Category Archives: Before and After

Ray Palmer: Change Agent

Search #21 June 1957

Search #21 June 1957

Ray Palmer’s Mystic Magazine ran for 16 issues before changing its title to Search Magazine with issue #17. He described the change in Mystic #16 (July 1956):

“So, if horror-comics have sullied the word Mystic, let’s supplant it with one that has distinction, reputation, solidarity, common-sense, and respectability.”

In Search #21, from June 1957, he announced a new title, Flying Saucers, or to be more precise, Flying Saucers from Other Worlds.

He also published a magazine called Other Worlds which I understand was incorporated into Flying Saucers at some point. But in June 1957 the two were separate entities. Here’s the state of things as he described them then:

“We have been completely smothered with mail these past few months, and with Search going monthly, Flying Saucers getting its start, and our science fiction magazine Other Worlds going great guns, we find ourselves the busiest editors in the world!”

Flying Saucers is a larger magazine than Search being 61/2 x 91/4 inches in size.”

Confounding collectors, Palmer seemed to love changing the titles and sizes of his magazines. Both Other Worlds and Flying Saucers grew larger over their evolutionary runs.

B&A: Super-Science Fiction

Before

Before

The cover of this copy of Super-Science Fiction April 1958 has two full-length wrinkles, one near the spine and one through nearly the center of Ed Emshwiller’s beautiful painting. The lower right hand corner is missing and a few other minor wrinkles and blemishes make it (unfortunately) typical of a 58-year-old digest.

Below is the restored version used for the print and Kindle version of TDE3.

After

After

Save

Save

Mysterious Traveler Magazine before and after

The digest covers shown in TDE often require retouch to bring them back to their original luster. I’m not a Photoshop wizard by any means, but I do the best I can with my limited knowledge of the program.

Before

Before

After

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I collected a set of The Mysterious Traveler Magazine for the article that appeared in TDE2. This cover from January 1952, the second issue, was in the worst condition. It was a little creepy at times as I repaired the image brick by brick with that helpless woman staring ahead at the fiend off-screen. You spend that much time looking at her and you start to wonder why she isn’t kicking the bricks away as fast as he’s putting them up—let alone waiting for them to set!

And in grayscale

And in grayscale

After the color work is finished the image is converted to grayscale and the levels are adjusted to add a little contrast. The type on some covers can become very difficult to read in the black-and-white version. In those cases, the intensity of the original color is adjusted (red to pink for example) until it’s readable in the grayscale version.