(May 21, 1935 – ?)
Richard Dean “Dick” Bergeron was a fan artist and a Hugo Award-winning fanzine publisher. His first fanzines appeared in the early-to-mid 1950s from Vermont. He was a member of the N3F, volunteering in its Correspondence Bureau.
His fan art had a distinctive style, somewhat abstract and figurative, and was far removed from the structured illustration he did professionally. Dick Eney thought that Bergeron saw his fan art "as a way to relax after a hard day of being realistic and representational." Harlan Ellison called him a “true ‘craftsman’ of the field” of fanzine art in Sol IX.
His greatest contribution to fandom was Warhoon, one of the best fanzines of the 1960s. For a time it was circulated in SAPS, of which Bergeron served a term as President. Warhoon didn't use fancy layouts or typography; he concentrated on content over form, keeping to a spartan but elegant design.
If Warhoon was his greatest contribution, the greatest issue of Warhoon was Warhoon 28, a massive, 614-page, hardcover, impeccably-mimeographed compilation of the fannish writing of Walt Willis — an astonishing feat. (One well-known fan called it "the best issue of a fanzine ever published.")
By the late 1970s, when he was assembling Warhoon 28, he lived at 1 West 72nd Street, the famous "Dakota" apartment building where John Lennon and Yoko Ono also lived, and in front of which Lennon was assassinated in December 1980. In a fanzine published not long after Lennon's murder, Bergeron reminisced about having poured him a glass of champagne at a building Christmas party.
Not many years later, Bergeron relocated to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from whence he pubbed Wiz, which he claimed was the first fanzine from the island. He also introduced to fandom a Puerto Rican fanartist, Cesar Ramos, who was widely thought to be a hoax.
While he was a major BNF, Bergeron was always somewhat eccentric, being known for rarely being willing to meet other fans face-to-face. Perhaps this contributed to the feuds he became engaged in in the mid-80s with many of his friends. These feuds, and especially the divisive TAFF Wars of which he was a major participant, led to his self-destruction as a fan and subsequent gafiation.
It is not known whether he is still alive.
Bergeron was born in tiny Coventry, Vermont, just south of the Canadian border, into a family of mostly French-Canadian and Irish ancestry. His father's name was Leo Midas Bergeron and his mother's name was Rachel Pudvah Bergeron. Through his mother's father's mother Marie Rosalie Désautels (1846-1926), he was traceably descended from many 17th- and 18th-century settlers of Quebec; he was, for instance, a seventh cousin once removed to Teresa Nielsen Hayden, via their shared descent from Jean-Simon Benjamin dit Saint-Aubin (1712-1786) and his wife Jeanne Vigeant dit Taupier (1714-1788), and an eighth cousin once removed to Terry Carr via shared descent from Simon Chapacou (d. 1690) and Marie Pajaud (b. 1631). Richard had one brother, a year younger than he, named Robert.
His artistic talent was evident when he was still in his teens; multiple stories in small-town Vermont newspapers in the early 1950s report his achievement of various local honors. The 26 Aug 1954 edition of the Newport (Orleans County, Vermont) Daily Express reports, on page 3, the winners of various awards at that year's Orleans County Fair: Richard Bergeron, 3rd place in oil painting; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in water colors; 1st and 2nd place in pen and ink drawing; 1st and 2nd place in pencilling; 1st place in pastels; 1st and 2nd place in crayons.
He attended the New England School of Art, and by the late 1950s he was living in New York City and working for advertising agencies, mosty notably Doyle Dane Bernbach. His professional work seemed to incorporate photographs of objects as much as or even more than original illustration. The January 1962 issue of Art Direction had a review of sorts of his professional work: "Impact plus taste characterize much of Dick Bergeron's work. Oversize watches, pills, ears, big type plus a quiet handling of text blocks give his design a combined sense of drama and careful organization." His professional work was displayed in the 1961 and 1962 shows of the New York Art Directors Club.
Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1962 — 1962 Best Fanzine Hugo
- 1963 — 1963 Best Fanzine Hugo nominee
- 1969 — 1969 Best Fanzine Hugo nominee
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