Ken Krueger and Progressive Fandom

May 14, 2010

[When Ken Krueger became chairman of San Diego's Comic-Con in 1970, he already had decades of experience in science-fiction fandom, of which he was a well-respected member. This can be seen from the following excerpts from the first issue of Hyperopia, the “official fanzine of the BUFFALO FANTASY LEAGUE,” which was edited by Robert J. Fritz. The month of publication – July – is given but not the year. However, internal evidence indicates this is from 1952. A few obvious typos were corrected and the name of one person was changed to her initials, "G. C." So, now, read on and get ready to take up the chant: "We Want Ken, We Want Ken!"]

PROGRESSIVE FANDOM

A platform for the future

By Ken Krueger
July 1952

This year is a year of destiny. In Chicago there has just ended two of the greatest political conventions of all time. The winners of those conventions we know. One-of the two men there chosen will become the president of this country in November.

And in November there will come another election, a further election in the National Fantasy Fan Federation. An election that could be one of importance, or could be merely another sad rehash of the events of the past.

It is high time that fandom had the equivalent of a political party. They are good things. I think that one like the hypothetical one this article will mention would be a fine thing for the fandom of the future.

An actual party, which we shall call for the time being, PROGRESSIVE FANDOM, could, and should, for an initial step take over as many offices of the NFFF as possible. In the N3F there are the greatest chances to advance the cause, and to advance the NFFF itself.

A party, with enough members, could consolidate the governing body of the club. A party could institute reforms that are sadly needed by the club. A party, in short, could entirely revamp the NFFF into a solid club, with the complete backing of its members rather than the slip-shod affair that it is now.

Let’s look at a few of the things that are wrong with the NFFF, from my point of view, and from the point of view of a good many others that I have discussed this with.

Point one is the asinine way in which the most important post in the entire club is selected. The loser in the Presidential race becomes the Sec’t-Treas., who, as we all know, has more actual control than any other one party. In the last election the members of the club who voted, voted against G. M. C. What their personal reasons were, I don’t know, though some did write them on their ballots. Those who did write in reasons were all against having C. even in the club. She is without a doubt one of the most self-opinionated persons in all of fandom, she butts in where she doesn’t belong, and since her appointment she has made herself obnoxious to practically everyone with any sort of a post. Yet, she is the Sec’t-Treas, because she was unpopular enough to lose an election!

Stupid? You bet! A post of that magnitude should be voted upon, not appointed. And that is my important point one.

Point two is that most of the people who do join the NFFF are fairly adult people. They are usually at least to the age of reason. Yet they are bombarded with floods of juvenile post-cards, letters, slingers, and what-nots from a group of well-wishers called the “Welcommittee”. Most are revolted by the letters that start off “Hiya new fan, Gee, we are sure happy that you have decided to make something of yourself by joining our sterling organization.” Nope, a well written welcoming letter, written by one person, and pointing out the clubs functions and aims would more than suffice in this matter. There are intelligent, well mannered people in the Welcommittee, but there are also some jerks. A fairly well-read person, who has read stf for a few years, is insulted by the references that he is a 12 year old who just learned to read.

Anyone wanting a more vehement reaction to this point is referred to Bill Austin.

Point three would be the formation of a “public relations” department. The functions of this department would be many and varied, though they would be mostly concerned with keeping present members happy, recruiting new members, and keeping the club in the public eye. That last part could be expanded into an entirely separate “Publicity Department” if the need arose.

With a good public relations office, the general pulse of the club could be felt regularly and such farces as the C. appointment could never have occurred.

Elsewhere in this issue you will find a loose page. On it are a few questions, and a great many blank spaces. We are curious as to the initial reaction to PROGRESSIVE FANDOM. We are willing to carry out some of our aims, but we would like to have at least a membership of two hundred people. That would be so that we would have a voice behind us when we speak on these matters.

On this form will be a big blank space, and the entire back is blank. That is where you can put in your ideas.

With a good organizations are all on the enclosed slip. If you want to see a PROGRESSIVE FANDOM, fill it out and return it. And please answer the questions fully. It will help us a lot, and it could help you much more than you think.

—Ken J, Krueger

A Report On the Future of Fandom

By Frank J. Richards

All information contained in this article was from memory and confirmed by a tape recording of the session.

A convention of the new fan organization PROGRESSIVE FANDOM, was held on July 29, for the purpose of nominating the people who will run for office in NFFF in November. The gathering at the meeting was large considering that the organization was founded only a few weeks before.

Toby Duane, well-known fan writer, opened the historic convention and introduced Ken Krueger, who was appointed Chairman. Alan Leverentz was recognized for the purpose of expressing his view of Fandom and finished by reading the above article.

Knowing the great interest that would develop in PF, there was an urgent need for a secretary of PF. W. Paul Ganley put up the name of Robert Fritz for acceptance. The nomination was seconded and then voted upon. Only one of the fans present said no, and the secretary of PF became Robert Fritz. For any information or questions concerning PF, contact Robert J. Fritz, 819 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo 3, New York.

After that was out of the way nominees for offices in NFFF were accepted. Those nominated were; Charlie Momberger, W. Paul Ganley, Robert Fritz, Alan Leverentz, Ken Krueger, and Bill Austin. All nominees were unanimously accepted.

The problem then was a choice of one of the candidates for President of N3F. Ken Krueger was nominated, but he declined with this speech.

