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Acolyte, The

Entry updated 27 November 2023. Tagged: Fan, Publication.

US Fanzine or Amateur Magazine published by Francis T Laney both solo and with coeditors, initially from Clarkston, Washington, District of Columbia, and later from Los Angeles, California. Fourteen issues from Fall 1942 to Spring 1946; US quarto paper; first produced by ditto (spirit duplicator) and from #2 or #3 by mimeograph (stencil duplicator). Schedule: quarterly.

The Acolyte published fiction, Poetry and critical articles; it became one of the most highly regarded "serious and constructive" publications of its day, with strong focus on H P Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. #1 (Fall 1942) saw the first appearance of several previously unpublished excerpts from Lovecraft's letters to its coeditor Duane W Rimel, plus a tracing of HPL's own sketch-map of Arkham, the imagined New England town central to the Mythos; further Lovecraftiana first seen in The Acolyte include an essay drawn from another letter – "Poetry and the Artistic Ideal" – in #3 (Spring 1943), and a sketch of Cthulhu in #4 (Summer 1943). Also among the contributors were Forrest J Ackerman, Anthony Boucher, Kenneth Bulmer, Fritz Leiber, Lilith Lorraine, Sam Moskowitz, Emil Petaja, E Hoffman Price, William Rotsler (artwork), Clark Ashton Smith, Wilson Tucker as Bob Tucker and Harry Warner Jr. There were various contributing "staff" editors; Duane W Rimel was listed as coeditor for #1 only, #2 gave no coeditor, and Samuel D Russell held the position thereafter until the final issue #14 (Spring 1946). By then Laney was becoming increasingly disillusioned with Fandom and – after some efforts to persuade others to take over The Acolyte on the strength of its high reputation and reserve of subscription money – allowed it to cease.

The Acolyte remains a collectible publication, sought after for its material by and about Lovecraft. [DRL]


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