) and Brigadoon (Meg Brockie). James Eric Anzalone, who toured Europe as Berger in Hair, and was one of the Village People (yes, the pop-disco ensemble!) was selected to play Elliot Burch. Father is Martin Epstein (Srebryakov in Uncle Vanya and Mr. Franklin in Children of a Lesser God, and Nancy is Allison Clifford (Anne in Shenandoah and Laurie in a national tour of Oklahoma). At the staged reading at Lincoln Center January 9 and 10, the strength of the writing, music, and performing talent will be especially important, for the work will be performed without makeup, costumes, or sets. The hope is that the potential for this show will be seen by possible backers and producers. If so, Mitchell knows they will see "how loved Beauty and the Beast is." If everything could go exactly the way she wanted, "The show would go to London and open on the West End, then go to Broadway." More likely, it would go to "regional theater to be tried, then tour or go to Broadway."
- buy more stuff even if you already have it: Reminder: the new set of 4 B&B tapes, episodes 9-12, are now on sale at the larger video stores; it might be a good idea to phone around first to find out if the store has them, and also to nudge them into knowing the tapes are available if they don't already have them. Nan encourages everybody to buy at least one of these videos even if you have the whole series on tape, to encourage Republic to continue releasing them. Laserdisks will NOT be available in conjunction with these new releases or the next ones, slated for September.
- "WORLDWIDE ACCESS TO THE HELPERS' NETWORK GAZETTE!:: From "Of Love And Hope," the biweekly electronic mail digest for fans with access to the Internet, comes the all new all Beauty and the Beast ftp archive. In this computer archive, you can find back issues of Of Love and Hope, the Helpers' Network Gazette, the Electronic Guide to Beauty and the Beast, A Distant Shore information, as well as other information on the fandom. They are also accepting submissions for their fiction, poetry, and image archives. The digest features timely discussions on all aspects of Beauty and the Beast. The subscription to Of Love and Hope is FREE. Just send e-mail to [address redacted] and request a subscription. Information on the ftp archive is provided in all issues.
- controversy regarding con guests, the third season, and open discussion: In regard to the 1996 convention, Lyn Musacchio, one of the principal organizers, has repeatedly stated to Nan her (Lyn's) firm intention that that convention will be an all-season convention, one at which all fans will be welcome. In Nan's view, whether or not 3rd season guests are invited is immaterial: what convention, up to now, has had 3rd season guests? So what? Nan, an all-season fan herself, has enjoyed all the past conventions (she's missed only TunnelCon I) enormously, just the same, and felt comfortable and welcomed there by organizers and participants alike. The guests are not the issue; the atmosphere and scheduled events are. And Nan believes Lyn's assurances that all-season fans will find panels, artwork, and other convention events to interest and entertain them. It will, emphatically, NOT be a "Classic Only" event. If you hear to the contrary, know that the intention of the convention's organizers is to make the 1996 convention a fine gathering in the spirit of all those that have gone before, one at which everyone who loves Beauty and the Beast...any of it or all of it...will have a wonderful time.... Last and probably least, a small tempest over certain footage in the TunnelCon III video. In a recent published letter, a concerned fan objected to this footage that involved Nan and a few other all-season fans discussing the state of tolerance in this fandom. The letter-writer didn't like such a discussion being made in so public a forum as a convention video (she took it to be part of the panel session concerning Diana). What the letter-writer didn't and couldn't know, with only the tape itself to go by, is that this was a private conversation among a few friends after both the panel and the following meeting of the Jo Anderson fan club were OVER. No audience was present. The room was empty except for 4 or 5 friends who rarely get a chance to talk face to face...and a videographer way off at the other end of the room, whom Nan, at least, had completely forgotten about by that time. Although Nan is unapologetic about what was said and feels it's absurd to call the conversation "fan bashing" (as the letterwriter did) since no fan whatsoever was even so much as criticized (really, in all honesty, it's pretty dull, bland stuff with nil shock value), it's nevertheless unfortunate that the resulting footage was included on he tape since it's so easily misinterpreted, out of context. Phil Smith, like the letter-writer, assumed it was part of the session, found it interesting, and put it in; and, although surprised, Nan at first saw nothing wrong with it, not realizing it could be (and had been) interpreted as part of something public rather than one of the video's many miscellaneous "candid" sequences of fans "fanning," as it were. Nan has no criticism for Phil or his crew: they were doing what they were supposed to do, taping whatever was going on. It was only Nan's inexperience in such matters that's the culprit here, if culprit there be. She's not used to checking on whether or not she's being taped. Hereafter, at a convention, she'll try to do her own "fanning" more discreetly and more wisely.
