From out of the past (Nov-Dec 1938) comes Fantascience Digest, helmed by Robert Madle, Jack Agnew, and John Baltadonis. This amazing hekto cover, replete with ray gun-totin’, Romanesque space man and spaceship blasting death rays, is by John Giunta.The contributors are a roster of early fandom: Moskowitz, Rothman, Conover, Speer, Reinsberg, Warner, and Hart, etc. This particular zine was mailed to Morojo (Myrtle Douglas), one of the most famous of Los Angeles fans and co-editor with Forrest J Ackerman of the zine, Voice of the Imagi-Nation.
Has that been printed on a spirit printer?
Hi, hevvic! No, a hectograph, or jellygraph, is similar to, but different from a spirit duplication (1923, Ritzerfeld), also called a ditto after the common brand name. Hecto is older, invented in Russia by Mikhail Alisov, 1869. It involves using special pens, pencils, etc. to create a master that is then pressed against gelatin in a pan. Paper can then be pressed against the gelatin to produce copies, usually no more than 40 or 50 decent prints. The results, as seen in early SF and Fantasy zines, can be impressive, particularly the multicolored covers and illustrations that were achieved. Exposure to light was deadly to these hectos as it faded them to illegibility in about a month. The Hevelin Collection contains wonderful examples of hectography, most of it done by young fans in the 1930’s and ‘40’s. I’ll post some more to Hevelin’s Tumblr, soon.
Want to see hectography in action? Check out our blog post: