Page 324 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 324

306      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            museum, outsmarted him at every turn.
               Making matters worse, Embry’s nemesis, Deblase, named Renslow as
            the spearhead founder of the LA&M in his open letter to the leather com-
            munity, “The Leather Archives & Museum” (Drummer 157 (August 1992)
            page 32. A second official announcement of the establishment of the Leather
            Archives & Museum appeared in Drummer 159 (December 1992), page
            24 with the headline: “Leather Community Announces Establishment of
            Leather Archives & Museum.”
               The LA&M was seed-funded by Chuck Renslow’s International Mr.
            Leather organization whose money-making IML Contest rivaled Embry’s
            unintentionally non-profit Mr. Drummer Contest. Was Embry bewitched,
            bothered, and begrudging? Was he suddenly seeing competition for the
            spoils? Was his fantasy of hoarding a leather archive of endlessly republish-
            able free art and writing suddenly impeded? Ultimately, Deblase outfoxed
            Embry. Despite Embry’s entitled tactics, the LA&M created its own gravi-
            tas as an organized, professional repository of gay leather heritage. Always
            trashing his Blacklist enemies, Embry revealed his own private land grab of
            the estate treasures of quick and dead leatherfolks. He was a ventriloquist
            who put words into the mouth of the great British artist Bill Ward, who was
            no puppet, when he outrageously tried to anger subscribers into protesting
            Deblase starting up the “leather archives” in his Manifest Reader 26, page 98:

               We asked Bill Ward to come up with something above and beyond
               for this issue. Bill is currently desperately trying to get fifteen years
               of his artwork originals back from the Desmodus group [owned by
               Deblase] which has appropriated them to start its leather archives
               [italics added] and has refused to release the originals even for
               publication of his The World of Bill Ward. Losing fifteen years of
               his work is quite a blow.... We wish the very best to Bill, who is
               hampered in his retrieval efforts by residing far away in England.
               Bill Ward asks that comments on his behalf be directed directly to
               Andrew Charles/Anthony DeBlase dba “Leather Archives,” 8948 S.
               W. Barbour Blvd, Portland OR 97219.

               Behind Embry’s attack lies the fact that his own Alternate Publishing
            had published the first book of Ward’s homomasculine drawings in the large-
            format magazine, Drummer Presents the Erotic Art of Bill Ward. Embry’s
            seventy-page edition mysteriously had no masthead, no publishing infor-
            mation, no date, and no copyright notices to protect Ward; but it did have
            a self-promotion ad for Drummer mail order. Based on internal evidence

              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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