Wide Open Spaces (multimedia zine)

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Title: Wide Open Spaces
Publisher: Poncho Press (the first ten issues), then Ashton Press (the last issue)
Editor(s): Leah Rosenthal
Date(s): 1978-1986, then 1997
Medium: print
Fandom: multimedia with a Star Trek: TOS slant (see below)
Language: English
External Links: Ashton Press
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
a 1978 flyer
a 1980 flyer

Wide Open Spaces is a gen fanzine featuring Westerns. It was one of, if not the first, media western fiction zines published.

From Datazine #2: "... a Western-Trek genzine. Art, poetry, stories, articles by leading fan talent. Trek-type characterizations in stories ... not just for the western fan."

Issue 1

Wide Open Spaces 1 was published in October 1978 and is 87 pages long.

The art is by Leah Rosenthal and Bob Eggleton.

  • Editorials (1)
  • Tombstone (“Death and Dollars”) by Leah Rosenthal (a play, includes character sketches) (3)
  • Killer of Death, poem by Leslie Sawyer (36)
  • The Hardcase by Leah Rosenthal and Roberta Rogow (Man With No Name) (37)
  • Plains Seranade: 1811 by Ellen Rowe (54)
  • Two Pair and A Joker by Roberta Rogow (Man With No Name) (55)
  • Four Guns for San Simon Part 1 by Roberta Rogow (Man With No Name) (67)

Issue 2

Wide Open Spaces 2 was published in March 1979, and is 88 pages long.

The art is by Leah Rosenthal, Caroline R. Hedge, Dawn Singer, Roberta Rogow, and A. Grossman.

  • Editorials (2)
  • Via Pony Express (LOCS) (5)
  • Escape by Roberta Rogow (8)
  • Prairie Fire and Lord Bison, two poems by E. Rowe (26)
  • Cold Spell by Leah Rosenthal and K. Smithline (Man With No Name/She-Wolf) (28
  • "And Now a Word from Our Sponsor" by Leah Rosenthal and the Fairlawn Gang (46, 48,68)
  • Excerpts from Cass's Receipt Book (47)
  • It Is So by George Rowe (64)
  • Kriteek... Easy Rider by A. Citro (66)
  • Western Crossword Puzzle (67)
  • Four Guns For San Simon Part 2 by Roberta Rogow (Man With No Name) (69)
  • Day In The Life (Man With No Name) (15 pages)

Issue 3

front cover of issue #3, artist not listed in Table of Contents
a 1980 flyer for issue #3, printed in Warped Space #43

Wide Open Spaces 3 was published in Fall 1979 and contains 76 pages. Stories, articles and artwork based on Wanted, Dead or Alive, Alias Smith & Jones, The Man With No Name, Bad Company (Man with No Name based series) and more.

  • Smoke Signals LoCs (5)
  • No Name Meets November by Dave McCoy (9)
  • He's Dead, Jim by Phil Foglio (10)
  • Last Warrior Song by Dawn Singer (12)
  • Borderline Case by Leah Rosenthal (14)
  • Don't Con a Con Mayn by P.J. Sinclair (32)
  • Kriteek by Anthony Citro (37)
  • Death Unto Me by Leslie Sawyer (40)
  • Last of the Seven by Leah Rosenthal (41)
  • Annie by Jinni Delisa (41)
  • The Reel West by Roberta Rogow (42)
  • Just One of Those Days by Donna Chrisholm (44)
  • The Great Quiz by Donna Chrisholm (47)
  • On the Line by Miriam Rogow (50)
  • Four Guns for San Simon by Roberta Rogow (58)
  • Lullabye by Leah Rosenthal (74)
  • Answers to Crossword Puzzle from issue #2 (76)
  • art by Laura Virgil, Bob Eggleton, Shona Jackson, Dave McCoy, Anita Grossman, Phil Foglio, Gordon Carleton (back cover, "Spaghetti Encounters," Leah Rosenthal, Caroline Hedge

Issue 4

cover of issue #4, Teri Lipanovich

Wide Open Spaces 4 was published in February 1980 and contains 85 pages. Color cover (of Hannibal Heyes) by Teri Lipanovich.

