Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cover Gallery: DYNAMITE Sci Fi

Back in the distant mists of prehistory - the 1970s - grade school kids across America were first exposed to the concept of "pop culture magazines" with the monthly publication called Dynamite. Sort of an Entertainment Weekly for pre-adolescents, the colorful magazine showcased the hottest stars, TV shows, and movies of the day.

If your school participated in the Scholastic Book Club, you'd get an order form for your parents to order an assortment of children's paperback books. Some were pretty cool: I still have a few of my old Scholastic purchases, including a really cool time travel adventure by Lester Del Rey and a Martian sci-fi adventure by Robert Silverberg. The order form also offered Dynamite, and as far as I know, it was only available through Scholastic's club. Because of the order form, you always knew in advance who or what was going to be on the cover, and there were tons of cool games, puzzles, comics, articles and Shaun Cassidy posters in every issue.

I guess the magazine - and club - lasted into the early 80s. I remember that Marvel had their own Dynamite clone, called Pizzazz, and I vaguely recall another similar magazine called Bananas, but I never read either of those. I did get Dynamite every month, though, and except for those Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers issues (I was too old for the club by then, having moved on to Junior High), I'm pretty sure I had all of the other ones shown above. I specifically - and vividly - remember the Space: 1999 and Logan's Run covers.


  1. I apparently moved out of the Dynamite demographic into that of Bananas (Scholastic's "teen" magazine) somewhere between Shaun Cassidy/Chewie and Galactica. I had the first four issues pictured above, but not the last three. I *loved* Dynamite--especially Count Morbida and the recurring feature on comic book superheroes--and was very disappointed when I was forcibly "graduated" to Bananas.

    Oh, I presume that the Lester Del Ray book was "Tunnel Through Time." A beat-to-hell copy of that one still sits proudly on my living room bookshelf. I probably read it dozens of times!

    (Hmm, wonder if any of those Dynamite issues are still sitting in my closet?)

  2. Isn't it funny how quickly Star Wars faded away from pop culture and yet Shaun Cassidy remains a worldwide phenomenon, bringing in new generations of young fans to this day? ;)

    I used to read Dynamite too. And I just saw an issue at the local Goodwill store this past week, in fact... I had to flip through it. The comic hero feature was on Captain America, by the way.

  3. I still have my Dynamite issues in storage! (I hope.) I think I have most of those issues above too!

    I also read Bananas, but never could find Pizzazz God, I loved the Scholastic Book Club!

  4. I read both Dynamite when I was the right age, but don't think I have any saved, sorry to say.

    I looked at the Wiki article on the mag, and was surprised to find that Jenette Kahn founded it. Which is ironic, considering that I'd go back and forth between reading that and DC Comics, not realizing how the two would get linked together years later...


  5. Dynamite is after my time in school, but I can identify with fandom. You might enjoy this guy's blog: http://my-retrospace.blogspot.com/search/label/science%20fiction

  6. Dynamite magazine was an awesome publication for the children of the '70s, I was a boy then and loved the Space:1999 and Logan's Run covers. I always thought the name of the magazine was chosen from Jimmy J.J. Walker on the sitcom Goodtimes always yelling "dynomite(dynamite)".

  7. I think there was an issue devoted to Flash Gordon...would love to see that one!

  8. In addition to the above mentioned, I remember there being another (possibly short-lived and now very elusive) Scholastic kids magazine back then called Wow. My best friend from childhood had an issue with a cool Star Wars cover featuring Luke and the droids.

  9. Good article. Dynamite also had the Book of Bummers by Jarred Lee which I still have somewhere.