Archive for the ‘Fanzine History’ Category

And so we have reached the end of the journey, the final months that spawned the last two issues of Retrofuture (7 & 8). I had planned to end it with 10 issues of Retrofuture but when I worked on issue 8 I changed my mind and aborted the project.

Retrofuture 7 was published in May 2014 (1,000 copies). Swedish Blues Maestro Michael Mojo Nilsson on the cover. I was glad to give him this cover and a proper interview in this issue. He is one of the all time greats in these parts (Jämtland County). The Tommy Bolin/Deep Purple parties in Sioux City & Östersund is covered in detail with loads of images from both nights. Also Michael Schenker, Alien, Stawka, The Great Lake Monster, and Montana Blue. I presented the first part of the comic book version of Montana Blue in this issue. In the end I never got it delivered in full and this had me rethink the future as I worked on Retrofuture 8. Kind of sad too, because the first part that saw print here is really good. When yet another project for a future issue collapsed, I decided to pull the plug with Retrofuture 8.

Originally, I had planned a Xena cover for Retrofuture 8, but when I decided to end it all with this issue, I remade it and showed the aborted cover around one of my Montana Blue shots. Retrofuture 8 was published in March 2015 (1,000 copies) and we launched the issue with a Kiss/Deep Purple night at Jane Doe (in Östersund) with friends acting as DJs (see the “Retrofuture 8 – final issue” tag on this blog). Well, at least I ended it with a Bang! Lots of good stuff in this issue. Big interview with legendary Swedish publisher Hans Hatwig, huge story on Lucy Lawless. Interview with Tornado Blaze model Ellinor Nordbakk. Final word (and exclusive reports) on The Great Lake Monster. Some Purple Family stuff of course. Huge article on Prepping (got a lot of feedback for that one too) and some local history that also made waves in these parts. But most important of all, the massacre at Charlie Hebdo had happened and a good chunk of this issue was dedicated to the importance of free speech. My friend Jens Ganman joined in with a piece too. I am glad I did that. It had to be done.

People ask me now if there will ever be another issue of Retrofuture, or any kind of fanzine at all from me. I think the answer is no, but it bugs me that I never got around to cover Babymetal. I guess the old James Bond title “Never Say Never Again” is wise to observe. Time will tell, and if I am still here a couple of years from now (and if this world is still OK, which I kind of doubt), then who knows. For now, this is it.

(My cover shots, except for Xena, which is promo stuff)


And so we have arrived at the period that produced the 100th publication (Retrofuture 6), and the hobby also moved towards the final chapters in 2014-2015. At first glance, 2013 belonged to the third Western heroine (Tornado Blaze), but there was more. Much more. Tornado Blaze was a pretty interesting project though.

The Tornado Blaze novel saw print in March 2013, 1,000 copies. I was able to expand the Dakota Jane and Montana Blue universes into this tale, and now we had not only Northern Gods and Valkyries, but extraterrestials as well. The Tornado Blaze novel begun in this edition and ended with a second part in Retrofuture 6 (Tornado Blaze edition). I had a great time photographing the model (Ellinor Nordbakk) and creating what was to be the final novel character of them all. This is pretty eccentric stuff. Glad I did it.

The 100th publication then consisted of a double issue of Retrofuture (104 pages in all) and this is the main 60 page magazine (that I refer to as the “Tornado Blaze edition” because of what you see on the cover). Retrofuture 6 was produced between June and October 2013. 1,000 copies printed of each part of this double issue. Most of them given away for free around the lake as usual. The Tornado Blaze edition had a lot of good stuff in it. First of all, loads of history from the fanzine journey. Big feature on Audrey Hepburn (biggest ever in Swedish media). The Polish tv-show Stawka (a WWII drama from the late 1960s) is highlighted by guest writer Maciek Szatko (with exclusive images from the 2009 opening of Stawka exhibition “Café Ingrid” in Katowice with stars of the show). The Great Lake Monster is featured (as usual) with more exclusive reports. Montana Blue model Nina is interviewed as she looks back on her work with Retrofuture. Also, the Batmobile in Östersund and a close look at the Arvesund Museum (Jämtland County). There is more.

