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