John B. Michel

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Michel was actively involved in the early years of the [[Fantasy Amateur Press Association]]. In summer 1938 he ran for the organization's Presidency. He co-edited the second and third issues of FAPA's newsletter, [[The Fantasy Amateur]], and solo edited the fourth issue. And in 1940 he was honored with the FAPA Laureate Award for best fanzine artist.
Michel was actively involved in the early years of the [[Fantasy Amateur Press Association]]. In summer 1938 he ran for the organization's Presidency. He co-edited the second and third issues of FAPA's newsletter, [[The Fantasy Amateur]], and solo edited the fourth issue. And in 1940 he was honored with the FAPA Laureate Award for best fanzine artist.
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Michel was also one of the twelve charter members of The Futurian Science Literary Society, which held its first open meeting on September 18, 1938. (The other charter members were [[Donald Wollheim]], Rudolph Castown, Robert W. Lowndes, Frederik Pohl, Jack Rubinson, Walter Kubilis, Jack Gillespie, Isaac Asimov, Cyril Kornbluth, and Herbert Levantman.)
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Michel was also one of the twelve charter members of The Futurian Science Literary Society (later the Futurian Society of New York), which held its first open meeting on September 18, 1938. (The other charter members were [[Donald Wollheim]], Rudolph Castown, Robert W. Lowndes, Frederik Pohl, Jack Rubinson, Walter Kubilis, Jack Gillespie, Isaac Asimov, Cyril Kornbluth, and Herbert Levantman.) In 1941, Michel was elected Director of the Futurians.
More than anything, though, as Earl Singleton put it, Michel was "widely known for his revolutionary ideas" which came to be known within fandom as "Michelism."
More than anything, though, as Earl Singleton put it, Michel was "widely known for his revolutionary ideas" which came to be known within fandom as "Michelism."

Revision as of 05:36, 20 October 2011

John B. Michel, 1938
John B. Michel, 1938

John B. Michel (1917-1969) was a science fiction fanzine editor and publisher, who also contributed art, articles, poetry, and fiction to most of the prominent fanzines of the 1930s and early '40s.

Michel was actively involved in the early years of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association. In summer 1938 he ran for the organization's Presidency. He co-edited the second and third issues of FAPA's newsletter, The Fantasy Amateur, and solo edited the fourth issue. And in 1940 he was honored with the FAPA Laureate Award for best fanzine artist.

Michel was also one of the twelve charter members of The Futurian Science Literary Society (later the Futurian Society of New York), which held its first open meeting on September 18, 1938. (The other charter members were Donald Wollheim, Rudolph Castown, Robert W. Lowndes, Frederik Pohl, Jack Rubinson, Walter Kubilis, Jack Gillespie, Isaac Asimov, Cyril Kornbluth, and Herbert Levantman.) In 1941, Michel was elected Director of the Futurians.

More than anything, though, as Earl Singleton put it, Michel was "widely known for his revolutionary ideas" which came to be known within fandom as "Michelism."

When he was 14, Michel entered a plot contest through Wonder Stories. Raymond Z. Gallun penned a story based on Michel's entry and the result, "The Menace from Mercury," was published in Wonder Stories Quarterly in Summer 1932 as by Michel and Gallun.

Michel went on to enjoy some success publishing in the prozines, usually under the pseudonym "Hugh Raymond". In the 1940s his fiction appeared in such pulps as Avon Fantasy Reader, Comet, Cosmic Tales, Future, Science Fiction Quarterly, Stirring Science Stories, Super Science Stories, Uncanny Tales, and Unknown.

As a child, Michel was temporarily parazlyzed by diptheria, and as a teenager and young adult suffered terribly from osteomyelitis. In The Futurians, Damon Knight describes 18-year-old Michel as "slender and slight, well proportioned except for his bandy legs. His dimpled cheeks were pitted with acne scars. He had lost several molars on the upper left sife, and his grin was gap-toothed."

His interest in art likely came from his father, who was an actor and the head of the art department at a Woolworth's in Brooklyn (where Michel silk-screened many fanzine covers). In the early thirties Michel joined the Young Communist League, and later became a Party member.

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