This tv-tie-in magazine, publishing new fiction aside from Tightrope! stories, lasted four issues...nearly as long as the tv series did (the show another victim of CBS thug James Aubrey, in this case facing off with similarly intransigent sponsors--see comments below for more on Aubrey).
|One of the last of the new fiction magazines in pulp/"standard" size|
...roughly the dimensions of the National Geographic or most comic books.
|(I knew I was forgetting one!)|
77 Sunset Strip was a more sustainedly successful television series, but an even less successful latter-day pulp-size fiction magazine (with an even more amateurish cover than the other GA magazines...probably a rush job), lasting a single issue--as Phil Stephensen-Payne (or possibly William Contento) put it at the Galactic Central site:
Published shortly after the demise of a very similar magazine, Tightrope!, from the same publisher [actually, the last issue of Tightrope! came out probably just after the single issue of the newer magazine--TM], 77 Sunset Strip also hoped to gain from the publicity of a popular television series of the same name. The pulp size and format was an anachronism and, despite the better-than-average run of contemporary crime-adventure stories, the magazine folded after a single issue.
1960: At Ziff-Davis, Cele Goldsmith's Fantastic Science Fiction becomes, somewhat less misleadingly (given its high fantasy content), Fantastic: Stories of Imagination; its companion, Amazing Stories, becomes Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction Stories; and, at Conde Nast, the most popular sf magazine slowly changes its title from Astounding Science Fiction to Analog: Science Fact -> Fiction (a change some longterm fans and readers, such as Isaac Asimov, never forgave editor John W. Campbell, Jr., for--at least in their more sentimental moods). What I'd failed to remember in recent discussion is that Fantastic Universe (1953-1960), also usually a mixed fantasy and sf magazine which hoped you'd get that impression while usually labeling itself solely an sf magazine, in its last few issues also changed its title a bit, as well as going from "digest"- to "pulp"-sized format:
|The final issue...Brown's novel's serialization ended with its first installment. |
Note Robert F. Young gets higher billing than Borges or Bloch. No.
Despite not-terrible imagery upfront (even if the logo is a bit overdone), Fear! might've been the worst-packaged of Great American's fiction magazines...it lasted only two issues...John Jakes, Hal Ellson and Arthur Porges contributed new stories to this first issue, but you can't tell from the cover...
The shortlived, digest-sized US reprint edition of the most important of UK sf magazines...for its first US issue, recycling the Fantastic Universe cover painting that inspired Algis Budrys's novel Who? (which in its turn was rather tepidly filmed, with Elliott Gould, in the early 1970s).
And, unsurprisingly, the most durable of the GA fiction magazines was The Saint Mystery Magazine, which they acquired along with Fantastic Universe from the folding King-Size Publications in 1959, and which, like New Worlds, had a UK version that could provide relatively inexpensive reprints...I believe this trade went both ways...
|Not the most deft photo-collage...|
|Hans Stefan Santesson was the actual editor.|
|The rendered covers were a bit better, if busy...|
Great American didn't last in the fiction-magazine business much past 1960...on balance, the covers didn't help...
Many (not all) of these cover images courtesy of Galactic Central.
Jim C notes in comments, below, that "Charteris"/Yin really hated the GA format for the magazine...here's a quotation from Yin (from Dan Bodenheimer's fine Saint-oriented site, taken from the first issue of the post-GA Saint Mystery Magazine in 1961) that rams that home:
"To all the old faithful readers who winced aloud at the atrocities of bad taste that were inflicted on this publication [The Saint Mystery Magazine] last year in a vulgar effort to jazz it up, I would like to say that my anguish was greater than anyone else's, and one of the best days of my life was when I was finally able to get THE SAINT [Mystery Magazine] back again from that management. Nothing like that will happen again, I assure you. As you see, the Magazine is once more exactly the same as it was in the good old days: the same classic style of cover, the same dignity of inside format, the same quality of production."
Another Saint project I should've mentioned in the earlier drafts of this post, and which I've mentioned on-blog before, is The Saint Mystery Library, which according to Dan Bodenheimer's site, was launched in 1959 as a side project by 1950s Saint Mystery Magazine publisher King-Size, who instead of publishing it themselves, subcontracted to Great American Publications...which is how GA and King-Size first became partners, and shortly thereafter King-Size sold its two fiction magazines to GA. The Library began as a reprint-series (of the reprints from the magazine, which like Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine among other digests reprinted older short fiction) as (against Leslie Yin's wishes) the publishers moved toward an all-new-fiction policy for The Saint magazine, but by the end of its run in 1960, the Library was also publishing original fiction, as a "paperback magazine." (The numbering sequence for the Mystery Library seems to have begun, for no good reason, with 118.) Sometimes a volume was entirely devoted to a novel, sometimes to a mixture of shorter fiction, and each with a short editorial by Yin.
|GA's attention to detail: Ed Hoch's name misspelled.|
|The last issue/volume, apparently notable also for Yin's editorial demonstrating his fandom of calypso and other Caribbean music...|
|And the art-direction magic at GA didn't stop at their fiction magazines...this title sold to the Motor Trend folks after GA's collapse...|