As you probably realize from the nature of this blog, I have an obsession with ephemera, for that printed and/or written material that doesn’t always last from generation to generation. In my new Memory Bank posts, I’ll be looking at some genre ephemera of the 1970s and 1980s.
To start us off today, I want to introduce (or re-introduce…) you to Daredevil
s Magazine,a publication that covered “Adventure Films and Television
was a magazine of NMP (New Media Publishing) that ran for approximately two years, I think.
The cover price per issue was $2.95, and the editors were Hal Schuster and Cynthia Broadwater. Contributing editors were James Van Hise and John Peel, two names you may recognize from the day.
Every issue of Daredevils featured “news bits” about upcoming TV and movie ventures, as well as reader mail, called “Daring Comments.” The focus of Daredevils was just what you would think from the colorful name: adventure and fantasy in all its forms, from James Bond to Tarzan to the film canon of Clint Eastwood. Daredevils had a nice niche, I always thought, being not purely sci-fi oriented (like the more well-known Starlog) or horror oriented (like Fangoria or Gorezone).
In a relatively short publishing life, Daredevils reviewed the James Bond films, gazed at new 1980s film iniatives such as Streets of Fire, Greystoke, The Road Warrior, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Conan, The Never Ending Story, Red Dawn, Little Drummer Girl, and Starman. The magazine also looked back at Rawhide and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and featured excellent retrospectives on Humphrey Bogart, Johnny Weismuller, and Richard Burton.
Occasionally, the magazine featured interviews with the likes of writer John Gardner or producer Sydney Newman, and convention reports (“Spycon.”) About the only thing that seemed pro-forma about Daredevils was an on-going Star Trek episode guide, which had been featured in many other magazines, ad infinitum. Another writer for Daredevils was Terry S. Bowers, who is revered in Space: 1999 fan circles, and in issue #9 (July 1984), she submitted a great piece on the Mission: Impossible TV series.
I first encountered Daredevils when I was sixteen, around summer of 1986, I believe. I had my first summer jobs (working first the early shift at McDonalds and then at a Swedish company called Avesta Stainless as a temp). Anyway, I kept obsessively saving all my money from week-to-week. My parents encouraged me to spend a little dough, so I spent time at a fantastic used bookstore in Montclair, New Jersey (next to a gaming shop called The Compleat Strategist). The store carried just about the whole collection of Daredevils issues, and marked them down to $1.50 a piece.
In a matter of weeks that summer, I purchased and devoured them all. I’ve always loved reading about film and television, and Daredevils really stoked my interest in action films. At that time, I knew very little about Humphrey Bogart or the older Tarzan films, so the magazine did a nice job of balancing coverage of the new and tantalizing (like Indiana Jones), with more classic material.
I’ve kept my collection of Daredevils for something like a quarter-century now. I still use them for research occasionally, and still enjoy leafing through the pages and remembering my teenage years and the “adventure” cinema of the 1980s.
Below is a sampling of Daredevils covers.