Saturday, February 05, 2005

worst publications ever

The world's worst publications, in print, not websites. This should be fun, I'm only doing five now, maybe I'll continue the feature if people like it. Now suppose I read a magazine in the past, it sucked, and I have not picked it up in a few years... you know, because I did not want to subject myself to torment. Well I'll put it on here anyway! So some of the magazines might be out of date, maybe they changed, maybe not. They are still guilty of being the most awful crap I'd seen at a particular time. Don't worry, I read a lot of magazines now. We sell magazines at my work and I'm rarely pleased.

Horror fans, you know Fangoria will be on this list!

5. Skratch - There is a good thing about this publication. It's free and do appreciate free stuff. I'd rather read this magazine while drinking a coffee than just stare at the wall or be left alone with my thoughts, anyway...

I first became exposed to Skratch magazine while living in Allston, Mass. We moved into a house, a whole bunch of us, since it was a three story former Boston University frat house with a livable basement too. The previous occupants, evicted perhaps, were a large ska band called Big D and The Kids Table. They left behind a lot of junk, no hard feelings, I had left tons of trash in the place I had just moved out of. Besides, Big D's trash was at least interesting, ska cds from their distro, furnishings, and fraternity stuff, no doubt relics from even more distant occupants. There were also bundles and bundles of Skratch magazine. Hundreds of copies of each issue, going back a few months. The masthead in the magazine listed Big D as one of the distributors. Well, sad to say, they obviously were not doing a good job of getting those magazines out to to the public. It did not end there, each month, a couple massive boxes from California would be dropped off on our front porch. This was funny at first. I could say "I don't even want to read one copy of this magazine, let alone one thousand!" and nobody would laugh. Later, it got annoying. The magazines froze together into solid cubes, at least I think the Boston winter was cold enough to make paper freeze.

Two nights ago I was watching the local Orange County PBS station and a guy from Skratch was being interviewed about emo, ska, hardcore, and punk. It was painful to listen to, as these genres were explained to a public who has no idea what they are. I wish I had a transcript of that show. There was nothing much for me to learn from that show except that it drove home the point that I live in the epicenter of shit for punk and hardcore worldwide. At least the word 'fashioncore' was not mentioned.

What's in Skratch? Interviews with Warped Tour bands and show reviews done by little kids who worship every band that has a record deal. No good columns, very mediocre graphic design, but hey it's free, you can pick it up where I work.

4. Punk Planet - On occasion they've got good political articles. Real journalism. If they just got rid of all the stuff with bands it would be a good read. My problem is with the name, call it "Indie Planet" or "Underground Planet", but Punk Planet does not fit because there is just no punk in there.

not a real punk planet

I remember them begging for more letters to the editor since they only got one or two or month. More people contact me about this pathetic blog!

The only other thing I really disagree with this magazine about, besides the title, is the 'punk in academia' stuff I saw in some columns a few years back. I distrust the system of higher learning. I may be the only one, but I think it's unpunk by nature to be paying to get a degree so you can make more money than those who don't have one. I'll elaborate on this topic later.

3. Circus Magazine - This magazine goes way back and I'm sure it was once great before my time. However, when I was a subscriber, it was during the glam metal explosion. Guns N' Roses were on the cover five months in a row! Then, the times changed. Alternative rock hurt those bands big time. In order to stay current, Circus declared itself 'New' and put the Lollapalooza-touring rap group Arrested Development on the cover. The feud between traditional metal heads and evolving metal heads that took place on the letters page over the next few months will never be forgotten. I saw it all go down, but a few months too late. You see, the magazines did not arrive in my mail box until over two months after I'd see them on the news stand in Harvard Square. Circus Magazine, you may have been going through hard times, but I still don't forgive you!

A Circus from way before my time. Look, they once covered things other than music, including abortion!

