McCalls
pictures and words by paul mccall
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03/24/08
History Lessons Take One
Filed under: History Lessons
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 8:02 pm

I’ve instituted a new category, “History Lessons” in which I find things in my files from 31 years of my illustration career that I think may interest people who stop by here.


For a period in the 90s I was the editor/publisher of “Scientifiction” the newsletter of the First Fandom organization. Just a brief description; First Fandom, formed in 1958 is the organization started by the original fans of science fiction literature. The real original members were those who could prove fan activity during the time period of the first World Science Fiction Convention, 1938. I’m not that old, but I became friends with a lot of those great people. Chief among them was Julius Schwartz who was one of, if not the first agents for science fiction writers and later became an editor for DC comics working there for 40+ years. Not to mention being the publisher of the first SF fanzine! I used to do as much art for the publication as I could, here’s a cover piece, a caricature of Julie Schwartz, writers Ed Hamilton and Jack Williamson. (I re-used this piece for the cover for a collection of reprinted interviews from Julie’s ‘zine Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine.)

Arthur C. Clarke died last week. One of the many interesting experiences I had with FF was at a convention gathering of members there was a long-distance speaker phone call from Clarke in Sri Lanka to speak to his fellow FF members. He was kind enough to say some nice things about my publishing efforts. Here’s a caricature I did of him as a young man in England.

Now - why I call this category “History Lessons.” If I feel there is a bit of advice I can offer to artists with less career experience than myself, I’ll inflict it on you.
My time spent doing all the desktop publishing for “Scientifiction” and creating art for it was unpaid, in money. But the memories I have of the people I met and the stories I heard in those gatherings are more than satisfactory compensation for the time spent. If you get a chance to donate your time and talents to a good cause, do it!

Not all my “History Lessons” will be so benign!

One Response to “History Lessons Take One”

  1. Aaron Wakling Says:
    Good Blog. I will continue reading it in the future. Nice layout too. Aaron Wakling