- a plea for zine support: KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE PHASE II: OUT/IN (A Semi-Editorial): The venerable and deservedly respected letterzine, Once Upon a Time is Now, generally known as OUT/IN, will have to stop publishing at the end of this year unless there's a large volume of new subscriptions, its editors, Loreen Vanderkraatz and Jeanne Cloud, report to us. OUT/IN is published every 2 months and costs $3 an issue. It carries letters, news, photos, and many special features. The cut-off issue, at which the editors will decide whether they're going on or not, is #60: roughly the end of this year. That's plenty of time to mount a rescue effort...especially if you don't know what you've been missing or why it's worth saving. To get all the remaining issues of OUT/IN costs $18. But Nan suggests that, if you're not familiar with this fine publication, you send them $3 immediately, RIGHT NOW, to see why Nan encourages EVERYONE IN THIS FANDOM to subscribe. You risk nothing. The publication isn't going to collapse without warning (like some, much lamented and not-so-lamented, that we can all bring to mind). The editors will be carrying on at least until the end of this year. All subscriptions until that time will be honored. How much is $3, to get a taste of the excellent and unique publication? Then, if you like it, subscribe for the remaining issues, adding your encouragement and your money to keep it going, so it will continue to be there for all of us. Send your $3 for the current issue to Jeanne Cloud [address redacted] "Keeping the Dream Alive" has become a catchphrase in this fandom, but it's one Nan believes in most seriously in what she tried to do with the Hotline and Helpers' Network. Part of helping to keep the dream alive is keeping alive those publications that serve this fandom. Do your part: send OUT/IN $3 right away to help keep a valued forum for all the various voices and flavors of opinion in this fandom, a lively publication that's been going for about 8 years: It's among the oldest B&B publications left, and surely one of the finest. Support it, keep it going. Nan particularly appeals to members of Helpers' Network and those who get the Gazette. To really know what's going on, you need, not only news, but the expression of ideas and attitudes of the fandom which only a letterzine can provide. OUT/IN deserves your support. Please give it.
- "Hard copy of the February Gazette has a picture from TV guide featuring Swoosie Kurtz, Jo Anderson, Sela Ward, and Patricia Kalember of "Sisters" and (from Barb Alterman) a blurb for "When the Bough Breaks", new to video with Ally Walker, Martin Sheen, and Ron Perlman."
- a lot of this issue is a reprint of "BEFRIENDING BEAUTY AND THE BEAST" by Paula Vitaris from March 1995 Starlog
- more Cinemaker news: Three months and counting. Ed Gross of Cinemaker recently contacted both cover artist Kevin Barnes and Jana Ondrechen (author of the B&B Annotated Guidebook) [Ed: though not yet us] to tell them that he intends to put out and premiere, at A Distant Shore, Nan Dibble's Bright Spirit Descending, Jana's Official Annotated Beauty and the Beast Guidebook, and Rhonda Collins' Legacy of Love...and possibly Perlman and the Beast, as well. If this happens (and we all know that Ed's intentions are much better than his delivery, to date), those who'd ordered "the first four novels" will finally get them; those who'd ordered the Guidebook, some as long as 3 years ago, will finally get it; and (though this is even more uncertain than the rest) the hundreds who pre-ordered Perlman and the Beast may also find their wait at an end. We don't doubt that Perlman and the Beast WILL eventually be published, but Ed's getting all these books ready for the convention sounds rather iffy, to us. But cross your fingers: this may come out all right in the end, after all the frustration and delays. We're all certainly experts on both waiting and hoping....
- a unique Fan Q voting procedure for Beauty and the Beast fans this year: 1995 FAN Q AWARDS: Mike Maloney, one of the organizers of A Distant Shore, alerts us to something with a tight deadline. As arranged this year, the voting on the Fan-Q awards (for such things as zines, art, and other productions of this fandom) will be done solely by those attending A Distant Shore. However, the fandom at large can take part in the nominating process...if you move FAST!! Nomination will be by signed, numbered ballots only. If you want such a nominating ballot, send an SASE (a stamped, self-addressed business-sized [#10] envelope)...
- "ZINES...ONLINE!": Helper Lisa Howard tells us how you can have your B&B fiction, poetry, essays, etc. posted in the America On Line electronic library: The material must be on either a 5 1/4 or 3 1/2 IBM floppy diskette and be translated from whatever word processing system you wrote it in to ASCII format (also called DOS Text; you'll probably find it in the Save As choices in Word or WordPerfect for Windows, or Control+F5, "Save as DOS Text" in WordPerfect for DOS; for other WP systems, check your manual or helpfiles); all codes need to be removed (nothing left but words, spaces, tabs, and hard returns at the ends of paragraphs: no fonts, no centers, no underlines, no strange styles); and no more than 80 characters wide on the screen (to determine margins, be sure your type is defaulted to pica or make a sample row of 80 dots, then set your margins accordingly before the file is translated to ASCII/DOS text). Get the material to Lisa either by e-mail at her address, firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to her at [address redacted]. If you have a Macintosh, even if it claims to make IBM-compatible files, don't make a disk: e-mail it if you're online. If you're not, beg the kindness of an IBM-equipped friend in keyboarding it for you. Some of Nan Dibble's stories are already posted, and more fiction/poetry/essays are being contributed by other fans to this growing online library.
