Bob Tucker is probably the most active fan in fandom's history, all things considered. Hyperfans come and go, and a few fans stay active intermittently or peripherally over many years, but Tucker, who published one of the very first fanzines (The Planetoid, 1932), has remained both consistently and integrally associated with fandom ever since the early '30's. (He has even gone so far as to associate with Robert Bloch.) Among other achievements during those years (Hoy Ping Pong, Le Zombie, Science Fiction Newsletter, The Neofan's Guide, etc. ad infinitum), he almost single-handedly invented fan-humor -- an example of which appears below, reprinted from the first annish of Greg Calkins' Oopsla!

Gregg's original preface explained that a news-item discovered by Jack Speer, reporting that henceforth all mimeographs in Czechoslovakia would be licensed by the government, had given rise to a bit of extrapolation on Tucker's part ....

 

THE IRON CURTAIN DROPS


BY BOB TUCKER

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

A couple of weeks ago I sent 10¢ (American) to Imovar Slobarish who lives at 101 Wagnerstrasse, in Prague, for a copy of his fanzine PLEIADES PIMPLES but he ain't never sent it or sent my money (American) back. Please do something about this.

- Joe Fann

Mr. Josef Fann
Box 702
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Fann:

Imovar Slobarish doesn't seem to exist.

- Handel C. Ranker

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

Imovar Slobarish exists all right, because the same day I got your letter I finally got my copy of PLEIADES PIMPLES from him. But I guess he doesn't live at 101 Wagnerstrasse anymore because in his editorial he said he was going underground, so I suppose that means in a bomb shelter or whatever you people are building over there.

- Joe Fann

Mr. Josef Fann
Box 702
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Fann:

I am delighted to hear that at last you have received the publication for which you waited. We in this country strive at all times to cooperate with our friends in the western democracies. In order that I may assist Mr. Slobarish in the future production of PLEIADES PIMPLES, will you please send me the address from which it was mailed?

- Handel C. Ranker

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

That's pretty good of you to help out fanzine editors and I'll bet Imovar will be pleased and surprised when you drop in on him. The fanzine was mailed from the White Horse Inn, Upper Newtownards Road, Brunn, Moravia. I liked PLEIADES PIMPLES so much I've sent Imovar $1 (American) for a year's subscription. Give good old Imovar a shot in the arm so he can start work on the next issue.

- Joe Fann

Mr. Josef Fann
Box 702
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Fann:

Imovar Slobarish doesn't seem to exist anymore. I'm sorry we can not refund your subscription, but apparently no records were kept.

- Handel C. Ranker

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

Sorry, but you're wrong again, old boy. No snide cracks intended, but I guess bureaucrats are the same the world over. Good old Slobarish is still cranking them out and the latest issue arrived today -- and a crackerjack number it is, too! Just about the best he's done, although the ink was a little thin in spots. In case you don't know it, Imovar is the number-one humorist of fandom and the lead article in this issue proves it. He has a three-page article on the difficulties of producing PLEIADES PIMPLES and you'd split your sides laughing when he tells about bootleg fanzines, forged licenses, and smuggling copies over the border to be mailed. Why doesn't your office get behind this boy and give him a boost?

- Joe Fann

Mr. Josef Fann
Box 702
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Fann:

I was pleased to receive your letter and very glad to learn that Imovar Slobarish is still publishing. Believe me, this office wants very much to locate Mr. Slobarish and offer him our services. I would appreciate your sending me his newest address.

- Handel C. Ranker

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

I'd be glad to do a good turn for Imovar. The last copy came from 2215 Benjaminstrasse, Holmes-on-the-Seacoast, Bohemia. And listen, take along a couple of cans of mimeograph ink for him, will you? There were some thin spots in the last issue.

- Joe Fann

Mr. Josef Fann
Box 702
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Fann:

It becomes my sad duty to inform you that Mr. Imovar Slobarish no longer seems to exist. We at this office shall miss his sprightly wit and his publication.

- Handel C. Ranker

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

Say, what's got into you guys anyway? Believe me, we wouldn't tolerate such ignorance and inefficiency here in this country! Imovar ain't dead -- he sent me another issue just a few days ago. But he certainly is having a hard time of it, and your office doesn't seem to be shooting him any help. Why, would you believe it, this new issue was cranked out in the back of a truck! Imovar said in his editorial that he was on the move again and apologized for the sloppy mimeo work, but it couldn't be helped because this truck was rolling pretty fast and it bounced around a lot. Although he didn't explain, I got the impression that he was forced to move and so he turned out the issue during the trip. Why doesn't your office find this boy a permanent place to live? PLEIADES PIMPLES could be so much better then!

- Joe Fann

Mr. Josef Fann
Box 702
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Fann:

I have taken the matter of Imovar Slobarish and his publication to my superior officers, and we all now agree that the enterprising fellow deserves our closest attention. He has been given a priority, as you Americans would say, and we are leaving no stone unturned in the search for him. You will also be happy to know that Mr. Gregory Ratchet, our Prefect of Police, has prepared a permanent home for him when he can be found. In view of all this, I am sure you will send me his new address when next you hear from him, so that we can make him safe and comfortable as quickly as possible.

- Handel C. Ranker

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

Well, I've heard from good old Imovar again, but I don't think it will be much help to you or him. He didn't send a copy of PLEIADES PIMPLES this time -- he said all his equipment had been seized. He dug up an old hektograph somewhere and printed this little one-shot while he was waiting for a boat, there on the seacoast of Bohemia. Imovar seemed rather unhappy about things -- he's moving out of the country and wants to come to America. He said there was too much regimentation in his own country -- you had to have a license for this and a license for that. And too, some stool-pigeon has been making it tough for him these last few months, forcing him to be on the move all the time. The hektograph sheet wasn't too clear, but I gathered he was pretty sore about everything. I guess your office was too slow in helping him out.

- Joe Fann

Mr. Josef Fann
Box 702
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Fann:

Please rush me by airmail special delivery the name of the town where Imovar Slobarish is awaiting a ship. Perhaps it still isn't too late.

- Handel C. Ranker

Mr. Handel C. Ranker
Minister of Mimeographs
Prague, Czech.

Dear Mr. Ranker:

It becomes my sad duty to inform you that Mr. Josef Fann no longer seems to exist.

- Imovar Slobarish


(data entered by Judy Bemis)

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