Today’s oddity comes from the June 1979 issue of the American SF magazine Fantastic Films, which features a brief interview with top comics artist Geof Darrow back when he was only at the start of his career.
In an era packed with SF movie mags — mostly sparked by the unprecedented and unexpected popularity of Star Wars — Fantastic Films was one of the better publications. It was published by Blake Publishing Corporation from April 1978 to October 1985, originally scheduled bimonthly but it later switched to nine issues per year, for a total of 46 issues.
Darrow provided a poster for this issue’s centre pages, illustrating the issue’s lead article on Superman the Movie, and the interview with Jean Rogers, who played Dale Arden in the Flash Gordon movie serials. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century also appears on the poster, but doesn’t get a mention in this issue of the mag. (However, the Buck Rogers TV show is heavily featured in the following issue: could be it was intended for this issue but was held back).
The poster is credited to Geof Darrow and Jerry Tiritilli, also a highly-regarded artist.
Other content in the magazine include interviews with Superman the Movie director Richard Donner and Quintet director Robert Altman (I know a lot about Science Fiction movies but I’d never even heard of Quintet so I looked it up: it’s not regarded as one of Altman’s better efforts). There are articles on television SF (which mentions The Wild, Wild West, Batman, The Avengers, It’s About Time, Mission: Impossible, Dark Shadows, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Green Hornet, Tarzan, The Time Tunnel and Star Trek), the Death Star trench-run in Star Wars, the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (including a look at Jack Finney’s original novel and the 1956 version), a look back at George Pal’s The Conquest of Space and a Superman the Movie set-report.
So, a packed magazine, though its cover price of $2.00 was pretty high back then, compared to, say, an issue of Reader’s Digest at 95c, Time magazine at $1.25, or a standard DC or Marvel comic at only 40c. But that aside, I would have absolutely loved this issue if I’d seen it when I was a kid.
Bonus! Geof Darrow also supplied this very cool full-page illustration for the same issue…