Trap Open!

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Title: Trap Open!
Publisher: Vendredi Press
Editor(s): Deb Walsh
Date(s): May 1993, 2003
Medium: print
Fandom: Real Ghostbusters
Language: English
External Links: gallery of covers here, Memories and fiction links here, Archived version
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Trap Open! is a gen Real Ghostbusters 96-page anthology.

Notes from The Publisher

Deb Walsh introduces the zine with the following:

Back in the early ’90s, a fandom grew up around a surprising source – not the film Ghostbusters, but the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters. I believe that the first stories were published in Mary Jean Holmes’s Shadowstar fanzine, but before long, a thriving, exciting and prolific fandom began....

She explains that while she published her first The Real Ghostbusters fanzine during this time period, it took her almost a full 10 years before she was able to publish her second fanzine. It was this second issue that won her fanzine a FanQ award.

She then goes on to give a nod of recognition to other fans who contributed to the The Real Ghostbusters fandom:

While the fandom really got its start with folks like Mary Jean Holmes, BJ Tandarich, Pam Spurlock, and Sandy Schreiber (she of the wonderful pen!), it’s really Sheila Paulson who’s continued to nurture the fandom and keep it going. You can view some wonderful Real Ghostbusters fiction using the links from Trap Open! #1 and #2, but no trip to the firehouse would be complete without a trip to Sheila’s RGB Fan Fiction Archive.[1]

Issue 1

front cover of issue #1

Trap Open! 1 was published in 1993, contains 4 stories and was 96 pages long. An online version is posted here. Art by Joy Riddle & Deborah Walsh.

From the editorial to issue #1:

When I dropped out of active fannish life five years ago, I was pretty depressed about the state of affairs in the fandom I was active in (Blake's 7). Things had gotten pretty dismal, no matter what side you were on of whatever controversy was raging at the time. These things unfortunately happen in fandom, and I've learned the value of occasional vacations from active fannish involvement. But what better way to get back into fandom than with the wonderful adventures of the Guys? I mean, how can you be down when you're watching, reading or writing Ray Stantz, with his delightfully innocent view of the world? Or Peter Venkman, that scalawag of the firehouse? Or Egon (my personal favorite, as if you couldn't guess from the art on this page!), whose drolleries drop on the world like pearls ... ah, yes, he does tend to make me wax rhapsodic. And then there's Winston, that wonderfully pragmatic member of the team who keeps everyone grounded. And of course, Janine, that paragon of secretarial virtue.

Trap Open! #1 is rather small by today's zine standards. I opted for 10 point Optimum throughout the zine - a nice, readable typeface, not too small, not too large. (The next larger type size would have added more than 20 pages to the zine.) This has enabled me to keep the price down to what I hope is an affordable level. I do hope that issue #2, tentatively planned for next year's MediaWest*Con, will be bigger, and full of new faces. (And don't forget to use the discount coupon in the Certificate of Authenticity included in this issue toward the next - you can save money and ensure your copy by sending it in. Each Certificate is signed by me and numbered - your guarantee of a "legitimate" copy of this zine.) I appreciate the fact that old friends like Sheila Paulson, Jeff Morris, and Kathy Sullivan took a chance on a new zine and made it happen. And thanks, too, to Joy Riddle for her lovely illos. Sheila was the first contributor to Trap Open!, and I think you'll really enjoy her "Chessboard" - neat story. And Jeff's "Ghost Town" has the distinction of being about a project like the one I work on - and Jeff didn't know that until after I got the story. Without Kathy Sullivan's editing, the balance of the zine would never have taken place - Kathy and I made liberal use of the electronic mail available to each of us - me using America Online's Internet Gateway, Kathy using Internet through the University she works for. This wonder of modern technology literally enabled us to story conference on a daily basis while keeping our respective long-distance telephone bills down...

Trap Open! #1 was a lot of fun to put together, and I'm proud of the results - my first ever zine done using computer technology (yes, to all of you who remember B7 Complex, Arrowflight, and even the ancient Felgercarbs and Moonbeams - they were done using the almost-forgotten technology of typewriters!). And be sure to pick up Sheila's latest zines (Ecto-2, and Spells), and Jeff Morris's latest installment in his Real Ghostbusters universe (All Hallow's Eve). And why not check out The Manifest while you're at it? Hope to see you again next year! And in the meantime, enjoy!

