Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weird Worlds 1980

You may have noticed a lack of posts the last 2 months. I'd lost that bloggin' feeling. That combined with Christmas and other extenuating circumstances resulted in no content.  But with the New Year, I'm back.

I was at an estate sale this morning and came across this issue of Weird Worlds.


By 1979, having just started the 7th grade, I was already a fan of Scholastic's "Dynamite" magazine when I saw a new magazine advertised in their flyer: "Weird Worlds". The first issue featured a Battlestar Galactica cover.


I didn't watch Battlestar Galactica (not sure why, there must have been something else more appealing opposite of it), but I was intrigued by a magazine that would feature it and ordered that issue.  Reading through it's content of weird facts, tributes to horror movies and short sci fi stories grabbed me instantly and I was hooked.  It was the "Dynamite" of the nerd set.

Produced by the same team that brought us "Dynamite" including Margaret Ronin, Suzanne Lord and Chip Lovitt, it was edited by husband and wife team Jane and "Jovial" Bob Stine, who later dropped the "Jovial" and started going by R. L. You might remember him from a series of children's novels he wrote...

I bought several more issues, but at some point, the Scholastic flyers stopped coming and I didn't see it again.  As it turned out, I didn't miss much. Based on the covers online, it only lasted 8 issues.

I had the issue I bought today, but it had been destroyed from repeated reading over the years.  I enjoyed reading through it. And now you can too.



The poster is still attached. I didn't have the heart to tear it out.  It says, "Welcome to Mars". You'll have to use your imagination.



I remember finding that movie still for "I Walked with a Zombie" pretty disturbing. Something about the goat (or deer or whatever it is) strung up from the tree.

Sounds like somebody didn't like "Night of the Living Dead".


I remember enjoying this story, and being a little disturbed by it.








"Saturn 3" was a British-produced science fiction film that starred Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Harvey Keitel (works for me).  It was a box office flop.







I remember watching that squirrel on the TV show "Those Amazing Animals".










I remember seeing that picture of Mars for the first time. It just about blew my mind.


I was a sucker for these "True" UFO encounter stories.  Margaret Ronan wrote this one. She also wrote the "True Tales of Terror" series in "Dynamite" magazine that captivated me.  Like those stories, the truth of this tale is questionable. I could find no reference to a "Jennings Frederich" on the internet, but oddly enough, I did find an author named M. Frederic Jennings who wrote "FOI (Flying Objects Identified)" in 2013.





The cover of this magazine along with the following story are illustrated by Joe Kubert (or at least his "School of Art".  There's no denying he's a legend in the comic's world, but I was never a big fan of his work, although the story below features some of the better art I've seen by him.












The other covers for the remaining issues.



Image courtesy mycomicshop.com

Image courtesy mycomicshop.com


Image courtesy mycomicshop.com

15 comments:

  1. welcome back! wow, i don't remember this magazine at ALL. fun to read through it now, though... the music section writeups are great, but there are a couple bands i've NEVER heard of (Boney M? wtf). it's also funny that they write off DEVO as "KISS for the college kids" considering how influential they became... and super crazy to see "Shoe" in here, considering what a conservative right-wing guy he became -- cut from the same cloth as Johnny Hart.

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    1. Boney M? Wonder no more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBXRJgSd-aU

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    2. oh wow. so, question: how far did you make it into that video? i lasted about 2 minutes. perhaps they were ahead of their time, haha.

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    3. You made it about a minute longer than I did.

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  2. I don't remember it either. When I saw Dynamite and Bananas I genuinely didn't understand --- they were aimed at kids, but they were all about John Travolta and Kristy McNichol and Sean Cassidy and people like that, and who cared about that? I would have understood the value of Weird Worlds immediately.

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    1. I was a fan of Dynamite, but not so much into the pop stars of the day either. I think I read it more for the comics, Bummers and Count Morbida.

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  3. Don't remember this magazine, either, but I have seen some of the art via Tumblr. Interesting, lots to look and read through. Shoe seems a weird fit, though, no?

    Glad you are back. Here's to a great 2018 for you and yours!

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  4. Happy New Year! :)

    This totally looks like my kind of magazine! Wonder if many made it over to these shores? Gives me an excuse to browse my local bookstores a bit more looking for them anyway...so thanks! ;)

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    1. Happy New Year to you, Ewen! Let me know what you find!

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  5. My brother and I got Dynamite and Bananas all the time, but I don't remember this magazine. Thanks for the share.

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  6. I could be wrong but I don't think this magazine was ever available in stores... I remember buying a few issues at book fairs and later ordered some through another type of scholastic catalog, also through my gradeschool. Awesome stuff though for sure. I never realized this many issues were published, but I have blogged a few of the Bisset horror comic stories over at THOIA too

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  7. Thank you! I had remembered owning at least one issue of this magazine (#4) and reading the Lovecraft story, but I had completely forgotten the title of the magazine or anything else about it until I came across your post. Now (thanks to Amazon sellers) I have all eight issues and have been really enjoying going back through them -- some surprisingly strong fiction reprints. And some of the non-fiction is also really interesting, particularly the Empire Strikes Back preview where they're speculating about the possible future of the Star Wars franchise ...

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    1. You're welcome, Joe, glad to bring back some memories. And thanks for stopping by.

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