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Cowboys Are Still Riding High

I know a little something about fanzines, having published one for many years. Young people may not even know the term, which predates the Internet, with its sites and blogs, by many decades. Back then, before there was even widespread access to photocopy machines, I inherited Film Fan Monthly from its founder, Daryl Davy, in May of 1966 and combined it with my much more modest publication, Profile, which was then printed on a mimeograph machine. With a schoolmate, at first, and then my dad, I continued producing FFM every month—which included licking stamps, stuffing envelopes, and hauling bins to the post office—for the next nine years. (If you’re curious, you can explore and even purchase vintage issues HERE.)

I bring this up because I've had experience in the world of self-publishing. That’s why I take my hat off to Boyd Magers and his wife Donna for reaching the hundredth issue of their entertaining and informative magazine Western Clippings.

I still read a fair amount of—

—magazines and books in print, rather than online, and this is one of my favorites. Western Clippings is an unpretentious, home-grown enterprise for Western fans which has been going steadily since 1994. Each issue is filled with reviews of new films, books, and DVD releases, news about Westerns (and Western folk) in the media, stories about locations where famous films and TV series were shot, and interviews. There are a handful of enjoyable columns as well, including a very punny one written by erstwhile Sugarfoot star Will Hutchins. Boyd wisely put aside some choice material for a special 100th Centennial Edition that doesn’t come with your subscription: it must be ordered separately, for $18 postpaid. You’ll get a 100-page, spiral-bound issue filled with rare candid and production stills, a transcript of a panel discussion from 1979 with stuntman supreme Yakima Canutt, writer-director Oliver Drake and leading lady Kay Aldridge, interviews with bad-guy Terry Frost, character actor Walter Reed, producer A.C. Lyles, stuntman Fred Krone, and prolific director Earl Bellamy, reminiscences of Gail “Annie Oakley” Davis and director William Witney, and a film-by-film survey of the Johnny Mack Brown westerns, to name just a few highlights.

Naturally, Boyd has gravitated to the ‘net, as well, and you can find contents of many back issues online at www.westernclippings.com, where you can also order a subscription and purchase memorabilia. (You can also find material from Boyd’s now-defunct Serial Report, which I miss very much.)

For some reason there is no easy one-click means of purchasing the special 100th Centennial Edition of Western Clippings, but if you follow the links and send $18—or use old-fashioned snail mail to send a check to 1312 Stagecoach Road S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87123, you’ll get satisfaction.

Nine years ago I started missing the fun of publishing my own periodical and got back in the game with a quarterly newsletter called Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy. I have the most patient subscribers in the world, because the exigencies of making a living keep me from this labor of love—and have made any pretense of a regular publishing schedule ridiculous—but I’m working on the next issue right now, and hope to keep at it for many years to come. If you’re curious about my little enterprise, please click HERE.

And if you’re not already receiving e-mail notification of every new Movie Crazy e-mail posting, I hope you’ll click the link for E-MAIL UPDATES on the toolbar above. That way you’ll keep up to date with me in this newfangled world of the web.

One comment

  1. John Nelson says:

    I’m proud to say that I subscribed to FFM for its last five years and bought many of the back issues. I also am a subscriber to Western Clippings since issue #1 and received my copy of the centennial edition which is fantastic. I recommend a subscription to Western Clippings, a very fine publication!!

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