and the Beast
Fan Fiction & Art Retrospective
by Jo Ann Baca
As we celebrate our favorite show, we need no reminder that our fandom still lives, still endures, due in no small part to those talented individuals who have created incredible written and artistic treasures - our fan fiction writers and fan artists. Some are no longer active in fandom, but many are still a part of us. The former have left us with the fruits of their imaginations as a continuing witness to their talents and invention, the latter inspire us anew each time a new zine is published, a new story is posted on-line, a new artistic creation is unveiled at a convention art room or online.
This is a brief retrospective of some of the best fan-created expressions of inspiration as a testament to the enduring legacy of the extraordinary television show Beauty and the Beast. Please remember that this is only the barest overview. To give full credit and to honor the breadth and depth of our fandom’s talent pool would take many, many, many more pages. So...if your personal favorites aren’t mentioned, please forgive me. It was not for lack of appreciation!
Almost from the first episode of the first season, fans have shared their storyline ideas, provided inner voices for the characters, expanded the horizons of what was possible to show on commercial television, and, in many instances, exceeded the palette and inspiration of the show’s creators with their words and images. Fandom is the haven people chose within which to express their creativity, to convey how this series and its story touched them, inspired them. And the inspiration was tremendous, given the fact that well over 500 zines have been published and many, many thousands of stories have been written, not to mention the thousands of pieces of art which have been created, as a result. Just a sliver of all this has been posted online, but more becomes available every day, as writers and artists continue to share their talents with us.
Some may remember how, in the days before the Internet, fans looked forward with great anticipation to receiving zines through the mail in order to read any fan fiction at all. We’re a bit spoiled nowadays with Internet sites devoted to fan fiction. For newer fans, it’s hard to understand just how important zines were to fandom, and how so much of our culture and history resides within them. We owe them so much. Writers such as Cynthia Hatch, Teri, Becky Bain, Edith Crowe.... Artists such as Barbara Gipson, Sue Krinard, Pam Tuck, Sandy Shelton...and so many more. It’s time to take that trip down memory lane....
Although known to some as Listmom to one of the oldest Beauty and the Beast mailing lists, Becky Bain’s contributions to fandom under her own name and as half of the "Lee Kirkland" writing team make her instantly recognizable to everyone in fandom. She’s got talent to burn as both writer and editor, as is evident by dipping into any one of several of her zines or zine series, much available on the Internet - Quantum Beast, Eternity, Where the Rainbow Ends. Few have contributed as much or as long to our fandom.
Writer, poet, editor, artist - Lynette Combs did it all, and did it so well. While freely admitting that her original character, Naomi, was a Mary Sue, Lynette wrote the naughty five year old so winningly that nobody begrudged her the indulgence. Lynette’s works are among the most treasured in fandom, and can be found in zines such as Dreams & Echoes, How Sweet the Dream, What Light Through Yonder Window, Promises to Keep, O Sweetest Song.
As an editor and writer, Kathy Cox produced one of the most beloved zine series of our fandom - Destiny. One of her stories in Destiny 2 - Of Love and Light - was so popular that she later expanded it and published it as a zine on its own. She also wrote an acclaimed Third Season zine - Legend.
If all Nan Dibble had done for fandom was produce the Q-fer, that would have been contribution enough, but for many years, she also ran the Helpers’ Network U.S. And that’s still not all. Nan also wrote...and wrote...and wrote! Classic, Third Season, Fourth Season.... creating quality fanfic in virtually every subset of fan writing, with zines such as Bright Spirit Descending, Once Upon a Winterfest, Acquainted with the Night, and Phoenix, some of which is available online. It’s hard to imagine someone who contributed more, in so many ways, to keeping the candles burning.
If you polled fans, Pam Garrett’s work would be on just about everyone’s top ten favorites list, especially One Day, A Rapture. Mention that zine and anyone who’s read it will immediately recall ..."that scene" - you know the one.... While walking down a tunnel towards a party in Father’s chamber, Vincent and Catherine are....overcome by passion, giving way to it...sliding toward the tunnel floor...until...yeah....Fatherus interruptus! For that zine alone we owe her a debt of gratitude, but she also gave us Sweet Sleep of Night and Within the Silver Mirror.
