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8                                       Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            own books and periodicals, Fritscher was creating a unique leathersex
            universe to which — even now — only a handful of writers have made any
            additional “direct deposits.”
               In one tumbling, fully-conscious stream of truth after another, Frit-
            scher left us Drummer readers numb and spent and happy to have been
            run-over so gloriously. He seldom spoke when shouting would be toler-
            ated and never explained when exuberant telling would get the job done.
            He grabbed us with his language and his style and, without stopping to
            ask how we liked to be fucked, just rammed it in and pleased himself,
            which is just what we’d have asked for if we had the courage and self-
            confidence to do that.
               Leathermen were just steps out of the super-cultural closet when
            Drummer came along. A decade before, or less, they were nearly invisible,
            and meant to stay that way. Being invisible to the world had a certain
            positive value, maybe. Being invisible to each other at the distance of a city
            or two was not so good — damned inconvenient, really. Being invisible
            to the fresh meat that was seeking hungry users and abusers and brothers
            and Dads, mentors, re-inventors, bike riders to buddy with and buddies
            to fuck with… well, frankly, that kind of being invisible was intolerable.
            Even though there were other magazines from time to time — none for
            long, but always something else — Drummer was a necessity. The new
            Technicolor reality springing up from the gone-gray flats of gay social
            nothingness needed to be named and defined and cheered and kicked in
            the butt.
               For all of that, the naming and defining for sure, the cheering when
            absolutely necessary and the kicking in the butt any time at all (thank
            you), again, nobody did it better than Jack Fritscher.
               Fritscher’s straight fiction and features were published years before
            Larry Townsend, but Townsend in the leather genre hit print first with
            a publisher to whom Fritscher would not sell his own book manuscripts
            such as 1969’s I Am Curious (Leather) because the publisher demanded
            ownership of the author’s copyright. Both Townsend and Fritscher pub-
            lished significant books in 1972: Townsend’s The Leatherman’s Handbook
            and Fritscher’s Popular Witchcraft with its academic analysis of magic
            ritual in leather culture.
               Townsend, a different kind of writer from stylist Fritscher, was doing
            his own thing, plus a couple of other things. He was entertaining and
            Fritscher was too, but Townsend was also a lot about scientifically prov-
            ing what we were and what we did. His column — along with Bill Ward’s
            Drum cartoon — was among the longest running features in Drummer,
            and they both were sources of great bar-talk and cocktail conversation. All
            good; in fact, these things were very good, but it was culture shock when

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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