| THIS ISSUE:
by Chaim Mattis Keller
"Give it up, Al Ghul. Or should I say...Grayson."
The brooding man turned around, startled. He hadn't been called Dick Grayson in decades. He thought his identity had been perfectly concealed. Standing beside him on the rooftop was the late 21st century's greatest detective - or at least the greatest one who the citizenry knew to live amongst them - Star Hawkins.
"How can I, Hawkins?" he asked. "I did this to myself so we could be together. I can't abandon it now."
"She would want you to abandon it. That's why she rejected it and let herself die. Because she didn't want to pay the price of immortal madness."
"Liar!" shouted Dick. "You didn't know her like I did."
"But others did," Star Hawkins sighed sadly. "I have an archive of a web site on which many pages proclaim your love for one another. But I also know that Barbara Gordon chose to let it end instead of following you into that Lazarus Pit in Gotham City."
Dick's eyes flew open. "Okay, who are you really? No one could have known about her without also knowing about Bruce Wayne. You may be a decent detective, Hawkins, but anyone who knew that the original Batman was Bruce Wayne is long since dead."
"There's a big difference between dead and gone, Grayson. Records remain, if you know where to look. That web site archive I mentioned also contained a page which told me of someone who knew the Batman's secret identity. I tracked down his heirs, and sure enough, that man's legacy lives on."
Star Hawkins gestured, and a read-headed man in his fifties emerged from the building's stairwell to join the two detectives on the rooftop. Dick recognized his features immediately. "Ralph Dibny," he said, with astonishment in his voice.
"The third," said the new arrival. "My late grandpa told me much about you and the heroes of your generation. It's an honor to meet you, Mister Grayson, although I wish the circumstances were better.
Dick sighed. "You got me, Hawkins, fair and square. I could fight you, but maybe you're right. Maybe, for Babs' sake, I should just let nature take over."
"It's the human thing to do, Grayson," Hawkins reply. "We get older...and we leave aside the things of our youth...and eventually, everything, in its time, comes to an end."
...and so, sadly, does Fanzing. I discovered this wonderful web magazine back at issue # 5, the flight-themed issue. I realized that I had found a group of fans much like myself, a club I hoped would find my contributions worthy to allow me to join.
Then, two issues later, I read Louise Freeman Davis's "A Friend In Need," and I just had to write a letter of praise.
Fortunately for me, Michael Hutchison wasn't spoiled by Louise-level fiction and he agreed to accept my literary pretensions. From there, my involvement grew...I took over the DCU Digest column, then the letter column...
...and then, foreshadowing the fate of the magazine as a whole, time constraints hit me. I stopped the DCU Digest column, I hit a year-long fiction drought... even though I came into Fanzing with a full-time programming job and two children, somehow, as the time passed, my amount of free time still managed to shrink. I suppose the two children I've had while working on Fanzing might have had something to do with that, and career advancement brought greater job responsibilities. I've hung on long enough to win a fiction contest, and I've gotten to see that I'm not the only one in the world with a love for comics and not enough time to indulge it.
So, to all the friends I've made...keep in touch. And to all the spammers who'd been flooding my in-box with garbage through "firstname.lastname@example.org"...I hope you shrivel up and discorporate with that address about to be no longer active.
But enough about me. On with the final Fanzing letters page:
From: Ben Morse
Subject: Thanks for the memories
thank you thank you thank you for Fanzing. Truly one of the most enjoyable reads in its genre I've ever enjoyed. I'm only sorry I discovered it so late in the game.
I'm sad to see Fanzing go.I think some of the stuff you've already done is some of the most brilliant comic-analysis on the web.
Thank you for your time, and thanks again for the memories
Mr. Morse runs a web site called 411Comics, which will feature a regular column from Fanzing contributor Matt Morrison, and possibly occasional reprints of old Fanzing material. Check it out!
From: Gerald Wilson
Subject: I'll miss you
I will miss Fanzing. It was one of the few places on the web that allowed creators a large measure of freedom (no creator dibs and that sort of thing) not found in some other sites.
I am posting fiction mostly in DC Millenium's files section and direct all of my Fanzing friends there. The stories are based mostly on the animated DC Universe, concentrating on the Justice League Unlimited shown on Batman Beyond. I hope you like what you find there.
The best to everybody--"Capt" Gerry Wilson
How can we have a letters page without a comment on our biggest article...?
From: Joe Palmer
Subject: How to Save the Comics Industry!
I read your article and liked it. I started reading comics in 1979, and dropped them (rather, they dropped me) after the Crisis, when (it seemed) all the stories became serialized. I was going to college and could not float a loan for college AND be a dedicated monthly or weekly comics consumer.
The only thing that disturbs me about your article is the comments by Mike Carlin. Does he not see the problem? I assume that (however briefly) you spoke to him.
I really hope that your article is taken to heart by The Powers That Be, and that a revival of common sense takes place in the industry.
Miscellaneous comics questions:
From: Wayne Little
Subject: DC Continuity issues
I have a question about DC's continuity issues. I am aware that many different authors inevitably leave their mark on the comics they help write. Understandably this also can create contradictions between a characters powers, history, or personalilty. I am wondering how DC handles these issues. Are the works of current writers considered canon and previous works [if there is a contradiction by current stories] no longer valid? Or is it up to the reader [or a DC committee] to take into account all of the stories over the years and try to harmonize contradictions as best as he can to help make sense of a character?
I hope these questions are not too confusing. I would enjoy any insite you can give me on the subject.
In theory, current stories should not contradict one another. Unfortunately, DC has little or no mechanism for continuity-checking before publication. The best that can be said is that all stories are considered canon, except that where post-Zero Hour stories contradict pre-Zero Hour ones, the post-Zero Hour one is correct (and the pre-Zero Hour one was from an old timeline) and where post-Crisis stories contradict pre-Crisis ones, the post-Crisis one is correct. Beyond that, it's up to the reader's imagination.
I suppose I can also add that DC introduced into its universe the concept of "Hypertime", by which all stories are true, even contradictory ones, and there are infinite alternate "branches" of DCU reality. In the end, comic-book reality is whatever you accept it as being.
From: Jason Meunier
Subject: Kent Orlando articles
I love the articles on the site, especially all the reprinted columns by Kent Orlando from his now-defunct "Cheeks the Toy Wonder" page.
Where can I find an archive of his past columns, besides the ones now on the Fanzing website? Thanks a lot.
Well, his actual site is right here. I suppose that's a start.
And that wraps it up for the Fanzing letters page. As I climb into the space-taxi for a ride into the sunset, I bid you farewell...and, "See you in the funny pages!"
All characters are © DC Comics
This piece is © 2003 by Chaim Mattis Keller.
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.
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