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"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" by Mike Smith
Happy Anniversary Video Watchdog! by ED Tucker
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June Album of the Month: Alejandro Escovedo-Street Songs Of Love by Terence Nuzum
Book Review: The Flamingo Rising by Larry Baker by Lisa Scherer
|THE ASIAN APERTURE|
Kamikaze Girls (2005) by Jason Fetters
Staring Down "the Last Airbender" .... Passing On .... Another Thing I Hate .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith
Video Watchdog #1 June, 1990.
In the eleven years between to introductions of Fangoria and Video Watchdog, a fascinating phenomenon had completely revamped the playing field for monster movie lovers like me. The rise of home video that began in the early 80’s was now in full swing and film fans wielded the previously unimaginable power of being able to watch a wide variety of their favorite films and catch some obscure new ones any time they pleased. We could even own them if we wanted although that was generally cost prohibitive in the early years. That’s where a magazine like Video Watchdog, subtitled The Perfectionist’s Guide To Fantastic Video would prove invaluable.
The early graphics left much to be desired but the information was great!
Lucas had been developing the concept that would eventually become Video Watchdog magazine with a similarly titled column in the pages of Fangoria’s off shoot publication, Gorezone. Many of the films that were becoming readily available to the ravenous home video market warranted more than single paragraph synopsis to educate and inform fans on their merits and detractions. With the help of his wife and friends with a similar interest in venting their obsessions for fantastic film, the first issue of Video Watchdog was born and it wasted little time crawling onto the shelves of specialty shops.
Following an increasingly irregular inoculation of Creature Feature that fateful Saturday, I hoped in my car and headed south from Ocala to the little town of Leesburg, Florida about thirty minutes away. It was an enjoyable ride on a sunny Saturday and since my hometown was somewhat lacking in resources to feed my interest in comic books that had recently been rekindled in college, this was my closest outlet. I discovered the little hole in the wall shop, the name of which, if it ever in had one besides “Comics”, eludes me, several months earlier. Todd, the proprietor, was happy to get my business and did everything he could within reason to help me stretch my comic dollar. As I stood at the counter that day haggling over prices, a small publication on the new issues shelf caught my eye. It was only slightly larger than a TV Guide and had an intriguing cover photo of an oddly attractive female zombie rising from the water. I asked Todd about it and he said it was a new magazine his distributor had shipped him a single issue of as a trial and beyond that he had not even opened it. I had no reservations about opening the issue and it didn’t take flipping through more than a few pages before it landed squarely on top of my purchase stack for that day.
20 years later - Video Watchdog #157 June, 2010.
For reasons lost to time, I did not subscribe to Video Watchdog immediately. I suppose I was content that it would be their on my comic store’s shelf whenever I went in so the need to prepay in advance was negated. I quickly learned after a few early issues were printed in limited runs and my competition on the shelves began to increase, that home delivery was the only way to go and this is one of the few magazines, equaled only by Fangoria, which still follows me around to this very day.
Over the years I spent many an afternoon or evening devouring the pages of this publication after leaving a trail of manila envelope shards between my mailbox and the front door. My ceaseless fascination with fantastic films has been nurtured and expanded by the information within its pages and I have watched in satisfaction as it grew in popularity and eventually found its way onto the shelves of national bookstore chains. Today, one hundred and fifty-six issues later, Video Watchdog is now full color and far more stylized than its modest beginnings. Many writers have come and gone, the VHS and laserdisc formats that filled it’s early pages are now antiquated, and the focus has shifted to a much more global one as more and more products become available every day. Surprisingly, the one constant in the magazine, aside from Tim and Donna Lucas’s tireless efforts and personal touches, is the size. Video Watchdog is still the little magazine crammed full of information from cover to cover. It is an honor to congratulate them on twenty years spent entertaining and informing film fans everywhere and to wish them another double decade of success!
"Retrorama" is ©2010 by ED Tucker. Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.