Saturday, February 4, 2017


Vol. 1 No. 3
May 1956
Publisher: Weider Periodicals, Inc.
Editor: Ward Semple
Cover art: John Martin
Pages: 84
Cover price: 35 cents

Those that shelled out 3 bucks for a 12-issue subscription to TRUE WEIRD would end up being disappointed; it lasted for only 3 issues.

Shown today is the final issue of publisher Joe Weider's entry into the "strange but true" market of unexplained and supernatural phenomena. Besides a career in publishing, Weider was also a noted body builder and health fanatic. He also enjoyed the company of his Uber Beauty wife, model Betty Brosmer, who shared his enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle. One only needs to see a photo of either of them to be convinced that they were the epitome of physical fitness.

It's hard to say what caused the demise of TW; it is not a bad 'zine for its kind. Expecting the usual panoply of purple prose, for the most part the writing is instead crisp and energetic, and although leaning towards the pulpish, it is fairly typical for magazines of this type in the 1950s. One could even go so far as to say that, with the addition of a few cheesecake photos and a story or two of Nazis torturing hapless female victims, TW could have passed for just another men's adventure magazine.

It is unlikely that Mr. Weider put a huge amount of philosophical thought behind the editorial policy of TRUE WEIRD, but eschewing the usual tropes that were flourishing in the "sweats" allowed a greater veracity of the stories in this magazine that were claimed to be true. If nothing else, they are certainly strange.


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