Saturday, 15 February 2014

STARBURST COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...



 It was November or December of 1978, and I was sitting in the local
CO-OP cafeteria with some pals, sipping a Coke and shooting the breeze.
During my occasional moments of inactivity in the conversation, I perused the
newly-purchased magazine laying on the table before me, my eyes continually
returning to study the cover which so transfixed my attention.  I hadn't yet seen
STAR WARS at that time, and didn't get around to doing so until my local
cinema screened it as one half of a double-bill with its sequel a couple of
years later.  The movie didn't impress me, but I sure liked that cover.

Well, the Co-op and its cafe have been gone for quite some time now,
but I still possess that self-same copy of Starburst that I bought just over 36
years ago, in the exact same condition as on the day of purchase.  Starburst was
the brain-child of DEZ SKINN, whose own company published the first three
issues before Marvel acquired the title when Dez started working for them in
1978 or thereabouts.  Dez 'officially' left the magazine (and Marvel) with #20,
but ALAN McKENZIE had being doing most of the editorial chores all
on his lonesome for the previous few issues anyway.

Marvel's last issue was #87, with #88 being the first one published by
VISUAL IMAGINATION in 1985.  The company went out of business in
2009, with #365 being the last in-print issue.  The mag then became an online
only-presence in 2011 (366-373), before being revived in 2012 as a published
magazine once again, starting with issue #374.  The latest issue is doubtless
sitting on the shelves of WH SMITH's at this very moment, waiting for
you to pick up a copy.  Why not do so at the earliest opportunity.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a taste of the '70s by viewing the
first 12 covers of the original publication.  Each cover has its own personal
memory for me, especially #6, which I associate with the furniture department
of the local BAIRDS store where I worked at the time.  Ah, Bairds -yet another
place from the past that vanished from my local shopping centre some time back
in the '80s.  However, one look at these covers and my home town is once again
as it was, when I was just a youngster with the future in front of me.  I'm sure
it's the same for you, too, so feel free to share your reminiscences in the
Criv-ites comments section.
      












21 comments:

tongalad said...

The making of The Lord of The Rings - Ralph Bakshi's version was pretty amazing for the time. I'm sure I still have a copy on VHS

Kid said...

If I remember correctly, they basically traced live actors frame-by-frame. It was supposed to be the first of at least two movies, wasn't it? I don't think the next one ever saw the light of day.

tongalad said...

I believe it was called roto-scoping? And they only made one of the series. Shame!

Kid said...

Yup, that's what it's called (created by Max Fleischer), but basically it's a frame-by-frame tracing technique using projectors.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

The cover of the second issue tends to be quite a laugh over here with those that are fans of that particular property that was highlighted in that issue ("Space Cruiser"). The film itself that was released in the UK was a compilation of a animated TV series produced originally in Japan under the name "Uchuu Sekan Yamato" (or Space Battleship Yamato). The film also saw limited runs in the US as well, though the original TV series it was from was however syndicated nationally under the name "Star Blazers".

This webpage may help you out if you ever get curious as to what this was.
http://www.ourstarblazers.com/

Kid said...

Thanks for the info, Chris. I'm sure I won't be the only person checking out that link.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I have to make a difference!

Here's an article about the film itself, also with a scan of the poster from that Starburst issue!
http://ourstarblazers.com/vault/236/

Here's a good short video documentary that should help you understand then impact of this franchise a bit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoeq0VNtbpw

Kid said...

Thanks again, Chris.

John Pitt said...

Thanks for these , Kid , I didn't have any of the earlier issues so it's good to see what I missed. Did you get the sister mag Monste monthly too?

Kid said...

I don't think I did, JP - or at least, if I did, I don't have any now.

Colin Jones said...

I can remember quite a few of those covers but I didn't buy Starburst until late 1999/2000 and never on a regular basis - my favourite sci-fi magazine is SFX which I do buy every month without fail. I was really surprised to see Starburst back on sale - several of those sci-fi/fantasy magazines have come and gone in the last few years such as Starlog, Dreamwatch and Death Ray, only SFX and Sci-Fi Now have been successful it seems.Talking about Star Wars - I saw it in May '78 and was a huge fan but my enthusiasm had cooled by the time the sequel came out, I still think that having Darth Vader as Luke's father was stupid and Luke and Leia as brother and sister was idiotic! For me the original movie is still a sci-fi classic but it's been ruined by all the sequels/prequels/daft family relationships/CGI additions etc.

Kid said...

I don't think I've seen the first Star Wars movie since 1979 or '80, but I saw the one with Bar Bar Jinks and it was awful. The first one was a well-enough made little film I suppose, but it just failed to grab me to the same extent that it did other movie-goers.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Thanks again, Chris.