If you’re searching for breathless romanticism, you need look no farther than Sue Glasgow’s work. She wrote beautiful fanfic which graced many anthology zines, and produced one of the most magical zines in fandom - When the Phoenix Sings.
Part poet, part enchanter, Cynthia Hatch (Diane Davis) created very few zines, but their mesmerizing impact is enduring and widely felt. She wrote one of the most controversial stories in fandom - The Bridge - and also wrote one of our most beloved series - Kaleidoscope, as well as When Angels Fall. The power and mastery of her writing cannot be denied - her scenes remain indelibly etched in the memory long after they have been read.
The word "prolific" was invented just for Trisha Kehoe! Writer, editor, - she did it all, wrote it all, and lived to tell about it! A brief survey of her work as writer and editor will illustrate the point: the Vincent’s World anthology series, Coming Out of the Dark, Walk the World For Me, Rightfully Mine, In Search of Angels, The Heart’s Best Treasure, Passion!, and White Cover.
Linda Mooney and Lucy Green, together and separately, have produced a wonderful assortment of fascinating digest zines - Classic stories such as Best Mirrors, Tim’rous Beastie, The Dawn Child, Eternity in an Hour...and Third Season stories such as Know Not the Heart and Mute Songs. Linda and Lucy’s Macwombat Press still provide these digest zines, keeping their tradition of quality fanfic available.
P.S. Nim is best known for her graphic novels The Beast of Times, What a Yo-Yo, Beauty and the Yeast, The Absurd Season, Dreams of Long Ago, and a zine - Love Bade Me Welcome - which mentions some startling aspects to Vincent which hadn’t been addressed before: the word "retractable" springs to mind! The talents of this pseudonymic lady cannot be overstated, nor her impact on fandom.
Linda Barth’s skills as an editor are legendary, but she’s also given us some beautiful, thoughtful and compelling stories, and zines such as Beyond Beginnings and Daybreak: From Shadows Into Light. As a Founding Mother of the Classic Alliance of Beauty and the Beast, she was also involved in the creation of the Sanctuary zines published by CABB. Linda is a true treasure in our fandom.
Ann Brown’s incredible zine Sleepless in Providence is widely considered one of fandom’s best - a Classic in every sense of the word. Her other zines display her virtuosity - whether in an alternate universe, as in Raven’s Rock (on CABB), the re-writing of a fairy tale, as in Castle of the Beast (on CABB), a unique stamped novella such as Against All Odds, or anthologies such as Arthur’s Quest - one thing stands clear: Ann’s talents are inspiring, her legacy in this fandom abiding.
Among the most prolific writers in fandom, Kim Prosser and Lisa Swope put out an amazing inventory of zines, ranging from the controversial to the cute, from the introspective to the intriguing: series such as Cat Tales, Light & Cloudshadows, Possibilities, as well as Beast Beloved Tales, Innocence Abroad, and From a Whisper to a Roar.
Who could imagine that we’d have TWO Sandy Sheltons in one fairly small fandom?! And two such incredibly talented ones at that? Sandy P. Shelton is the writer/editor of the two, with many wonderful zines and stories to her credit, including The Roads Not Taken and the All Things Are Possible series (with the "other" Sandy Shelton’s artwork on the covers!).
Few digest zines are as sought after and treasured as those created by the phenomenal M. Sue Waugh. She blended enticing plot, devastating emotional revelation and passionate intensity into a heady brew of fanfic in such zines as Lovelocked, Lovesight, Out of the Flames, When She Comes Home and White Roses.
And now we come to...the undisputed High Priestess of erotic fanfic...Teri! Teri has never published a zine of her own, but her work has been featured in many, including O Sweetest Song, which devoted a whole volume to Teri’s The Quickening. Her stories are the stuff of legend - just hearing the titles, we’re immediately transported to the images, the sensual moments, the incredible eroticism of that particular story.... Your Pain is My Pain, Checkmate, Let There Be Lions, among so many others (check for them on The Steam Tunnels, naturally!)... And who among us doesn’t thrill when we read the words: "Will you take me to a bathing pool, Vincent?"