- this issue has a lot of ads for zines
- announcement of a fan get-together: There's still time to register for B&B Festival '95, the Second Annual Midwest Beauty and the Beast Writer's Workshop and Fan Get Together to be held June 23-25, 1995 in Bettendorf, Iowa. The guest of honor will be Jo Anderson, who will be conducting one of the Saturday morning classes. There will also be a Q&A as well as an autograph session with Jo on Saturday afternoon. Nan Dibble will be there too, and she'll read anybody's manuscript and make suggestions, if asked. Festival '95 will be a no frills, bare-bones get together. It will be personal and intimate, with a maximum registration of 50. It's a chance to brush up on your writing techniques or, if you aren't into writing, to sit around and chat with other fans you haven't seen in a while, and a chance to collect B&B treasures. If you're a dealer, zine publisher, or artist with work to sell, or if you have zines or B&B merchandise you'd like to sell or swap, you're invited to bring it along. For registration information, write Gloria Handley...
- mask wanted: WANTED: Latex Vincent mask--the one from Distortions Unlimited that actually looked like him. I checked with the company. Their license has expired, so they can no longer sell them, even if they had them in stock, which they don't. Mine got used on a life-sized dummy, so I no longer have one to use for a costume. Anybody have a spare one tucked away somewhere? Contact Pat Farrar...
- there is a list of Beauty and the Beast Fan Q nominees and winners in this issue, something that appears to be a fandom anomaly; see See 1995 Beauty and the Beast Fan Q Winners .
- editorial by Nan Dibble: Another problem is that the Gazette had gotten grandiose. Most issues had pictures, requiring a 20 mile round trip scooter journey to reproduce); many had material excerpted from other places, which meant extra keyboarding, formatting, and proofing. It was all good material, and I wanted to use it. But it increased the prep time by about half, as compared to just using my Hotline scripts, that just had to be combined, edited, and reorganized to be ready to go. I have to get simpler. Though I have several articles about Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman and things B&B that people have most kindly sent me, I'm not going to use them...at least any time soon. The prospect of that much keyboarding, etc., is so daunting that nothing at all gets done. Getting off work, trying to make tapes and fill zine orders, I just can't make myself take on that extra stuff besides. Better to do what I can, and stay simple, than take on more than I can handle and end up not producing the Gazette at all, as has been the case, these past months. [snipped] This Gazette wraps up all the still pertinent news since April 1. But you're still missing issues you legitimately paid for. So don't renew your Gazette. I'll continue sending you issues at least through next June, which should satisfy everybody's current subscriptions, no matter when they were due to end. Then, come the convention next year (if not before), I'll decide whether I can continue doing the Gazette on top of everything else I've taken on, paid or unpaid. The Hotline, I'll continue. I'm preparing the Fall Q-fer, which will be published the end of this month. I'll continue to make tapes and publish/mail zines and answer questions. Only the Gazette is in flux. I'll keep it going as long as I can, and at least until next summer, until all current subscriptions will have been fulfilled. Each issue will be available at the B&B website online, as it was before. The Q-fer is also posted there, free for the downloading. I intend to continue trying, in every way I can, to be a relay point for information to the Beauty and the Beast fandom, which has rewarded me so richly with their friendship and warm Beast wishes. I am not going away, quitting, or otherwise regaining my sanity. I'm just cutting back to what's possible for me, working with much encouragement but without any steady, on-the-spot help, as things now stand. The Gazette will go back to being what it started out as: a wrap-up of news that's been on the Hotline, week by week, month by month. I hope it continues to be useful to you on that basis.
- Ron Perlman makes a 5-minute appearance at a con, hope is in the air for a BatB movie, news about the VCR tapes...: Nan has always believed that a movie would come in some form, and that this year there was the best chance to get something started, since Republic is about over the confusions resulting from the mergers and reorganization under Viacom and Blockbuster that have occupied them for almost two years. That's now happened, and Republic has lots of plans for the series. These plans, incidentally, will not be affected, claims Sigman, by Viacom's recently announced plans to sell off Spelling Entertainment, formerly closely linked with Republic. Pat Jackson, reporting on several discussions she had with Sigman and other representatives of Republic, said that not only is the Of Love and Hope album to be reissued as a CD (manufactured but not distributed, as of Oct. 1), but a sequel album is planned as well. Again, it would be Ron Perlman reading poetry to music. No word on the release date on either album yet but we'll keep you posted. With the new series of videos, episodes 13-16, now out (and very handsome they are, too!) it's clear that Republic is interested in promoting the series now and is looking for new licensees to produce B&B merchandise. Videos of episodes 17-20 are being developed for release, probably (a guess) early next year. In light of all these exciting developments, Nan is confident that there'll be a lot of news, all of it good, to come out of this in months to come.
