Fabulous Find: Fantasy Illustrated # 3

Welcome, welcome one an all, to a new Fabulous Find, I hope you find it as fabulous as I.  This week I have pulled out a copy of Fantasy Illustrated # 3, cover dated winter 1964.  This early comic book fanzine was published by Bill Spicer.    First off, this was quite a professional fanzine for 1964.  It features offset printing, not mimeo, and sports color covers.  Quite unusual for that time period for a fan publication to have full color covers, front and back, as a matter of fact.

Here’s the front cover:

Fantasy Illustrated # 3 Winter 1964

Once you turn past that nifty cover by Landon Chesney, the reader gets the first two pages of the letters, which are illustrated by legendary fan artist, Ron Foss.  Plus the very first letter is from another super fan and soon to be professional, Roy Thomas.  For the record there are three more pages of letters at the end of the fanzine.

Things start off with a bang with a sixteen (16) page adaptation of a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs ,from the “Jungle Tales of Tarzan” entitled; “The End Of Bukawai”.  This adaptation is written by Bill Spicer, and in fact, he also provided the breakdowns for penciller, Harry Habblitz.  Hey, it’s not super-heroes, but it’s a professional job done by Spicer and Habblitz and you won’t find many such tales within comic book fanzine of the day.  It tells a tale from Tarzan’s younger years.

Next up is an eight (8) page story entitled; “A Study In Horror”.  This was written by Landon Chesney and illustrated by Bob Overstreet (yes, that Bob Overstreet, from the Overstreet Price Guides).  It’s an EC like tale and pretty well done by the duo about a couple of college students and a haunted house!

Following this story is two pages of black and white pictures of members of comic fandom, such as John McGeehan, Bill Spicer, Richard ‘Grass’ Green, Steve Perrin, Landon Chesney, Bill Dubay, Bob Overstreet and Ron Foss.  Quite a rogues gallery, in fact, it’s entitled; “A Rogues Gallery Of Comic Fandom”!

And last up is an eleven (11) page story written by Ken Finnerty and pencilled and inked by Bob Overstreet entitled; “March 25th”.  The story is about a man who’s heart no longer beats, and it has a surprise ending that definitely caught me by surprise.  Not bad for a fan produced strip, not bad at all.

And to wrap things up quite nicely is a back cover by Magnus, Robot Fighter artist, Russ Manning.  Take a look:

Fantasy Illustrated # 3 back cover

I would love to have seen a story, drawn by Manning featuring the characters shown above.  Anyone know if he ever drew them into a story?  I suspect not, but ya just never know what you might find when you open up a fabulous fanzine.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Fabulous Find and please come back next week for a new RETRO REVIEW!

Enjoy the weather while you can, because … Winter is coming … be seeing you ….


About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.


  1. I have the f/b covers only of FI 3 sure would like to get a complete copy. As far as Chesney go here is a section on my art site about him. http://www.inter-fan.org/history/Landon%20Chesney.htm

  2. Greg Turner says:

    Hi Doc, if you’ve read other of my posts, you know I love these old comic book fanzines. I own quite a large number of them and am always looking to add more to my collection. I buy a lot more fanzine than I do comic books now-a-days as a matter of fact. Drop me an e-mail if you’d like at: gregturner@comcast.net if you’d like to trade notes or continue our conversation. I enjoyed my brief look at your website, as well and plan to revisit soon for a longer look.

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