Welcome to Retro-Active a new CineGeek column where writers from the site take a look back at the classic pop culture icons of our youth and the potential for their revitalization or the reasons for their staying power if they are still around. check often for updates abd strole down memory lane with us or discover a brand new addiction!
When I was a child and went to the store with my mom I would always sneak off to the magazine rack to flip through the latest issues. Those glossy pages with the behind the scenes pictures and interviews were the only way I could find out about things outside of my town. Being a kid and being into sci-fi and horror I would naturally gravitate to Starlog or Fangoria (although I did prefer Gorezone for the special f/x make up lessons). And of course the special collector’s sneak preview magazines for individual movies were like gold. I remember such magazines for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Goonies and Gremlins. These magazines served to fuel my fire for the movies both before they were released and well after. I wish I still had those colorful treasure troves from my youth; they’d probably be worth something now.
As my teen years got into full swing and I really got into music my selections shifted a little. Sure I would still flip through Fangoria from time to time if there was something on the cover that caught my eye but I wanted to read everything about Guns N Roses and Metallica. And that took priority over everything. Well, not everything. Of course I would sneak a peek at whatever “adult” magazines were available to me as well. Such is life as a teenager. But Rolling Stone, Spin and Guitar World became the main mags for me at this time. I had many, many issues of all these sitting in my room and I had read them so much that I could just about recite all those articles word for word.
Of course my tastes changed again in my twenties to things of a more sophisticated taste. Yes, I had a subscription to Maxim magazine. And yes, I am embarrassed to say that. Later on a friend gave me a one year subscription to Playboy as a
Christmas present. I really did enjoy the articles more than the centerfolds.
These days I don’t read many magazines. Sure, I still read comics but magazines are becoming a relic from the not too distant past. When I go to Books-A-Million I still browse the magazines but I don’t buy them any longer. First off, they have gotten way too expensive and second I can get the same information on the internet for free. In the days before the internet (and even in the early days) going to Tower Books with my friends was a weekly ritual. Flipping those pages and finding nuggets of pop culture gold tucked between glossy photos was the highlight of my night. Having stacks of magazines in my room was like having the answers to the pop culture universe at my disposal.
Since print media is all but dead I wonder where it is all going from here. This Christmas my Mom was given a Kindle and I can see the potential for a return to form for magazines in a digital format. If only more of them would embrace the medium. The potential is limitless for not only how the information can be presented but also how it is distributed, stored and even cataloged. This would ensure the future of the medium as well as tap into a new generation and excite them with the facts not just the incessant internet rumors surrounding pop culture. I’m looking forward to the second and third generation of e-readers as well as tablet computers to see just how creative publishers will use this new and limitless format.