When Magazines Struggle

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

The news came via a handful of flimsy postcards.

Four beloved fiction magazines were altering their formats to print only “double issues.”

The catch?

They were dropping down to bimonthly releases.

The quality quartet – “Analog Science Fiction and Fact,” “Asimov’s Science Fiction,” “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine” and “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine” – have all been monthly publications, more or less.

For the last several years, they’ve been published 10 times a year – in eight regular-sized issues plus two double-sized issues.

But now current owner Dell Magazines, a subsidiary of Penny Publications, best known for its monthly flood of crossword and puzzle magazines, decided to switch them to bimonthly status and so notified its subscribers in postcards.

Is the change because of declining sales?

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When Batman Faced his Greatest Fear

"Robin Dies at Dawn" - and the unforgettable cover to "Batman" No. 156.
“Robin Dies at Dawn” – and the unforgettable cover to “Batman” No. 156.

My favorite era in “Batman” comics – actually all of DC – is the late ’50s and early ’60s.

Oh, these weren’t the comics I grew up with.

By the time I came along, Batman was already years into his “New Look” – the artistic reboot that pushed for realism, jettisoned most of the Bat-Family and made for a dull crime-fighter.

Over the years, I have gone back and tried to collect as much as I can – not much, all things considered – of “Batman,” “Detective Comics” and “World’s Finest” during this era.

The stories are just so much fun.

Many comics fans – and certainly DC itself – disagree.

Continue reading “When Batman Faced his Greatest Fear”