Bizarre (magazine)

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Bizarre magazine cover.jpg
Cover of the first issue (February 1997)
Editor David McComb
Categories Lifestyle magazine
fetish magazine
Frequency Every four weeks
Circulation 11,603 (ABC Jul - Dec 2013)[1]
Print and digital editions.
First issue February 1997
Final issue February 2015
Company Dennis Publishing
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Bizarre was a British alternative magazine published from 1997 to 2015.[2] It was published by Dennis Publishing, and was a sister publication to the Fortean Times.[citation needed]


Bizarre was launched as a bimonthly title by John Brown Publishing in February 1997[3][4] and was edited by Fiona Jerome. It was an immediate success and changed to monthly issuance a year after its launch. Circulation peaked at more than 120,000 in 2000, but later the same year declined to less than 30,000[5] when I Feel Good (IFG) bought the magazine for £5 million. IFG was a company founded by James Brown, the former editor of Loaded magazine. When IFG collapsed, Dennis Publishing acquired Bizarre.[4] The editor of Bizarre became David McComb in December 2013.[6] Bizarre announced the end of publication in early 2015, with the January issue, published on 20 January, being its last.[3]


Bizarre covered alternative culture through interviews with counterculture personages, and articles about the Occult, LGBT culture and drug, fetish, and other subcultures. It also reviewed the work of avant-garde directors, musicians, authors, and visual artists—and of those who have a cult following.

The magazine's news coverage included unusual news events from around the world; development and impact of legislation concerning censorship, civil liberties, sex offences, and occasionally, incidents of human rights abuses. Articles in Bizarre examined the Manchester police's Operation Spanner of 1987, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, British legislation banning "extreme pornography", and the Terrorism Act 2000. After the murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007, Bizarre campaigned for awareness of bigotry against people who exhibit some form of cultural deviance.

Like lad mags, issues of Bizarre commonly featured a semi-nude female model on the front cover, and reviews of weird gadgets, films, music, and websites.


Earlier issues of Bizarre included a sealed section featuring censored pornography, in which images of anuses, genitalia, semen, and sex acts were obscured. The censorship was self-imposed to avoid alienating mainstream newsagent's shops and booksellers.


  1. ^ John Plunkett (13 February 2014). "FHM circulation drops below 100,000". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  2. ^ Media Information Archived January 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Dennis Publishing Ltd
  3. ^ a b Tom Eames (15 January 2015). "Bizarre magazine to cease publication after 18 years". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b Caroline Taggart (30 June 2010). Writer's Market 2010: Make Money Writing. F+W Media. p. 509. ISBN 978-0-7153-3529-1. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Product Page". ABC. Retrieved 19 January 2010.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ David McComb becomes editor of redesigned Bizarre

Further reading[edit]

Brook, Stephen (3 December 2007). "Redesigned Bizarre gets new editor". The Guardian.

External links[edit]