|The first issue of WBD and the "new" first issue (#9).|
In case you missed the news, Eric McNaughton, Editor and Publisher of the late lamented monster fanzine WE BELONG DEAD, has just resurrected it from printer's purgatory.
In this exclusive MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD Q&A, Mr. McNaughton discusses the reasons behind the end of the previous run of his classic horror film magazine and why it took so long for him to give it a new start.
MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD: Why resurrect WBD now? Did you see a market opportunity, or are you doing it “for the love”?
ERIC McNAUGHTON: Mainly for the love of it. I was living in Paris for ten years and during all that time I thought about reviving the mag. I think the deciding factor was starting the We Belong Dead Facebook group and seeing the enthusiasm there still was for classic horror.
MMW: How many issues did you publish of the previous incarnation, and what was the reason for its demise?
EM: There were 8 issues over a 5 year period. It mainly ended due to the fact I stopped working for a printing company, so no more discounted rates for publishing the mag! You have to remember this was in the days before digital printing, so costs were pretty high. Also I guess it was to do with a change in circumstances. I went travelling for 6 months in South America, so producing a mag from the Amazon wasn't that viable!!!!
MMW: What does WBD offer that other ‘zines don’t?
EM: I think the biggest difference with WBD is that the love of the contributors for the genre shines through. It is very much a mag BY fans and FOR fans.
MMW: Will you be focusing on any particular themes or periods of horror history, or will you cover it all?
EM: Our general remit is classic (and not so classic!) films from the silents to the 70s. Not saying there hasn't been good genre cinema since then, but for me this is the classic age.
MMW: Are you planning a website, blog, or other interface with your readers?
EM: I would love to have a WBD website or blog, but have to admit I am not the most IT minded of people!! So if anyone out there would like to offer a hand, please do get in touch :)
MMW: What are your plans for distribution – online, newsstand, etc.?
EM: Most of the sales come through word of mouth and via the internet, especially the many wonderful groups on Facebook. It's pretty hard getting the mag into shops, though I've had some success with shops in Australia, Paris and London taking copies and also Hemlock Books have been a wonderful source of support. I'd love to hear of any other outlets which would be interested in carrying the mag!
MMW: Will you have a core staff of writers or rely on freelance authors?
EM: All our writers and artists are freelance, though we do have a core group. Some have been with us since the very beginning, others since our resurrection. My friend Dave Brooks has been there from the start and supplied some awesome artwork, including the paintings for the two latest covers. But any contributors are very welcome, the more the merrier!
MMW: As a magazine publisher, can you explain how you produce an issue – software, layout design, pre-press, etc.?
EM: Back in the day I used to have all the articles sent to me by post, then would type everything out and do the paste up and layout, mainly manually. Nowadays it's a lot simpler as writers just email their stuff to me, I do the necessary corrections and spell check then email everything to our fantastic and talented designer Steve Kirkham. After Steve has worked his magic he sends me a pdf to proof read and after that it is simply downloaded to our printers and a week later…viola! A new issue.
MMW: Where can people who are interested contact you and buy your product?
EM: They can buy it direct from myself at firstname.lastname@example.org via payola. The mag is 5 pounds plus shipping (2 pounds UK/3 pounds Europe/4.50 rest of the world) or it can be bought at the Cinema Store in London or via Hemlock Books mail order.
MMW: Anything else you’d like to share with new readers and old readers coming back?
EM: Just that for me it is a LOT of fun putting WBD together. It is a real labour of love. My aim was to produce a mag reminiscent of the mags I used to read in the 70s like World of Horror and House of Hammer.
Thank you, Eric!
Next week: MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD reviews the two latest issues of the new WE BELONG DEAD. Y'all come back, now, ya heah?