Page 87 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 2                         69

             Publisher DeBlase alluding to Embry’s misstep responded: “The genderfuck
             was unintentional (this time).”

             Drummer 10 Cover: drawing by Rex; his last for Embry’s Drummer until
             invited back by DeBlase to draw the milestone cover of  Drummer  100,
             recalling at that time that Rex had drawn the illustrations for covers of
             two of my books, Leather Blues, which was excerpted in Drummer, and for
             Corporal in Charge of Taking Care of Captain O’Malley and Other Stories,
             which was the first book anthology of Drummer fiction.

             Drummer 13 Cover: photo by Lou Thomas aka “Jon Target”; my longtime
             (beginning October 1968) friend, Lou Thomas, co-founder of Colt Studio
             with Jim French, split off Colt in 1968-69 to found Target Studio in New
             York; in his startup of Target Studio and wanting to print a Target magazine,
             Lou Thomas did a publishing trial balloon by printing a limited edition of
             my 1969 novel, I Am Curious (Leather) aka Leather Blues. Using low-tech
             hectograph, he published one hundred copies in the popular, and very under-
             ground, samizdat style of gay “magazines” created with unfolded pages of
             typing paper printed both sides and bound with two staples. Other pertinent
             examples I collected in the 1960s of this leather-and-fetish format pre-dat-
             ing Drummer are: Justice Weekly, a tabloid published in Canada 1949-1972;
             SMADS, Old Chelsea Station, New York; Wheels published at 254 West 25
             Street in New York by the Cycle Motorcycle Club; The Inner Tube published
             by the V (Five) Senses, Murray Hill Station, Manhattan; and Buddy Riders
             published by Essem Enterprises, San Francisco. Years later, I Am Curious
             (Leather) was excerpted in Son of Drummer (1978), and announced by Embry
             as “a forthcoming Drummer novel.” That did not happen.
                Leather Blues, the “1960s Leather Novel That Could,” had a gypsy-biker
             history. After its publication by Target and its excerpt in Son of Drummer, it
             was published in book form by Gay Sunshine Press (1984) and sold 10,000
             copies. It was also serialized in eight issues of Man2Man Quarterly 1980-
             1982; and was excerpted as the premiere fiction in the first issue of Skin
             (January 1979), and in Inches, Volume 1 #3 (July 1985), and in the Magcorp
             magazine, Stroke, Volume 4 #4, 1985. When gay pop-culture critic Michael
             Bronski reviewed both Leather Blues and my Corporal in Charge and Other
             Stories along with a short fiction anthology by Sam Steward and the novel
             I had edited for print, Mr. Benson by John Preston, he declared Drummer
             writing and Drummer writers as essentially romantic in his essay, “S&M:
             The New Romance: Cruelty without Pain,” Gay Community News, Boston,
             Issue 30, February 16, 1985.

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