This story is likely part one of what might be several posts, and it goes something like this:
Sometime in the autumn of 2018 during one of our evening work sessions we were making our way through a collection of materials that had been deassessioned from an academic library and came across a couple of copies of Cross-Talk Magazine, “The Gender Community’s News & Information Monthly.”
Amongst ads for other queer publications like Dragazine, Black Sheets, and a note that Cross-Talk can now be reached on FidoNet (started by Tom Jennings, one of folks who made Homocore zine) was an ad for The Toni Compendium. The Toni Compendium is an anthology of Toni comics, written and illustrated by Angel, that appeared in Cross-Talk in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Thus began our 5-year journey of trying to acquire a copy.
After tracking down a copy in a different library (and subsequently being turned down when we asked if they could digitize it so we could check it out) eventually we discovered that Kym, the original publisher, had an online presence. So we contacted her to see if there was any chance that she might possibly still have a copy. This was in April of 2020, just as we were mostly staying at home for the foreseeable future.
After sending the initial email, we waited a couple of days, and she got back to us to let us know that, in fact, she had had the foresight at some point to take the remaining issues of Cross-Talk and bundle up whole collections – not a complete run, but a lot – including The Toni Compendium, and pack them away. Unfortunately, the bundled collections were in their storage space, and it would be a little bit until she could get to them. So far, so awesome!
And then life happened, the pandemic shifted, time marched forward, etc. etc. We hadn’t forgotten about it, but as is always the case, we at QZAP are usually juggling several projects at once, and we figured we’d get back to this eventually. Also, with COVID being in play, we had no idea how it effected Kym or her folk.
Fast forward to February, 2023. Kym reached out to us to say that she had finally gotten access to where the Cross-Talk bundles were stored, and did we still want a set? We jumped on it, to say the least. After a couple more emails back-and-fort, the PayPaling of postage fees, and a few severe weather incidents, and they were as good as shipped.
Thus concludes the long and maybe-not-that-interesting story of how we came to finally possess a copy of this long-sought comic book about a teenage trans woman.
As an added bonus, there also was a copy of Khen-Draa, Transgender Warrior, from 1995 by Kym and Beppi. But that’s another blog post.
As of this publishing, we haven’t had a chance to get to digitizing these comics, but we’ll update when we do.