Bizarre (magazine)

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Cover of the first issue (February 1997)
EditorDavid McComb
FrequencyEvery four weeks
Circulation11,603 (ABC July–December 2013)[1]
(print and digital editions)
First issueFebruary 1997
Final issueFebruary 2015
CompanyDennis Publishing
CountryUnited Kingdom

Bizarre was a British alternative magazine published from 1997 to 2015.[2] It was published by Dennis Publishing and was a sister publication to 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]

On 28 February 2020 it was announced, via the magazine's social media pages, that Bizarre was in the early stages of making its return, both physically and online, under entirely new ownership. To date, no further details have been announced regarding the magazine's reboot.[7]


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.

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. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  6. ^ David McComb becomes editor of redesigned Bizarre
  7. ^[user-generated source]

Further reading[edit]

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