The 44 page half of Retrofuture 6 has a Deep Purple MK4 cover and is therefore called the “Purple edition”. And there is a lot of Deep Purple in it, it is almost a Deep Purple magazine. First of all, this edition sports a huge Fanzine Index that goes back to the early days, with every fanzine showcased and detailed (in fact, this has helped me out a lot lately). This issue also sports interviews in English with David Coverdale and Johnnie Bolin (brother of late Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin). 100 copies of the Purple edition was sent to Sioux City to be handed out at the annual Tommy Bolin festivities over there, and copies of Retrofuture 6 (and backissues) was also handed out at my Deep Purple Party in Östersund at Jane Doe on November 23. I later covered all this in detail in Retrofuture 7 in 2014. But more about that later. There is a “Retrofuture 6” tag on this blog, and a “Deep Purple Party 2013” tag. So there is more to check out.

Seen here is a couple of shots that was sent to me by Trace Keane in the States. He took the Johnnie Bolin shot at his home as the Retrofuture 6 magazines arrived for the Tommy Bolin Party and a friend captured Trace and Black Oak Arkansas singer Jim Dandy posing with a copy on the night in question. Johnnie plays drums with Black Oak Arkansas. These magazines (like all the Retrofuture mags), has never been for sale. The Purple edition is almost gone.

(Tornado Blaze shots by me, the Ian Gillan shot of him holding Deep Purple Forever! magazines was taken by Michael Johansson)

I published this 60 page magazine about The Great Lake Monster (the Swedish equivalent to The Loch Ness Monster) in May 2012. There has been a number of publications about this mystery in the last 120+ years in these parts and this is still the latest. Some of the contents is lifted from earlier issues of Retrofuture, some was created for this magazine. The Montana Blue novel was added as a bonus at the end, which makes it a bit special (and it did get some attention at the time). One of the big newspapers in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter, wrote a very enthusiastic review about this creation. Printed in 1,000 copies, over 900 was handed out for free around the lake (and to libraries etc).

In June I published a title called Gunslinger that featured reprints of the Dakota Jane and Montana Blue novels back to back. Just flip the magazine around and you have another cover. So half the magazine is printed “upside down”, if you like. I just had a bit of fun with this hobby at the time. Printed in 1,000 copies, handed out for free. This one gave me an opportunity to go for previously unseen images as well.

Retrofuture 5 was printed in September 2012. Nice promo shot of Summer Glau from the tv show Terminator: The Sarah Connors Chronicles on the cover. I handed out copies on DVD to some lucky winners at the time. Another novel saw print in this issue, Dracula Black. A succubus/Vampire Hunter gone Rock Star. Michael Johansson photographed (photographer/model) Tallee Savage for it. We had plans to expand this project but it only survived for one issue. Fake album cover, fake tour ad, we had a lot of fun with this, and the novel is fucking brilliant if you ask me. I kind of kick myself now for not taking this further back in the day. Music: Dio 2001 interview (reprint from Top Secret 2009), Hughes Norum 1988 interview, big 220 Volt special with classic articles in reprint (Swedish & international press), Glenn Hughes & Tony Iommi book reviews, Judas Priest and the censorship hysteria etc. Also, Maureen O´Hara (book review, full page), James Bond, The Great Lake Monster, Ingrid Pitt 2001 interview (reprint). This is a top notch magazine. I can just say that. Printed in 1,000 copies, about 900 handed out for free around the lake and in record shops, Östersunds library etc.

(Background shots by me – Retrofuture 5 shows first spread of Dracula Black with Johanssons images)

The Montana Blue novel was published in February 2011. 24 pages in all, including some very nice shots of Montana Blue model Nina (whom is interviewed on this blog, October 2013). This is a wild tale of Scandinavian settlers in the West that includes our heroine, indians, villains, a Scandinavian God (Oden), a Valkyrie (Svava) and a final battle at the shore of Lake Flathead in Montana that will make the main bad guy pay in a way that he could not have foreseen in a million years. Needless to say, I had a blast creating this publication. The novel would see reprint in two publications that I was to put out later.

