Page 236 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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218      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            purchased while he owned  Drummer. Interviewing himself twice-over,
            both as the “Alternate” asking the questions, and as “Embry” providing the
            answers, he wrote specifically about the magnificent cartoon panels of the
            British artist, Bill Ward, but he extrapolated to all the rest of the art and
            writing he rented for Drummer:


               This work [Ward’s art] was furnished to his publishers on a one-
               time publication basis, known as First North American Rights,
               then the originals go back to the artist. In the case of Bill Ward,
               re-shipping was hazardous because of British censors [vaguely true,
               but more revelatory of Drummer rarely bothering to send originals
               back to anyone] and the art was retained on file [that is, kept by
               Embry] on his behalf....[In the call and response of this interview,
               he here changes voices to interview himself under his own name.]
               Manifest’s publisher John Embry says, “What we have of Bill Ward’s
               art is safely on file here [still with Embry, nine years after he sold
               Drummer]. It is available to him anytime he [at his advanced age
               and poor health and living in Britain] wishes. That was the arrange-
               ment made then, and it remains the same today, identical to virtu-
               ally every other arrangement we have with any artist.”

               From Anthony DeBlase, I possess legally signed paperwork of the limited
            rights I assigned Drummer. Bedeviled by debt and censorship, DeBlase wrote,
            over his partner Anthony (Andy) Charles’s signature, on September 4, 1988:

                   Enclosed you will find the statement you requested about your
               manuscript rights and photo rights. Andy and I both thank you
               for your kind comments about Drummer. The political climate [of
               censorship] continues to hurt us economically, as I’m sure it does
               you. Your comment about the need to possess a clear statement of
               rights in case of sale of the mags amuses me. At this point the sale
               of the mags/business is a “consummation devoutly to be wished”
               but no one would be fool enough, as we were, to buy it!


               As an eyewitness of what I observed at Drummer, I can only speculate
            on some of the financial secrets behind the scenes. Except insofar as I had
            to deal daily and practically with Drummer’s cash-flow problems, I have no
            ledgers on what Embry or DeBlase or Bakker did personally with the money
            which was their business. My questions are keen only because dollar bills
            tortured Drummer to die the death of a thousand paper cuts.


              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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