Saturday, July 05, 2008

VIDEO WATCHDOG #141 On the Way

VIDEO WATCHDOG #141 is now back from the printer and beginning to wend its wicked way toward subscribers and retailers. You can read a comprehensive list of its contents here, where you can also click on the cover for previews of two articles.

The cover story is Justin Humphreys' touching and informative memoir of AIP screenwriter (and New World director) Charles B. Griffith, illustrated with many rare and original photos, which provides a wonderful complement to our Roger Corman round table of a few issues ago. The issue also includes several reviews that are feature-length in themselves: Bill Cooke on the FOX HORROR CLASSICS box set (the Laird Cregar/John Brahm set, as we know it around here), Kim Newman's coverage of CHARLIE CHAN VOLUME 4, and my own detailed assessment of the entire SPIDER-MAN trilogy (actually a quartet, as SPIDER-MAN 2.1 is also included) on Blu-Ray. Also featured: Frank Darabont's THE MIST, THE INVASION, and a generous helping of British horror, including BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE and three Amicus titles.

This issue is a particularly happy occasion for us on a behind-the-scenes count: it marks our return to our original printer, Crest Graphics, for the first time since VW #109. While the print quality of VW #112 through 140, done by another local company, was never less than crisp and sparkling, I was personally never very happy with the paper quality, the heavy gloss on the covers, or the way their web press caused the pages to audibly crackle when turned. This new issue is much more like the way I prefer to envision VW: lighter but still readable cover gloss, sturdier paper, pages that turn without sound effects. In fact, owing to a miscalculation on our part, this new issue was printed on heavier stock than it should have been -- 70 lb. instead of 60 lb. -- so there will be a slight reduction in weight with the next. This one is going to cost us a little more than usual to mail, but boy, does it feel like a magazine! And so will the next one, I'm sure. We've always loved and missed our friends at Crest Graphics, and we're delighted to be back with them. I think when our seasoned subscribers slip this latest issue from its envelope, they'll feel back in the presence of an old friend, too.

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