Page 443 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 17                       425


                gay publishing like no other writer past present, gay or straight or
                in-between.


             Embry insured that Vee Kay’s interview skewered Barrus with phrases such
             as:


                ...foam at the mouth...bossy, bitchy, and markedly bizarre... hardly
                an editor or a publisher who hasn’t been pissed off royally...a tal-
                ent for enraging his public, his critics, his friends, his ex-friends
                (which are numerous), his ex-lovers (which are numerous), and
                his ex-wives (which are numerous)...insanely charging up twenty
                paths in twenty different directions....In 1988, Barrus became (for
                a time) the Associate Editor of  Drummer  magazine (which had
                published his fiction more extensively than any other publication,
                the first Barrus piece in Drummer being titled “Oh, Shit.” A year
                later, Knights Press published Genocide: The Anthology, truly a sci-fi
                nightmare if ever there was one. Barrus left Drummer to become a
                consulting editor at Knights Press where he worked on such book
                projects as Robert Patrick’s  Temple Slave, Jack Fritscher’s  Some
                Dance to Remember, and Jeff [incorrect spelling of “Geoff”] Mains’
                last book Gentle Warriors. Barrus’ brainchild LeatherLit, a proposed
                line of above-average books that would be aimed at the leather com-
                munity (a market Barrus feels has been totally ignored) never got
                off the ground....Barrus left Knights Press in a turmoil of lawsuits,
                mega-angst, and literary barbs that flew between other writers in
                publications from one coast [East] to the other [West].

                Vee Kay’s very aggressive first questions to Barrus were about his hair
             style (his trademark Mohawk) and his age: “Your writing makes you sound
             older than you are.” The third question was: “You are frequently charged
             with being psychotic and homophobic.” Instead of punching Vee Kay and
             ending the interview, Barrus, wiley as a fox, managed to overpower Vee Kay
             and capture what he wanted: column inches in his arch-rival Embry’s rag.
                Undeterred by invective, Barrus revealed his own eyewitness “take” on
             the quality of 1970s Drummer when I was the editor-in-chief. He then went
             on to trash what Drummer became under Embry and Anthony DeBlase dur-
             ing both the politically correct revolution of the 1980s and the AIDS quake
             that sucked the eros out of homosexuality. His insider’s literary opinion
             about Drummer history is valuable and accurate—and directed to Edmund
             White and his kind.


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