Retrofuture 4 saw print in September 2011. Printed in 1,000 copies. Again, my model Nina (Montana Blue) on the cover. Loads of great stuff in this issue. The Great Lake Monster (the Swedish equivalent to The Loch Ness Monster) is heavily featured, old and new tales, plus an actual theory on what kind of an animal that it might be. Music: Ian Gillan/Black Sabbath 1983 interview, Toto/Steve Lukather interviews, Deep Purple has released “Phoenix Rising”, Ronnie James Dio has passed away, Tarja etc. Comics: Commando interview with editor in chief Calum Laird, Thor, Classics Illustrated, The Phantom. Big story on old school Swedish movie star Sickan Carlsson etc etc. 60 pages.

(My shots of said magazines, and Nina)

We have a local phenomenon in these parts as hundreds of witnesses has seen The Great Lake Monster in Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) over the years. You can find hundreds of reports in the vaults of the local museum Jamtli in Östersund. As I was working on Retrofuture 2 I was told by my good friend Thomas Drugg that I could find many scanned reports from (very) old newspapers within the Royal Museum´s Digital archive in Stockholm. They had been ordered by the government to scan all newspapers and to put them online. This opened up a treasure trove of old articles (going back to the late 1800s) that dealt with the mystery and I realized that it would be great fun to scan and republish a large number of these in this issue in order to save it for posterity and to present a hugely entertaining piece of journalism to the locals. So I included 17 pages of scanned material as well as current talk about the mystery and printed this magazine in 2,000 copies and handed out 1,700 for free in different ways locally. People could pick the magazine up in stores, at the library, and I also made an effort to give copies away to people that actually lived at the shore of the lake. The interest exploded and the phone started to ring off the hook. People wanted to talk about it, share their personal experiences and so on. The reaction was far greater that anything I could have imagined. This issue also sported the usual assortment of articles. 1990 interview with Yngwie Malmsteen, Two and a half men story (they got the cover too), the second part of the Dakota Jane western novel, book reviews, Xena & Lucy Lawless (Spartacus), Mother´s Finest etc. And two articles by Hanz F. Lindström (one about a famous train robbery that took place in 1907 and one about actress Rita Hayworth). All in all, a pretty good publication.

I was interviewed for a couple of big publications in this neck of the woods (that everybody gets for free), and the first was a story by Ann-Charlotte Eisfeldt in 100% Östersund. This probably meant that even more people made sure that they could pick up a copy. Retrofuture 2 had been published in April 2010 and the campaign lasted right through that summer.

The second story was published by Fredrik Alverland in the publication Stan Idag that fall. I recall that I gave him a bag of back issues. Fredrik would later go on to publish a fantastic book about local cinematic history (that would earn him great respect) and he actually mentioned me and Retrofuture in the book and thanked me for the inspiration to do anything you like (got it signed too). How cool is that?

At this point I had decided to continue for a while even though there was no money in it any more. Retrofuture 3 saw print in November 2010. Printed in 1,000 copies (which would become the new norm), and I gave away 800 for free around the lake. The reports were still coming. I was really enjoying myself with this hobby and I had a tremendous freedom as always. In this issue you had (apart from The Great Lake Monster bit) Legend Of The Seeker (nice cover shot too, I enjoyed that show), Tommy Bolin, David Coverdale & Whitesnake, a report from the 2010 Rock Weekend Festival (Over The Rainbow, Purple, Tarja, Kamelot, Martina Edoff and the Cougars etc), a WWII comic, a complete guide to the Swedish book series Victory, Raquel Welch etc. Loads of cool stuff. I had also photographed the wonderful model Nina for an upcoming western novel, Montana Blue, and a Making of Montana Blue story was included in this issue as well. And a few pages of images from the grand opening of Teknikland, a museum covering local military history (air, artillery and infantry) through the ages. It was fun to include more stories that would mean something in these parts. Looking back, it still looks good. I was having fun and 2011 was just around the corner.

