Page 273 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 10                       255

             DeBlase’s  Drummer had sometimes taken potshots at him both in and
             out of Drummer. The overweight Embry took glee in DeBlase’s nickname
             “DeBlob.” When DeBlase, an obese cigar smoker died young of heart dis-
             ease on July 21, 2000, Embry, rendering his own fat, cooked up a snotty,
             minimalist 75-word obituary that DeBlase was out of the picture in his
             Super MR #6, Autumn 2000.
                In that sarcastic obituary, the dick-swinging Embry called DeBlase
             “Mr.” instead of “Dr.” which would have infuriated the “Anthony F. DeBlase,
             PhD” on the Drummer masthead. Embry further succeeded in disrespect-
             ing DeBlase by sidestepping any direct mention of DeBlase as the second
             publisher of the world-famous Drummer who, faced with the social and viral
             changes of the 1980s, successfully struggled to open Drummer to all genders
             and to safe-sex guide lines.
                Instead, he mentioned two of DeBlase’s earlier small magazines,
             SandMutopia Guardian and DungeonMaster, and then mashed Drummer
             into a roll call with these B-List magazine titles. In Embry’s appliqued sub-
             text, he implied that Drummer was too much of a footrace for the sprinter
             DeBlase who bought and, all too quickly, sold the magazine to the Dutch
             within six years because he couldn’t handle Drummer for the grand total
             of eleven years that Embry, the long-distance runner, had owned it. In the
             bully department, Embry finished up with a gender smackdown which was
             not cool in a masculine-identified magazine. He insinuated in the connota-
             tive spin of his subtext that DeBlase was a sissy “best known” for running
             up the leather flag on his, well, Betsy Ross sewing machine.


                We were saddened to hear that Tony DeBlase passed away at 58 in
                Portland, Oregon. Mr. DeBlase wrote under the name “Fledermaus”
                and published SandMutopia Guardian and DungeonMaster. He and
                Andrew Charles, through their company Desmodus, purchased the
                Drummer, FQ [Foreskin Quarterly], and Mach titles from Alternate
                publishing in 1986. The Desmodus company was then sold to Rob
                of Amsterdam in 1992. Mr. DeBlase is perhaps best known as the
                designer of the leather flag. –John Embry, Super MR #6, Autumn

                Eight years later, in 2008, in the thirty-first year of my sine-wave rela-
             tionship with John Embry, I thought someone should tell him at the Russian
             River that his frenemy Larry Townsend in Los Angeles was unconscious in

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