Issue 2

Trap Open! 2 was published in 2003 and is 174 pages long. This zine won a 2004 Fan Q. Art by MacClare & Sharon Palmer & Joy Riddle & Sandy Schreiber.

back cover of issue #2, Sandy Schreiber
cover of issue #2, Sandy Schreiber

From the zine's editorial:

Well, it only took ten years, but there you have it - Trap Open! #2. A lot has happened since the first issue back in the '90s, a lot of Real Ghostbusters zines have come into print and passed beyond. The Internet has altered the face of fandom, and many stories are now available online. Communities of fans have grown up around Real Ghostbusters and other shows. And Real Ghostbusters fandom continues to thrive.

You've seen some familiar faces here in these pages, and some new ones, too. Hopefully it won't be the last time you see them. And hopefully you'll continue to see new faces entering this consistently fun fandom. There's another issue already in the pipeline as I type this, with plans for more. The Internet is a wonderful tool for bringing fans together, and for helping people find great stuff. But nothing will ever take the place of a zine in your hands - in my humble opinion.

For the writers who've already been playing in the universe of the Real Ghostbusters, you'll find bibliographies here in the zine - if you like someone's work, read more! Many of the online links also include ways to reach the authors directly - drop them a line. Some people don't want their e-mails shared with the world, so I'm not including everyone's e-mails with their stories here. But please know that every comment I receive is shared with the authors right away, and everyone involved with the zine enjoys feedback -not just compliments, but feedback. And we'd all like to hear from you.

Story summaries are from the publisher:

  • Walls Within by Sheila Paulson (novella - 30,000+ words) ( An ancient anger and bitterness costs a family its most precious members. When the curse goes after one of the Ghostbusters, it could cost them all more than any of them are willing to pay.)
  • One Singular Sensation by Deb Walsh (novella - 28,000+ words) ( Who ya gonna call ... to put on a show? When a haunting threatens the reopening of a local community theatre, Janine volunteers the boys for some pro bono work in the footlights. )
  • The Last Chapter by Carole Seegraves (short story - 4,000+ words) ( An unusual type of haunting requires some creative solutions. A poignant and bittersweet tale of loss and resolution. )
  • Pirouette by Sheila Paulson (short story - 12,000 words) (winner of a 2004 FanQ) ( When a teenaged ghost comes back to haunt the stage where she would have danced her greatest performance, one of the guys has to reach back into his past to find the moves that will help her move on. )
  • The Article by K. Hanna Korossy (short story - 14,000+ words) ( A new writer at the New York Times uncovers what the press considers a scoop ... but for Peter Venkman, it's a still-raw wound. When unwanted press attention starts interfering with busts, the city is put in danger. And when Peter tries to tip the balance, his selfless act could cost them all. )
  • Give Up the Ghost by James Walkswithwind (short story - 2,000 words) ( In the thick of battle against a ghastly gooper, Winston reflects on his life as a Ghostbuster. )
  • Surprise Visit by Jeanne Hutton (short story - 4,500+ words) ( A freak power surge pushes the Ghostbusters into reality where they're only known as cartoon characters and action figures. But an incursion from a demon dimension is real enough, and the guys are ready to do their stuff.)
  • Saturday Night's All Right by Nessa J. Elruch (short-short - 1,800 words)( Egon's cancelled yet another date with Janine and she's feeling down. Help comes from an unlikely and unexpected corner. )
  • Boats Against the Current by Bria Jo (short story - 9,000 words) ( A gruesome group of goopers puts Peter in the hospital, and forces him to face up to a relationship he'd buried. )
  • Neat Freak by Elaine Batterby (crossover with Quantum Leap) (vignette - 1,000 words) ( Since when does Peter ... clean?) [2]

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

I just finished reading Trap Open 2. It certainly made a very long layover in Detroit yesterday just fly past on my way home from Eclecticon. I loved the zine and recommend it highly. From the gorgeous covers by Sandy Schreiber to the wonderful stories and art inside, this zine is definitely a must-have. Kudos to Deb Walsh for putting it together and doing it so well. And I have to say I am very grateful to her for her rule that I couldn't read any of it in advance; what a treat to have a bunch of new RGB stories to read all at once. [3]

I received my zine, Trap Open #2, yesterday. I brought a new laptop the same day. I haven't even looked at the laptop, too involved in reading my wonderful zine! [4]


  1. ^ Trap Open!
  2. ^ Trap Open
  3. ^ comments at RGBFanfic, quoted anonymously (November 2003)
  4. ^ comments at RGBFanfic, quoted anonymously (November 2003)