Wednesday, November 3, 2010



'Questar' magazine, November 1979


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 alongside more mainstream publications .

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. Questar was aimed at the same audience. 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 November 1979 issue features the hit movie 'Alien' on its cover and devotes a good portion of its interior to articles reviewing the film, and interviews with the cast and crew. In addition to the Alien coverage there are some black and white / graytone comics, an article about a 'Kiss' stage play, another about the newly released James Bond film 'Moonraker', and an interview with Mike Gornick, the cinematographer for George Romero's zombie film 'Dawn of the Dead', which was released - to considerable success -  in 1979. 

I've excerpted the Gornick interview here; it's an interesting look at low-budget film-making back in the late 70s. 

The idea of placing a zombie series on network TV with the requisite gore intact, like with AMC's 'Walking Dead', would have seemed most unlikely back in the Old School days of the late 70s.

Also scanned is the magazine's 'Panorama' section, providing a nice overview of what was going on in the SF / fantasy culture throughout 1979.






1 comment:

Scratter said...

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