Glad to help. It's often said the interest in Japanese animation came about through the American interest in science fiction as it was those people who latched onto anime first here, thanks to shows like Star Blazers or Robotech that followed.

In some way, it's just like the same fantatism Americans had for British classics like Doctor Who or Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds. We never had equivalents to these but also discovered them in much the same way of wanting to fulfill an interest in something that wasn't being done domestically. Japanese animation did for Sci-Fi in that regard as well with their movies, TV shows and cartoons throughout the past half century.

baab said...

I dont think I have ever read a copy of this magazine,If I were younger at the time I would have.

I was exposed more to Halls of Horror/House of Hammer and I think it was Monster Movie Mag or something.(cover in my mind is Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera.)

I remember receiving Star Wars as a Christmas present in novel form when the movie came out,but I was more delighted with the easel and A0 sketch pad in the middle of the living room.
I think I drew great big versions of Kirby's Thor ,Captain America and for some reason Galactus,although I truly believe that is a false memory! (wow)
I don't know if I read the book or not.
I did see the movie. I don't know where,but I instantly saw the syndicated sci-fi of Flash Gordon etc.
And I dismissed it as such.

(I remember now ,I saw it on Screen Test!
every week for a month!
Star Wars and Bugsy Malone.)

I have young kids so I have watched them all now and I am impressed sometimes by the special effects but nothing else.
Its probably just an age thing.
A seen it before thing.

The one with Jar Jar Binks (Bar Bar indeed,you joker)was beautiful to watch but instantly forgettable.
ooops I just saw Jar Jar on the battlefield and all the electric plasma orbs and underwater creatures and...... forgettable? .... stop it.

So many memories popping up as I type this.
The first or second comment I ever posted on your blog warned that I did not fancy reminiscing.
But this blog is where the majority of my memories begin to re-surface.

Thanks for that Kid.
Funny,an article about a magazine I never read or have any interest in has had an effect.

So in regard to the subject ,
Some of these covers look iconic to me.
Is it the images used or is it these covers?

Kid said...

Chris, you should do a post about the subject on your blog. I'm sure a lot of people would find it interesting.

******

Believe it or not, Baab, I Googled the name - it's listed as both - Bar Bar Jinks AND Jar Jar Binks. I went with the first one that came up. Curious indeed. Glad the post jogged a few memories for you.

Colin Jones said...

The Phantom Menace is one that I haven't seen but it's now widely derided. What's interesting though is how it was being hailed as a masterpiece BEFORE anybody had seen it and the same thing seems to be happening with these new Star Wars films that are being made - it's already been decided that they'll be a triumphant return to form! George Lucas must be very glad your indifference wasn't widely shared, Kid. I should mention that I was 12 in 1978 when I saw Star Wars and Lucas said recently that SW was aimed at 12 year-old boys. Perhaps you were too old for it - it is rather simplistic I must admit.

Kid said...

It's not that I thought Star Wars was a bad movie, Col - it's just that it didn't live up to my expectations based on everything I'd heard about it. Superman and Bond movies (from that time) were aimed at more or less the same age group, but I enjoyed them. Too old? I always try and live up to my nickname ('cos I'm a big wean).

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Chris, you should do a post about the subject on your blog. I'm sure a lot of people would find it interesting.

I could, but at the same time I don't think I could quite tell enough about it since my knowledge came second-hand over the years I was into it. I do know more people who do blog about it themselves who did a finer job than me. One guy I had been pals with for over a decade has a blog I could recommend here.
http://letsanime.blogspot.com/

Another great guy who had been at it since the 70's through having once been in a club devoted to science fiction and animation puts out a number of posts on Japanese animation going back a century at Cartoon Research.
http://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/category/funny-animals-and-more/

The UK also has one terrific female anime scholar I would suggest name Helen McCarthy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_McCarthy

I'll stop at this point, I know I'm taking this far too off-topic to begin with! :-P

Kid said...

Don't worry about it, Chris - I'm not too rigid about things like that. I'm sure regular readers who are interested in the subject will appreciate all the links you've supplied.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Thanks!

One thing about the Starburst cover is that the main ship that has a smaller craft coming out of a hole on the front of it is really inaccurately painted by someone unaware of the source material present. That's actually the main weapon itself (The Wave Motion Gun), not a passageway. It's a nitpick, but one that fans love to bring up.

Kid said...

I think we can safely put it down to artistic licence, Chris. Or perhaps it's a new kind of missile they're testing out. Still a great painting 'though, eh?

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