"Rotsler's religion is the joy of life"
- Robert Silverberg
"...a genius and a remarkably gifted talent dealing in evocative symbolism"
- Robert Bloch
"To say Bill Rotsler is a remarkable man is a sad bottom-line indeed; inadequate"
- Harlan Ellison
"...amazing and a great talent"
- Stan Freberg
William Rotsler, 1926 - 1997
William Rotsler, author, artist, sculptor, photographer, and cartoonist extraordinaire, died suddenly October 18, 1997, at the home of his friend, Paul Turner. He recently had throat cancer surgery. In the last few years, he had a heart attack and bypass surgery, and various other severe illnesses.
Rotsler's cartoons and drawings delighted and amazed friends and fans for 50 years. In 1996, he was given Hugo and Retro-Hugo awards for work 50 years apart. He won his fifth Best Fan Artist Hugo Award just this year. His spare, laconic drawing style masked an ability to look at life, described by Harry Warner in A Wealth of Fable, as "funny on the surface, terrifying a millimeter beneath to anyone whose eye could penetrate."
William Rotsler was born 3 July 1926 in Los Angeles, California. He worked on a ranch in Camarillo as a teenager, and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1945, learning the profession of photographer. He discovered fandom in the mid-'40s and was part of the Los Angeles fan scene for over 50 years. He attended Los Angeles County Art Institute, 1947-50, and worked as a sculptor of mainly outdoor modern work from 1950 to 1959, then gave it up to become a photographer, filmmaker, producer, director of commercials, documentaries, etc. He worked mainly in the "erotic" industries, selling photos to Playboy, writing columns for Knight and other men's magazines, writing, directing, or acting(!) -- or some combination of these -- in such movies as The Agony of Love (1966), Notorious Daughter of Fanny Hill (1966), Shannon's Women (1969), and The Secret Sex Life of Romeo and Juliet (1970). He frequently used fan friends as extras in his movies. This part of his career mostly ended by the '70s. During all this, his prodigious output of cartoons and drawings continued unabated. He was fan Guest of Honor at the World SF Convention in 1973.
He also became a professional writer in the '70s, first producing non-fiction book Contemporary Erotic Cinema (1973) and then his first and best novel, Patron of the Arts (1974). To the Land of the Electric Angels (1976) was also noteworthy. He collaborated with Gregory Benford on Shiva Descending (1980). Most of his books were movie and TV tie-ins or children's fiction such as Tom Swift books with Sharman DiVono under the name of Victor Appleton, Jr. His most recent book was Science Fictionaries (1995), a collection of sayings and quotes from SF writers.
(posted 21 Oct; excerpted from the obituary to appear in Locus Magazine, November 1997)
" A Night at the Movies" By Daddy X, Inspired By Celebration Of ReRelease Of William Rotsler's Golden Age Of Erotic Cinema
For the story itself click here - or go the NSFW William Rotsler blog here.
I could mention a hotel window I know in Verona. But all that would do is inspire me to sing opera. While I’ve never been good at singing, or particularly fond of opera, I am fond of sex. Yum. Not that I wouldn’t want to have sex in Verona while hanging (banging?) out a window. Singing.
But never mind all that. I found an inspiration much closer to home.
On June 6, I attended an evening at the San Francisco Center for Sex and Culture, promoted by M. Christian through his involvement in Digital Parchment Services. Quite inspiring. The speaker that night, Chris’s partner in the project, was Jean Marie Stine who worked for the sex film industry in the 60’s and 70’s. Her droll delivery and wry sense of humor was both entertaining and enlightening.
Most of William (Bill) Rotsler’s films were, compared to today’s standards, soft-core, featuring simulated sex. Although he did some hard core stuff toward the end of his movie career, he was known more for the simulated variety. There were no home computers and VCR tapes were just being developed; so if anyone saw his films, they likely saw them at porn houses. At that time it was all considered transgressive.
Rotsler was more than a filmmaker, proficient at many things, a true renaissance man. One of his many mainstream accomplishments was the novelization of the film “Arachnophobia”. His stories won five Hugo awards. His sculpture occupies public space in Los Angeles and he designed the Nebula Award trophies.
Watching sex films featuring all those cute hippie chicks who I fell in love with back in the day makes me want to have sex. Or at least to write about it, given I can’t always find a willing partner at this age. (Thank goodness Momma X still comes across :>)
So, here’s a flasher inspired by that night at the (smut) movies
William Rotsler’s book "from the start of the porno-chic age provides contemporary perspectives and valuable insights into soft- and hard-core." -John Minson, Bright Lights Film Journal
Digital Parchment Services and the estate of William Charles Rotsler are proud to announce the republication of The Golden Age Of Erotic Cinema (1959-1972) (originally published as Contemporary Erotic Cinema) – a groundbreaking examination and celebration of early adult films by the man who helped make those years so special!
William Rotsler (b. 1926 – d. 1997) was truly a renaissance man: acclaimed sculptor, filmmaker, photographer, reporter, novelist, illustrator, cartoonist, and the recipient of multiple awards and award nominations.
But first and foremost, William Rotsler was a visionary erotic filmmaker, acclaimed for such "cult classics" (Wikipedia) as Agony of Love, Lila (Mantis In Lace), Street of a Thousand Pleasures, The Godson, and Like It Is!, among others. During the 1960s he directed dozens of short and feature length films. Frequently working with Harry Novak of Boxoffice International fame, William Rotsler filmed many of the legendary actresses and models of his time, including Diane Webber, Virginia Gordon, Vincene Wallace, Pat Barrington, Gloria Saunders, Cathy Crowfoot, Joanne Rotolo, and Vicky Dee.
Back in print for the first time in 40 years, The Golden Age Of Erotic Cinema is William Rotsler's view of the rise and flowering of adult filmmaking in the 1960s, beginning with the films of Russ Meyer, through to the phenomenal success of Deep Throat – the movie that put adult films on the map – to Behind the Green Door, and so many others. It takes readers behind the scenes for a look at the making of erotic movies, presents up-close-and-personal interviews with stars and producers, and concludes with an "Erotic Cinema Checklist" rating the heat level and and quality of over 100 erotic movies of the era!
Over the years since its original publication The Golden Age Of Erotic Cinema has as achieved the status of a classic on its subject. Eric Schaefer, Associate Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College hails the book for its "valuable insights" and unique lived perspective..."
And William Rotsler was a man uniquely qualified to write it. "His experience [as writer and director] within the sexploitation industry made him a prominent commentator on the screen's explicit sexual realism," writes David Church in "Between Fantasy and Reality: Sexploitation, Fan Magazines and William Rotsler's 'Adult Only' Career." In his writings, Church says '...Rotsler knowledgably ... championed the underground cinema movement for creating 'sexy and beautiful' films that 'say ... important things' as a visible part of broader social changes in sexual mores..."
Join William Rotsler as he takes you behind-the-scenes of Golden Age adult films to cover:
Behind the Green Door
The Devil In Miss. Jones
The Mitchell Brothers
–And much much more!
The republication of The Golden Age Of Erotic Cinema is a major event. It’s a "must-have" for any one interested in erotic films, their history and making.
The Golden Age Of Erotic Cinema (1959-1972)
FREE on Amazon Unlimited for a limited time
Paperback edition coming soon!
The estate-authorized William Charles Rotsler site (http://www.williamcharlesrotsler.com)
The estate-authorized William Charles Rotsler site – featuring his adult films and photography (http://rotsler-erotic-cinema.blogspot.com)
Digital Parchment Services (http://digitalparchmentservices.com)
For information please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org