- "CINEMAKER (BOO, HISS!)": The big disappointment of A Distant Shore (for Nan, at least) was that despite his previous promises relayed here, Ed Gross didn't show up. None of the promised books were there, either. Now, in October, Nan knows no more about what's going on with Ed than she did before, but feels it's safe to say that Ed has gotten out of the B&B business and is no longer a licensee. Nan's view is that Ed isn't dishonest--only dishonorable, in not providing either explanation or refunds for the many he (and Nan, on Ed's assurances) had encouraged to preorder the Cinemaker books. Those orders, with one possible exception, must now be considered down the drain. You're free to try to contact Cinemaker (262 First Ave., Massapequa Park NY 11762) for all the good that will do you: Ed doesn't answer Nan's calls or letters either...never has and evidently never will. He's the worst businessman Nan has ever encountered but she's certain Ed never meant things to turn out like this. But it's cowardly, now that they have, that he's refused to face the fans he ended up defrauding, much less offer any sort of explanation, to say nothing of offering refunds (Nan's also certain that the money just isn't there anymore: Ed's a small time operator who, in this instance, got in way over his head and didn't know how to get out again, except by hiding. We'd all have better luck squeezing water out of the proverbial stone). Nan doesn't know when, if ever, The Official Annotated B&B Guidebook will be published. The author, Jana Ondrechen, was very disappointed that her book hadn't been published. Rhonda Collins, author of the Cinemaker-promised Legacy of Love, was even more discouraged (this would have been her first pro book) and has issued it as a zine, complete with Kevin Barnes color cover ($20 US to Rhonda Collins [address redacted]... Nan believes Perlman and the Beast will eventually be published, but that's just an assumption on her part. But all the work had been done, the market is still there, and Ed paid Ron Perlman a tidy chunk of change for doing the interviews on which the book is based and for the right to publish it. Nor is that book in any way dependent on Ed's holding the right to publish B&B material: Ron's memoirs are his own property, and not subject to licensing. However, if and when Ed publishes this book, he'd presumably have to finally fulfill all those preorders, and Nan don't know if he's either willing or able to do that. Nan's holding onto her records, and if Ed needs to know who preordered, she'll most gladly supply him with all the information about that she was sent over the past two years or so. So Perlman and the Beast is iffy, but still possible. We'll see. Given Cinemaker's abysmal track record, don't hold your breath...but don't give up entirely, either. Is there such a thing as hopeful skepticism? If so, try to practice it. As for Nan, she's publishing Bright Spirit Descending herself, with Barb Gipson's interior illustrations and Kevin Barnes' cover (B&W). The book is exactly as it would have been published by Cinemaker, except that it's 8 1/2 x 11 and spiral bound. A big book, 250,000 words, it's a novelization of "The Alchemist" and "To Reign in Hell" together with an original story of the founding of the tunnel community (about 1/2 the book). Although Nan didn't keep the preorder money for books ordered through her, she feels very bad both about Cinemaker in general and about promoting the books that never were published, although she did so in good faith. She's trying to make what amends she can in the way Bright Spirit is being offered. Anybody with a paid order either for Bright Spirit Descending or "the first four novels," from Cinemaker, meaning that their check was cashed (to the best of their knowledge), can have a copy of Bright Spirit Descending for $5 (slightly below Nan's cost to print and mail it.) You don't have to prove anything--no special paperwork or documentation required: just tell Nan. For anybody else, the price is $15--still low by zine standards, though higher than an ordinary paperback. Nan's intention is for everyone who wanted a copy of Bright Spirit to get one. The same price applies in the US and abroad. Send orders to Nan Dibble...
- "A DISTANT SHORE VIDEOS (AND OTHER MERCHANDISE": D'vora Pariente gave us information about the official con tapes for that very exciting and dramatic convention, A Distant Shore. There are two tapes, the first of which is convention highlights, (which DOES include the footage of Ron Perlman's surprise appearance); the second is the play "Great Expectations" that was put on at the convention and highlights of the bus tour the following Monday. You can have both tapes, or either. Any single tape is $30; the set of two is $55, postage and handling included. They should be ready for release in another week or two. (NOTE: This may be temporarily delayed, I will notify you as soon as I get a definite date - BeastFan) Make check or money order payable to Serendipity and send to Serendipity, Box 9287, Anaheim CA 92812.D'vora adds that Serendipity is the marketing arm of the Carousels and Caverns community and is a licensed dealer in B&B merchandise. So the special crew jackets, tee shirts, and other merchandise produced for the convention, as well as the re-release of the CD and tape of the Of Love and Hope recording, available soon, will continue to be available through Serendipity while supplies last. This includes the new episodes 13-16, as well. If you're interested in this merchandise, send SASE to D'vora for a flyer and price list.
