|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (September 2010)|
Jack Radcliffe on the cover of Bear Magazine (Issue No. 65, September 2008.)
|Circulation||30,000 (2010)|
|Publisher||Bear Omnimedia LLC|
|Based in||Las Vegas, NV, United States|
BEAR Magazine is a periodical specifically geared toward gay and bisexual men who are — or who admire — "bears", i.e., men with facial and/or body hair. It was initially published in San Francisco, California in 1987 by Richard Bulger and his partner Chris Nelson and marketed to the bear community within the larger LGBT community.
In 1985 Bart Thomas began putting together a self-published magazine he called BEAR. Before he was able to actually launch the magazine he succumbed to complications from AIDS, but not before passing the torch to Richard Bulger. Bulger, along with partner Chris Nelson, released the first issue of BEAR Magazine in 1987 as a photo-copied flyer published from their apartment under the name Creative Options Associates (COA). Bart Thomas is listed as the Editor for issues #1 and #2, then replaced by Richard Bulger in issue #3. In 1991, COA became Brush Creek Media Inc., named for Brush Creek, California, the town where their vacation cabin was located. Brush Creek Media obtained a trademark on the name "Bear" for a men's magazine in 1992, which applies to print, digital media and video.
Originally created as an alternate to the abundance of shaven men represented in gay mainstream media, BEAR grew over the course of years into an internationally distributed glossy magazine, which featured erotic photographs of masculine, mature men and erotic stories. There was also a classified personals section which, before the emergence of the internet, was one of the few ways for men to find compatible romantic and sexual partners, and to network with like-minded men.
The first formal company office was established above a 1908 former fire-house at the corner of 16th and Albion Streets in San Francisco, where their various publications, clothing and lifestyle products were also displayed and sold. Then in 1994 Brush Creek Media moved its office and Bear Store to 367 9th Street in the South-of-Market district which is the center of San Francisco's gay leather district and around the corner from Rick Redewill's Lone Star Saloon.
It is important to mention that the close proximity of Brush Creek Media to the Lone Star Saloon resulted in a synergistic relationship. With the Bear Store and nearby bars, shops and hotels catering to the bear-identified, the Lone Star Saloon eventually became the quintessential bear bar, further igniting the bear movement. This formed a circuit for locals, tourists and visitors to events like International Bear Rendezvous and Folsom Street Fair among others. Later that year in 1994, Beardog Hoffman purchased Brush Creek Media Inc. and began expanding the company into several special-interest gay magazines and video series.
A New Chapter
In 2006, the BEAR trademark was judicially assigned and registered to Butch Media Ltd of Las Vegas, Nevada, a creditor of Brush Creek Media. Similarly, in 2007 the court assigned BEAR Magazine and all the Brush Creek Media copyrights to Butch Media Ltd. Bear Omnimedia LLC, the parent company of Butch Media Ltd, revived BEAR Magazine in 2008 starting with issue #65. Under the new direction of Steven Wolfe (Publisher/Editor-in-Chief) and photographer Teddy Mark, the format was again updated in 2010 for an evolved bear movement and LGBT community, and now covers broader aspects of masculinity. BEAR Magazine continues in print as well as digital formats.
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- "BEAR Magazine, 1-3" (#1-#3). COA. 1987. p. 1.
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