(My shots of said publications)

Top Secret was published in April 2009 and it was to be the last of the one-off titles before Retrofuture came into being. This is a very unique magazine, it has some really exclusive stuff in it. Interviews with Martina Edoff (photographed with Xena chakram by Michael Johansson), Ronnie James Dio, author Martin Popoff, rock photographer Rich Galbraith (the back shot of David Coverdale from the Purple days is his and there is more Purple inside) and also crime author Christa Faust. Nice Ghost Whisperer cover (more inside). Huge UFO special with opinions from 30 rock stars (collected over the years by yours truly). Yep, nobody else had ever done anything like that before! Loads of spooky stuff, The Great Lake Monster of Sweden, a ghost comic from these parts (Jämtland County) by myself and artist Isa Olofsson, Tarja Turunen, Blue Öyster Cult, book reviews, Natassia Malthe, Night Huntress, a story on Vampires by Hanz F. Lindström etc etc. Pretty darned happy about this one.

I knew I had to come up with a new name and make it a more stable thing again and I went with the title Retrofuture. I thought it captured the spirit of what I was doing with these publications. Retrofuture 1 then was published in December 2009. I used this logotype only for the first issue, although I do like it. At this point I wanted to write western novels and the first one, Dakota Jane, saw print in issues 1 & 2 of Retrofuture. Had a lot of fun photographing the model (Lina) for this. Interview with Anni De Vil from Hysterica (again, with shots by Michael Johansson with her posing with a Xena chakram). Story on the tv-show Bones and author Kathy Reichs. Bon Jovi, 220 Volt, The Great Lake Monster (I started to publish news and historic stuff from the archives in this issue, thinking it would generate interest). Legendary writer Ulf Nilson piece on the classic Swedish magazine Se. And Hanz F. Lindström contributed with two articles in this issue, covering the careers of Claudia Cardinale and Brigitte Bardot. Very happy about this magazine but in reality, the fanzine scene had collapsed at this point. What to do next then?

(My shots of said publications)

Published in February 2008, Pickadoll was a highly eccentric magazine. Nice Salma Hayek cover from the “Bandidas” movie. Some really good stuff in this issue. Big story on the classic tv-show The Saint by Thomas Drugg (plus episode guide). Big piece (12 pages) called Ladies Of Rock about the female rockers through time, including interviews with Metallic Kitty (Decadence), Karin Axelsson (Sonic Syndicate) and Heidi Parviainen (Amberian Dawn). That is Karin posing with a Xena chakram on the front cover (that chakram popped up in several publications, due to photographer Michael Johansson). Original WWII comic by yours truly. Legendary Swedish journalist (Skånskan), author, editor (Serie Magasinet) and translator (Victory etc) Hanz “Hazzan” F. Lindström wrote a piece on his life and career and fans of books and comics will love this story. He would later contribute great stuff in several of my publications. The fact that he loved becoming a part of this was just amazing to me. Also, book reviews (Ritchie Blackmore shot with that spread) etc.

Since I was ticking off boxes at this point I did create a 24 page edition called SLICE 2008 (Global Edition) in English in May 2008. Just a bit of fun really. Nice cover shot of Ritchie Blackmore from the 1987 “The House Of Blue Light” tour by Michael Johansson. His Martina Edoff shot on the back (again, one of those Xena chakram sessions!) is pretty cool too. Some Deep Purple in this one, including my 1992 interview with Joe Lynn Turner (the first he did after having been fired from the band, bit of a classic I would say). More rock includes an interview with Carina Lirola and a piece on Michael Schenker and UFO by Staffan Eriksson. Also, WWII comic by me (words) and Lennart Samor (art) and an interview with Commando editor Calum Laird. As a bonus you get the sickest story on Sweden that has ever been written, “What The CIA Should Know About Sweden”. Book reviews etc as usual. Pretty crazy stuff, but I had fun doing it. It was to be a one-off kind of a deal though.

SLICE med Pickadoll had two Western covers, the one you see here was shot by Michael Johansson on one of his American trips in Arizona. This is basically a sister publication to the Pickadoll magazine, and you really need to read them back to back to understand why (highly eccentric ideas in place here). 14 page Classic Western piece by Hanz “Hazzan” F. Lindström in this issue, including the greatest actors and movies. Biggest look on old school westerns ever in this country, and much appreciated by many. Honestly, it was stuff like this that made this hobby so rewarding. Also, another WWII comic, book reviews, John Wayne, Raquel Welch, Xena, Bachman Turner Overdrive etc. At this time I had finally reached the conclusion that I had to stop creating magazines with different titles and go for something that would last. I felt I had done the SLICE thing so 2009 would be a new beginning.

