Thursday, May 19, 2016

Howard Browne magazines at Ziff-Davis, an addition

After they finally let Howard Browne have his semi-slick Fantastic in 1952, to initial excellent sales...

they also finally remade Amazing in the same image the next year...

and even let Browne revive the crime-fiction magazine line:

and the adventure line, which had been short-lived in the pulp days--and no attempt to gin up a "3-Mile Limit Confidential!"...

...but the latter two saw only one issue each, and Fantastic and Amazing were soon to face reduced budgets, even as Fantastic Adventures, since 1939 Amazing's more fantasy-prone companion, was quietly merged with Fantastic 
UK edition with otherwise identical cover; cover story reprinted as 
Black Magic Holiday
in 1953...leading, I gather, not only to Browne's disenchantment, but eventually to the schism between B.G. Davis and William Ziff's successors at ZD...though in 1954, Ziff-Davis published two reprint issues of the London Mystery Magazine as ZD publications, and oddly crediting Browne as editor, though he had essentially nothing to do with editorial choices there...ZD presumably also aided in the limited US distribution of the magazine for some period in the 1950s...




...and Davis eventually leaving to found Davis Publications, buying Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine from Mercury Press, and briefly offering (two issues only) Jack London's Adventure Magazine in 1958:



One thing I hadn't caught up with till now: Ziff-Davis's comic book line:
GI Joe loves his work...in a way Bill Mauldin's Joe would find odd...

and...here's Wikipedia's Fantastic logotypes through the decades:

And...while it was published after Howard Browne left ZD, there was a spin-off title from wish-fulfillment fantasy issues of Fantastic that managed to run for three issues under successor Paul Fairman, in 1957:

(originally published Xmas Eve, 2015)

10 comments:

Walker Martin said...

I didn't know about the Ziff Davis comic books. I met Howard Browne when he was a guest at an early Pulpcon. He appeared to be a nice guy but told me he couldn't stand science fiction. He liked detective stories. Kind of ironic when we think about his career in editing SF magazines.

Todd Mason said...

Well..he started out as part of Ray Palmer's stable when MAMMOTH DETECTIVE and MAMMOTH MYSTERY were still crushing bugs and taking whole trees to publish a single copy...and Browne did like fantasy, although he liked crime fiction more. He soon after 1954 was editing his magazines as little as possible, and Paul Fairman, who succeeded him, did even less...though both, Browne briefly, worked with the new young secretary Cele Goldsmith, who was pulling Kate Wilhelm's first story out of the slush pile as assistant editor not long after...and editing the magazines not long after that...while Fairman went on to a brief stint as managing editor of EQMM. It was a small world of fiction magazines even then.

Jack Seabrook said...

Dream World looks like a hoot. By the way, do you have any biographical info on Emily Neff that I could steal for my next Hitchcock article? I've exhausted print and online reference sources and found nothing but a handful of credits, which seems odd for someone who had a story adapted by Hitch and another in Barzun's Classic Short Stories collection.

Richard said...

Great stuff all! Wow, those covers! Love to read copies of several of these. Thanks for sharing!

Todd Mason said...

No, but I've now asked around, Jack.

Thanks, Richard. I haven't yet read an issue of DREAM WORLD, but the fan-service stories in the FANTASTICs that led up yo DW were sadly pedestrian...one of those issues was the one also featuring "The Pint-Sized Genie"...the aforementioned first story by Kate Wilhelm.

Jerry House said...

I read so you won't have to, Todd. In this case all three issues of DREAM WORLD, which were about twelve degrees below uninspiring.

Nevertheless, have an AMAZING, FANTASTIC, MAMMOTH, ADENTUROUS, DREAMY holiday.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks for your service, Jerry! How trivial was the Wodehouse ?original? story? And may your Western Xmas be at least as Astonishing, Astounding, not too Weird, and Famously Fantastic while only as Mysterious as you want it to be, even in the Xian mystery play sense...

George said...

I remember reading several of these zines back in the 1950s and early 1960s! Love those covers!

George said...

And, Merry Christmas, Todd! Hope you're on Santa's Good List!

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, George...alas, no Santas, no doxies, ortho nor otherwise, here...just the roaring crackle of Alice's video game.