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Cover of Video Watchdog's first issue
Although devoted chiefly to the horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres, the magazine frequently delves beyond these strictures into art film, Hong Kong action cinema, spaghetti western, exploitation films, anime, and general mainstream cinema. In addition to Lucas himself, Video Watchdog's list of regular contributors includes such writers as Kim Newman, Stephen R. Bissette, associate editor John Charles, Bill Cooke and Heather Drain. Regular columns include "Ramsey's Rambles" by Ramsey Campbell and in past issues, "Fleapit Flashbacks" by Joe Dante. Douglas E. Winter contributes a CD/music column, "Audio Watchdog," while books are reviewed in "Biblio Watchdog" by Lucas, Anthony Ambrogio and Brett Taylor.
Originally a black-and-white publication, Video Watchdog added full-color covers with its 13th issue, and celebrated its 100th issue in 2003 by adopting a permanent, full-color format. Los Angeles-based artist Charlie Largent has been responsible for most of the cover art since 2002, beginning with #84. As of 2011, two Video Watchdog Special Editions have also been published, as well as two Video Watchdog Signature Editions, the latter featuring unique covers individually signed by child stars Donnie Dunagan and Ann Carter.
The magazine's website includes "Round Table" film discussions, free article samples, and a link to Lucas' "Video WatchBlog, launched in October 2005.
As a company, Video Watchdog has also published two books written by editor Lucas. The Video Watchdog Book, released September 1992, is a collection of articles, essays, and lists that originated in other magazines, including Film Comment and Fangoria. Mario Bava All the Colors of the Dark, published September 2007, is a copiously illustrated, 1128-page critical biography of Italian director and cinematographer Mario Bava. It received a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award as the Best Book of 2007, as well as an Independent Publishers Award bronze medal and a Saturn Award for Special Achievement.
- Best Magazine - Rondo Classic Horror Award 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
- Best Website - Rondo Classic Horror Award 2006.
- Best Theme Issue (#169, Dark Shadows) - Rondo Classic Horror Award 2012.
- Best Semi-Prozine - FanEx Award, 1991.