Sunday, November 11, 2007

Quintessence 22

QUINTESSENCE 22 was a true amateur comics fanzine at a time when more and more prozines like INFINITY, HOT STUF’ and SQUA TRONT were wowing the fan market. I mailordered it from an ad in TBG after seeing the topless SUPERGIRL below. It was 1973 and this issue was put together by Editor John Achziger and artist Richard Enloe piecemeal from leftover bits from their and others’ previous stillborn efforts. As fanzines go, it was pretty good with early spot illos from Klaus Janson as well as "good luck" art from Dick Giordano and John Romita. There was a portfolio of topless superheroines by the soon to go pro Denis Fujitake and an article on German pulp spaceman Perry Rhodan by fandom’s most respected writer at the time, Dwight Decker. There was even an old (dated 1969. Previously unpublished?) MR. A page by Ditko. The magazine’s main feature however is a violent CONAN THE BARBARIAN rip-off comic strip called RONTHUR by Achziger and Richard Enloe. While some of Enloe’s artwork show’s promise, this piece is an amateur effort from the word "Go." Much of it looks just incredibly rushed. We’re all very close here so I will tell you, though, that this piece had a profound effect on me for one very specific reason…pubic hair! At the risk of TMI, several panels in this –let’s face it badly drawn-- strip showed me for the very first time at age fourteen that women have hair down there! WHO KNEW!!?? Even PLAYBOY wasn’t showing it at the time and…Ahem! Anyway…

I never saw another issue offered for sale. A quick check of the Net shows that Mr. Achziger has long been a dealer in comics and other collectibles while Mr. Enloe seems to have been exhibiting his art at cons in the Northwest as recently as a year or two ago. If you see this, "Hi, guys!" and thanks for the memories…and the education!

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