Legends - The First Five Years Part 3
"Issues 21 - 40"

by Marcus Pan

Legends continued on, finishing off the year of 1992 and rolled into 1993 and beyond. More than once I've contemplated and mentioned my possible ending of the magazine. Statements of this type were met with antipathy, contempt, denial and the muttered words of "You couldn't just stop. Legends is part of your life." Whether it be for the fortunate or unfortunate reasons, they were right and still are today.

Issue 21 was the two-year anniversary of Legends Magazine and hit the streets in October of 1992. In this issue Dawn McCall continued her Gelfling Hand series and Jaken Steele returned with Chapter IV of The Last Warrior. The newest poet, Gina-Marie (girlfriend at the time), debuted with a poem entitled Wishing For You and started a rampant run of her poetry in Legends with this first piece. This issue also broke the size record set back in issue 16 with 28 pages. As a side note, AT&T and my father continued to play the roles of copiers. Four game playing articles was stuffed in here as well, much to the delight of SCA readers.

Legends No. 22 has one of the best cover pieces I can remember. It depicted a mage peering into a book and casting a magic spell over one of the pages. The book's cover said Legends. This, in my opinion, was one of my best artistical endeavors. By this time Legends was usually found to be over 20 pages in length. Jaken Steele debuted his illustrating talents here and writers of the likes of Dawn McCall, Jaken Steele and Gina-Marie continued. Chapter 11 of the Albinor Chronicles was highly acclaimed and appeared here as well (Battle Between the Trees).

Issue No. 23 broke the size record yet again with 29 pages and contained something for everyone poetry, fantasy, humor, gaming and essays. Jaken Steele's artistical talents graced the cover and he became the first (and currently only) assistant editor. He also debuts his first stab at poetry and an essay in this issue as well, both of which he has fine skills in. The Songs of Albinor Number 9, Rivers Infernal was raved about.

For the first time in months the magazine slips under 20 pages with issue 24. Jaken Steele again commands the cover and Dawn McCall's horrid series, Gelfling Hand, finishes off with Chapter 6. Steele continues with The Last Warrior. My very own fantasy essay, Mithra, appeared. This piece was originally submitted to the Rumpleminz people in a contest for writers to explain who that white clad, fine looking woman was on all their posters. It won honorable mention.

Legends No. 25 was the smallest issue, with 14 pages, in a long while. It marked the a new permanent staff member with Kitten (then girlfriend aka Gina-Marie) as mascot. The Special Magic Items rules, detailing the existence of mithil weapons, was highly regarded.

March, 1993's issue 26 hit the streets and is one of the favorites of mine as well as my closer friends. On the cover was a gravestone bearing the name that was affectionately used for me by then girlfriend Gina-Marie. Another testimonial to how much of a role personal feelings play in Legends. Of course, she was no longer listed as mascot and this is the shortest instance (one month) of any permanent staffer.

Issue 27 debuted Vulcon both as a cover artist and illustrator within. On Gina-Marie's various poems you can see my evil asides, a tribute to my hurt feelings and anger at her after everything that happened between us (personal shit again). On the bottom of page III is the first instance of computerized art in Legends a closed fist. Poetry reigned here.

Legends No. 28 squeaks over 20 pages to 23 in May of '93. Computerized art of a castle graced the cover and more was found inside. Vulcon illustrated and the castle on the cover was produced by Thomas, the newest artist. Gina-Marie's poems were still being run out and my personal and evil attacks on her continued (at the time it seemed appropriate enough). The big winner in this issue, once again firing Legends to the top of the fanzine racket, was my own Albinor Chronicles Chapter 12, entitled The Altar of Lolth. Steele's The Last Warrior also appeared. A new mascot appears, Kit-Kat, who was at the time my girlfriend and still is to this day. The title was of an honorary nature more than anything else.

I debut as a computer artist with the cover of issue 29. Kit-Kat remains as mascot and this is the first issue where all articles were reprints (much to the chagrin of various readers). Humor rules the pages here. Inferno Publishing also debuts it's new P.O. Box address in Linden, NJ, and this is still the one used today. Much to my dismay readers begin getting used to issues over 20 pages in length again.

The newest cover artist, Ace (yes, the one who was supposed to help start this thing shows up almost three years later), debuts on issue 30. Two new poets, Shadowrunner and Dragon, collaborate on New Land. This issue, at just under 20 pages (17), upsets some readers.

Legends returns to 15-20 paged issues with the 15 page No. 31 of August 1993. In this issue Jaken Steele falls from the staff as assistant editor due to unresponsibility and generally being unreliable and unavailable for a number of months. Cover art by Ace as well as illustrations by him appear and Shadowrunner and Gina-Marie continue their poetry. Also, Inferno Publishing's business cards debut.

In Legends No. 32 only two poetry pieces are originals submitted to Legends. The rest of the items within (other than the departments) are reprinted humor pieces. Jaken Steele finally makes an appearance and submits some artwork, some of which is on the cover.

Poetry and humor abound in issue 33. The newest writer, William Graseck, submits his poem At the General. This is the only time his name appears in Legends. Steele's artwork can be found both on the cover and inside.

By issue 34, released in November of 1993, SCA and game playing readers get frustrated about not only the lack of game playing articles, but the lack of fantasy in general. I promise them an Albinor Chronicle for next issue. Ace's work is on the cover and I am the only contributing author and illustrator.

The promised Albinor Chronicles, chapter 13 titled Black Rain, makes a big hit in No. 35 and makes the magazine noticed again. Ace pens a song that appears (This is the Zodiac Speaking...) and the rest is reprinted humor. The issue peeks over 20 pages to 21.

Legends No. 36 gets raves. Dubbed the Spacer Spectacular, it includes five pages of typed spacers at the end of the issue (pushing it to 23 pages) which are thoroughly enjoyed. Steele and Shadowrunner return with poetry and Ace grabs a full-page illustration slot. The Last Warrior Chapter IX is within as well. Mylos' words to Tyran in Steele's The Last Warrior turn "Bugger off!" into a popular term.

Legends No. 37 in February, 1994 becomes highly acclaimed for two reasons: Ace's rendition of Alice Cooper as a spider on the cover and the first instance of the popular department known as The Wall. Also, my father and AT&T no longer supply the copies. The copies begin getting done at Staples and still is today.

The first issue to come out on colored paper (yellow), Legends No. 38 makes a splash in March. Chapter X of Steele's The Last Warrior appears and gets bad reviews. This was also the last issue where mascot (Kit-Kat) appeared on the credits. The honorary title was eliminated for various reasons.

The blue No. 39's Albinor Chronicles Chapter 14, The Woods Come Alive, scores high marks. Game players once again complain about the lack of AD&D related articles for them. This is also the first double sided issue since No. 3.

The Fall of Merry Hillman, the fifteenth Albinor Chronicles, gets high marks, but my attempt at art with the same name is an embarrassment (I knew it would be). However, the artwork I did at the bottom of page 16 of Legends No. 40 saves me some face.