Fred Patten


Frederick Walter Patten (born 1940) is known for his work as a historian in the science fiction, anime, manga, and furry fandoms, where he has gained great distinction through a substantial contribution to both print and online books, magazines, and other media.

In 1972, Patten partnered with Richard Kyle to create Graphic Story Bookshop in Long Beach, California. In an interview posted on the (now defunct) website of Pulp Magazine, Patten said he had discovered manga at Westercon, one of the largest science fiction conventions on the West Coast, in 1970. At the time, he had been aware of television shows like Astro Boy, but had no idea then that they were Japanese. Through his bookshop, he wrote to Japanese publishers, asking to import their manga, achieving some success and in the process becoming a pioneer in the anime and manga fandom. He was one of the founders of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, the first American anime fan club, in 1977.[1]

During this time, Patten worked in numerous library positions, notably that of technical catalogue librarian at Hughes Aircraft Company‘s Company Technical Document Center (CTDC), in El Segundo, Calif., from 1969 to 1990. After leaving that position, he served from 1991 to 2002 as the first employee of Streamline Pictures, one of America’s pioneering anime specialty production companies, founded by Carl Macek and Jerry Beck in 1988. He has been a presenter at major conventions and guest lecturer at universities in the U.S. and Australia.

Patten wrote numerous monthly columns and individual articles for Animation World Magazine, Newtype U.S.A., the Comics Buyer’s Guide, and other magazines, including serving as the Official Editor for the Rowrbrazzle Amateur Press Association, until March 2005, when he suffered a stroke. No longer able to keep his collection, which had grown over more than 40 years, he donated everything — almost 900 boxes (220,000 items) of comic books, records, tapes, anime, manga, programs from science-fiction conventions dating back to the 1930s, convention T-shirts, paperbacks, and an array of sci-fi fanzines back to the 1930s — to the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection at the University of California, Riverside, which houses the world’s largest collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

You can find Fred’s archived reviews by clicking on the Fred Patten category and he’s back reviewing actively.

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