In the 1970’s there were a few publications catering for sci-fi and horror fans in the UK (World of Horror, House of Hammer, Starburst) but none so prolific as the “poster magazine”. This unique format consisted of an A4-sized glossy colour magazine which folded out into a giant-sized poster; the reverse side was made up of the front cover and a few brief articles containing a large number of pictures and photographs. Every kid at school had at least one massive poster on their bedroom wall which was the centerpiece of a poster mag of one kind or the other, whether it be a pop star, a television series or the latest blockbuster movie.
Possibly the most fondly remembered poster mag of all was Dez Skinn’s Monster Mag which ran from 1973 – 1976 and relied heavily on extremely gory horror movie stills, usually (but not exclusively) from Hammer Films, Amicus and the like. The magazine also ran features on The Outer Limits, Grand Guignol theatre and The Exorcist but one of its main attractions was the “FOR SALE TO ADULTS ONLY” banner on the front cover which only made it even more attractive to it’s mostly under-age readership! Monster Mag ran for seventeen issues in total until Dez moved on and created House of Hammer magazine which offered a lot more scope for in-depth articles as well as comic-strip adaptations of Hammer’s horror and sci-fi movies.
Another collectible horror poster mag was Legend Horror Classics which also folded out into a gory poster but the remaining pages tended to be made up of a horror comic strip rather than articles on feature films. Due to its success in syndication during the seventies, Gene Roddenberry’s legendary science-fiction TV series Star Trek had its own long-running poster mag although other TV series didn’t fare so well; the Space:1999 poster magazine ran for only two issues and many more shows also had just one or two issues published. Doctor Who, The Six Million Dollar Man, Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes and Kung Fu all had their own magazines but perhaps the biggest part of the market was the movie tie-in. It seemed like every blockbuster movie had its own poster mag – Jaws, King Kong, Star Wars, Superman, Alien, Buck Rogers…the list went on and on. But then, by the 1990’s, the poster mag format seemed to have all but disappeared and became a fond memory for film fans of a certain age…
Here at Space Monsters Magazine we’ve been playing around with the idea of reviving the iconic poster mag format perhaps with a series of one-offs or a continuing theme. If you think this is a good idea (or even if you don’t!) take part in our survey below and share with us your views and comments on poster magazines – we always love to hear your opinions!