  • Editorial (2)
  • LoCs (6)
  • And Now a Word from Our Sponsors by Leah and the Fairlawn Gang (interspersed throughout)
  • The Reel West by Roberta Rogow (11)
  • Interlude in Austin by Miriam Rogow (12)
  • TV West by Michele Rosenberg (16)
  • Reunion in Cavrera by Roberta Rogow (21)
  • I'm Hungry by Donna Chrisholm (32)
  • My Brother Bret by Donna Chrisholm (Maverick) (38)
  • Cass Haney's Cookbook (39)
  • Legal Tender (42)
  • The Ole English Cowboy Song by Michele Rosenberg (54)
  • Our Little Cowgirl by Anonymous (56)
  • Alias Smith & Jones Manuscripts by Laura Virgil (57)
  • The Tragical History of Smith & Jones (translated by Ken Bourell) (59)
  • Four Guns for San Simon by Roberta Rogow (66)
  • Pow-Wow Drums by Ellen Rowe (79)
  • Departure by Donna Chrisholm (81)
  • The Last Long Trail, traditional (84)
  • art by Teri Lipanovich (front cover), Diana Aaronson, Leah Rosenthal, Jinni Delisa (back cover), Bob Eggleton

Issue 5

cover of issue #5

Wide Open Spaces 5 was published in 1980 and is 98 pages long. Contributors include Leah Rosenthal, Donna Chrisholm, Laura Virgil, Shona Jackson and more.

Issue 6

cover of issue #6, Laura Virgil

Wide Open Spaces 6 was published in 1981 and contains 102 pages.

  • Editorial (2)
  • Smoke Signals (3)
  • Book Listings (6)
  • Them Words (6)
  • Dedication (7)
  • Night of the Ghost by Catherine Schlein (Wild, Wild West) (8)
  • Eulogy by Dannell Lites (Frisco Kid) (24)
  • Alias Smith & Jones (episode guide) by Donna Chrisholm (27)
  • And Now a Word from Our Sponsor
  • It Tolls for Thee by Leah Rosenthal (Bad Company) (32)
  • Shoot'n the Breeze by Steve Herr (58)
  • The Old West in the Old Country by Michelle Rosenberg (71)
  • Once in Tuscon by Joni Bourell (High Chapperal) (73)
  • Kriteek by Anthony Citro (White Commanche) (79)
  • Guardian Angel, part one by Sharon Emily (Hanged Man) (81)
  • art by Laura Virgil (cover), Shona Jackson, Melody Rondeau, Leah Rosenthal, Teri Lipanovich, Amy Falkowitz, Dot Sasscer, Michael B. Smith

Issue 7

cover of issue #7, Paulie Gilmore

Wide Open Spaces 7 was published in 1982 and is 119 pages long. Contributors include Leah Rosenthal, Helen W., Catherine Schlein, Michele R., Bruce M., Christine Jeffords and more.

  • Guest Editorial (2)
  • Smoke Signals (3)
  • Bullet-in-Board (9)
  • After-Image by Leah Rosenthal (Bad Company) (11)
  • A Feastful of Dollars (14)
  • Pleasant Dreams by Donna Chrisholm (Alias Smith and Jones) (17)
  • Shooting the Breeze by Steve Herr (22)
  • Gunslinger! by JeanAnn Berger (26)
  • Acceptance by Lorraine Bartlett (Bonanza)(55)
  • Them Words (57)
  • The Karpathian Crown Jewels by Roberta Rogow (Bad Company) (61)
  • Whey the Bells by Leslie Fish (Gunsmoke) (74)
  • Wind Words, poem (77)
  • Jenny, poem by Ruth Kurz (78)
  • The Historical Bonanza by Rebecca Hoffman (79)
  • How Old are You, Mr. Cartwright by Karen Fleming (85)
  • The Unbound Book by Dave Gordon (Bonanaza) (87)
  • The Reel West by Roberta Rogow (92)
  • Guardian Angel: Conclusion by Sharon Emily (Hanged Man) by (117)
  • Look Around, poem by Joe Denver (118)
  • art by Jenn Bills, T.J. Burnside, Jerry Collins (back cover), Paulie Gilmore (front cover), Shona Jackson, Ruth Kurz, Gordon Carleton, Signe Landon, Judy Low, Gee Moaven, Melody Rondeau, Leah Rosenthal and Mike B. Smith

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 7

This is a nice mixture of stories, poetry, and features, all of which are well written and illustrated. In fact, the art in this zine is excellent. Only a few of the cartoons are an exception. My one complaint with WOP is the typos. I’ve yet to read a zine without typos, but I’m not talking about one or two. In one story, ‘Gunslinger’ (my favorite), they were bad enough tin interupt [sic] the flow of the story. I was extremely annoyed. To be fair enough, though, there aren’t quite as many per page as in that story. Clint Eastwood’s character, ‘No Name,’ is in two stories. One is a look at She-Wolf’s past Christmases; the other a cute mix up story involving the crown jewels of Carpathia, which at first, I thought, was going to take place in No Name’s bath. Bonanza has two stories also. The first is serious and deals with family ties, short and to the point. The second is Bonanza in the Twilight Zone, featuring Hoss, and it is funny and creepy at the same time. Bonanza has two articles about its timeline and the Cartwright’s ages, both entertaining and useful for anyone writing in this universe. Gunsmoke has a short on what it would take to make Matt and Kitty finally decide to get married. Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes get their fantasy to be ordinary citizens for a day. Wild Wild West is represented by a short story which deals with Jim reflecting on his life while waiting to die. Then there are two meaty pieces you can sink your teeth into. One is the third segment of a three part story. I didn’t recognize the characters so I’m assuming they’re made up. I have only read part three, but just that much was enough to make me happy. ‘Guardian Angel’ was about a man who is hanged, doesn’t die, and is now immortal. How he deals with his new life and love makes for some very interesting reading. The second one is a story based on the short-lived Gunslinger series. This is my favorite. Although I have not seen the show, the characters were so well-drawn that the story flowed so smoothly as to feel real. All in all, this is a very good buy. [1]

