Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weird Fiction & Fantasy Magazines-Weird Tales Part 5

Lin Carter's last issue of Weird Tales came out in Summer 1983. That's also the last issue of Weird Tales listed in The Collector's Index to Weird Tales by Sheldon R. Jaffery and Fred Cook (1985). Then the troubles began.

I don't know anything at all about the two issues of Weird Tales put out by Bellerophon Network in 1984-1985 except what I have read on three sources on the Internet. I have never seen these two issues. Probably few people have, as they are reputed to be rare. In any case, Bellerophon Network of California published two issues of Weird Tales and called them Volume 49 of the magazine. According to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database and the online Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Gordon M.D. Garb was the editor of both issues. Wikipedia tells a different and somewhat confused story, suggesting that Gil Lamont and Forrest J Ackerman were the editors of the first issue, while giving Gordon Garb sole credit for the second. The confusion over who was supposed to edit the thing is indicative of other problems, with printing, payments, scheduling, and distribution. On top of all that, the art for the second cover was a swipe from a Victoria's Secret catalogue.

The contents of Weird Tales, Volume 49, are a mixed bag of old and new stories, as well as old and new art. You can read the table of contents in detail on the website of the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

Weird Tales
Fall 1984 to Winter 1985
2 issues (Volume 49)
Published by: Bellerophon Network (Brian Forbes)
Edited by: Gordon M.D. Garb
Format: Quarto; Fall 1984: 76 pages; Winter 1985: 96 pages

Weird Tales, Fall 1984, with cover art by R. H. Kim.
Weird Tales, Winter 1985, with cover art credited to Hyang Ro Kim although the art is clearly signed "Ro H. Kim." Jim Stafford's girlfriend would not like these covers, as they include spiders and snakes.
As a bonus, here's another piece of art by Ro H. Kim, the cover of Lon of 1000 Faces! by Forrest J Ackerman (1983).
P.S. (Aug. 18, 2013): Another bonus: If the 1984-1985 version of Weird Tales has done nothing else, it has at least allowed us to add Dave Stevens' name to the list of artists who contributed to the magazine. Stevens probably has his detractors. I admit that I find his more fetishistic artwork too extreme. But he was an artist who stood apart from the crowd and still does after his death. That's partly because he could draw. But it's the way that he drew, the way he composed a picture, the way he handled a brush. . . .

The illustration is for "The Pandora Principle," part one of an unfinished serial by Brinke Stevens and A.E. van Vogt, printed in the first issue. (It was also the cover story.) Brinke Stevens, the ex-wife of the illustrator, is or has been a student of Esperanto, a marine biologist, an actress and model, and a movie screenwriter. Her biography reads like the work of some fictioneer's imagination. If she were in the pulps, she could be a sidekick to Doc Savage. (Postscript [Aug. 26, 2013]: I was mistaken in assuming Brinke Stevens was not related to Dave Stevens. A reader has corrected me and I have made the correction here. See the comments below.)
Revised Aug. 18, 2013
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley


  1. My wife (Terry A. Garey) had a story in the second issue, and Gordon Garb (whom we both know) bought it (and called her to say he was buying it), so I'd agree he was definitely the editor of the second issue. He also appeared on a current magazine editors' panel at a local convention around that time as editor of WT.

    Another local writer (Nate Bucklin) also had a story in that second issue, and for a time the joke around Minneapolis was that distribution was so non-existent that the only way to obtain a copy was to have had a story in it. A slight exagerration, but probably not by much.

    Denny Lien

  2. Hi, Denny,

    Thanks for the confirmation and for the anecdote on the distribution of the magazine.


  3. Brinke Stevens took that name for her acting career after marrying Dave Stevens (she was born Charlene Elizabeth Brinkman). They had been dating for some months, their marriage lasted less than a year, but they continued to work together as artist and model from time to time afterward.

  4. (That is Brinke Stevens, essentially, in the first cover and the story header/illo, and might as well be on the second cover of this version of WT).

  5. Todd,

    Thanks for the correction. That was a pretty bad oversight on my part. I take full responsibility but I have to admit I referred to a well known website sometimes referred to as Wrongipedia. I should have gone further in my research before posting anything.

    As to your second comment: I thought I had seen a few years ago a reference made to Dave Stevens as the artist on the second cover, the one that was swiped from a Victoria's Secret catalogue. Now I find out the artist was Ro H. Kim. So did Dave Stevens have anything to do with these two covers for Weird Tales? And who the heck is Ro H. Kim?

    Thanks again.


  6. No idea about the Kim credit (or why a pseud was in use if it was), but doubt that's Dave Stevens's work as painter on either cover, just because his name presumably would've been trumpeted to help sales, and his signature was on the sketch.

    At the time, I'm sure it seemed a very amusing conceit to have a serial by BS and AEvV.

  7. I'll admit to a limited acquaintance with Victoria's Secret catalogs, but do many of them feature tentacled pyramids (THE DA VINCI'S SECRET CATALOG)? Or is the notion that the woman figure, who might as well be BS, was what was copied from a VS shoot?

  8. Todd,

    Neither cover looks like Dave Stevens' work. I wonder if he and Ro H. Kim could have known each other or been associates. They shared a model in any case.

    Conceit is the perfect word to describe that collaboration.

    Thanks for your comments.


  9. Todd,

    If you click on the words "swipe from a Victoria's secret catalogue" in my posting above, you will be linked to a website explaining the swipe.


  10. Brinke Stevens was modeling before she began acting, so no great surprise there.

  11. Ah, yes...oddly, your hyperlink text doesn't appear highlighted on my screen, so I wasn't aware there was a link there. Yup, the pose and garment Brinked, at least a bit, and slightly Weirded up. Sort of fits with the whole nature of the enterprise there, particularly with that second, "renegade" issue.

  12. I actually have the original painting of the second issue. We found it in an old closet at our old trailer not knowing who put it there. And it has been there for years! I had no idea it was from Weird Tales. Anyone know if Kim has a gallery?

  13. The Model of the second cover is model / actress Jacqueline Pulliam, and I had a section with detailed info on her and on artist Kim in the second issue. Kim had never met Dave Stevens and I doubt knew anything about him.

  14. Gordon M. D. Garb was absolutely the Editor of the second issue and worked on the first issue with me as well. Gordon is brilliant and has saved my ass numerous times in my life - probably will continue to do so. He was a top notch editor and more than that was able to secure some great writers.

    1. Dear Brian,

      Thanks for the clarification and for the further information on your two issues of Weird Tales.

      Terence Hanley