(My shots of said magazines, many thanks to Michael Johansson)

This was a truly weird publication. I wrapped up the Swedish Xena Guide in Tubular Press 2007 (Alexandra Tydings as Aphrodite cover). Published in January 2007 it was made as if published in Olympia (cringe!). “My Fair Lady” review by Ares etc. Season 6 of Xena over 10 pages. Big piece on classic Swedish actress Sickan Carlsson. I did manage to squeeze in a couple of DVD reviews about the movie “Bandidas” and Rainbows “Live Between The Eyes” as well. The latter with a very cool 1982 shot of Ritchie Blackmore by Michael Johansson. As I said, a weird magazine, but it is what it is and I guess I had fun doing it at the time.

I then created a couple of promotional magazines about the hobby. Min Rymd (translates to My Space, a platform that was big at the time) and LE (Lektyrentusiasten, translates to the Magazine Enthusiast). I printed Min Rymd in 400 copies in July 2007 and handed it out for free mainly in my neck of the woods. Tommy Bolin & David Coverdale on the cover (not sure who the photographer was, but it is a great shot). Fanzine history, Xena, Rainbow, Nightwish, book reviews etc. I liked the idea and LE became a better version and was printed in 1,000 copies in December 2007. Some stuff was taken from Min Rymd (basically the fanzine history part, about 7 pages. Some highlights from earlier publications with different layout (Bob Willoughby interview about Audrey Hepburn from Pizza 2006, Deep Purple MK4 story from SLICE 2006). I also added some new stuff, an original comic (Drabanterna), some comic book history, Tarja, Xena art by Scott King. On the back, Michael Johansson had a shot of Karin Axelsson from Sonic Syndicate posing with a Xena chakram (as Tarja did on the SLICE 2006 cover).

Here is a nice shot of Johnnie Bolin, the brother of late Deep Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin. It was taken in his home by Trace Keane whom sent it over. I later published a big interview with Johnnie in Retrofuture 6 in June 2013.

When Tarja Turunen toured with her first solo album in 2008 I handed out copies of LE at the venue in Stockholm. She did not do any interviews but I handed over copies to a guy in the crew and the magazines that I had made with her on the cover did end up in the magazine section of her official homepage. I think the reason for publishing a couple of free magazines was that the fanzine scene was going down the tubes fast. I think the internet changed things forever. I soldiered on for a couple of years doing my best to keep things afloat but it really was a hopeless task. The fanzine scene was dying. In the end, I bowed out in 2015 with all guns blazing. But before we get to the final chapter of this hobby (Retrofuture, 2009-2015), let us see what was going on in 2008 and 2009 (stay tuned).

(Thank you Michael Johansson & Trace Keane for your shots)

There would be five issues called SLICE all in all between 2003 and 2008 and the fourth (SLICE 2006, published in February 2006) is probably the best of the lot. I added 4 pages of colour to the Deep Purple MK4 history piece and this meant that this magazine cost me so much that it would be impossible to get the money back. Had to do it though. Of course, the cover shot of Tarja Turunen (by Michael Johansson) is super exclusive. She is actually holding a Xena chakram (an actual prop from the show) and how could it possibly get any cooler than that? As far as Xena goes, season 5 of the Swedish Xena Guide is in this publication. As for Tarja, this issue dealt with her breakup from Nightwish. Other stories include a feature on Japan, the Swedish wars, the Persuaders, Vampirella, Pondus, book reviews and more. I am really proud of this magazine.

Michael Johansson managed to get both David Coverdale and Tarja to pose with this issue, which I am very happy about of course. The Tarja session would eventually be used for a promotional issue down the road.