And speaking of Teri’s fanfic.... One very popular sub-genre of fan fiction is "adult" fanfic, and especially the "first time" story. We never...ever...seem to tire of them, do we?! No self-respecting retrospective would be complete without mentioning at least a few of the many wonderful zines in this category of fanfic: White Cover, Buns ‘n’ Roses, Tunnels of Love, Thighs and Whispers, The First Time I Loved Forever, O Sweetest Song, Primal Symphonies, Below the Belt, Sensual Candlelight....
Male Fanfic Writers
While the B&B fanfic arena is predominately female, it is not exclusively so. We salute the men who have contributed their labors of love to fandom, including Peter Formaini and R. Dean Becker.
So far we’ve focused primarily on U.S.-produced zines and writers, but our fandom extends worldwide, and no true retrospective could fail to include a sampling of the magnificent talent which exists beyond these shores.
Rosemarie Hauer’s artwork is gift enough to fandom, but she has also written some of our most intriguing and romantic fanfic - from alternate beginnings to interludes at a cabin in the woods. With zines such as Heaven Breaking Through, Magic, Thanks to the Human Heart, Two of a Kind ....Rosemarie spins a magic web with words...
Avril Bowles is a strong, accomplished writer who has graced us with many zines, among them Sensual Candlelight, Straight From the Heart and For All My Life and Forever, in each delivering powerhouse stories and sensual intimacies.
From Canada - the zines She Walks in Beauty and The Spiral Staircase.
the U.K. - zines produced by the Helpers Network UK by Gwen Lord and others - Crystal
Cavern, Carousel Tales, Dreams in Amethyst, Below the Belt...
...also from the U.K., writers such as Wendy deVeryard, Joy Faulkner, and editor of the letterzine Chatterbox, Rita Davies, among so many others.
Australia, home of the incredible fanfic writer Verity
and artist Kathy Fidge - the All Season series No
Shadow of Another.
Germany - the zine Beneath the Serpentine.
I’ve discussed a number of zine series when highlighting certain writers, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention some other spectacular anthologies and their editors, and I apologize for not delving into these more deeply. We certainly have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talent in our fandom.
From Roseann Buonadies & Lorraine Cirelli - A Prince Among Men and A Love For All Seasons.
From Margaret Davis - Within the Crystal Rose and Life Without Limits.
From editors Jessie Gurner & Ann Graff - Forever & Always.
From editor Barbara Hill - Something That Has Never Been and Soulmates.
From editors Joyce Fuller Kleicamp & Leslie Hunten - Bondstories.
From editor Cathy Moran - CyberDreams.
From editor Kay Simon - Vina, Vina, Heartsounds, and Definitions of Love.
From editors Loreen Vanderkraats & Melissa Meyer - All That Lights Upon Us.
From editor Sharon Wells - Book of Secrets, Tunnels of Love, Classic Beauty and the Beast.
And many, many others, such as Alayne’s A Secret Place, Pat Almedina’s Castles in the Air, and Gloria Handley’s Flame & Shadow.
Add to this list the variously edited conzines from all of our fan-run Beauty and the Beast conventions.
While most of the writers and editors highlighted have been responsible for numerous zines, we shouldn’t forget the large number of fans who created just one or two zines. Without them, our fandom would be a much poorer place. Writers such as Pat Wittenbrink and Peggy Garvin, along with many others, hold special places in our hearts.
The great heyday of fanzine production is behind us as our fandom has grown smaller and as the Internet continues to introduce fans to our fandom who have never before experienced the traditions of a "print" fandom as opposed to an Internet-based one. But even though the days of dozens of zines coming out each year are no more, we have kept that tradition alive. In the recent past, fans who joined fandom in its "middle years" have discovered the joys of publishing zines - such as Pat King, Karen Mason-Richardson, and Lynn Wright....and recent arrivals to organized fandom have also produced zines, as well as some fans who have been around for a while but have only recently taken the plunge, such as Caera Rose, Nancy Lynn Knauff, and Edna Grice.....
