Saturday, January 23, 2016

HEIDI SAHA, POP CULTURE CURIOSITY


If you've got an extra grand to spend on one of Warren's weirdest magazines, then hop on over to eBay where you'll find a copy of AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF HEIDI SAHA. The magazine that promises all you could possibly want to know about "fantasy fandom's famous femme" is offered with the "Buy it Now" price of $999.99. The seller is graciously shipping it free to the buyer.


This 1973 one-shot publication is a bit of an oddity, even for a lineup of monster, sci-fi, and other miscellaneous 'zines from Warren. Miss Saha was a teenage fantasy fan who showed up at the 1973 New York Comic Art Convention wearing nothing more than a few strips of cloth called a Vampirella costume and immediately got the attention of Forrest J Ackerman. Smitten by the young miss with the famously oblique rationale that he did it as a favor to her parents -- or, alternately, as a business deal -- FJA dedicated an entire, 36-page (not 30 pages as the eBay seller claims), exclusive, mail-order only edition of the teen's story in fandom.

The cover image shown on the eBay listing.
The 'zine is filled with the Acker-ese language that Forry was ever fond of, and lent a lighthearted -- dare I say -- innocent air to the proceedings. Had Saha been just a few years older, the magazine would have conveyed an entirely different image. As it is, it's exploitative factor cannot be denied, even for those days. Taken at face value, however, and considering the original motives were true, the Heidi Saha magazine is, at the very least, a pop culture curiosity. Whatever the reason for the magazine's existence, the Saha saga continues to be controversial, especially when seen through a contemporary lens.

Heidi with Forrest J Ackerman.
The companion poster is rarer than the magazine.
From FAMOUS MONSTERS #65 (May 1970).
The "infamous" Vampirella costume.

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