(November 7, 1921 – December 22, 2015)
Edythe DeVinney Eyde, more widely remembered by her pseudonym Tigrina, was an LA area fan and active member of LASFS, serving as club secretary in the mid-1940s. She also used the anagrammatic penname Lisa Ben.
Raised in rural Fremont, California, Eyde wrote her first letter to VOM as a college sophomore at Mills College in 1941 under the name “Tigrina.” She became lifelong friends with VOM publisher Forrest J Ackerman and contributed art, reviews and poetry to numerous fanzines.
In 1945, 4E publicly proposed marriage to Tigrina in a letter in Walt Dunkelberger’s Fanews 166 (June 19, 1945). In #170, on July 3, Tigrina declined. Dunk avowed both letters were legit.
While working as a secretary at RKO Studios in 1947, she began publishing the first known lesbian publication in America, Vice Versa, a carbonzine (online here), during slow times at work. Supportive of her alternative lifestyle, Ackerman wrote reviews for the zine under the name “Laurajean Ermayne.” In a 1995 interview, Eyde said:
Well, there was this one guy who was very sympathetic toward the girls, and he belonged to the science fiction group where Jim Kepner belonged, and his name was Forrest A_______. So he would — he liked writing for different homemade magazines of the science fiction kind. In fact, I think he had one or two of them himself. And so he would write off this stuff and give it to me, and then being that he was a friend, I sort of had to include it in the magazine — which I really, to tell you the truth, didn’t want to do, but don’t say that in your book because if he reads it, it will hurt his feelings. And he’s older than I am, and he’s a dear old soul — I don’t want to hurt his feelings.
Some say that she published the first filkzine, entitled Hymn to Satan, which may have contained words to music for a Black Mass she and other members of LASFS hoped to perform.
Edythe lived and worked in the LA area for the rest of her life, writing and performing folk music, reading science fiction and advocating for cat adoption.
- 1940 photo in LASFS Album.
- “Tigrina” by Rob Hansen.
- “Edythe Eyde — aka Lisa Ben, aka Tigrina — was America’s most lovably eccentric renaissance woman,” Medium, January 24, 2020.
- Papers and photographs at the ONE Archives at USC Libraries.
- FindaGrave entry.
VAMPIRE’S LULLABY Sleep, deep in your silent grave, Dream of the crimson feast you crave, ’Til hunger bids you wake And you must forsake The place where you have lain. Dream, dream of your stealthy flight Into the shadowlands of the night. Sharp fangs meet soft white flesh And you return refreshed, Your lips a scarlet stain. Sleep, sleep in your sombre bed, Earth of your homeland above your head, ’Til the moon on high In the velvet sky Will call you forth again. --- Tigrina, The Acolyte 14 (Spring 1946)
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