October 13, 2011

Filthy Review - Shadowland Magazine #1

Shadowland Magazine #1

Review by Jude Felton

There is something about print magazines that I just flat out dig. Sure, I can find news and reviews and the like online far quicker but it just isn’t the same. Maybe it’s my age, I grew up when print was the only option, or maybe it is the cold hard fact that print keeps my attention longer. I tend to skim read a lot of online pieces, as I really do not like reading waffling great articles off a screen however well written they maybe, whereas give me a magazine and I will sit down and savor it. In fact I will revisit a print magazine from time to time, yet I won’t do this online.

Genre magazines have come and gone over the years, we have our big boys, so to speak, in the shape of Fangoria and Rue Morgue and then you have mags such as Horrorhound and Ultraviolent which have managed to stand the test of time, through tough times for the print industry. Back in the UK they also have a few now with Shock Horror, Scream and Gorezone. One I have read and will definitely read again, one I have yet to check out and one I won’t be reading again. Regardless of personal feelings the fact that these magazines are still going, and in some cases going strong is a testament to the folk that work on them, and of course the fans that read them. It wasn’t too long ago that there was a rash of new horror mags hitting the stands with the only one still going, to my knowledge, being Horrorhound.

Now, seemingly out of nowhere I might add, there is a new kid on the block in the shape of Shadowland Magazine. It’s a quarterly affair with issue 1 being the summer issue, and I tell you what it is a most enjoyable read. Aiming to cover Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy the first issue, and I would think issues to come, focuses on informative articles, interviews and retrospectives and does not appear to be trying to compete directly with the more established magazines. A wise move methinks and one that appears to have paid off here. There are a few reviews towards the back of the mag, that do include more recent faire such as Hobo with a Shotgun and older flicks like Zone Troopers and Shock Waves, as well as a news section at the front.

The articles themselves do indeed appear to be incredibly well researched pieces. The article on the Phantom of the Opera truly is a wonderful read. Looking back on its origins back in the early 1900’s through to modern day, with every spin-off, knock-off, imitation good or bad and just about anything else related to the Phantom. We are talking a 13 page article here (including photos).

Elsewhere there is a look at Marvel’s take on Godzilla, Captain America before the blockbuster hit, what Spielberg’s E.T. could have been and a look at the Robocop TV series. On top of that there are also a couple of interviews. Each article is genuinely interesting and informative and is obviously written with a passion for the subject matter.

The magazine itself is 54 pages, including the cover, and there is not much of that space taken up with advertising, which I will admit to being a necessary evil, so you are getting your money’s worth here. It’s definitely $7 I will be happy to shell out on in the future. If you like to read up on movies and other genre related pieces that you wouldn’t necessarily normally check out then, on the strength on this first issue, I would heartily recommend you give Shadowland a read.

The magazine is available to purchase at Shadowland Magazine.com

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