There were many factors that contributed to my imaginative growth as a child, one of them was my dads monthly subscription to OMNI magazine. The magazine, started by PENTHOUSE magazine mogul Bob Guccione and partner Kathy Keeton in 1978, was so ahead of it’s time that a kid like me could barely get past their, amazing and sometimes sexual cover art, much less the actual stories contained therein.
Years later, I only now realize that, for my dad, it sparked his imagination. He is a skilled artist and would always draw things like space ships and what not, some he copied from that magazine and some he created on his own, but he chose the pulpit instead of art, which when I think back, were actually quite good.
I know for a fact this magazine was a muse for him as well as for millions of American‘s in the early eighties. I lump OMNI magazine in the same category as Heavy Metal magazine, Cracked or National Lampoons, when it comes to cutting edge art and writing. Those books did what some websites have been, unsuccessfully trying to do, with the internet for years…spark a cult following.
I say it was a seventies thing, but what’s to account for so many musician’s and authors nowadays sprinkling bits and pieces of what OMNI started years ago, on album covers or in lyrics or videos? Why now, this undying need to connect with the writings of Arthur C. Clark or Carl Sagen? Is it just nostalgia or is there something missing in our lives? A promise of the future perhaps? A future that fate has yet to deliver on? Well according to The Verge we are about to see.
OMNI is getting a reboot and is bringing on some of the heavy hitters that were responsible for the magazines success. The magazine is also bringing in some new heads like writer/actor Ken Baumann. This is going to be amazing! Read on.
Omni’s resurrection comes courtesy of Jeremy Frommer, a collector and businessman who acquired Guccione’s archives earlier this year. Inside a warehouse full of production assets lie thousands of Omni photos, illustrations, and original editions, which Frommer plans to release as prints, books, or collector’s items. But he wasn’t content with mining the past. Instead, he hired longtime science writer Claire Evans as editor of a new online project, described as an “Omni reboot.”
So how did Claire Evans become the captain of this interstellar ship we call the Omni reboot?
Despite being chosen to take the reins of a nigh-canonized publication, Evans’ hiring as editor was largely a happy accident. The chain of events began in April, when she wrote an effusive piece on Omni for Motherboard. A few weeks later, her editor approached her about investigating the recently resurfaced Omni archives. “As I was interviewing my current employer, Jeremy Frommer, about the collection, he essentially just offered me the job,” she says. “That was a little bit over a month ago.”
Unlike the original publication, OMNI will be a completely digital magazine, living solely in cyberspace, but as to the question that I’m sure is on everybody’s mind…”what about the art?”
Like the original magazine in its final years, the new Omni will live on the web, with weekly updates. It will publish a mixture of new fiction and nonfiction, but it’s also bringing back the art that helped define Omni, publishing old illustrations alongside the stories. That’s partly a pragmatic decision and partly a promotional effort by Frommer, who hopes to introduce his new art collection to a wide audience.
For the first issue, she’s assembled a mix of classic authors from Omni’s heyday with people who regret missing out on its golden era.
If this works and I’m sure it will, it’ll definitely give many science fiction sites a run for it’s money or maybe not, I still think the readers of OMNI were always the late thirty, forty somethings a.k.a people who like to read, but will that be the niche market Claire will target and will it just become another geek site, to keep up with pop culture? These will be questions that Claire will have to think about when considering the time that has passed from the seventies til now. We will just have to see, hopefully the fans and fans of fans, will restore this forward thinking magazine to it’s former grace.
To read the whole article click the jump
- Omni Magazine To Reboot (news.slashdot.org)
- What Can the Future Do For Me? OMNI Reboot Launches Today! (tor.com)
- Omni, reboot: an iconic sci-fi magazine goes back to the future (theverge.com)
- The rebirth of Omni – and its vibe (boingboing.net)
- Omni, reboot: a major presence is back (tobiasbuckell.com)