Rediscovered: Bruce Townley’s Oblong

To clarify the title, I’m not saying that Bruce Townley is oblong, I’m talking about Bruce’s zine Oblong.

If interested, you can surf over to a file of PDF issues and amuse yourself with the content until you’ve had enough, or run through the series. In the first ish Bruce does an extended bit trying to dope out what makes for a real noir film — lots of guys in hats is one of his criteria. In the second ish he does capsule comments on the offerings for a film noir festival in The Roxie Theatre. Plus he’s got stuff on Tiki bars and other hot topics for zining it up. And he’s witty — while he may have worked on the repartee, I find it easiest to think that he was simply born with a bon mot emerging from the old yap.

I just saw Bruce last month for the first time in several years at a small assembly of local fanzine fans. I’ve got a toe or two in that arena, and at least a box or two with copies of zines I contributed to in the day.

So, I showed up to the fanzine fan lunch and thought to mention that Bill Breiding had contacted me out of the blue and said he was sending me something. Bruce — any Spoiler Alert in his mind switched firmly to Off — said, “Oh, that’s a big collection of his fanzine pieces” or something slightly more witty than that wording.

Bill is a longtime member of that general crew of fanzine fan folk, and one of the pieces in his book is reprinted from Oblong. I was still sufficiently surprised — in my mind’s eye I was expecting a big fat mimeographed item.

At any rate, to keep the local Frisco fanzine pulse going a bit longer, check out Oblong — and notice that at the bottom of the page you can click over to the eFanzines archive and a ton of other material. Dozens of new zines added so far this year, and back files of some 300 zines.

And among the offerings you could check out Warren Harris’s pulp zine — Warren is the cool cat who figured out The Midget Bandit Mystery.

If you need a new hobby. . . .

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