Carl Andrew Spicer, Jr.
Co-Founder, Ogre Magazine 1979-1989
An Inspiration for True Review 1989-Present
The roots of True Review were really planted one weekend in the fall of 1978.
As Temple University students and good friends, Carl Spicer and I visited our first Philcon – the 1978 convention at the George Washington Motor Lodge in Valley Forge. (The Lodge has since been torn down and is now part of the extension from the Pa. Turnpike interchange and Rt. 422 westbound traffic – what a shame).
Guests of Honor at the convention were two up-and-coming authors: Joan Vinge and some new guy, George R. R. Martin.
Typical poor college students, Carl and I shared a room at the inn. We spent Friday night batting around an idea about starting a magazine. Saturday morning, Carl said, “Why don’t we do our own fanzine?”
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania food freak that I am, I replied, “OK! First, let’s do breakfast.”
Shortly after a blue-plate special of scrambled eggs, Ogre Magazine was born.
Looking back, you never realize at the time (or sadly appreciate) how many people were instrumental in helping you along the way. Many friends and Temple University colleagues graciously gave of their time and talents to start Ogre Magazine.
Carl was instrumental in contacting and developing all the contributors. Our inaugural issue debuted with a cover by Dave Stembel, an architect major and Temple student. We also had great contributions from author Tony Russo (who contributed to many more Ogre Magazines in years to come) and illustrator Lori Gajewski (also a big Ogre contributor over the years). And excellent contributions, as always, from my Ogre Magazine partner Carl.
Carl and I continued to evolve Ogre with three issues published while we were students. And we continued onward with issues 4, 5, 6, and 7.
We had a great friendship. He was my best man at my first marriage in 1981. As one might expect of a radio-television-film graduate (Temple 1983), he was a great toastmaster!
And we had great working relationship with Ogre. Carl contributed articles through 1989, after which I shelved Ogre (after issue #7) to start True Review.
Carl chose to remain in Philadelphia after his graduation, eventually becoming a social worker. He always cared for others, more than most people I know. Tragically, he was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and died on July 16 this year.
I last spoke to him at his father’s funeral in Lancaster, Pennsylvania -- I believe the year is correct -- in 1990. That was the last time we were together, though I would see Carl briefly at a distance at Balticon 2006. But I missed my chance to speak with him.
Regrets – I have many. A death will do that to you.
In those days, I was a brash upstart yearning to impact the publishing world. In the process, I didn’t give Carl his due. It was my mistake not to involve him more fully and completely as co-publisher of Ogre for all seven issues, a regret I have to live with the rest of my life. I think that drove our friendship apart in the late 1980s and I wasn’t even aware that he was sick, so I didn’t even have a chance to ask his forgiveness, a great shame. The worst part is I can’t see Carl now to ask him to forgive his lame-brained colleague.
Because there is no doubt about it -- without Carl, there would have been no Ogre and no True Review.
Thank you Carl.
Rest in Peace.
-- Your Friend Andrew Andrews