HERE WE ARE AGAIN! Alrighty then, we are into my third UFO NL as Chairman, I hope you guys are happy with my job so far... if not, let me know. I aim to please, Personally, I think it's going very well for the most part. The only thing I need to concentrate more on is a membership drive. It really would be good to see more members in the co-op. If any of you have suggestions for talented small press publishers we can invite, please let me know, and I will contact these folks right away. At one point in the late 1980s, we had almost 30 members! Well, maybe we don't need quite that many members, but it would be good if we could get 20 or so members overall. At least, that's the way I see it.
WELCOME BACK, KURT ERICHSEN!! Y'know, even though I mentioned the membership drive, I'd much rather see a handful of really high quality members... devoted and talented folks... over a large number of minimally interested folks, well, any day. Which leads me to... It is so awesome that one our finest Chairmen ever, Kurt Erichsen, who succeeded me as head honcho in the mid-1970s, and who led the co-op through a period of quality and growth throughout the rest of that decade-- has returned to the UFO!! I have to be honest, I leaned on him as hard as I could lol And it is such an honor to have a great old friend to me personally, and to the UFO, back in the group. Kurt will be publishing the final, previously unpublished issue of his great text fiction and art zine ENDEAVOR as his first new UFO publication. ENDEAVOR #14 was supposed to be published back in the 1970s, but Life Got In The Way somehow... and now, all that wonderful material that Kurt has saved for decades is about to finally see print... along with new and additional work. I will be assisting Kurt on this long overdue revival. Welcome back, Kurt!
FAREWELL, ALAN SISSOMOur great friend Alan Sissom has decided to leave the UFO, for his own reasons. He has been a great and valued member and we wish him all the best. His COLLECTOR'S CLUB NEWSLETTER is one of our favorite zines, and the Collector's Club is a fine small press group as well. Alan will continue spearheading that group while working on his terrific comics and zines, and we will be following him with respect, and great interest. Best of luck, Alan! But, y'know, this leaves open the position that Alan held with this group, the Emergency Chairmanship....
ENTER JIM MAIN!! Jim Main has graciously agreed to take over the position of Emergency Chairman (in the unlikely event that I might get struck by lightning and have to relinquish the Chairmanship). Jim, as a former Chairman and Emergency Chairman, has proven himself time and time again. I mean, he belongs on the Mount Rushmore of UFO Chairmen! What else can I say? It's great to have him on board as our new “vice prez” .
THIS ISSUE DEDICATED TO CARL GAFFORD, R.I.P I really don't want every issue of TF to be a eulogy for a departed member, but it's just been a rough year for us. We've lost Sam Gafford, Charlie Smith, Bill Schelly, and now... our Founding Father, the great Carl Gafford (sadly, so soon after the passing of his brother Sam). So this has to be, and should be, acknowledged. Rather than going on at length in this column about how much he has meant to us as the man who created the BPP (Blue Plaque Publications, which eventually evolved into the UFO)... I have decided to include a special section with some of the initial comments that appeared on the internet once we realized that we had indeed lost this great man, this great friend. So this will follow on the next few pages. All I might add is God bless the family he left behind. And God bless Carl, who had suffered in his late years and is now in a better place. Our backcover is a scan of Carl's signature fanzine MINOTAUR, issue #1 (published in runny, faded purple ditto in the late 1960s... apologies for the lack of quality, but ditto doesn't age well, and this is a reprint from the original ditto masters. The importance of this cover, and that issue, however, cannot be understated). Thanks to Jim Main for this scan, very much appreciated.
SEE YOU ALL IN SEPTEMBER!The deadline for TF #258 will be September 20th, 2020. Hope to see you all then! In the meantime, keep on creating those amazing comics and zines. And all best wishes to my great friends in the UFO!