- info about A Kingdom by the Sea: A KINGDOM IN VIRGINIA: According to Lyn Musacchio, the principal organizer, A Kingdom By The Sea will be held July 12-14, 1996, at the Norfolk Riverside Omni hotel in Norfolk VA. Room rates are $74 single/double, $84 for a triple, and $94 for a quad. Registration is $85. For dealers, table rates are $75. Make all checks and money orders payable to "A Kingdom By The Sea." For the conzine, guidelines have already been mailed to many writers and artists, and anyone is free to submit. Stories are to be Classic, with a romantic focus, up to an R rating. If you'd like a copy of the guidelines, want to register now, or want further information, write to Lyn Musacchio [address redacted]. The art room and dealers' room, however, have as the only restriction that the material be B&B related: it need not be Classic to be displayed. And panels and other activities are planned for those of us who enjoy 3rd season, although the con's overall theme and orientation (like those of all other previous cons) is Classic. This, Nan has on the authority of Trisha Kehoe, in charge of the conzine and the dealers' room, and of Lyn herself. Pay no attention to any hurtful rumors to the contrary.
- Band of Angels formed: At the convention A Distant Shore, something new was begun. A portion of the Edward Albert fan club has, at Edward's request, become a "Band of Angels Circle of Love," devoted to providing tangible as well as emotional support to people in difficulty. Their first project is a worthy one. Most of us now know and have warm affection toward David Schwartz, once B&B's coordinating producer, now an invaluable resource and friend of fandom both in his own right and at many conventions. Not least among his contributions was talking Ron Perlman into making an appearance at A Distant Shore which, however brief, was VERY welcome. Anyway, David has a girlfriend, Jody, whom many of us met at the convention. In mid-August, Jody got burned out of her apartment, something Nan personally can relate to inasmuch as that happened to her, too, a long time ago, when she was a student in Iowa City. Jody had no insurance and lost everything she owned (fortunately, a neighbor rescued Jody's dog). Linda Moore is coordinating the project of helping Jody out, as a way of showing we value anybody who's special to David, who's special to us; and the donation Linda asks for is small. However the timeframe to get the word out also is small, so you need to help spread the word about this, and move on it yourself, right away. If a card of support is all you can manage, then send that. But what's being asked for is a single dollar. Send your contribution to Linda Moore [address redacted] for a presentation to be made in December. If you send a check, make it payable to Linda Moore.
- "Dueling Videos and a Statue": In regard to the convention tapes for A Distant Shore, there's a dispute, which may even become a legal dispute, between the Carousels & Caverns Community and NovTek over whether NovTek has the right to sell convention tapes, since they weren't the official videographer for the convention. C&CC contends, we gather, that any footage of the convention is their property (although they did shell out considerable money for the Ron Perlman footage NovTek had captured, and they hadn't--Ed.) whereas NovTek contends that by not forbidding filming (the NovTek crews weren't exactly inconspicuous, with all their equipment), C&CC tacitly gave permission to film and therefore can't legally object to their making the resulting tapes available. Until this matter is settled, it's not certain that NovTek's set of tapes will continue to be available. In other words, if you want this three tape set, order now for immediate shipment: they're ready for mailing. Reminding you of what's included in both sets of tapes: the official set, which may be ready for shipment in December, consists of two tapes, the first with convention highlights, (and including Ron Perlman's surprise appearance); the second is the original play "Great Expectations" and highlights of the bus tour. You can have both tapes, or either. Any single tape is $30; the set of two is $55, postage and handling included. Make check or money order payable to Serendipity and send to Serendipity, Box 9287, Anaheim CA 92812. The unauthorized NovTek set, available now, consists of three tapes, all of convention highlights, NOT including the play Great Expectations. The NovTek set sells for $50 + $5 postage. The address is NovTek Inc. Video Productions [address redacted]. For Visa and Mastercard orders, the number is [redacted] Again, if you want this set, order now for immediate mailing. "Of Love and Hope" Back in Print! From D'vora Pariente of C&CC, we learn that the tapes and CD's of the Of Love and Hope recording are available NOW through Serendipity. The tape costs $10; the CD costs $15. Send to Serendipity, Box 9287, Anaheim CA 92812. If you don't have a copy of this marvelous recording of Vincent reading poetry to music from the series, get one now, to encourage Republic to bring out the promised sequel. Eventually the tape and CD should again be available through record stores, but for now, it's available exclusively through Serendipity. A Carousels & Caverns Community mailing was recently sent out which the Community regrets included a flyer for Mike Maloney's sculpture, A Kiss in the Chamber of the Winds. They regret it because they want it known that they've severed all ties, legal and personal, with Mike, whose financial fancy dancing and dealings behind their back, in regard to the convention, contributed to leaving them in the hole. So D'vora Pariente asked Nan to tell everyone that despite the flyer being included with their mailing, they have no connections of any sort with Mike anymore. (A dissenting voice is that of Ben Bock, who did the mailing, who stated online that Mike bore half the cost of the mailing and intends to donate a portion of the profits from the statue to help make up the convention shortfall for the C&CC.) [Note From BeastFan: To clarify this misstatement, this is what Ben Bock actually stated online: "that he [Mike Maloney} has pledged to donate the full proceeds of the first several sculpture sales fully to the convention committee to help pay off leftover debts from the convention. Basically the first two or three thousand dollars that come in his front door are being given directly to creditors to whom the con committee owes money. He's sold 2 or 3 of the sculptures since the convention and hopes to sell more as a result of the recent mass mailing, for which he paid 50% of the postage/printing costs. (Other individuals donated the other 50%; the con committee paid 0%.) Further per Ben Bock, the club's August vote to disassociate itself from Mike Maloney was a legal/financial move; no severing of personal ties was voted upon. Also, further relevant information has been uncovered in the months since the convention and additional announcements -- and reconfiguration of the club -- can be expected soon."] That said, here are details on this very handsome sculpture, simpler models of which were the convention banquet centerpieces: it's about 18" tall, a swirling embrace between Vincent and Catherine, titled "A Kiss in the Chamber of the Winds." Plaster $80, Painted Plaster $150, Bonded Bronze $750, with an onyx base $1100, Solid Bronze with onyx base $3500, A version may be displayed in a professional gallery in Beverly Hills, priced at $5,000. Make checks payable to, and send to Mike Maloney [address redacted]. Sending SASE should get you a flyer, if you want to see for yourself what the statue looks like.
