Starlog

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Starlog
Starlog.PNG
Editor David McDonnell
Categories Science fiction
Frequency Monthly
First issue August 1976 (1976-08)
Final issue April 2009 (2009-04)
Company The Brooklyn Company, Inc.
Country United States

Starlog was a monthly science-fiction film magazine published by Starlog Group Inc. The magazine was created by publishers Kerry O'Quinn and Norman Jacobs. O'Quinn was the magazine's editor while Jacobs ran the business side of things, dealing with typesetters, engravers and printers. They got their start in publishing creating a soap opera magazine. In the mid-1970s, O'Quinn and high school friend David Houston talked about creating a magazine that would cover science fiction films and television programs.

As of December 2008, the official website at Starlog.com had ceased to operate. In March 2009, Starlog became a sister site to Fangoria magazine's official site, with a new url tied to Fangoria. Simultaneously, production was halted on issue #375, May 2009. New content began to appear on the Starlog website on April 7, 2009, after the site returned to its original Starlog.com domain. The folding of the print edition was officially announced on April 8, with the unpublished issue promised in the near future as a web-only publication. However, the website has since shut down.

In April 2014, Fangoria announced that Starlog would return in the summer of 2014 first as a relaunched website and later in the year as a digital magazine.

History[edit]

O'Quinn came up the idea of publishing a one-time only magazine on the Star Trek phenomenon. Houston's editorial assistant Kirsten Russell suggested that they include an episode guide to all three seasons of the show, interviews with the cast and previously unpublished photographs. During this brainstorming session many questions were raised, most notably legal issues. Houston contacted Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry with the intention of interviewing him for the magazine. Once they got his approval, O'Quinn and Jacobs proceeded to put together the magazine but Paramount Studios, who owned Star Trek, wanted a minimum royalty that was greater than their projected net receipts and the project was shelved.

O'Quinn realized that they could create a magazine that only featured Star Trek content but without it being the focus and therefore getting around the royalties issue. He also realized that this could be the science fiction magazine he and Houston had talked about. Many titles for it were suggested, including Fantastic Films and Starflight before Starlog was chosen. (Fantastic Films was later used as the title of a competing science fiction magazine published by Blake Publishing.)

The first issue of Starlog, a quarterly, was dated August 1976. While the cover featured Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise, and the issue contained a "Special Collector's Section" on Star Trek, other science fiction topics were also discussed such as The Bionic Woman and Space: 1999.[1] The issue sold out and this encouraged O'Quinn and Jacobs to publish a magazine every six weeks instead of quarterly. O'Quinn was the magazine's first editor with Houston taking over for a year and then replaced by Howard Zimmerman when Houston was promoted to the "Hollywood Bureau." Zimmerman was eventually succeeded by David McDonnell, who is still the editor of the web-based magazine.

Starlog #100

One of the magazine's milestones was its 100th issue, published on November 1985. It featured the 100 most important people in science fiction as determined by the editors. This included exclusive interviews with John Carpenter, Peter Cushing, George Lucas, Harlan Ellison, Leonard Nimoy, and Gene Roddenberry.

The magazine's 200th issue repeated the format of the 100th issue but this time interviewed such notable artists as Arthur C. Clarke, Tim Burton, William Gibson, Gale Anne Hurd, and Terry Gilliam.

Starlog was one of the first publications to report on the development of the first Star Wars movie, and it also followed the development of what was to eventually become Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The magazine was devoted to science fiction films, television series, and books. Many fans of this long-running magazine considered its heyday to have been the 1980s with very little substance to the content in later years and many of its long-time contributors having since moved on. But it continued to boast some top-flight genre journalists, including film historians Will Murray, Jean-Marc Lofficier and Tom Weaver. It was one of the longest-running and most popular publications of its type.

It published its 30th Anniversary issue in 2006. After the publisher's bankruptcy and sale in 2008, the print magazine was closed down in April 2009.

Related magazines[edit]

In addition to Starlog, O'Quinn and Jacobs also published dozens of other magazines, including the science/science-fiction hybrid Future Life, Comics Scene, Cinemagic, and Fangoria, which is dedicated to horror films. Over the past 30 years, Starlog has produced books, videos, science fiction conventions, trivia books, and more. It has also had a number of foreign editions, including in Japan, Germany, France, The UK, Brazil, and Australia. Starlog also spun off a number of related publications including the Starlog Poster Magazine, Starlog Science-Fiction Explorer, Starlog Presents... and monthly magazines dedicated to covering the production of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager.

After the entire magazine industry took a serious tumble in 2001, Starlog Group was eventually purchased by Creative Group, Inc., which continued to publish Starlog and Fangoria, and expanded its franchises into the Internet, satellite radio, video, and TV.

As of January 2014, Fangoria is the only magazine launched during Starlog's run to be still in production.

Parent company status[edit]

Starlog publisher Creative Media filed for bankruptcy in March 2008[2] and, in June 2008, sold its assets to a group led by private equity firm Scorpion Capital Partners LP. Starlog and Fangoria and all related assets were purchased by The Brooklyn Company, Inc. in July 2008. The Brooklyn Company is run by longtime Fangoria President Thomas DeFeo, who is now the sole publisher of Fangoria magazine.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Issue 1 on Internet Archive
  2. ^ BusinessWeek: Companies "Creative Media, Inc.: Snapshot" 2-24-09

External links[edit]