Before the Internet (it’s hard to remember, but there WAS a "before the Internet"!), the first organized fan communication (besides the trusty telephone!) was via letterzines and newsletters. These were a lifeline for fans in every part of the world, and the fact that they were published in hard-copy means they are still available to us, providing fascinating glimpses into fandom’s early years. Imagine how it was in the days before e-mail and mailing lists, when phone calls, letters and letterzines were the primary means of communication and expression for fans. From the Beauty and the Beast International Fan Club to publications such as Pipedreams, Lionheart, Pipeline, Once Upon a Time is Now, Promises of Someday, Chatterbox, and Pat Wittenbrink’s newsletter, hard-copy newsletters provided a needed link between fans.
Individual actors from the series also had their fan clubs within our larger fandom which produced newsletters such as the Linda Hamilton Underground, Friends of Roy Dotrice, Updates, and Faces of Perlman. And our fandom has even produced its very own "star" who has had zines and even a mainstream paperback written about him - Myhr!
fandom has been blessed with many fine artists - women and men who have
channeled their love of one special television series into incredible,
awe-inspiring works of art. As with our fan fiction, the artwork is numerous,
and I can’t do justice to it in the span of a few minutes. Artistic creations
are as varied as our artists and have spanned media from clothing to miniatures
to sculpture to painting to crafts. This retrospective reflects the tiniest tip
of the iceberg, and due to limited space, focuses solely on drawn art. Our zines,
permanent legacies of the talent our fandom has produced, are the repositories
of many of these treasures, with a growing number of examples posted on-line for
the pleasure of many.
One tradition of our fandom is the publication of calendars. We’ve been blessed with some truly spectacular ones, such as the Beastcake series, Lionheart, and the many calendars produced by Sandy Shelton, Sandy Tew, Renate Haller and Rosemarie Hauer.
Our fandom is truly international. The only thing more amazing than how one small television show can inspire people the world over is the expression of talent with which the world has gifted us. Nowhere is this more evident than in its artists.
The only word to describe Renate Haller’s work is: phenomenal. It’s delicate, ethereal, yet filled with passionate strength.
Rosemarie Hauer does it all - writes incredible fanfic, creates impossibly beautiful art. So much talent residing in one individual - it’s amazing. The emotional power of her Vincent and Catherine work is a hallmark of her craft, as well as her...variations on a theme.
Along with the long-established international artists, there are relative newcomers who offer us the gift of their talents. Sonia MaCorral’s exquisite art is almost exclusively on-line.
North American Artists
North American artists have dominated zine illustration by their sheer numbers - and as numerous as they are, they are just as varied, their myriad styles all creating indelible images for us to admire and enjoy....
One of the few artists who could carry a zine on her artwork alone, Beth Blighton specialized in portraits of Vincent and some truly spectacular "couple" imagery.
Inez Brown is one of several fans who have gone on to professional success after spreading their wings in Beauty and the Beast fandom. Her specialty was the intimate moment behind the bedroom door...or perhaps I should say the chamber curtain....
Barbara Gipson had a gift for creating incredibly realistic images which looked almost like snapshots of everyday life, but in a way that exuded a magical aura. She gave us intimate moments which were vignettes within themselves - you could almost read a story within the lines she drew...and what stories they were....
Sue Krinard’s talents are many, and have expanded beyond fandom to the mainstream. Her numerous paranormal romance novels are proof to the world that by following one’s heart, one can achieve a dream. Gee, where have we heard that before?! But before the world had her, she was ours, and we still have her incredible artwork to remind us of her talents....
Terrie Milliman has gifted fandom in many ways. Many know her as a Founding Mother of CABB and the initial driving force behind the CABB website. As an artist, she has created phenomenal collages, and her zine illustrations reveal her capacity to reflect emotional strength and ...sometimes...coy eroticism.
Although shy of using her real name in print, there was nothing tentative about P.S. Nim’s art - from a series of hilarious or tender graphic novels to her illustrations for calendars and zines, her talent was bold, assured, striking...breathtaking.
Few can match Sally Perkin’s graceful, contemplative artwork, imbued with a sense of quiet elegance and beauty. She hasn’t been prolific, but her works have each spoken volumes.
