Monday, May 13, 2019

The Fonz has Gone Bananas

I've written before that I was a "Dynamite" kid.  No, I don't mean a great kid.  I mean I read "Dynamite" magazine from Scholastic Publications.  Initially, I would order them out of the monthly flyer we received in grade school. Later I would subscribe to it, long beyond it's intended age range I might add. There was another Scholastic Magazine teens were supposed to migrate to after Dynamite: "Bananas".

I'd seen and looked through "Bananas"; my sister had an issue.  I didn't like it.  Maybe it felt too hip to me, the nerd that I was. But I liked the look and feel, and probably the consistency of "Dynamite". Although, I'm sure I would have enjoyed reading "A Visit with The Fonz".

The editor of "Bananas" was none other than Goosebumps' R.L. Stine, known then as "Jovial Bob".  As it was published by Scholastic, "Bananas" used many of the same writers and artists as "Dynamite" such as Jane Stine (Bob's wife), Suzanne Lord, Margaret Ronan, Peggy Herz and Sam Viviano.

This is the 5th issue from 1976. Enjoy.

Margaret Ronan was the "go to" for Scholastic spooky stories.  She wrote a number of collected stories published by Scholastic as well as a series of stories published in Dynamite under the name "True Tales of Terror". I've been meaning to feature those in one of my Halloween posts. Maybe I'll get to it this year.

"Dynamite" magazine had a similar feature written by Dr. Paulina Kernberg called "Good Vibrations" in which kids wrote in about their problems with school, parents and other teenage hot button issues. I couldn't find much on Dr. Herbert Waldhorn, but he appears to have been a legitimate psychoanalyst. Jane Stine's maiden name was "Waldhorn", so methinks a little nepotism may have been at play.

"It Never Fails" is in the same vein as "Dynamite's" "Bummers" feature.

"Bananas" ran for 72 issues between 1975 and 1984, an admirable run although somewhat short of "Dynamite's" 109-issue run from 1974 to 1992.


  1. i used to love Bananas -- i think because i also loved Dynamite, and they seem so connected in tone, look, subject matter, and style. it must've been a fun job, really -- they seem to have been allowed a ton of creative freedom, and they were so goofy. that disco cartoon in this issue is a nice relic of the time. and the history of Diana Ross!

    1. Yeah, you got the idea that Scholastic just let them do what they wanted and it worked.

  2. What with the overall design and layout, the humor pieces, the fumetti, and the strips resembling underground comics, this comes across like a kiddie-friendly version of NATIONAL LAMPOON magazine with show-biz features added.

    Very familiar with DYNAMITE as I received a collection of back issues packaged by one of the major department stores for Christmas back in the mid/late Seventies. I liked it, too.

    I remember ordering SUPERMAG from those Scholastic book clubs - Ever see any of them?

    1. Yes, Bananas seems like it was trying to be as edgy as it could to attract teens.

      Wow, a collection of Dynamite sold in department stores? That's weird. I'd never seen Supermag before until a few years ago when I found some at a garage sale. I have them around here somewhere.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I loved Dynamite as a kid. My brother got the issue of Bananas with Suzanne Somers on the cover. Bananas was full of wacky humor, but the ghost story in that issue really freaked me out, about the Enfield monster. The haunted house story in the above issue is also pretty creepy. I guess since Bananas was geared towards kids older than the target audience of Dynamite, the editors figured they could scare them a little more. Well it worked!

    1. I loved the spooky stories in Dynamite too. And you're right, some of them were downright disturbing to me as a child.


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