It’s pretty amazing that we’re already up to the fourth issue in our ongoing Black Idol story arc. After working two long years on these stories, I was beginning to suspect we’d fallen into some Sisyphean alternate reality, that we were doomed to revise these two dozen stories for the remainder of our earthly days.
So it’s a bit of a shock to realize that not only are these stories actually done, printed, and behind us, but that with this issue we have completed the first third of the story arc. That feeling of endless labor is rapidly giving way to amazement that we’ve come so far, and an understanding that it’s time for us to start working on the direction DargonZine will take after the Black Idol series is done.
Back in the Editorial for DargonZine 18-2, I introduced you to Rich Durbin, whose timely intervention back in January 2004 saved much of the Black Idol arc from foundering. A number of writers have made huge contributions to the arc, and I’d like to tell you about another one today.
P. Atchley has been with the project off and on for the past five years, and has been one of our best and at times most prolific writers. Her critiques have always been detailed and insightful, and she did the project a great service by running our new writer mentoring program for a while.
Back in 2003, Ms. Atchley was our local host for the Austin, Texas Writers’ Summit where the Black Idol story arc was begun. Although she contributed ideas to the overall storyline, she opted not to write an arc story herself. In fact, due to other factors she took a break from the project later that year.
After a six-month absence, she returned to the group during a time when we were desperately struggling to get the Black Idol stories out. She volunteered to assist Dave Fallon with his story, “The Lost Opportunity”, and successfully completed the second half of that recalcitrant story. In addition, she teamed up with Rich Niro on an excellent three-chapter arc story that will appear toward the end of this year under the title “Out of the Rubble”.
Although she had initially made no commitment to produce a Black Idol story and was absent during its formative months, upon her return Ms. Atchley made a huge contribution to the success of the arc, In fact, she is now at least partially responsible for one-sixth of the arc’s anticipated volume. For that effort she deserves our expressed thanks and admiration.
In addition to Ms. Atchley’s conclusion to “The Lost Opportunity”, this issue also features the second half of my own “Liberated Hope”. Both those two-part stories were begun in our previous issue, DargonZine 18-3, and conclude here.
As I alluded to above, the arc will now begin to transition into its second of three parts. Dargon veterans Rena Deutsch and Jon Evans will pick up the story of the Black Idol in our next issue, which should appear in your mailbox near the end of June.
Until then, I hope you enjoy this installment in the continuing tale of the Black Idol.