William Rotsler  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

William "Bill" Rotsler (July 3, 1926 - October 8, 1997) was an American author of several science fiction novels and short stories; television and film novelizations; and a number of non-fiction works on a variety of topics, ranging from Star Trek to pornography; a prominent member of science fiction fandom; and an artist and sculptor, primarily in metal, who contributed to the art at the entrance to the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters.

Rotsler's novels include Patron of the Arts (1974), To the Land of the Electric Angel (1976), Zandra (1978), and The Far Frontier (1980). He was also a sculptor (he located the fossils, crystals and stones for the Nebula Award trophies), and filmmaker, and contributed to the 1994 computer game Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb. He also directed several sexploitation movies for Harry Novak, including Mantis in Lace and Agony of Love.

He was known in science fiction fandom for his decades as a cartoonist and fan artist, winning five Hugo Awards in that category. He was famously willing to provide artwork for free to even the most obscure or struggling fanzines. Rotsler also devised a sort of friendly "cartoon duel", in which he crossed swords (or, rather, pens) with various other cartoonists, as follows: Rotsler and another cartoonist would each draw some sort of cartoon figure (human, animal or monster) simultaneously, with neither artist knowing what the other was drawing. The two figures would then be placed side by side to form one picture. Rotsler and the other cartoonist would then equip each of the two cartoon figures with a comic-strip "speech" balloon: each cartoonist creating and lettering the cartoon for the other artist's drawing.

Rotsler was Fan Guest of Honor at Torcon II (the 1973 Worldcon); winner of the 1977 Down Under Fan Fund; and in 1996 was voted Past President of the Fan Writers of America.

For ten years, he was the cameraman for Bill Warren as they traveled about Los Angeles shooting segments for the French TV series, Destination séries. Rotsler, like Warren, also appeared on camera in this series. He died in his sleep of complications from the radiation therapy treatment he had been undergoing for cancer.

The annual Rotsler Award "for long-time wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the science fiction community" was established in 1998. The Award is ordinarily announced at Loscon, the Los Angeles science fiction convention held over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day weekend in November.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "William Rotsler" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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