Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weird Fiction & Fantasy Magazines-Weird Tales Part 6

In its first incarnation, Weird Tales lasted from March 1923 to September 1954. Those 46 volumes and 279 issues were followed by:
  • Volume 47--The Sam Moskowitz issues, 1973-1974 (4 issues)
  • Volume 48--The Lin Carter issues, 1981-1983 (4 issues)
  • Volume 49--The Bellerophon issues, or, the rare issues, 1984-1985 (2 issues)
And then the history of Weird Tales got really confusing.

In Spring 1988, Weird Tales returned again with a new publisher, new editors, and new material. The first new issue was numbered 290. In other words, the newest incarnation of the magazine that never dies honored the preceding three versions and their ten issues. The last twenty-five years in the history of Weird Tales have been uneven. Publishers and editors have come and gone. Formats have changed. There was even a four-year gap in publication from 1994 to 1998. Today Weird Tales is a magazine both real and virtual. (According to the website, you can subscribe by mail.) I don't know how long a magazine in print can hold out in this digital age. In any case, following another changeover in personnel, Weird Tales lives on. Nth Dimension Media is now the publisher. Marvin Kaye is editor, beginning with the Fall 2012 issue (Volume 66, Number 4, Issue Number 360). The current issue is dated Summer 2013 and numbered 361. You can order Weird Tales and peruse its website here.

It is now more than ninety years since Weird Tales first went into print. I'm not sure that any story magazine or pulp magazine of its age or older is still being published. Does that make Weird Tales the king of the pulps? If so, it says a lot for a magazine that almost died in its infancy.

Weird Tales, 1988-2013. The cover on the left is from Spring 1988 (No. 290). The artist, George Barr, perfectly captured the look and feel of the original, except for perhaps the figure of the woman, who is straight out of 1970s sword and sorcery. Note the blurb: "Sixty-Fifth Anniversary Issue!"

The cover on the right is for the current issue, Summer 2013 (No. 361). The cover artist is Jeff Wong, who seems to have illustrated almost everything inside the magazine as well. That's a nice variation on the main title logo. Note that this marks another anniversary year. Note also the name of Margaret Brundage on the cover, eight decades after the first appearance of her byline in "The Unique Magazine."
Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley

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