Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Mad Scientist Magazine
A few years ago whilst at G-Fest (Godzilla Fest for all of you non-Godzilla freaks out there…or just those of you who might actually not be…ummm…unique enough on the ways that would require you to actually knowing that there is a convention, festival, every year dedicated to the King Of The Monsters), while perusing the dealers room, I stumbled onto the table of a gentleman who was hawking his wares, a little digest sized magazine entitled Mad Scientist.
I have always had a soft spot for Monster magazines. I have also always had a soft spot for fanzines in general. I would be lying though if I said I enjoyed these creatures for the articles. No, I have always enjoyed just having them, just looking through them, reading an article here or there, but mostly looking at the pictures, ads, news notes, stuff of that sort. There was something about this little magazine that just really caught my eye and took hold of me. Part of it was the size, while the other part was mainly just how “clean” it looked. How friendly it was to the eyes, and just the overall sense of “fun” this little ‘zine had about it. So I grabbed me an issue, or two.
Mad Scientist is pretty much everything it looked like it was. It’s a fairly simple read with some nice info about the topics it covers. Martin Arlt never goes so indepth that yo will mistake it for text book on the topics, but that is not a bad thing at all. He keeps each issue light, fun, and as innocent as most of the movies he covers. Mad Scientist is a ‘zine I leave lying around my house and encourage my kids to pick up if they want.
Last year Mad Scientist made the jump from a little digest sized ‘zine to a full blown standard sized magazine! A little before that change Martin had changed from a home printer style print job to an actual gloss color cover. But the price change was so slight to up it to a standard ‘zine, that he decided to grab that ol’ minotaur by the horns and give it a go. The change didn’t hurt the ‘zine in the slightest and actually added to more of the charm.
Just a few of the things I love, and have loved, about the ‘zine:
Back in the early B&W printed days, the covers were of a cartoon caricature style. Martin did many of these himself, and would always comment on his lack of abilities. In all reality, these covers were a big part of the early charm. The art let you realize right off the bat that you were dealing with a fanzine, but it was drawn in such a way that you also knew that this was not amateur hour at the nerd karaoke bar.
The constant coverage of old comic books is a feature I really enjoy. I’ve been reading about books I never knew existed.
The obvious love of Kaiju shows up in every issue.
Martin seems to also be a very honorable guy. Every second he gets he will mention the gratitude he has towards other writers, ‘zine publishers, and especially G-Fan creator JD Lees.
The new art gracing his covers is stunning. But for me, the cover for issue number 17 gets my “thumbs up” vote. No, it isn’t the scantily clad damsel in distress. It’s just the whole look, color, layout, the whole kit and caboodle.
If you wish to find out why I love the ‘zine as much as I do, drop Martin Arlt a line at:
The current issue is number 19 (it’s the Creature cover in my picture of my issues) and contains:
• A full-color painted cover by Don Marquez!
• I Bid You Welcome... (Editorial)
• A Tribute to Forrest J Ackerman
• Evolution of Gill Men in fiction
• Movie Review: House on Haunted Hill (1959)
• Monster Profile: Gorosaurus
• Tales from the Lab!
• Doctor Who Season 4: 1966-1967
• Vault of Comics: Tales from the Crypt!
• Art by Pete Von Sholly, Mark Jiro, Okui, John Rozum, and Andy Runton!
• Plus more!