Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mike Howlett Unleashes "The Weird World of Eerie Publications"

Lookie what the mailman just delivered from Amazon.com: A brand new copy of The Weird World of Eerie Publications (Feral House), a wonderfully illustrated history of a pulp magazine publisher. The 310-page oversized hardcover, written by Mike Howlett, is definitely going to be my holiday reading.

Longtime readers (or even half-awake casual visitors) of this site know that I devote more than is a healthy amount of time and attention to the now-defunct Starlog Group, a New York-based periodicals publisher that lasted from the mid-1970s until the early part of this century. Starlog produced a ton of magazines – regular ones plus zillions of one-shots and limited-run titles – in nearly every category, ranging from genre films to sports to women's fashion to ethnic music to automobiles and beyond. Like Starlog Group, Eerie (under its various names) produced a ton of magazines in a wide variety of categories, but unlike Starlog, Eerie's were usually on the quick-and-dirty-and-cheap side. Eerie was a true exploitation publisher, and just as it's usually more fascinating to read about the escapades of an independent exploitation filmmaker than it is to hear about a corporate studio filmmaker, I can tell from my first scan through the book that this is filled with interesting stories that will tell us a lot about a bygone era in publishing.

So I'm looking forward to reading Howlett's book on the company. I'm sure it'll be amusing to me as a magazine editor and publisher, and it'll be enjoyable to me as a genre reader.

I suppose it's time someone wrote a book about the Starlog company. Me, maybe?

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