- a commemorative issue of Once Upon a Time is Now: OUT/IN Commemorative: The venerable letterzine, OUT/IN (Once Upon a Time Is Now) is planning a special commemorative issue, a real collector's item called Once Upon A Time Is Now...And Forever, a collection of some of the most memorable letters of comment dating from issue one, in May 1988, through the present. Nearly eight years of heartfelt reactions from fandom, then and now. Also included is a section on the development of the work of some major fan artists, including Beth Blighton, Barb Gipson, Sandy Shelton, and Rosemarie Hauer. Another feature is an overview of photos and other material about the yearly conventions for the eight years Out/In has been running. As the editors, Jeanne Cloud and Loreen Vanderkraatz comment, this full-sized zine will capture a unique "look at our B&B family and the memories we've made and shared together". With over 50 pieces of art and a laminated cover, this book will be a keepsake for years to come. However, the retrospective issue won't even be begun to be put together until all the promised issues of OUT/IN have been published: roughly February, 1996. So the deadline (originally Nov. 15) has been extended through February. Further, they need at least 100 preorders to undertake the considerable labor of putting this big zine together; they're about halfway to that point now, and hope for another 50 orders between now and the end of February. If they get them, fine: they're off and running, and will produce the commemorative zine about July of next year. If they don't get the hundred preorders, they'll refund at that point whatever anyone has sent them. The full price is $26. But you have the option of sending just a $10 deposit to reserve your issue, whether in the US or abroad. If the zine isn't produced, that deposit will be refunded. If you just change your mind, it won't be refunded. You will, of course, have to pay the balance before receiving your zine. For this special, keepsake issue of Once Upon a Time is Now...and Forever, send to Jeanne Cloud...
- "Postcards for Republic": Thanks to all the people who sent postcards to Republic for Halloween. Nan gathers some people went overboard and sent as many as 50 cards apiece, but at least we know, by Republic's reaction, that we showed them major mail, which was part of the purpose of sending the cards at all. Since this was a limited campaign, Nan trusts that everybody will now stop sending cards and be pleased with having expressed, to Republic, their preferences in terms of a movie in a way that definitely got Republic's attention while causing them a minimum of trouble, since postcards don't have to be opened and are relatively easy to handle and, with a brief message, easy to read. And even at that, they feel they were inundated and slightly indignant to realize they were getting multiple cards for each person instead of a discreet one per. We've never been discreet or moderate as a fandom, and Nan feels it's a little late to start. If Republic's new people hadn't realized before what a passionate, all-out bunch we are, Nan suspects that they know now. So pat yourselves on the back and smile in the continued prospect of a four hour B&B tv miniseries which will undoubtedly please some greatly, others not at all, but most of us just because it will exist. And Republic will learn what Nan's always known, that it's impossible to do anything in this fandom without really annoying SOMEBODY, which isn't a reason not to do it. If Republic is slightly annoyed, that just puts them in with the rest of us, and Nan welcomes them to our company. Good job, people!
- a fan who flounced would still like to sell you something: Fans of Beth Blighton will be glad to hear she's still active in fandom, though not ours. She sent Nan a flyer on a new anthology zine she's co-written with Gina Alkazian based on the canceled series, Earth Two. Illos by Beth and another renowned fan artist, Barb Gipson. If you were fond of Earth 2 or would just like to see what Beth and Barb are up to now, send SASE to Stephara Press.