Affectionately known to us all as Chan, Sandy C. Shelton has created literally hundreds of moments in time - the range of her artistry is staggering, as anyone who has seen her design creations in zines, online or at conventions is well aware. She’s been around "forever" - just open a zine at random or look at any number of zine covers and chances are you’ll see her work. The reason she’s in such demand is simple: her art evokes the most heartfelt emotion, from her images of innocence to those of the most intense eroticism....
What can be said about Clare Sieffert’s work that can adequately capture her talents? She’s an incredible and multi-faceted artist whose talent fills us with awe. From her formal portraits to her revelations of intimate moments, nobody does it quite like Clare.
Justly famous for her series of Beastcake calendars, Rita Terrell displayed a sense of casual humor combined with frank eroticism which few could achieve, but she also could convey thoughtful, subtle moments with equal artistry.
Sandy Tew is an artist of growing power. Whether she improves upon a photo reference or she strikes out in a unique direction, Sandy’s work is lushly romantic, visually compelling and just plain beautiful.
With her intricately textured drawings, Pam Tuck is an expert at conveying a rich tapestry of emotional resonance, from impish charm to deep contentment to moments of transcendence. She’s a treasure, having produced works that delight the eye and lift the spirit.
is one word to describe Lynn Wright
– prolific is another! Lynn’s work is a supercharged blend of fantasy and
reality which brings our favorite characters to roaring life! If your heart
doesn’t beat faster after seeing Lynn’s art…check into a clinic!
Although it seems that our fandom has been dominated by the extraordinary talents of its female fans, we have much to be grateful for in the vision and artistry of our male fans.
Kevin Barnes filled his canvasses with love and emotional intimacy with a range to which few can aspire. He’s done zine and book covers, he’s done oils, he’s done pencil work - but in every case, he’s captured the essence of our fascination with Beauty and the Beast.
Jamie Murray - This guy just "gets it"! He has the uncanny ability to gauge exactly what will satisfy the...heart...of the female fan...and he delivers it in spades. Whether he’s playing it tongue in cheek or straight, his art always reflects both his amazing talent and his enormous respect for the characters we love.
There are so many more fabulous artists - such as Lynette Combs, Dragon, Jackie Kapke, Anna Deavers Kelley, Shirley Leonard, Holly Reidel, K. Wooding, Lena Woods, among many, many others. Forgive me. Be comforted by the knowledge that the talent in this fandom is so pervasive, no simple retrospective could do it justice.
retrospective has covered mostly zines, which for much of our fandom’s history
was the repository of virtually all the work - written and drawn - created by
our fans. The Internet has added another element to the varied
tapestry of our fandom. We want to acknowledge a cross-section of on-line fandom
resources which have increased our presence and enriched our fandom, keeping the
Dream alive in every corner of the globe...
Websites such as the venerable Songs of the Bluebird and Classic Alliance of Beauty and the Beast have been joined in recent years by Helpers’ Network U.K., the On-Line Q-fer, The Beauty and the Beast Reading Chamber, Marina’s Beauty and the Beast Website, The Steam Tunnels, Sigma’s Beauty and the Beast Website, among many others.
there it is - a small tribute to our fandom’s long legacy of talent and
creativity. Technologies change, materials change, and fans find ways to follow
their hearts with passion and imagination. In the early days, phone calls and
letters to discuss plot ideas and illustrations for specific stories were
customary...while today this is accomplished almost solely via e-mail...instant
messaging...chat rooms. But it happens, continually. And if we were to lose
those resources, fans would find still other ways to communicate, to share their
vision and talents. For the force of it cannot be denied. That’s one legacy
that Beauty and the Beast has left to all of us.
As nice as it is to talk about our amazing, incredible writers and artists, it’s even nicer to note that we have so many of them in our fandom - whether long-established or new, whether their works reside primarily in zines or on-line, whether they work in oils, pencil, clay, cloth or computer. Let me lead the virtual applause for all those who have written Beauty and the Beast fan fiction or who have created fan artwork in any medium - we acknowledge the tremendous contributions you have all made and continue to make toward keeping the Dream alive.