Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs: The Starlog Project, Starlog #193, August 1993

The cover of this issue of Starlog doesn’t lie. It promises “DINOSAURS! DINOSAURS! DINOSAURS!” and it really delivers. Smart dinosaurs, classic dinosaurs, mutant dinosaurs, violent dinosaurs, comic dinosaurs. Even a dinosaur in a Hawaiian shirt. All in there.

And that’s not all. Editor David McDonnell notes that Starlog Press has just published a one-shot magazine called (originally enough) Dinosaur. It was edited by McDonnell’s colleague, Tony Timpone, the editor of Fangoria. McDonnell praises it highly, as do I. Fun magazine. Not to be confused with the same-named Dinosaur magazine Starlog published around 2000, which was the official, licensed movie magazine for Disney’s Dinosaur film.

Starlog #193
84 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $4.95

A while ago, Starlog announced the opening of the first of its Starlog: The Science-Fiction Superstore retail locations. There is an advertisement for the Ridgewood, New Jersey, store in this issue on page 71, near the classified ads. Interestingly, tucked among the classified ads is this notice in the Miscellaneous category: “LOOKING TO BUY: Star Wars, Empire & Return of the Jedi toys in original boxes. Send description to Norman Jacobs, Starlog, 475 Park Ave. South, 8th Flr., NYC, NY 10016.” I’m figuring that those toys were being sought for resale in the Starlog stores. What do you think? Or was Jacobs just looking for a really cool gift for his nieces and nephews?

BTW, on a very minor note, around the time of this issue, Starlog started including “design and layout” credits on each of its articles, presumably to give its overworked art staff some more recognition. I assume this was an initiative of McDonnell, because I don’t recall seeing it in any of the Starlog Group publications that were not edited by him. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen it in any other magazine published by any other company. That’s neither good nor bad; just noteworthy – at least to magazine nerds like me.

The rundown: The cover is packed with photos of dinosaurs (I mean, DINOSAURS! DINOSAURS! DINOSAURS!). Meanwhile, dinos from the comic book Dinosaurs for Hire are on the contents page. In his Medialog column, David McDonnell reports that Skyvision is planning a 22-episode TV series based on the RoboCop movies. Michael McAvennie reviews GURPS Conan, Capcom USA’s The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse, and other games in hs Gamelog column. And the Communications pages include Mike Fisher’s Creature Profile (featuring Rodan), readers picking apart the Space Rangers series, the required letter about Star Trek, and more, including people fretting about the cancellation of Quantum Leap (plus someone actually being helpful: a letter writer from Canada corrects a scene from that series in which someone experiencing a seizure is “helped” by Sam trying to stop him from swallowing his tongue. As the letter writer correctly notes, it’s physically impossible to swallow your tongue – seriously; try it – and attempts to stick something in the person’s mouth could actually result in harming the person undergoing the seizure. That’s your public service announcement of the day, courtesy of someone who knows whereof he speaks.)

In his Videolog column, David Hutchison describes how physicist Stephen Hawking ended up making an appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Booklog reviews The Hammer of God, By the Sword: Magic of the Plains, More Whatdunits, Predator, Beggars in Spain, Glory, Warpath, Peter Nevsky and the True Story of the Russian Moon Landing, and Jadium. Scott Brigg’s directory of fan clubs and publications, along with the convention listings, fill up Fan Network. And in his From the Bridge column, Kerry O’Quinn lets his Texas roots show with a big wet kiss for AggieCon.

Interplanetary Correspondent Michael J. Wolff really gets the dino-party started with a five-page overview of dinosaurs and related giant scary lizards in genre history. (Illustrations by George Kochell.) The magazine finally tracks down actor Christopher Lloyd, and Bill Warren gets him to talk about his roles in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Addams Family, Star Trek III, the Back to the Future movies, and more. Kim Howard Johnson previews the Malibu comic book series Dinosaurs for Hire, which is where you'll find the Hawaiian shirt-clad dino. Marc Shapiro chats with Arnold Schwarzenegger about his latest film, Last Action Hero. And Bill Warren gets the scoop on Jurassic Park from stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldbum.

Pat Jankiewicz provides a one-page chat with director Steve Miner about the filmmaker's attempt to make an American Godzilla movie. Tom Weaver chimes in with two articles: a Q&A with screenwriter Charles Bennett (The Secret of the Loch, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and others) and a profile of the late filmmaker Eugene Lourie (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Gorgo, and more). Marc Shapiro interviews production designer and art director David Snyder, who discusses his groundbreaking work on Blade Runner and other films, such as Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey and Brainstorm. And in his Liner Notes column, editor David McDonnell returns to the topic of dinosaurs, admitting that he's "always found dinosaurs the most intriguing of all bygone beasties."
“Although the citizens of Tokyo, London and New York may have trouble believing this, Godzilla, Gorgo and the Deadly Mantis would have eventually died without proper medical supervision by trained veterinarians. The same problem applies to the other giant beasts which thrived after World War II, such as the mutant ants which roamed the New Mexico desert in Them! (1954), or the giant arachnid created by Professor Deemer in Tarantula (1955). Our world is ecologically different from that of the Mesozoic. Any creatures from that time which might still exist risk eventually being driven out of the safety of their fossil zones and forced into an environment they’re no longer able to tolerate. Small wonder many of them, especially the theropods, rampage.”
–Michael J. Wolff, Interplanetary Correspondent, “The Season of the Dragons”
For more, click on Starlog Internet Archive Project below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent site.
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