Saturday, June 19, 2010
After Dark July 1980
Welcome to the worst issue of After Dark. Some of the early issues from the late 60's weren't great and some of the issues from the early 80's weren't great, but this one by far is the lamest issue ever.
Editor-in-Chief William Como had left by this point. The January 1980 issue was Como's last issue as Editor and the very next issue, he was listed as Founding Editor. By March of 1980, you can't even find his name. February 1980 was when Charles Kriebel came on as Editor-in-Chief and the quality of the issues started dwindling. This "Circus" issue was the nadir of his reign. A few months later another editor was in place and Kriebel was gone. After Dark by that point had changed it's logo to something more mainstream looking and the visual feasts we had come to expect from After Dark was lessened. It eventually bounced back, but by that time I guess it was too late. After Dark ended January 1983 and the era had ended.
Like I said, this issue was bad, not because of some of the content, but because of the stupid layouts they set up. Gone were the wonderful photos. Most of the issue just had drawings.
The highpoint of the issue for me, of course, was the article on Can't Stop the Music. Sadly, the photos were horribly displayed. You saw the first example in my Monday's Man tribute to Randy Jones.
But feast your eyes on this:
What is up with the drawings around the photos? These were the only photos from the movie inside this issue.
Next was an article on Jim Dale and his portrayal of P.T. Barnum in the stage musical Barnum.
Following that were articles on Barnum and his circus. Did they use photos of gorgeous ladies astride horses? Daring young men on flying trapezes? Gorgeous lion tamers? Any photo worthy of what we came to expect from a magazine like After Dark?
NO! You get Tom Thumb with a horse. A fat ugly clown. Four photos in all and not one worth posting.
Staying with the circus theme, they had an article about Jodie Foster who was starred in the film Carny.
An article on the film Fame didn't feature color photos of the dancers from the movie. At least they featured stars Barry Miller, Irene Cara, Antonia Franceschi and Gene Anthony Ray.
Then there were some articles called "Sex Onscreen: Explicit, Yes: Erotic, Rarely", "Hot Stuff Between the Covers", Update: Sex on the Tube". These were articles about the sex in movies, books, and television respectively. Any photos of some of the stars of the films? Any pictures of the steamy covers of the books? Any images of TV stars from the shows they mention? NO!
Articles on artist Erte, actress Glenda Jackson, and the normal reviews sections. The only ad worth featuring was the one for Warm Leatherette, the new Grace Jones album.
Finally, the last picture was a photo of Alfred Hitchcock to salute the man and his work.
Done. That's it. Well, the only place to go from here is up. Like I said, there are other issues that weren't great, but none can live up to the heyday of the late 70's issues. Why was the issue that featured one of my favorite any time movies (Can't Stop the Music) featured in my least favorite issue? Well, at least I feel I featured it better!