“Well thanks a lot, but I feel a little bit foolish about doing that. After all I am running this thing and I have had a few posts in the N3F that I have had disagreements with; notably among them you may be aware is the farces with G. C. on the Manuscript bureau and so on that I may be a trifle prejudiced. I think actually someone else should take the post as President and not myself.”

Then Bill Harding a science fiction fan in long standing and a research scientist at Westinghouse gave this seconding speech for Ken:

“It has long been noticed in most organizations that invariably the president is the one that is supposed to do all the work and the president is invariably the one who decides policies; who arranges to have things done. Therefore it would seem to me rather definitely the man to whom this office is to be given must be one who is very much interested in the job. Mr. Krueger definitely has shown his vast interest in the N3F by his very desire to reorganize it. Therefore I am quite certain that he is the man for the job.”

After that the fans could not restrain themselves and the chant went up, “We Want Ken, We Want Ken” over and over. Ken finally gave in when he saw the fans were in unanimous agreement to have him run for President in the N3F.

Ken accepted the nomination by saying, “Well, I seem to have been a little bit overruled on that (his speech before). O.K. I don’t like to do it. It’s going to put the thing on a slightly personal basis on my angle, because I’m going to be bucking one person I like very much. That’s Martin Carlson who is at present, President of the N3F and a very good fellow. I couldn’t say a thing against him, if I wanted to.

Then again I’ll be bucking some of the directors. We’ll all be bucking the directors of it. I believe we know their record. Max Keasler, nice fellow, fine chap, has done nothing for it, and Stan Woolston, all the boys like that, even Racy Higgs, as far as hat goes, hasn’t done much. Then of course we’re going to be bucking G. C. I think that’s going to be our big point, our big selling point with this party– buck G. C. We all have our own personal opinions of C. One of us likes her, but that one has never really had much to do with it.”

After this acceptance speech one of the most important conventions in fandom came to a close. The convention which will make fandom progress. Fandom must progress. To make it progress we must get behind PROGRESSIVE FANDOM.

[And here is the introduction to Hyperopia written by its editor, Robert J. Fritz.]

JUST A WORD

By Robert J. Fritz

I know what you are thinking. Who am I? And what business have I to send this fanzine to you? Well first of all I am a member of the BUFFALO FANTASY LEAGUE. I became a member in April of this year just before the Buffalocon. I had noticed an ad in a copy of OTHER WORLDS telling of the Buffalocon and the name and address of Ken Krueger.

Up until then I wasn’t interested in fan activities, but had the inkling of being an active member of fandom. Through Ken I have picked up quite an interest in the activities of the fans of s-f. I’ve been reading s-f for the last 2½ years and have developed such a liking to the stuff that I am now referred to as a Martian among those who are not interested in this type of literature. But to get back to this fanzine, most-of the stories and articles were to be in a new fanzine of Ken Krueger’s, but when the BFL asked to have an official zine, Ken decided to throw all his material into it. He, as president of the BFL, was to be editor and I publisher, but when something far more important came up Ken was unable to handle HYPEROPIA, so he appointed me as editor.

I wish to apologize here and now for the mistakes in typing and the stenciling of the pictures, and the faded pages as this was my first attempt at stenciling and will improve with time and practice as shown in pages 16, 17, and 23. They were later attempts and show improvement.

The price of HYPEROPIA is 15¢ a copy or 50¢ for four issues and an honorable membership in the BUFFALO FANTASY LEAGUE. If you want the next issue which should come out in October send one of the above prices to me as soon as possible.
This issue may not look so good because of ill stenciling but the stories are good and I can only promise an improvement upwards to 100% in the second issue in the way of stenciling.

I must tell of the need for stories, art work, articles, and most of all, IDEALS on how to make this fanzine the best in the field. I wish to have the biggest circulation, the most friends and the best format.

The reason for the biggest circulation is that I will have a bigger source of writers and artists so I can have the best to pick from to give to you.

I am now running a contest for a mascot for HYPEROPIA. Entries must be in by September 13. The winner will receive a two years subscription to this fanzine.

If you are afraid to enter because you think I may fold; do not be so. I am here to stay no matter what happens. If I am drafted, die, or forced to work you can be sure this zine will continue even if all the work is done and the stories are written by friends.

If your work appears in an issue your copy is free so send in your work. The cover of this issue was to be multilith by a friend as a personal favor but complications developed and I can only say my next issue’s cover will be.

I wish to thank Lee Hoffman for all the drawings she has given to the zine, they are the only ones I have on hand and the only ones I could use except for the Charley Momberger which was done as a personal favor. The stenciling of the picture did not turn out as good as I had hoped.

While attending high school, most of the students seemed to think that s-f consisted of only space travel. I think the general public has the same ideal. I would like a number of articles on the other aspects of s-f to be published in HYPEROPIA.

About a mail column the important parts of letters will be reprinted even if it denounces the zine. I wish you would tell me my mistakes and how I can correct them. If no one writes me then (and this is a warning) I will write myself and my letters are awful dull so save me. I want to know how I am doing, as editor.

If I expect you to read and enjoy this zine the material within must be good and I will try to keep it good. So send in your best work.

By the way, I will trade fanzines with other editors. If they want to.

You have by now come across the loose form enclosed in this zine. Please read page 16 to find out what it is for.

Now a last appeal for subscribers and for more material immediately.

So long see you at the World Con.

The above is the insane writings of Robert J. Fritz.

Hyperopia #1 (July 1952) Cover by Lee Hoffman

Hyperopia #1 (July 1952) Cover by Lee Hoffman

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