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Getting the Word Out

January 31, 1988|Matthew Costello in NYC \f7

The Saturday Evening Post is collecting material (poems, writings, photos) for a book on AIDS from most unlikely contributors who, so far, include Yoko Ono, Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, Hugh Hefner, Elton John, Gene Wilder and Dan Aykroyd. Cartoonists and artists have also signed on, including "Beetle Bailey's" Mort Walker and "Doonesbury's" Garry Trudeau.

Profit would go to the magazine's AIDS information program. Post publisher Cory Ser Vaas serves on the President's Commission on AIDS and the magazine sponsors an AIDS-mobile that travels the country dispensing information on the disease. Contributions from celebrities are being accepted until March 7.

According to Post humor editor Tim Quinn, who's editing the book, it will include "almost anything"--cartoon strips, poems, stories, photos and sketches, plus easily digested and basic information about the disease, aimed at readers who ordinarily might not read about it.

Ellison, Quinn said, "wrote a wonderful story." Ono "sent a typical Yoko poem, very warm and loving." Archie Comics is sending pages depicting their characters in class while a teacher discusses AIDS. Asimov wrote what Quinn described as a "very strange piece about why it is called AIDS . . . why just those four letters."

Does Quinn fear trivializing the subject by having entertainers and non-authorities address it?

"It cannot be trivialized," he insisted. "The idea is to bring it home to as many people as possible."

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