So, what was STARFAN and how did it come about? Here's my editorial from the fanzine STARFAN #1 (1980):
The fanzine (and it is a fanzine) that you hold in your hands was never intended to exist. It looks like a fan comic book and that also was not intended. So what's going on?The editorial was dated November 1979 and refers to four chapters but, as you'll see, the finished fanzine contained six with the final two dated 1980. Clearly, I had second thoughts and added in the Starcon sequence rather than leave it for a theoretical second issue. However, before doing so I had started work on a new STARFAN serial - this one with episodes two pages long and sized for a quarto fanzine - titled 'The Phantom of the Convention'. I think I intended this for my own regular fanzine EPSILON, but I didn't to proceed with it for reasons I now no longer recall. Since the two page 'Trufan and Junior' ran in later issues, I may have decided that self-contained two-pagers were more suitable than a serial. Those two pages of 'The Phantom of the Convention', dated 1979, are presented here for the first time anywhere.
STARFAN's next manifestation was as a two-or-three panel newspaper style strip in early issues of Dave Langford's ANSIBLE (and one issue of his TWLL DDU). There were six in all, the final four starting a sequence that was supposed to work its way chronologically through a whole day of a convention.
Also presented here for the first time are the pages that exist of the unfinished STARFAN #2, complete with unerased pencils. Alas, after all this time I no longer recall where I was heading with this when I left it in 1981/2 but I do remember that the creature at the heart of the mysterious tower would turn out to be my Welsh dragon figure, a benign character. He's drawn looking sinister on the cover so as not to give the game away, but once you know it's him it's easy to see.
STARFAN #2 was almost revived a few years later when US fan artist Dan Steffan expressed an interest in collaborating with me and getting it finished. The idea was I would send him scripted pencil layouts and he would do the finished art over these. Dan even sent me a beautiful piece on 10 3/4" x 15 1/4" art board to prod me into producing the pages but, alas, I never did. That same year, 1985, I did a drawing of Starfan with Trufan & Junior for the 'Arty Fellers' portfolio Dan assembled for the 1985 CORFLU.
STARFAN's next appearance was in 1990 when I repackaged the first two chapters of STARFAN #1 as individual minicomics for distribution in an apa I was then a member of. The idea was that every last bit of STARFAN material that existed would see print as a minicomic, but it never got any further. The minicomic covers, along with Dan's art and the piece I did for 'Arty Fellers' can be found under 'Miscellaneous'.
STARFAN's last hurrah (before this, of course) was at the 2001 British Eastercon when STARFAN #1 was blown up, printed on large display boards, and hung on the walls of the fanroom, which was run that year by Greg and Catherine Pickersgill.