Bill Blackbeard

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(April 28, 1926 – March 10, 2011)

William Elsworth Blackbeard (aka William Teach) was a writer, editor, anthologist, and comic strip historian. Before he amassed what was probably the world's largest collection of newspaper comic strips, he was a fanwriter and poet for fanzines and pulp magazines, including a story in Weird Tales. He was an editor of the LASFS Newsletter. He was a member of LASFS, APA-L, CAPA and the Cult, and one of the fanhabitants of Tendril Towers.

He started collecting comics as a 12-year-old boy in California, where he grew up, and he never stopped. His collection eventually amounted to 75 tons and an estimated three million or more items. Most of that collection is now housed at Ohio State University, at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. He was founder-director of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art.

He was born in Lawrence, Indiana, and died in Watsonville, CA. During World War II, Blackbeard served with the 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squad, 9th Army, in France, Belgium and Germany. In the post-war years, he went to Fullerton College on the G.I. Bill, studying history, English and American literature.

Fanzines and Apazines:

How huffs the Hooperdinck Dahlem, 
The Gillie Swathe, the Fenrio Clyde, 
Or rumbles west the gauche Shulkem 
To mat the feek, and grip the Snide?

Why, so whoops the luncheon Haggle 
On the hutch, the roe, the nilcharn, 
Till juffles out the gleengaggle, 
The husking boons and seeming swarn.

Now lopes the lithe, lean Logasmunk; 
Why grins and slacks he little smolls? 
Ah, swassles thus the tassled Thunk,
Till lo, encascared come the Olls!

They chort and chackle, long and lewd, 
Lorn of lute, tigarithmic hew’d,
And, welkinsward, outwig the woon 
To ither all swelt gossaroon!

      -- Bill Blackbeard, Bete Noire 6, Autumn 1963

Person 19262011
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