Department

Legends - The First Five Years Part 4
"To the End of '95"

by Marcus Pan

Game players at this time were getting upset at the lack of gaming in the magazine. This has developed into a constant problem chasing Legends back to its roots to provide quality gaming rules and modifications along with keeping the themes of humor (and any temporary themes currently going) up to keep the new readers outside of the gamers reading.

Issue 41, which hit the streets in June of 1994, was a breath of fresh air for my reading gamers. The mythos surrounding the piece entitled God Sasho Barozo was widely read and the statistics for this deity have been used in a number of campaigns. Steele commands the cover.

Cover art of 42 was done once again by Jaken Steele. The sixteenth chapter of the Albinor Chronicles appeared and, though not quite as popular as earlier chapters, was still widely accepted. This was also one of the smallest issues in a very long time. Only 10 pages.

One of the best covers to hit Legends, issue 43 made waves with the newest of my artists, Skorpion. The Last Warrior, Albinor Chronicles and Songs of Albinor all appeared. Ace makes his first attempt at writing something other than lyrics with Contents of a Stressed Mind.

Issue 44 hit in September a couple weeks after my return from Woodstock '94 (what a trip that was). Jaken Steele's Women (I Don't Understand Why) was a hit. My chapter 18 of the Albinor Chronicles appeared as well.

Steele grabs the cover of Legends' four year anniversary issue (45) with some excellent Celtic art. In this issue my geekdom overcomes and computers start becoming a theme with humor reprints from Ron White and John C. Dvorak. Steele debuts his newest humor series called Thoughts From the Torture Chamber. My own poetic piece, Solitude Plain, makes quite a stir and grants me yet another series of "strange looks" (as if I wasn't considered crazy enough).

My newest, and as of yet youngest, artist, Katie, debuts as an illustrator on page 12 of 46. Skorpion returns with an excellent cover and Steele's Thoughts of the Torture Chamber entitled Relationships raises many serious questions. The issue hits 20 pages for the first time in a while.

Katie locks up the bottom of page II and my newest artist, Shaft, grabs the cover with a beautiful piece. Only three articles appear in issue 47, two of which are reprinted humor pieces. The last is my Songs of Albinor Number 11 entitled Bane of Men.

In Legends No. 48 I bring forth a humorous piece straight out of my journal entitled Edible Pick-Me-Ups. I wrote it in what I call a "Fulghum Mode," with honor to Robert Fulghum of Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and It Was on Fire When I Lay Down On It fame. Only 12 pages with two humorous reprints besides my journal excerpt. Shaft's work appears again both inside and on the cover.

Shaft's joker piece, appearing on Legends No. 49's cover in February, 1993, rose a heightened sense of what many referred to as "Pan's Weirdness." "Hey, I've seen him on an acid trip once," spoke one reader. Steele steals page II completely with a Celtic artwork and Shaft also debuts as a writer with his poetic (and acid induced) The Pacifist. His piece scored high marks. I return to my original poetic style with Songs of Albinor Number 12, Earthstone. This scores high with readers as well. My Battle of Death piece which is actually Albinor Chronicles Chapter 19 gets raves. My quote found on The Wall on the final page 13 of this issue ("The fact that I sat around and wrote this magazine for 5 years proves one thing. I have NO LIFE!") causes unnecessary flames from some people who believed that Legends is worth it. This is one of the best issues to ever hit the streets.

I get tons of pats on the back for my Albinor Chronicles Chapter 20 (The Fall of Lobania) which appears in issue 50. Dawning by Shaft gets high grades. The big clincher this issue was the 11 page Legends directory, a listing of everything that appeared in the pages of the magazine. While not numbered and considered part of Legends No. 50, with the directory included the pages jump to 28.

Legends No. 51 is a major turning point in the magazine. It is the first computerized issue to hit the streets. It was well received (although complaints about the skimpy 10 page size was heard) and finally included some game playing rules, Character Aging, by yours truly. Shaft's Nervous Tension was rumored to cause some acid flashbacks in some circles of readers, although this has never been proven as fact. I also bring forth my second journal excerpt, Path of Life, and Steele grabs a full page with Fortress Steele. He also returns as assistant editor.

Steele's artwork on the cover is excellent and the computerization continues in issue 52, June, 1995. More game playing, the next Albinor Chronicle and Steele's further attempts at full-page castles, Steele Castle, appears.

Steele's castles continue in No. 53, however this time it hits the cover. Legends No. 53 is the first issue that became fairly popular in Quantex Tech II. Only three articles, all reprinted humor centering on computers, appear and the chincy 12 pages is bitched about.

I start getting funky with the fonts in issue 54. The cover is a computer picture of some monster (werewolf?) and is enjoyed. Pages number to 26 and music first starts becoming a noticeable trend with The Art of Darkness, a reprinted interview with Trent Reznor. Fonts change every page and boy did people complain about headaches. My newest artist, Amanda Dailey, debuts with a full page piece. This was her first and only appearance in Legends.

Steele's Celtic cross appears on 55's cover. I print my Dragon Magazine Avenger article to point out the facts behind the scenes of the mix-up between my printing of an avenger class and Dragon Magazine's printing of an avenger class around the same time. The article was a long time coming as The Avenger rules were printed way back in issues 6-7. The Help Line article hits big around Quantex.

For the first time people at work do something for Legends. Issue 56 debuts with the newest artists, Chuck Lap III and Marc Mendoza who helped lay it out, on the cover. One of the best covers yet, although the copying came out rather light. I got complaints about the red paper as well. Another new artist, John Doremus, plops an interesting piece at the bottom of the contents page. Music hits big time here with reprinted interviews by Bob Gourley with Billy Idol, Skin Chamber and more.

In December of 1995, three major things happen to Legends Magazine. First, the biggest issue to hit the streets comes out with 50 pages, a large amount of which contained the reprinted The Prophecies of Nostradamus. The big hit this issue, rocketing Legends back to it's rightful place in the fanzine stratosphere, is The Iron Maiden Discography by Derek McDonald. This brings us to our second major happening. Derek lives in Canada so this is the first documented instance of Legends crossing an international border. The third item is Legends Online, a series of pages on the World Wide Web containing a number of the articles and other related information regarding this magazine. A major screw up, the fact that there are no page numbers on the contents page for the listed articles, goes completely unnoticed as the issue is enjoyed. Also, some expected (and still do expect) TSR to bitch about the fact that I used one of their pictures on the cover. Nothing yet from TSR. Lastly, Jaken Steele falls off of the assistant editor wagon again.

That's the end of the "brief" history of Legends' first five years of life. I hope to continue this publication well into the future and also hope the Legends Online site gets popular and brings many hits. I've only outlined very little of what the first 57 issues of Legends had to offer, including only the highlights of each issue. If you read through this whole thing I thank you for proving I didn't waste my countless hours flipping through old back issues to summarize them here. And, might I add, all of these back issues are available for $5.00 each (had to plug that in there...sorry).

Here's to you, my readers, me, the editor, and all the ones that participated in the past of Legends Magazine. I can not thank you all enough for making my little pet project a highly respected gaming publication. And it's only the beginning...