Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #66, January 1983: The Dark Crystal Arrives

A new face shows up in the Starlog offices and assumes the title of managing editor with this issue: David McDonnell, a contributor to Comics Scene who would now stick with Starlog until the bitter end in 2009, the vast majority of that time as the title's editor. Oh, one other thing: They've finally made Starlog a registered trademark.

Starlog #66
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.50

The E.T. controversy continues this issue, with readers responding en masse to the magazine's complaints about how it was treated by Steven Spielberg's office and denied materials to cover the movie.

The rundown: Kerry O'Quinn uses the example of SF fans behind the Iron Curtain to rally science-fiction fans to a commitment to freedom of thought and action; Communications letters include a slew of readers criticizing or praising Kerry O'Quinn's issue #63 editorial about Spielberg's treatment of the magazine and its readers, responses to recent reviews in the magazine of Poltergeist and Blade Runner, and a letter from Leonard Nimoy about the Ultimate Fantasy debacle; Log Entries short news items include a preview of genre films expected in 1983, a one-act play starring Mark Lenard and Walter Koenig, a possible Lost in Space movie, merchandising The Dark Crystal, a new Gerry Anderson television series (Terrahawks), and more.

David Hutchison talks with producer Gary Kurtz about The Dark Crystal, the Jim Henson fantasy; Ed Naha's Hollywood Babylon column looks at -- and gets beyond -- the B.S. flung around the science-fiction film promotional world; Chris Henderson interviews the great Frank Herbert about his work and Hollywood adaptations of SF; Robert Greenberger interviews producer Frank Marshall about the Indiana Jones movies, The Last Picture Show, E.T., and more; Howard Zimmerman interviews Brian Froud, the fantasy artist whose designs helped create The Dark Crystal; Bill Cotter looks at The Time Tunnel telefilms; so Ed Naha wasn't the only one looking at B.S. this issue, David Gerrold also examines "The B.S. Filter" in his Soaring column; Susan Adamo recounts her trip to Chicago to cover Chicon IV and how she ended up with Kerry O'Quinn's suitcase; Ed Naha looks at Twice Upon a Time, an animated film from George Lucas and Alan Ladd Jr.; Bjo Trimble recounts the experience of Omacon-2; Robert Greenberger reviews the box office performance of genre films in the previous summer; and in his Lastword column, editor Howard Zimmerman presents his fourth annual Zimmerman Awards (including Most Unintentional Laughs: Conan).
"And so, time after time, you see quotes like: 'Well, we like to think that, despite the fact that we spent $40 million on effects, Planet of the Runaway Rocketships is a movie about people.' (Translation: 104 minutes of exhaust effects, 12 minutes of dialogue -- consisting largely of the phrase 'Look out!')"
--Ed Naha, columnist, Hollywood Babylon: "Beauty & the Business"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below.

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