Edwin and Terry Murray Fanzine collection, 1948-2019 43 Linear Feet — 1150 Items
The Murray Fanzine Collection contains approximately 1150 comic book, science fiction and fantasy fanzines representing fandom in these genres from the early 1950s to 2019. The collection is organized into one series that is loosely separated into two sections: the first, and larger, consists of comic book fanzines ranging from the beginning of comic book fandom in the early 1960s to the retrospective volumes published in the early 2000s. The second section consists of a sampling of science fiction and fantasy fanzines ranging from 1952 to the early 1980s. Most of the fanzines in the collection were printed independent of large scale publishing techniques, utilizing ditto, mimeograph, hectograph and, later, photocopy, on paper of varying degrees of quality.
Boxes 349-367 contain those fanzines pertaining to comic fandom. The earliest examples represented in the collection date to the early 1960s, just after the very first comic fanzines had appeared, including Alter Ego, which is included here from issue 4, and Comic Art. Other notable titles included in the collection from this era (often referred to as the Golden Age of Comic Fandom) are Masquerader, Rocket's Blast/Comic Collector, Yancy Street Journal, Batmania, Comic Crusader, Gosh Wow! and SPA FON, as well as many others. Several of these issues contain photos and/or contributions from the Murray brothers, who had participated in comics fandom beginning in the mid 1960s. Fanzines dedicated to E.C. comics (such as Squa Tront, and E.C. Fan Journal), comprehensive indexing (such as Jerry Bails Authoritative Index to DC Comics and Guidebook to Comic Fandom, the MLJ Comic Index and The Comic Fan's Guide to Periodical Literature, which indexed early articles relating to comic books), conventions (such as the programs to the 1966 New York ComiCon and the 1968 International Convention of Comic Art, which is autographed by several of the artists in attendance), and amateur comic strips (such as Captain Biljo Comics and The Eye) are also represented from this era. Also included are issues 1-4 of Comics Review, which contain the first published fiction by Stephen King.
The era represented in the largest number is the 1970s, a time when the Murray brothers were very active in fandom, both in publishing as well as collecting. Though most of the issues represented in the collection from this era are single issues, some of the more popular titles, such as Bode' Bulletin, New Fangles, and In The Shadow of the Monolith, are represented in larger numbers. Trefoil and Vertigo, both published by Edwin Murray, are represented in full. As nostalgia became big business in the 1980s, comic books and comic fandom became more marketable. In turn, a much larger percentage of publications dedicated to comic fandom and collecting benefitted from a higher production budget. In addition, the proliferation of the photocopy allowed for a higher production number on a smaller budget. These changes are represented in the collection, from the glossy Disney collectables magazine Storyboard and the Fantaco Chronicles Series, to the photocopied Barks Collector, Duckburg Times, and The Stanley Steamer. Though none of the major fanzines/magazines of the late 1980s and 1990s, such as the Comics Journal, Wizard, and Comic Buyers Guide are represented, several of the retrospective books on Comics Fandom published by Hamster Press are included in the collection.
Boxes 368-372 contain fanzines relating to sci-fi and fantasy fandom, some of which are represented in both sections. Though not as complete a representation of the fandom of these genres as of the comics fandom genre, this section contains several of the top titles, including Don-O-Saur, Tolkien Journal, SF Commentary, Lan's Lantern, and Focal Point. Also included is a 1952 issue of Science Fantasy Bulletin published by Harlan Ellison, which was part of the initial wave of sci-fi fandom that was so influential to the beginnings of comic book fandom. It should also be noted that scattered throughout the collection are fanzines devoted to film, particularly horror and sci-fi films, as well as fliers (including one for the "first symposium on Donald Duck" held in the Geology department at Duke in 1970) and other assorted ephemera.
There are also three additional accessions (2010-0107, 2019-0078, 2019-0103), which have been minimally processed.