Monday, June 14, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #119, June 1987: Superman IV and Spaceballs

The fourth Christopher Reeve Superman film is the cover. It is in keeping with Starlog’s amazing run of runny grainy or even blurry photos of Supes on the cover. (They do, finally, break with that tradition when they put Brandon Routh’s 2006 Superman Returns on the cover with a very good photo.)

Meanwhile, Mel Brooks’ science-fiction spoof Spaceballs takes second place on the cover (the upper left-hand corner). For the eBay collectors among you, note that Starlog will publish the official licensed magazines (poster magazines, actually) for both Superman IV and Spaceballs.

Starlog #119
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

On a magazine production note, this issue heralds the return of glossy paper for all of the interior color pages. Thankfully, we don’t lose the nice crisp white quality of the black-and-white pages, which is frequently the casualty when Starlog makes this type of a switch.

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, Kerry O’Quinn hits the hotel bar with actress Nichelle Nichols, where they drink cranberry juice and talk philosophy; Communications letters include a complaint about a small-town science-fiction convention failure, writer Diane Carey and a bunch of readers comment on Star Trek novels, a reader plays if-I-were-an-alien, and more; and Medialog features David McDonnell’s extensive roundup of genre news (such as the announcement that Sylvester McCoy has been chosen to replace Colin Baker as the newest Doctor Who).

Edward Gross interviews John D.F. Black, writer of Star Trek episodes; in the Fan Network pages, Robert Greenberger checks in with actor George Takei (including some photos from a Chris Elliott farce in which Takei takes part), plus there’s a longer report on Stan Woo’s Yorktown II: A Time to Heal film (featuring Takei), reader questions are answered (such as, “In Star Trek III’s novelization by Vonda McIntyre, Saavik and David Marcus had ‘positive feelings’ for each other, not to mention sex. Was this edited out of the final film?”); and there’s more Takei in this issue, as Marian Sue Uram interviews that actor, who talks Walk of Fame, costumes, merchandising, and more; in his second Generations column, David Gerrold introduces the character of Data and answers some popular questions about the new series (such as casting, story submission, etc.); in a three-page section titled “The Guests of Trek,” K.M. Drennan profiles David Opatoshu (”A Taste of Armageddon”), while Bill Warren profiles Barbara Anderson (”The Conscience of the King” ) and Elisha Cook (”Court Marshall”); David Hutchison’s Videolog notes the new genre video releases (such as The Outer Limits); in the first of a two-part article, Steve Swires interviews actor Kerwin Mathews, a Wisconsin native who talks The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, The Three Worlds of Gulliver, and more; Andy Mangels talks with Nexus creator Mike Baron; Kim Howard Johnson previews Superman IV.

Brian Lowry visits the set of Spaceballs, where he learns that Rick Moranis is a real alien; in his first of many articles for Starlog, Bill Florence interviews writer Stephen Goldin; writer Ryerson Johnson explores “Doc Savage: The Ghosts in Bronze,” in the Other Voices guest column; in the second part of their exploration of Disneyland’s Star Tours, writers Bruce Gordon, David Mumford, and Chris Tietz examine how some of the magic was made; Carr D’Angelo interviews filmmaker Susan Siedelman about her John Malkovich-starring film, Making Mr. Right; Chris Henderson’s Booklog notes the new genre print releases; and David McDonnell’s Liner Notes column passes along some behind-the-scenes info from Ryerson Johnson (such as rewriting Ray Bradbury).
“Like Young Frankenstein, it’s important that it look like its source material. We always said from day one, within the budget, we wanted this picture to look as much like a classy space movie as it could.”
--Thomas Meehan, co-screenwriter, interviewed by Brian Lowry: “Spaceballs: The Set Visit”
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
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