Fantasy Commentator

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Fantasy Commentator Lovecraft issue.jpg

Fantasy Commentator was a fanzine by A. Langley Searles (1920-2009) that was first published in the 1940s and ended in the 2000s.

Fantasy Commentator, with the subtitle, "covering the field of imaginative literature" , was a letter sized, stapled zine first appearing in December 1943. Twenty eight issues were published between 1943 and 1953 in New York City, New York, U.S.A. Searles resumed publication of the zine in 1978 with issue #29 and published until the double-issue #57/58 in Summer 2004.

Contributors from the first run included F. Lee Baldwin (The Star Rover), Robert Bloch, Redd Boggs (The Lovecraftsman, Sky Hook), Charles Peter Brady, Thomas H. Carter (Spearhead), Joyce Dayday, George Ebey (Sappho), William Evans, Nora May French, Thomas Gardener, Malcolm Jameson, David H. Keller, H. C. Koenig (The Reader and Collector), Thyril Ladd, R. George Medhurst, Darrell C. Richardson (The Fabulous Faust Fan-Zine), Sam Moskowitz (New Fandom, Different), Matthew Onderdonk, Alex Osheroff (Helios), Samuel Sackett (Fantastic Worlds), A. Langley Searles, Genevieve K. Stephens (Loki), and William Sloane.

Contributors to the later run included Kevin J. Anderson, Mike Ashley (Xeron), K.V. Bailey, Lee Becker, Bruce Boston, Gary Crawford, Eric Leif Davin, Deborah Elkin, Steve Eng, writing on Stanton Coblentz (Wings) and the "Stellar Poetry" movement of Coblentz and Lilith Lorraine (Challenge, Different, Flame), A C Evans, R. Alain Everts (The Outsider), H. R. Felgenhauer, writing on Joseph Payne Brennen (Essence, Macabre), Alan Howard, S.T. Joshi, Sam Moskowitz, Stuart Napier, Alex Osheroff, Darrell Schweitzer, Marge B. Simon (Star*Line), Steve Sneyd (Data Dump), and Joseph Wrzos.

Covers were by Elliot Dold, Jr. and reprints of classic Frank R. Paul covers.

In its first incarnation from 1943 till 1953, it was a publication devoted to H. P. Lovecraft. In later issues there was a return to Lovecraft and his circle and, in the 1990s, Searles joined the Lovecraftian APA Esoteric Order of Dagon, and some issues of Fantasy Commentator were distributed in their mailouts.