Friday, June 18, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #123, October 1987: Guys with Big Muscles

Oopses! I just realized I posted my writeup for issue #124 before #123 – had forgotten I had #123 written but not posted. So time travel with me back one issue ...

Sylvester Stallone, He-Man, Superman. Starlog is covering a lot of the musclebound hulks in 1987, because they’re the ones dominating the cinemas. Even Robocop, though metallic, is a part of this bulk-up-and-fight-the-bad-guys time period.

In the late 1980s, Starlog was the number-one publisher of licensed movie magazines in the country (probably the world, considering the genre), and the new titles came fast and furious. Sometimes they published movie magazines (Starlog-sized publications dedicated to the movie) and other times they published poster magazines, featuring 10 or 12 posters from the movie plus some pages of editorial content. Rarer is the deluxe magazine, published on better paper stock, featuring an upscale version of the regular magazine, sometimes with some posters added.

So, just to get caught up in 1987, I should note that Starlog published the official movie magazine for The Untouchables (a great movie, and a very nice magazine), Over the Top (a Sylvester Stallone film about – I kid you not – arm wrestling), The Living Daylights, Masters of the Universe, and Star Trek: The Voyage Home (with three publications for that film: poster mag, regular mag, and a deluxe magazine).

Also this month, editor David McDonnell announces the return of the loved-but-previously-dead sister title Comics Scene. It is brought back as a one-shot test issue, and it will perform well enough at the newsstand that the publishers will soon relaunch the title and produce it for eight or nine years, by far the longest of Comics Scene’s three runs.

And on the personnel side, Starlog has a new production director again. This time it’s William Gipp. Don’t get too attached to him, though; Starlog is changing production directors like the rest of us change our socks: often.

Starlog #123
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

Odd classified ad of the month: “WITCHCRAFT harness its powers. Gavin and Yvonne teach you how ...”

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, publisher Kerry O’Quinn gives a behind-the-scenes peek at George Lucas’ appearance at the Starlog convention honoring Star Wars’ 10th anniversary; Communications letters include a bunch of readers reacting to Star Trek’s 20th anniversary, actor Marc McClure (Jimmy Olson in the Superman films) responding to a recent Superman article in the magazine, reader interest in Starman, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Max Headroom, and more; Medialog includes a photo with extended caption on Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride, plus Edward Gross on Eddie Murphy’s interest in being in a Star Trek film, and David McDonnell with a roundup of the latest genre news (such as info on how a directors’ strike had affected science-fiction/fantasy TV productions).

Eric Niderost profiles actress Nancy Allen, who talks Robocop and – in a sidebar by Kim Howard Johnson – Poltergeist III; David Gerrold’s Generations column is his final one, as he announces he’s leaving the Star Trek: The Next Generation fold to go produce his own TV show; Bill Warren talks with producer Jon Davison about Robocop; Brian Lowry interviews screenwriter Jeffrey Boam, who talks The Lost Boys, Innerspace, and more, though it’s still too early for his best film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; the Fan Network section features responses to reader queries (including, “Are there soundtracks for Great Mouse Detective, The Secret of NIMH and Watership Down?”); in what must have been the ultimate Trek fan experience, Carr D’Angelo reports (and Eddie Berganza photographs) on the first Trekcruise (this is your chance to see Nichelle Nichols in a two-person sack race and George Takei posing with his mother); the 25th-anniversary look back at James Bond continues from last issue (featuring more mini-excerpts of past Starlog Bond coverage); speaking of which, Lee Goldberg talks with the new James Bond, Timothy Dalton, who admits, “If I cock this up, it’s going to put a full stop to my career for a year or two.”

He-Man, in the form of actor Dolph Lundgren, is interviewed by Carr D’Angelo; Edward Gross talks with Superman IV director Sidney J. Furie; David Hutchison’s Videolog reports on Superman serials and other video releases; it was a busy month for the managing editor, for Carr D’Angelo is also writing the Comics Scene column, with a roundtable discussion with the creators of the 45th issue of the Star Trek comic book (including Trek comics editor Robert Greenberger, the founding editor of Comics Scene and a former Starlog editor); Faryl M.S. Reingold visits the remote set of the aptly named film Stranded; part two of Dan Scapperotti’s look at Disney animators includes Frank Thomas (no, not the White Sox slugger) and Ollie Johnson; in his Liner Notes column, editor David McDonnell announces the resurrection of the late, great Comics Scene magazine.
“[Timothy] Dalton would have us believe that The Living Daylights is pure [Ian] Fleming, and that Timothy Dalton isn’t a new James Bond, he’s the old James Bond. It’s a pretty nifty strategy, and best of all, it works. Just when it seemed like the Bond series had finally become tired, The Living Daylights takes the character back to his roots, back to the wild espionage stories and the ruthless spy who takes his job very seriously.”
–Lee Goldberg, writer, “Timothy Dalton: The Knight of The Living Daylights
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
Post a Comment