The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Magazines

Posted by BigWords on September 19, 2009

Black Static, the horror magazine, had a free issue offer so it seemed sensible to see what they were doing before either submitting anything or taking out a subscription. I’ve had the issue (#12, Aug/Sep) sitting around for a couple of days, and the more I look through it the more I’m coming around to really liking it. There are lots of magazines being published at the moment, so finding one that doesnt seem like another “obligation purchase” is refreshing.

The layout of the reviews reminded me of Samhain, while the familiar size and weight made me think of Tripwire… Though consideering the fates of those magazines I guess that any more of my views may put the jinx on what seems to be a damn fine read.

With Dark Side seemingly set to vanish from the newsstands – not that it gets a very good showing in Fife shops at the best of times – I need a horror magazine that doesn’t annoy me. I’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with Fangoria over the past few years due to its annoying layout quirks and some really bad fims they have covered. I know, despite my whining, that the mag doesn’t have control over the quality of the films, but wasting space on poor movies is all too common.

I don’t think I have addressed it here before, but Wizard, which found its’ voice in the late nineties, has seriously gone off the boil lately. Do we still need to read the wanky fan-wish “cast the comic” stuff, or to know about another new publishers’ lineup? No, sorry, that shit ain’t gonna wash when I have better magazines to read. Only… The little things which crop up in various titles that really don’t add anything is beginning to be really noticeably.

Why do articles get broken in two? Do I want to turn to a few pages from the back of the magazine to read the rest of an interview? Or get a headache trying to separate the text from the ugly colors on the page? That particular problem is most noticeable in Allan Bryce’s SF-tinged mag. Enigma? I can’t remember the title, but it was so hard to read that it was no surprise that it didn’t last the test of time. The harder it is to read the words on the page, the less interested I become in the comtent.

I’m still picking up Death Ray, SFX (despite some SF, horror and fantasy creators viewing it with suspicion) and SciFiNow. Along with New Scientist, that’s pretty much my buying habits at the moment. There are gaps in my Hammer Horror and Comics World collections, so I pick those up when I see them, as with Starlog and other defunct titles. PC Zone and PC Gamer have slid in value for money in the last couple of years (and do I really need the same stuff on the cover disks as they had this time last year?).

360 and other gaming titles are fun, but with the exception of demos don’t really offer me anything that I can’t find on the internet, so I only occassionally pick those up to see who is involved with wich projects. There are some juicy bits of gossip that turn up if you buy all the mags and read them carefully, but I can’t be bothered any more. The news that a possible 1970’s-set sequel to Thief is the only reason I picked up one a couple of months ago, but still…

Maybe I’ll have to think hard about adding Black Static to my purchase list.

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