2. Fangoria - Do you have a friend with a stack of old issues of Fangoria or Gore Zone? They are priceless and a true product of the 80's! Well Fangoria today has come under a lot of fire. Generally the story is, I think I've written this before, that they sold out with their Jurassic Park issue. It was very profitable and they started to cover anything FX-heavy. These days there is plenty of horror out there, so Fangoria sticks to the genre a little more, however they show little discretion and everything comes off as a promo for whatever production they are looking into.

Here is Mr. Disgusting ( on the Fangoria video anthology Blood Drive...

"This is a perfect example of why Fangoria sucks balls- not only do they like everything, but they get friendly with everyone and hook their buds up on a crappy DVD that fans get blasted on. Burn an old issue of Fango, it'll make you feel better. "

I saw some of that DVD at a friend's house, and boy did it blow, however don't burn an old Fangoria, burn a new one.

Other common complaints about Fangoria... #1 - The articles (and pictures) are full of spoilers that ruin upcoming movies for the fans who don't want to how it's all going to end. #2 - The price is too high. #3 - Rue Morgue is better.

A Canadian horror magazine called Rue Morgue is getting more and more popular. The fact that it treats the readers like they have brains makes Fangoria look even worse. Hate for Fangoria has doubled since horror fans have found a magazine that is actually good.

a Fangoria I don't want to read about a remake I don't ever want to see

1. Project Alien Crush - I think I've been pretty mean writing this article and I've come down kind of hard on a lot of people's hard work. Some of the stuff I've trashed, I can't do any better myself, and here is the proof. In senior year of high school a made a small little zine called Project Alien Crush. The name came from a Turbo Graphix 16 game called Alien Crush and I chose it only because it sounded cool and important. Though here were aliens in the first issue, and in fact they did get crushed by an automatic door. I swear that was purely coincidental.

These little zines are so embarrassing that I'm grateful not to have them in front of me right now. I remember well what was inside. Issue #1 had an awful comic about a horror-movie slasher who rescues animals from vivisectors, then fights cops and aliens. In the last panel he hugs a cat. How cute? Yeah, I'm sure I thought so. The only other content in the issue was punk photography. A picture of Tesco Vee from the Meatmen, and two of Total Chaos members. I tell little stories about how I took the pictures and they are cute and lame. The Meatmen are a great band and think I got a picture of the inflatable dick prop in there, at least I remember considering putting that into the zine. No, I bet I wimped out. The page on Total Chaos is beyond redemption and my stories suck.

Issue 2 was mostly text and made on a computer, not cut and paste. It was mostly boring animal rights information I found on the internet. The saving grace was an interview on the back page with my brother about Hardline, a hot topic at the time.

Then came two mini-comic issues (1 folded page each) and my shitty drawings were back. One starred a punk rocker with monkey companion ("rescued from a lab", I said) and they battle a swat team. The other is even worse and is a a post-apocalyptic story about a straight edge cult with "666" written on the foreheads of their Michael Myers masks. I can't remember how it ends, but the front cover said "The Future" and had drawings of graves. I was real into saving resources at the time and printed a bunch of these on paper that I found in the recycle bin, paper that bits of text on one side. Unfortunately, the comics were still legible.

Project Alien Crush never returned, but I can still embarrass myself with my writing, and maybe I just did, with this here list of the worst publications ever. Thanks for reading.


Blogger Patrick said...

I am glad to see you also refuse to watch the Planet of the apes remake.

I will never watch that nor the TCM one- though I did break down and watch the Dawn of the dead remake on on demand for free last month.

Also: Remember Yolanda? Look her up on myspace.. she got hot. It's pretty funny.

And as for the moratorium on crappy horror cliches: I have been calling for a ban on 'creepy' children for ages. I think since about when Pet Cemetary came out.

9:51 PM  
Blogger alena said...

Hey, I have enjoyed...your blog is informative - even entertaining.

I have a halloween sites. They pretty much covers costumes and masks related stuff.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to bookmark you.

1:07 AM  

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