Dark Star Magazine: Organisation

"I've had this dream... A dream which I've invited you all to share with me."

"the Old Man" - Robocop, 1987

After leaving school in the early 1980s I flirted with the idea of being a journalist. But, before long, I realised it wasn't exactly what I wanted to do. However, I did start writing for a number of fan-produced amateur magazines or 'fanzines'. I wrote the film review column for a 'youth lifestyle' fanzine called 'X'. I began, and abandoned, a book on the career of director John Carpenter. I wrote and published a fanzine with friends to rival a long-standing and very popular precursor to Viz called 'Sick Comic'. I cannot remember the title of our challenger but it folded after only one issue, but I then defected and worked on Sick for a couple of years. And I published 'Porchlight' - a music fanzine based around the artists on the local L.A. Records label for a year or so with the editor of Sick.

In 1986 I discovered film fanzines. Looking around Forbidden Planet 2 (as there once was) in the heart of London I found and purchased a copy of horror fanzine Samhain. Once I had read through the magazine I began to think of ways to improve it. So I decided to put my money where my mouth was and publish my own magazine covering the kind of films I liked. The thinking behind the content was to produce a magazine that I'd like to go out and buy. Something with the knowledge, insight and love for subject matter that a fan-written work produced but with a sense of design and style that most fanzines badly lacked. Influenced mainly by the Marvel era (early 1980s) of the professional SF title Starburst, rather than the fan-based publishing community, I pulled together ideas for the debut issue. 'Dark Star' number one was published in the summer of 1987 and had a print run of 100 copies. Between then and 1998 I pretty much published Dark Star once or twice a year. The irregularity as much to do with lack of time as it was lack of funds - I was always 'busy' with several 'projects' at once - making films, writing computer programs, making pop promos etc.

As I write this it is July 1999, 12 years since Dark Star Magazine first appeared. Things have moved on significantly in the last two years - non-stop freelance work in print and on the internet being a big feature. And I've not not just been writing about films. Over the last few years electronic music has seen a terrific revival in Europe that almost takes me back to the heydays of the early 1980s and the English electro-pop explosion. I was in bands then and I've recently returned to music again. To write, release and perform again fills me with almost uncontrollable amounts of my characteristic enthusiasm. It 's an exciting time, so I thought I'd expand the Dark Star site to go beyond the initial intention of promoting the magazine, to encompass more of the projects and ideas that fill my waking hours (and permeate my dreams). So here it is, my alter ego, the Dark Star Organisation: Video, Audio and Press. I hope you enjoy your visit and that maybe it will spur you onto equally exciting adventures of your own.

Robert Dyer, July 1999