Friday, June 25, 2010

 'Questar' magazine June 1980

Questar was a 8 x 11"  magazine published from 1978 to 1981 by MW Communications of Pittsburgh, with William Wilson serving as editor. The magazine was a 'slick', printed in color on higher quality paper stock, with a newstand / magazine rack distribution that placed it alongside more mainstream publications like 'Time' and 'Car and Driver'.

The runaway success of 'Star Wars' in 1977 had made possible the commercial viability of a new generation of SF magazines devoted to covering the genre in film and television. The leading publication of this type was Starlog, which debuted in 1976 and soon achieved a respectable circulation. The magazine Omni, first issued in October 1978, was aimed at a more sophisticated audience and was also enjoying financial and critical success. Questar was designed to fall somewhere in between the two types of magazines. It did not achieve the economic success of its competitors, however, and the magazine folded after issuing its 13th and final issue in 1981.

The June 1980 issue features a fawning interview with author A. E. Van Vogt. There's another interview, this one with uber-SF geek Forest J. Ackerman, and coverage of the upcoming big budget movie 'Conan'. I've excerpted an ad for various groovy sci-fi soundtracks:

There's a 'cheescake for geeks' section focusing on British SF and horror movie actress Caroline Munro:

There's a review of the movie 'Saturn 3', a great example of a cheesier late 70s -  early 80s sci-fi film:

There's also a worshipful in memorium piece about the mask-maker Don Post, Jr., who died in 1979, and whose company (coincidentally) bought a lot of ad space in 'Questar' :

1 comment:

idleprimate said...

I was just reading this and enjoyed the time capsule feel.

The Van Vogt interview was downright bizarre. The Ackerman piece was endearing. And there was an amusing paragraph in the centrefold piece about how the actress had been in a Harryhausen film and a bond film but her "most important" role is in Starcrash. Now, while I'm quite fond of Starcrash I guess they couldnt have known it wouldn't reach a star wars level. The whole notion of a centrefold in a sci-fi magazine took me by surprise though. Talk about a different era.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye open for other issues of this mag.