Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 28-29


Dublin Core


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 28-29


A review for the novel The Midnight Dancers. And info about the next issue.


Joe Brancatelli


Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971)




Joe Thomasino




Kismet, or as all you movie buffs
know, pate or rather three fates play
the title roles in the novel THE MID-
NIGHT DANCERS, by Gerard F. Conway.
The Bates Floater Man, our editor,
tells me that the author's a retread,
a comic book writer now attempting to
write reasonable science-fiction. The
above note was a little bait to en-
tice you funny papers fiends to waste
your time on some reasonable form of
liturature, rather than those lurid
comic magazines which form you cur-
rent diet. Greek mythology buffs will
also get a tingle out of this treat-
ment of those terrible garment wor-
kers, the spinners of the yarn of
In this novel we are faced with a
typical plot line. The hero, Saul,
sets out to regain his wife, and in
the quest discovers himself and a way
to save his people. This story is set
on a world appropriately named World.
The inhabitants, decendants of an
earth colony founded several cen-
turies back, live in a primitive hun-
ting-agricultural society. They are
governed by a strict semi-religious
code, which by the time our story is
taking place, is losing support and
credence with the people. The basis
of this faith is the belief that one
must fight the "fates". One must not
take the easy or obvious way out
and generally make sure one is doing
his own arduous thing. Apparently,
this faith is well-founded since we
discover that the fates (Old Klotho
Lachesis and Atropos themselves, no
less) are actual beings living in‘a
parallel universe and they have gone
mad. Due to this bout of inter-ce-
lestial looniness, all of the homes
of man are also going insane because
they do not buck the "fates" but
follow their crazed will. Only on
World, where people still oppose the
"fates" does sanity still reign. To
this dreary and to my mind dull, tho-
ugh sane, society comes the semi-my-
thical, almost god-like figure, the
Walker. This being steals away Saul's
somewhat estranged wife, Davina and
thus sets off the first or as they
call it here, the hunt. This forms
entually, Saul, tight-lipped, very
strong and proud, who is going insane
and thus is on the brink of bringing
insanity to his people, catches up
with the Walker. He finds the "fates"
in the process and also the natures
of the powerful Walkers who are, sur-
prize! surprizel, androids. Finally ,
Saul regains his sense of balance,
laughs at the fates and temporarily
disrupts their activities, and leads
his people to a new world after his
actions on the hunt help destroy the
old one.
This story is told in first person
style with occasional insights into
the thinking of the other characters
besides Saul. However, the story is
lacking something. The missing ingre-
dients are excitement and suspense.
The long hunt is more dull than ter-
rifying. The adventurous encounters
with giant bats, land slides, under-
water escapades and a trip through
the "fold vortex web" are merely en-
dured by the reader rather than par-
ticipated in and enjoyed. The whole
novel fails to catch the imagination
and identification of the reader, and
leaves one cold. Although the work-
manship is sound, the work is without
flavor or zest, like a mash potato
hero sandwich. This book can defin-
itely be put down, even in its live-
lier moments. Mr. Conway will have to
combine his imaginative plot twists
and backrounds, plus his genuinely
worhtwhile insights into human rela-
tionships with some old fashioned ac-
tion-excitement and gusto to make his
science-fiction efforts a success .
Any and all attempts in this direc-
tion would lead one to recommend his
work considerably more heartily than
one would recommend the MIDNIGHT DAN-
CERS. Mr. Conway may be a comer in
this field, but some spice is really
necessary if he is to buck the fates
and become a real science-fiction
writer of any note.
Next issue, writer Thomasino reviews
FURTHEST by Suzette Haden Elgin. It's
another one he disfavors because of
it's intergalactic James Bond take-
MIDNIGHT DANCERS is copyright c, l97l
by Gerard F. Conway. 75¢. 22l pages.
It is published by ACE BOOKS, ll20 A-
venue of the Americas, New York, N.Y.
l0O36. All rights reserved. Cover by
Davis Meltzer.


* Full scale review of the NEW YORK CULTUR-
AL CENTER comics exhibit. Photo and text
Peport. Long & detailed with a lot of rare
* Wally Stoelting takes a comics fan look at
NOREASCON, the world science-fiction con.
It's offbeat, like you've never seen!
* Tony Isahella’s 2 page newspaper article ,
Unless you got the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEA-
you'll miss the story.
* Steve Jenkins’ "What if’they gave a Con,
& nobody came?” Tongue-in-cheek, foot-in
mouth look at a cancelled CENTRAL PARK a-
ward and display of newspaper strips.
* Long letter column with a whole batch of
love and hate letters.
* Plus our ten regular columnists, too!

The tongue in cheek comedy antics of the
Plastic Man in DC SPECIAL #l5 were well re-
ceived by this writer. with DC"s search for
good selling and interesting reprints, they
have delved into the files of a character
that they bought off another company: Plas-
tic Man of Quality Comics. Artistically spe-
aking, many elements of Will Eisner's SPIRIT
appear in Jack Cole's work, resulting in a
fast-moving, well-drawn strip; the epitome
of a comedy strip and superhero strip cross-
breeded. (Ed. Note: All of Quality's artwork
bore Eisner resemblences. It was company po-
licy. Most used were Eisner's heavy shading
and deep folds.-JB) Even though the DC Plas-
tic Man of the l960's failed as the comedy
angle was overplayed, it's good to see the
Quality Plas' and to know that more of his
adventures are forthcoming in a DC SUPER
The Green Lantern/Green Arrow relevancy
series continues as Speedy goes through cold
turkey. Nowhere will you find a super-hero
merely talking about the cold facts of drug
addiction in this series. Instead, the rea-
ders are provided with scenes of Speedy ex-
periencing the torturous pains of withdrawal
and being abandoned, a confederate of his
his dying from an overdose. These are far
more communicative than having a "straight"
adult super-hero trying to rap about drugs.
These days, one cannot expect hero-worship
alone to sell an idea. After all, who can
believe a superhero; a king of being one
can never be.
It was a far better choice for Speedy
(who is indeed quite like those the story is
directed at) to come out, rap about the sub-
ject, and present Oliver Quinn with an unex-
pected, hard right to the jaw for deserting
him in the hour of his greatest need. If you
aren't into drugs and/or relevancy, then you
should pick up a copy of GL #86 for it's
hard line of writing and artistry by Denny
O'Neil, Dick Giordano and Neal Adams.

Then there's COMIC FANDOM MONTHLY, a fan-
zine that's trying desperately to re-new an
old idea of, “Hey let's put out an interes-
ting comics oriented magazine that's month-
ly...“ and succeeding.
It reads like a discussion magazine, but
it isn't one. It reads like one of those
text-oriented fanzines, but it isn't. There
are no discussions. There are no "one topic"
articles, just a group of people expressing
their views to a responsive audience.