Thursday, March 28, 2013

'1984' issue 2
Warren magazines, August, 1978

After observing the success of National Lampoon's Heavy Metal magazine, James Warren decided to have his own 'adult' sf magazine out on the stands.

Titled 1984, the magazine premiered in June, 1978. In 1980 it was retitled 1994 after legal action from author George Orwell's estate, and went on to issue 29 (February 1983) before ceasing publication when Warren went bankrupt.

Considering that editor Bill Dubay was also handling Warren's other publications (James Warren was too miserly to hire the necessary additional editorial staff), 1984 wasn't a bad magazine, but it never achieved the success of Heavy Metal, or its imitator from Marvel, Epic Illustrated.

Dubay's sought to lure a male, 15 - 25 year-old readership by supplying 1984 with sf comics based on the salacious themes used in the humor strips then appearing in Penthouse and Hustler

Indeed, 1984 was to be sold only to those over 18 years of age, although I suspect few store proprietors in those halcyon days of the late 70s would've turned away would-be purchasers.

Modern readers, accustomed to the access to universal porn provided by the internet, will no doubt find the content of 1984 rather tame, even insipid in its silliness.

Here's 'Scourge of the Spaceway', with story by Dubay and artwork by Esteban Maroto. The script has the smarmy, locker-room humor of many of 1984's stories.

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