Issue 8

cover of issue #8, Mark Thorner
flyer for issue #8

Wide Open Spaces 8 was published in 1983 and contains 97 pages.

  • Editorial (1)
  • Smoke Signals (4)
  • At the Sound of the Tone by Rosnalen ("Just what the heck was that funny-looking box on their train...and why was it threatening to destroy itself?") (Wild, Wild West) (8)
  • All That Glitters by Leah Rosenthal ("Noname and the She-Wolf find themselves on a bounty hunt that's actually a trap...one that's waited ten years to spring..") (Bad Company) (13)
  • Receipts (27)
  • The Real Story... by Sallijan Snyder (Alias Smith and Jones) (28)
  • Joe, poem by Alice Robbins (30)
  • Last Capture by Helen Woolverton (Bad Company) (31)
  • Night of Too Many Wests by Lorraine Beatty ("Someone is accusing Jim West of a lot of terrible deeds...and they're all true. Can Artie stop him?") (Wild, Wild West) (33)
  • And Now, a Word from our Sponsors (30)
  • Archeological Notes from Devil's Hole by Michele Rosenberg ("A collection of authentic documents about a very strange dig in Wyoming...") (Alias Smith and Jones) (43)
  • The Critter with the Tail, poem (49)
  • Million Mile Reflections by Kelly Hill ("Tom Guthrie finds his new haven in Sweetwater haunted by images of his past.") (Bret Maverick) (51)
  • Them Words, series song lyrics (53)
  • To Watch for a Legend by Bruce Melton ("An original Western fantasy about a new variation on a myth.") (Fantasy) (56)
  • Calvary Retreat by Leah Rosenthal (" Our intrepid bounty hunter finds him self helpless at the hands of Fort Courage's finest!") (F Troop/Bad Company) (61)
  • Stallion, poem by Deborah Busse (68)
  • The Carbine Trail by Christine Jeffords ("Who is the mysterious Johnnie Clayfield...and why does she look so much like the man she wants to see hang? Jim Crown and Angus MacGregor find out in this atmospheric action yarn.") (Cimmaron Strip) (70)
  • art by Jerry Collins, Cheyl Fint, Shona Jackson, Ruth Kurz (back cover), Wanda Lybarger, Melody Rondeau, Irma Rosenthal, Leah Rosenthal, Dawna Synder, Mark Thorner (front cover)

Issue 9

cover of issue #9, Laura Virgil
ad for issues #9 & 10 found in Southern Seven #1, click to read

Wide Open Spaces 9 was published in May 1985 and is 118 pages long.

Issue 10

front cover of issue #10, Bob Eggleton
back cover of issue #10

Wide Open Spaces 10 was published in May 1986, 100 pages long. It was edited by Leah Rosenthal and proofread by Linda Deneroff.

It was an issue focusing on SF/Horror/supernatural crossovers with Western TV universes.

Issue 11

issue #11

Wide Open Spaces 11 is 86 pages long. It was published in 1997, many years after the previous issue. The artwork is by Leah Rosenthal (Lonesome Dove), Kelly Taylor (ASJ) and Laura Virgil (ASJ).

  • Roswell by Catherine Siemann ("Yeah, that Snarkathon woman again ;-) -- a "sort of" Alias Smith and Jones/X-Files crossover ("Heyes and Curry have found steady work in a nice, peaceful New Mexico town until two federal agents involve them in the investigation of some unearthly phenomena.")
  • One Good Turn by Irene Shafer ("The guys encounter an old friend, in more than one sense of the word, in this charming tale") (Alias Smith and Jones)
  • Hushabye by Roberta Stuemke (Lonesome Dove -- The Outlaw Years)
  • The Choice by Roberta Stuemke (Lonesome Dove -- The Outlaw Years)
  • The Man Who Needed Hanging by Debbie Vega (Lonesome Dove -- The Outlaw Years)
  • Blood Brothers by Debbie Vega (Lonesome Dove -- The Outlaw Years)


  1. ^ from Datazine #24