Tuesday, July 24, 2012

STAR ENCOUNTERS Magazine (1978)

Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3
"Brains and blobs from outer space!"

Well, I'm finally braving the sordid world of publisher Myron Fass' Stories Layouts and Press Inc., and its many cheapo Starlog rip-offs. The eccentric Fass, who passed away in 2006, was a notorious publisher of low-end magazines and comics, the print equivalent of an exploitation film mogul, publishing anything and everything he thought might make a few bucks, especially if it appealed to the basest of tastes or could ride the coattails of some pre-established moneymaker.

In the mid-70s, that meant the burgeoning genre of sci-fi film fandom and its newsstand herald, Starlog magazine. Fass' Stories Layouts and Press Inc. company published at least five different ongoing genre film mags - including the derivatively-titled Space Wars, Space Trek, Star Warp, Star Battles... and this 3-issue wonder, Star Encounters.

As with the majority of his other titles, it was printed on the cheapest possible newsprint, with little-to-no interior color, and ugly, cluttered layouts. Fass' sci-fi mags were virtually indistinguishable from each other, as they all had the same editors, contributors and production staffs. They even used the same articles quite often (not to mention, recycling quite a number of features from the company's plentiful UFO magazines). His company was also notorious for paying its contributors peanuts... but that didn't stop aspiring writers and artists from taking their chances. It was national newsstand exposure, after all.

I had a number of Space Wars and Space Trek issues, and I think I had all of these, too.


  1. He did "Official UFO" too didn't he ? me and my friends used to have a good laugh at that every month with its "There are aliens in your TV set" level articles

  2. I bought a few of these also when they turned up back in the late 70's. I actually bought a issue of Space Wars 2 weeks ago at a flea market. Its the Battlestar Galactica Extravaganza issue. Sure they are crap...LOL. However every once in while a cool photo or two would show up that you didn't see everyday. Even if it is printed in black and white on crappy paper.

  3. Interesting... I've got a couple of Space Wars and Space Treks in the collection, but I was unaware of the history of them, or their other variants. Although I do have to say that bottom cover (the big-headed dude clutching his ears) looks very familiar. Any idea if the artwork was used for anything else?

  4. Knowing Fass' cheapness, I'm betting it probably was.

  5. I dig articles like this as I love the back stories of various things. Like many kids at the time I was hungry for any sci-fi magazines and I believe I picked up the yellow cover STAR ENCOUNTERS issue and maybe more. I do think even as a kid I could somewhat detect the lack of quality in these as at times I could compare them to other like magazines. I probably got rid of this issue and other cheap knockoff magazines when it came to moving. I did keep all my STARLOG issues although at times I think about selling those off or something as I still have too much stuff.;)

  6. That second issue cover image also shows up in the art book Spacecraft 2000-2100 A.D.

  7. Thank you so much for the blog, I love vintage scifi.