The idea to have a sister publication to SLICE called Pizza did not last long (just two issues). After that I went into a period in which I published issues (from the SLICE HQs) with different titles. In fact, this started in May 2006 with a magazine called Raket Magasinet 2006 (translates to Rocket Magazine). The big High Chaparral history & episode guide that started in Pizza 2006 the previous year was completed here. Obviously, when you go back 35 years in time and publish something like this in great detail, it stands out a mile. Nobody else has ever done anything like it in Sweden. Raket Magasinet 2006 also sports Black Sabbath with Tony Martin, Deep Purple, Tarja Turunen, Barbarella, The Avengers (classic UK tv show), Xena fan fiction, Lucy Lawless and an interview with Ingrid Pitt. Pizza 2007 (September 2006) followed and the tv show Ghost Whisperer is featured in this issue (nice cover shot of Jennifer Love Hewitt). This issue also features Married With Children, Ian Gillan, Rainbow, Jane Fonda, George Best, Operation Bodenplatte, Grupp 6 (action porn novel), Amazing aircraft (the Italian Savoia-Marchetti 93), Tommy Bolin, Lordi, Nightwish etc. In fact, there is a shot of Lordi frontman Mr Lordi posing with SLICE 2005 and SLICE 2006 in this magazine. I met the band in Stockholm when they opened for Nightwish in 2004 (and covered it in SLICE 2005). This is a piece on them winning the Eurovision contest. As you can see, the stuff I went for was highly eccentric and maybe even slightly over the line. What I did, and I had a lot of fun doing this for sure, was that I allowed myself to pretend that I did all this in 1970, not in 2006. What I wanted was the complete freedom that existed way back when. The porn novel was part of that (but that was a one-off thing). What started here was a short period (that would last until 2009) in which I ticked off a lot of boxes. Best hobby in the world.

(My shots of said publications)

Nothing much changed in 2005 from the previous year. I issued SLICE 2005 in February and it still holds up as a pretty great magazine in my book. Nice Ian Kennedy drawing on the cover, printed with permission and assistance of Commando in the UK. Five Commando interviews – Ian Kennedy (you can find it on this blog), George Low (then editor in chief), Ferg Handley (writer) and Commando diehards Peter & Laurence. Big Audrey Hepburn story (plus magazine covers on the back). Also Nightwish, Deep Purple MK4, Jon Lord, Uriah Heep, James Bond chicks, book reviews, Catweazle episode guide, Lill-Babs, comics etc. Actually the people of the Audrey Hepburn estate noticed the back of this magazine and contacted me about it. I think they wanted to make a puzzle out of that page of classic Hepburn covers. I sent a high resolution page over to them but I think nothing came out of it. In any case, they could easily create a similar idea themselves. Nice feedback though.

My friend photographer Michael Johansson did get Glenn Hughes to pose with a copy of the magazine, although I was not there when the shot was taken. Note how he has taken out the cross in front of the magazine.

Amazingly, three fanzines followed in October 2005. First out was the second part of the Swedish Xena Guide. Seasons 3 & 4. I kind of regret now that I did not complete the project here with a thicker magazine. Instead I would end the guide in a couple of magazines in 2006 and 2007.

The second issue of Truppserien followed, although it says issue 5 on the cover. Another three covers on the back in a fake ad. Only two were ever made, issue 1 & 5. Original war comic by me and eight chronicles out of my now long gone Swedish war comics site. These two fanzines were the only ones I ever produced in A5 format.

And finally, the fourth title of the year and the idea was to make Pizza a sister publication to SLICE. Nice Tarja Turunen cover by Michael Johansson. We covered the final Nightwish show with Tarja on Swedish soil in this magazine. Huge High Chaparral episode guide (part 1 of 2), plus a story about the show by legendary Swedish writer Anders Tengner. Also a Sir Lancelot episode guide (yes, the 1956-1957 show!) along with a look at 1976 Rainbow and how Ritchie Blackmore crushed the punk movement (nice knight/rocker spread, as indicated by the headline on the cover). Interview with classic Hollywood photographer Bob Willoughby about his work with Audrey Hepburn (nice to be able to present great stuff like this I have to say). Deep Purple “Rapture Of The Deep” review by Staffan Eriksson. Lucy Lawless feature about her work after Xena. Also, book reviews etc. All in all, 2005 was a busy year and although 2006 would not be quite as prolific, it would produce one of my best magazines ever in SLICE 2006.

(My shots of said publications)