Tuesday, January 4, 2011

(Re)Discovering Steranko's Mediascene

When I first got into buying magazines in 1980, I soon began seeing a magazine called Mediascene Prevue, which was published out of Pennsylvania by artist Jim Steranko. I bought a copy here and there, but it never became a regular thing for me – far too many of the pages were taken up with cheesecake shots of actresses and ads for cheesecake shots of actresses. Not my thing, but if it helped Steranko pay the bills, then so be it. Over the years, that aspect of the magazine seemed to take over the book to the extent that it sorta became Femme Fatales before Cinefantastique started that magazine.

But I'm wandering. The reason I'm posting this is that I've begun to find images of the earlier issues of the magazine, when it was just called Mediascene. Some of the covers were really great; fantastic images with beautiful type treatment.

There aren't a lot of these magazines for sale (at least at reasonable prices) on eBay or Amazon, but I'll keep looking, because I've got to get some of them. Look at these covers. Fantastic, both artistically and from a fannish point of view.

Frankly, I thought the covers were better in the Mediascene version, which apparently was published in a newspaper tabloid format, than when Steranko reformatted the publication into traditional magazine style and changed the name to Mediascene Prevue.

Fun fact: One of Steranko's staffers was David McDonnell, who eventually got a job in New York at Starlog magazine, which he edited for a quarter century.

UPDATE Feb. 11, 2011: You'll note in the comments below to this post that there exists a web site on which Steranko supposedly sells back issues of his magazine (and other products). Just an FYI that I ordered a number of Mediascenes from that web site in early January; I received a confirmation e-mail, but never received the magazines. My credit card was not charged for the purchase, but a follow-up e-mail from me to the company has gone unanswered, and when I tried both phone numbers listed on the site (as per one commenter's suggestion), I learned that one number is out of service and the other apparently is being used by some questionable telemarketing firm. So caveat emptor.


Mike Metzler said...

I have a handful of Prevues that are yet to be put on eBay. I find 'em almost completely worthless. I used to work at K-Mart in the early '90s and I remember the magazine being taken off their racks due to the sleazy ads running rampant through otherwise innocuous content.

Tony said...

I think Steranko is still selling back issues of Comixscene/Mediascene/Prevue for low prices. I think the link to the site is http://www.prevuemag.com

jzipperer said...

Mike: Yeah, the magazine got to be more sex than SF.

Tony: Thanks for the link. There are a ton of old Mediascenes for sale on that site. I'll give it a try.

Tony said...

John: If you are going to order, call the phone number. The last fan I know only got his item after he talked to someone on the phone. That was about 6 months ago, so I believe the site is still active.

jzipperer said...

Oops. I already did an online order this morning. I received an e-mail confirmation. But I'll call the number if I don't receive the item soon.

Thanks for the heads-up!

Tony said...

steranko is selling some back issues on ebay right now:

jzipperer said...

Thanks, Tony, but I gave up a long time ago. My order in January was never fulfilled, despite my phone calls to the phone number on his website and my emails to the company. Alas.