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jbstedman

Fossils Magazine

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jbstedman

Does anyone on the Forum have information on a magazine titled Fossils Magazine which lasted for just a single issue published May, 1976?  Is there a chance somebody here subscribed?

 

I have a copy of that first and only issue and the magazine was stunning in the quality of its writing, graphics, and photographs.  To give a flavor of the high stature of its authors, the inaugural issue (with trilobites as a focus) featured articles written by Riccardo Levi-Setti on trilobite eyes and by Niles Eldredge on the trilobites that could be found in the Eastern U.S.  The magazine had been advertised in some prestigious publications.  John Bonnett Wexo,  the editor, went on to carve out some impressive publishing territory with the popular Zoobooks.  More information on him is available on the John Bonnett Wexo Foundation website:   http://www.johnbonnettwexofoundation.org/

 

It was such an impressive start.  Sure, it's quite likely that the subscriber base wasn't large enough to support the quality of the publication, but just one issue??!!

 

Thanks. 

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Troodon

Looks like the first editiin is for sale on amazon if its the same one

 

Screenshot_20190418-135946.thumb.jpg.421de8cff464e66d4a2ac9a73802976f.jpg

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DPS Ammonite

I wonder if our resident fossil magazine publisher has any info on this magazine: @Wendell Ricketts. He might have remembered or been inspired by it.

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jbstedman

Thanks.  Yes, Troodon, that's the magazine in question.  And, DPS Ammonite, I'll reach out to Wendell Ricketts.

 

Cheers.

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siteseer

I think it was back in the late 70's to 80's that there was "Fossils Quarterly."  I have a few issues somewhere.  There might not have been enough of a readership to support two fossil collecting magazines especially with the rock and mineral magazines also having fossil articles from time to time.

 

It's tough to keep a magazine going.  A lot of work likely went into that first issue but then something happened to cause delays that led to number two never getting together.  I don't think I've seen that one.

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Wendell Ricketts

Hi, all. No, I'd never heard of JBW or Fossils Magazine, but I'm pretty confident it didn't have much to do with Joe Small's decision to launch Fossil News: The Journal of Avocational Paleontology in 1995, or Lynne Clos's ongoing editorship of the magazine until around 2012. Others have mentioned the difficulties of keeping a magazine going, and all that's true. My reading of JBW's life and work, though, is that he had a wide and impressive number of projects going at any one time and may simply have turned his attention elsewhere. We know that, beginning in 1980 and continuing until about 2007, he was publishing wildlife books for children. He was prolific -- and was involved in POD self-publishing, through his own foundation, long before it became a thing. I'm not surprised that he only did one issue of Fossils Magazine -- it would have been expensive to produce and, at $12 for a subscription, even in 1977 money, he would have been in the hole from the beginning. He also apparently laid out a wad of cash to advertise the new magazine in fairly major publications, and he would only have made that money back through subscriptions and/or attracting advertisers to Fossils Magazine. It would be interesting to know the details. All that said, the number of magazines that are launched and disappear after one or two issues is actually quite high.

 

Cheers!

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jpc

I saw a copy of this in the Badlands Nat'l Park library in 1988 and xeroxed the trilobite collecting sites listed, with maps and everything.  And they have helped me over the decades. 

 

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