The BNF of IZ publisher's notes

by Ted E. White

"Carl Brandon" is now known to be the creation of several talented West Coast-Bay Area fans, but for a number of years he was a completely successful hoax -- so much so that his reputation eclipsed that of his creators; and no doubt had they not revealed their hoax at the 1958 World Convention, he would have remained the most successful hoax in recent years.

"Brandon" entered fandom as a name in 1953, but it wasn't until a couple of years later, when he entered the Cult and began to be published there (and reprinted into a few general circulation zines like the early Rike-Carr Innuendo and the White-Stark Stellar) that he became an established personality. Such was his popularity and ability that he was soon Official Arbiter of the Cult, and a rapidly ascending BNF -- primarily through his considerable talents as revealed in numerous long and short pieces of satire and parody, such as The Darling Young Fan with the Three-Speed Mimeo, The Catcher of the Rye, and My Fair Femmefan

At the Solacon the news was broken: "Brandon" was actually Terry Carr, with the help of other area fans, Dave Rike, Boob Stewart, Pete Graham and Ron Ellik.

The BNF of IZ first appeared in a Cultzine, "Brandon's" Eggplant. Terry Carr had started the first manuscript version in "Carl's" own distinctive slanting-print lettering, but after about twenty hand-scripted pages he gave up, and Ron Ellik typed out the rest. This Terry vigorously edited. Following the connected thread of narrative through his changes, insertions, and additions is like finding one's way through a maze -- but his editing helped greatly to turn the piece into its final first-draft form, as it appeared in print.

John Hitchcock, then a member of the Cult, offered to publish the piece for general fandom. He then offered to cut the stencils if I would publish them. "Carl" was pleased with the idea, but asked to further revise the piece, with the result that he supplied a completely new, re-typed manuscript in which the writing style was brought closer to L. Frank Baum's (a difficult one to successfully imitate), and two new chapters ("The Kalidahs" and "The Strange Collector") were added. Due to the events of the following summer, however, both John and I were too busy to work on the publication of the story, and, after cutting a few stencils, John gafiated completely. Nothing more was done until early 1959 when Ted Pauls offered to type the stencils, which he then occupied the next several months' spare time doing. The version you have just finished reading is the new revised version, as stencilled by Pauls.

As a final note, my illustrations are redrawn from the original illustrations by John R. Neill. This is, because, despite the fact that Neill did not illustrate The Wizard of Oz, he did illustrate the next forty or so Oz books, and his drawings have become one with the text in the minds of most Oz fans and readers like myself. The three illustrations here were taken from The Road to Oz (pp. 25 -27) and The Magic of Oz (title page). The one on p. 25 is a composite of two Neill illustrations, and the one on p. 27 while it perfectly fits the end for both The BNF of IZ and The Wizard of Oz, actually served to end The Road.

-Ted E. White

(Data entered by Judy Bemis)