Weird Worlds: The Magazine for Proto-Heads

I recently dug up Weird Worlds #5 in my garage. It was the original copy that I got through the Scholastic Book Club in my fifth grade class when I was ten (1980). Despite only being 40 pages from cover to cover, it's loaded with enlightenment, inspiration, and general neat stuff:

 -An article on cult movies, describing such non-kiddie fare as The Harder They Come, El Topo and Reefer Madness

- A graphic three-page horror comic drawn by Steve Bissette (one of his earliest jobs)

- A five-page color monograph of paintings by the Hildebrandt brothers

-A Ripley-style compendium of odd facts and freaks from the news of the day

-"Wolfie's Howlers", a collection of monster-themed jokes ("I sent my girlfriend a heart for Valentine's day." "So? Everyone does that. I sent my girlfriend a heart, too." "Yeah, but this one was still beating.")

-Short stories by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury

-An interview with the inventor of the Laserium light show

-Fortean articles about UFO's, the Hollow Earth Theory, psychic dogs and the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919

-And a feature about the Creature from the Black Lagoon, with a fold-out poster.

That's all in one issue, and it came out frequently, while it lasted. Edited by R.L. Stine (who went on to success with Goosebumps), it ran just eight issues for one and a half years. #5 is the only copy I still own, but I once had 6 and 7 as well, and I remember them being just as interesting.  I carried #6 to and from school for a few weeks, because I couldn't stop looking at the portfolio of paintings by Rene' Magritte during class. And issue #7 was especially treasured, because it had an article on the Flash Gordon movie, with a fold-out poster of a concept painting: Flash on his rocket cycle, with his army of hawk men swarming War Rocket Ajax. I hung that over my bed, it was so boss.

Weird Worlds seems to have been largely forgotten, which is… weird. There's no wikipedia page, even. I think it's very readable to this day, and much of the content belongs more in a head shop than in a Scholastic publication. These guys were heads.

They're rare, but not too expensive considering their rarity. Last week I bought a couple issues for $6-10 each through ebay and Amazon third party. I probably won't be inspired to acquire the whole run, but I haven't yet found the elusive #7 for sale at any price, so let me know if you do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know that i have issues 3,5,6, and indeed issue 7 in my possession but they're pretty beat up (number 7's cover is off for example) but if your interested please e-mail me at jacomalfoy@outlook.com