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Volume 3667
Spotlight on the Hosts of the 2011 Pocatello Dum-Dum
National Capital Panthans
(Washington, DC–Maryland–Virginia)
Source:  The Burroughs Bulletin #84 (Spring 2010) ~ Reprinted with Permission
This chapter came into being as a result of conversations between John Tyner, Bill Ross, and J.G. “Huck” Huckenpöhler during the 1995 Dum-Dum in Rutland, VT, where they discussed the idea of “getting together from time to time.”  Drawing on the mailing database that Bill Ross maintained for his fanzine at the time, ERB Collector, invitations were sent out to people in the northern Virginia, southern Maryland, and Washington, DC area.

 The first meeting was held in Huck’s apartment in Washington, DC on Sunday, 22 September 1996, with eight attendees – Huck, John Tyner, Bill Ross, Fred Mallon, Cole and Sandy Richardson, Shawn Cassidy, and Bill Morse.  Eleven copies of the National Capital Panthans (the title changed to National Capital Panthans Journal with issue No. 2) were printed, and each attendee received a copy.

From the beginning, the Panthans established a regime of monthly meetings, usually the first Sunday of every month.  The schedule for a calendar year, along with a topic for discussion during each meeting, is published before the start of the year, with meetings usually held at a member’s home (occasionally the Sunday gathering is superseded by a Saturday dinner in order to foster the social aspect of the group).  Members also bring copies of their submissions for the Panthans Journal.  Bill collates, staples, and distributes copies of the journal on the spot.  Original covers are produced by a number of talented artists, notably Mark Wheatley of Insight Studios Group.  Other favorite cover artists in the past included Frank Cho and the late Harry Roland (several of Cho’s pieces created for the journal have been featured in highly desirable books collecting his artwork).

 The Panthans also produce a monthly official organ, The Panthan Newsletter, which is mailed to members before the next meeting, chronicling the activities of the last meeting, listing contents of the last Journal, and announcing the next gathering.  The newsletter is a cooperative editorial effort between Huck Huckenpöhler and Bill Ross.  Members rotate the responsibility of mailing copies to members.  By December 2010, there have been 170 issues of the Journal and 170 issues of the Newsletter.

 The Panthans hosted the 1998 Dum-Dum in Baltimore, MD; the 1999 ECOF Gathering in Gaithersburg, MD; the 2003 ECOF Gathering in Baltimore, MD; the 2006 combined ECOF/Dum-Dum Gathering in Rockville, MD; and the 2010 ECOF Gathering in Washington, DC/Baltimore, MD/Shenandoah Caverns, VA.  The chapter will host the 2011 Dum-Dum in Pocatello, ID.  Note that the chapter has made significant contributions of archival material to the ERB Memorial Collection and made monetary donations to The Burroughs Bibliophiles endowment fund at the University of Louisville.

 Hosting fan gatherings this regularly, the Panthans have occasionally created special “best-of” compilations of their journal to debut for sale at a convention.  So far, they have published four Panthans Journal Highlights.  For the last three years, since the start-up of The Muckers chapter, who publish their own quarterly journal, a special combined edition of the Panthans Journal and The Mucker Magazine is created at the Dum-Dum, reminiscent of the “Ace Double” paperback book editions.

Panthans meeting in 2006, celebrating the chapter’s 10th anniversary –
(from l to r) Bill Ross, Vic Huckenpöhler (serving birthday cake), Mark Wheatley,
Aubrey Stallings, Steve Wadding, David Critchfield.

The Panthans' most ambitious publishing endeavor has been an original trade paperback book released in 2010, Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Second Century, bringing together articles, stories, editorials, and artwork.  This book can be purchased online through and other web-based outlets.  At one time special T-shirts, pin-back buttons, commemorative booklets, and other items were offered for sale online, but have since sold out.  Back issues of the Journal are still available for sale.

The Panthans have no formal officers and no regular membership dues.  However, they have an unofficial “Quaestor,” John Tyner, to manage the funds maintained for miscellaneous administrative needs, as well as an unofficial secretary, Huck Huckenpöhler, who records minutes at their meetings.  The Panthan Newsletter is available at a yearly rate of $15 to anyone who wishes to subscribe.  Local members are expected to contribute in kind rather than paying a subscription by hosting a meeting or paying for the photocopying and mailing of issues of the Newsletter.  An issue of the Panthans Journal only goes to those attending the meeting where it is created and/or to those submitting contributions in-person or by mail.  Normally 25 copies are made, but the number is increased when they are created as part of a convention.  As noted, any remaining back issues are offered for sale, and the Panthans now regularly man a table at ERB conventions with chapter merchandise made available.

 The Panthans have an online e-mail discussion group called the PanthaNet, maintained by John Tyner, which is the primary information-sharing mechanism for all members.  This is not to be confused with Jeff Long’s Panthan Press, now based out of Chicago.  Jeff had been a local member of the Panthans in the 1990s, but then moved to the Windy City.

 Current Panthans membership is 37 (this includes local members and out-of-area paid subscribers to the newsletter, and constitutes the basis for the PanthaNet).  Monthly meeting attendance has ranged from a low of six to a high of 21, with the average number at 12 to 14 people.  However, Panthans meetings held as part of Dum-Dums or ECOF Gatherings have reached 50 attendees.  There are about 20 members from outside the mid-Atlantic area.

 The Panthans also contributed to a longstanding derivative – LaurenceCon.  The term “LaurenceCon” was first coined as a joke by Bill Ross in one of his contributions in the ERBapa quarterly publication when he was writing about Laurence Dunn’s customary trips from England to Pittsburgh, PA, for the annual Pittsburgh ComicCon.  Mike Conran, Bill Ross, Fred Mallon, and Cole Richardson regularly traveled to Pittsburgh for the ComicCon as well, often staying at Bob Hyde’s home in earlier years, along with Laurence.  And so LaurenceCon eventually took on a life of its own, with “meetings” in recent years coinciding with Panthans gatherings.  To celebrate these, special Panthans Journal covers (arranged by Aubrey Stallings) and pin-back buttons have been created.

[original 1998 artwork]
Logo Art by Mark Wheatley
Caption to cover of book:
The National Capital Panthans published Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Second Century in June 2010,
featuring a wide range of articles, essays, poetry, fiction, and art. 
The trade paperback edition is available from (cover art by Harry Roland).
John Tyner, II
P.O. Box 673
Rockville, MD  20848-0673

               Payment of $15 to John Tyner supports 
an annual subscription to the monthly newsletter.

click for larger images
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From the Harry Roland Tribute pages: ERBzine 2382
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Thanks to Panthans John Tyner and Mark Wheatley for many of these images.
Visit the ERBzine Tribute to Panthan Artist Harry Roland
ERBzine 2382


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