- accepting Bjo Trimble's "kind invitation": In March, Nan was asked by Bjo Trimble, publisher of Sci-Fi Spotlite (formerly Space-Time Continuum) to do a column on Beauty and the Beast. Nan accepted this kind invitation and this, with some material here added (mostly about the fandom) is what she sent Bjo, adapted (as always) from the past months' hotline scripts. If you'd like to subscribe to Sci-Fi Spotlite, a handsome magazine running around 50 pages per issue, published every two months, covering all major science fiction and fantasy interests, it's $15 for a year, $25 for two years, $35 for three years and $50 for five years (it pays to plan ahead) to Sci-Fi Spotlite, P.O Box 13131, Reading PA 19612-3131 or, online, email@example.com. This is by way of explanation why the format of this news is a little different than it's been in the past.
- there is a long description of what Christmas Below is like; an excerpt: And what of Santa, you may well be wondering? Well, that legend is respected, too, like that of the Headless Horseman. But by tunnel custom, Santa comes only to children, particularly the orphans who live in the dormitories. Each wakes to find a special gift, with a tag inscribed in a strong, flowing cursive, at the foot of their bed. Several children have tried to stay up all night to catch Santa in the act, but none ever has, even though they swore they hadn't nodded off, not even for a minute. No further information was given on Santa's activities, but Nan has a good guess. Who would know what's in each child's heart, and whether they'd been mostly naughty or nice during the past year? Who can come and go like a shadow, making no sound, so that even the most watchful will miss him if he chooses not to be seen? Who's strong enough to carry a large sack of toys, sometimes including a handmade rocking horse and countless lovingly repaired dolls, and visit every child in just one night? We all know the answer to that. There's no need of a costume or of reindeer. On Christmas night, we know who goes through the tunnels, making sure no child is overlooked or disappointed on Christmas day. Vincent is the tunnels' Santa. And if you're feeling particularly alone and blue this Christmas, Nan's sure you won't be overlooked or forgotten either. Vincent gets where he needs to go, no matter how far. And then returns to where he's safe and loved and happy before the morning. No helper will go unvisited this Christmas either, even if the gift is only a warm thought or a kindness it may take you weeks to notice. It will be there, just as Vincent and the tunnel community are always in our hearts. Merry Christmas.
- about that movie: The B&B TV movie announced by Republic president Robert Sigman last July has gone no further than a project that's "being researched," Republic's B&B Product Manager Robin Tsuboi told Nan in a phone conversation February 27. Robin expects no developments for at least six months--the project is currently "on hold." Disappointing, but not a NO. B&B fans are particularly good at living in hope, and it seems they'll get some more practice in regard to the long-awaited movie.
- if you were online in 1995: Those on the internet who are interested in joining the on-line B&B activities have a variety of choices. You can get on the mailing list of the "Of Love and Hope" internet newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org. "Of Love and Hope" is e-mailed to subscribers every two weeks, on Fridays. For information on the America Online Tunnel Network, e-mail an inquiry to Lisa Howard, whose e-mail address is email@example.com. This newsletter is distributed to subscribers as and whenever news happens. The B&B web page, "Songs of the Blue Bird" can be reached at the URL address http://www.iquest.net/~jeneric/songs.html. And Father's Online Library, an anthology of fan-written fiction, poetry, and essays related to B&B is another choice. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- some of many zines for sale: Rhonda Collins is having a zine sale. Besides the fine Legacy of Love, which wasn't published after all by Cinemaker, Rhonda has some ten zines of her own fine writing, both Classic and fourth season. She's offering the zines at con prices: $2 off the first, $1 on every additional one. Send to her for a list of all her zines. If you're not familiar with Rhonda's writing, you have a happy surprise in store. She's one of the most thoughtful, consistently insightful and skilled writers in this fandom. If you've been intending to get one of Rhonda's zines but just haven't gotten around to it, NOW is a whole lot better than later. For more information about the range of fine zines available, send SASE to Rhonda Collins...
- movie news: REPUBLIC UPDATE: In late June, Robyn Tsuboi, the marketing manager for B&B at Republic, was kind enough to return Nan's calls--a most unusual courtesy. The news Robyn gave Nan wasn't awful, but it wasn't good, either, and far less than Nan had hoped for. The B&B miniseries Republic president Robert Sigman and Ron Koslow jointly announced at last summer's convention is still on hold: "being researched" is the phrase used. Further, there's no specific date when it will be reconsidered. However, Robyn assured Nan that Mr. Sigman is still very interested in the project, so the idea of some kind of movie hasn't vanished, either. For at least the rest of this year, and possibly next year, for all we know, the movie is more or less back where it was: an idea in the back of the minds of Ron Koslow and Mr. Sigman. A little background: Only Republic can make a picture. They own the rights. Ron Koslow has only the first right of refusal, meaning that if Republic decides to do a movie, they have to give Koslow first crack at writing the script. If for whatever reason he couldn't or didn't want to, then they could go to anybody they chose to write the script. The first move has to be Republic's. Second, the fandom, by itself, isn't enough to make any movie viable. At full strength, the viewership for B&B was estimated at 13 million. The people involved in fandom were less than half that, but lets call it 7 million at its best. If only the fandom watched any theatrical or TV movie, it wouldn't make back its costs. We're a core audience, but only that. Republic has to know they can attract at least double or triple that number of viewers through re-syndicating the movie afterward: that is, lining up other stations and perhaps networks in other countries willing to sign up and pay for the privilege of airing it, further down the line. Without the assurance of such later sales, the movie won't even be begun. That's partly what "researching" means: trying to line up additional buyers. The fact that no movie has been made at this point strongly suggests that Republic hasn't been able to line up enough aftermarkets to be sure of recouping the movie's costs, much less making a profit. Until this and possibly other problems are resolved, there will be no movie. Why we're important...but not THAT important. It's not that we don't love the series enough. It's not that Republic doesn't know we're here, and that we want more B&B with a most sincere and dedicated passion. It's just that the fandom, all by ourselves, aren't enough to make a movie successful. That's a fact, and we're better off facing the thing as it is, not as we wish it were. To be blunt, with the exception of the mass-market B&B videos, every licensee and retailer who's produced something and sold it primarily or exclusively to the fandom--whether we're talking "graphic novels," licensed paperbacks, models, calendars, whatever--has either hastily abandoned the effort or gone broke or bankrupt for their pains. We're not enough of a commercial market to keep a product afloat, unless the retailer can reach the wider market beyond the fandom. That, too, is a fact, and those who've been in the fandom awhile and seen it all happen, again and again and again, know it it's true. It's important that we're still here, and Republic knows we are--without that, there'd be no chance of a movie at all. All the letters and postcards aren't wasted. We need to remind them from time to time that this fanatic core still exists, and therefore the more casual likers of the show are still out there too, in even greater numbers. But let's not make the mistake of assuming the fandom is all that counts in terms of getting a movie made, because that just isn't so.
- some support: THE FANDOM: Many of you will know [Jan D], an artist whose cover for HUNTRESS 2 won a prize at last years convention and whose fine artwork has graced many, many zines. Last week Jan's mom died after a long illness and simple old age, after a year of Jan looking after her in Jan's home. Many of you, like Nan and like Jan, have undertaken the care of an aging parent. The demands of this loving commitment are awesome and limitless. So while many of you will want to write to express your condolences, you may also want to convey to Jan that you understand her triumph in having stayed the whole course and seen it through all the way. To care for someone to whom death isn't a matter of IF but a matter of WHEN takes a special kind of endurance, a special kind of love that's very B&B and therefore deserves celebrating as well as mourning. If you'd like to drop Jan a note, send to [Jan D]...
- more support: FATHER'S FANFARE: Sally Newman, "the Quilt Lady," has another project called "Father's Fanfare." Those who are interested get a list of names of people in the fandom who are going through some hard times and could use some sympathetic, supportive pen-pals and ongoing moral support. If you'd like to become a part of this long-running, fan-to-fan outreach, send business-sized SASE to Sally Newman, 10714 Anita Drive, Mason Neck VA 22079-3523. Or if you'd like to get on the list, to get some industrial-strength hand-holding yourself, write that same address, briefly explain your circumstances, and pretty soon, watch that mail roll in!
- for fans online: There's a new B&B internet news group. The distinction from the existing online B&B material is that on the internet, everybody who's online at all will be able to get it if they want to. You can find it at alt.tv.Beauty+Beast.
- the end of the paper line: NOTICE: Although the Helpers' Network Gazette will continue to be carried online, this issue is the last in hard-copy that will be mailed out, except to those who join or renew membership in Helpers' Network for 1996-97. The Gazette will become a quarterly, one a season, and have much the same format as it does now, except that Nan will try to include additional reprinted articles and pictures, whenever they're available. Features and cartoons will be solicited from fan writers & artists. Membership in Helpers' Network is open between now and October, so that Nan won't have memberships that stretch into the next century. Membership costs $25 and entitles you to four quarterly issues of the Gazette, the full Helpers' Network Quality Fanzine Review (Q-fer) when it's published in October, and a handsome certificate. Nan hopes all lovers of Beauty and the Beast will decide to keep her company and give their support for another year of this wonderful craziness. Some sample costs of running Helpers' Network: 3 answering machines: $225, 4 VCRs $2,000, cleaning VCRs per year $240, each Gazette, printing and mailing: $100, rough yearly long-distance bills (on Helpers' Network business): $800-1,000, extra phone line, per year: $260. Nan doesn't expect to be reimbursed for this, though her finances aren't the best...she's entirely a volunteer. But it's still is nice to get some help with it all. She'll do her best to see that you feel you've gotten value for your money, in the Gazette and the Q-fer. Membership is available on the same terms in the US and abroad.