Digital Edition on the iPad

Digital Edition on the iPad

Saturday, November 29, 2014

How Awesome is it?

Available for viewing only until Monday night... 
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 VW 051        

In our Letterbox

Good morning!

Can I just tell you how awesome the Digital Archive is?

I just started reading Issue 7. Coppola's TITIAN? Never heard of it. 3 versions of TERROR CREATURES FROM THE GRAVE? I had no idea.

I am SO glad I pledged for the complete archive during Your Kickstarter campaign. Thank you for this magnum opus. I'll be reading for years :)

Happy Holidays,

--Volker Stieber
Winston-Salem, NC


Pre-order the entire 176-Digital Archive by December 1 for 27% off, and be one of the first to get a complete collection of Video Watchdog for all your devices!


Well... hello!!

It's been great bringing you FREE digital editions this month! 

The final two we've chosen for previewing are very special indeed. These are the Signature Editions we published that were autographed by Donnie Dunagan (SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, voice of BAMBI), and Ann Carter (THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE). We still have some of the autographed print copies available too.

Tom Weaver interviewed them both exclusively for Video Watchdog and helped introduce Donnie Dunagan into the fan-based community after years of obscurity. We met him and his lovely wife Dana on several occasions and consider them very dear friends. Donnie supplied us with a wealth of photos and scrapbook pages that we will be integrating into this digital edition as it continues to evolve. 

Ann Carter Newton passed away in January this year. She was one of the sweetest women I have ever had the pleasure of speaking to. She also sent us a wealth of photos and stills to publish that we will add in as the archive grows. Weaver's interview in this issue tells of her film career and her struggles with polio at an early age and cancer later in life. A very brave, strong woman, and a sweet soul--we miss her dearly. 

We hope you've enjoyed these free peeks this month. We can't wait till they are released in mid-December to the world!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Treats for Black Friday

For your reading pleasure through Black Friday!
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Expires 11/28

Click on a cover!

David Lynch, Mario Bava, Barbara Steele
What a triple-header!

3 of our Favorites!

We love the cover stories, but... here's the real reason we've chosen to preview these three issues. They contain parts 1-3 of "The Trouble with Titian," where "Tim Lucas recovers Francis Ford Coppola's lost thriller OPERATION: TITIAN and begins the never-before-told story of how Roger Corman turned it into 5 movies! Includes an exclusive interview with William Campbell!”

You can read all 3 parts now. (Issue 7 has been sold out for years!)

Issue 4 sold out early on, too--since it was a David Lynch issue in the TWIN PEAKS days. We reprinted it with black and white covers so collectors could tell the difference between the original (a blue tint on the front and back) and the reprint. We sacrificed an original copy to the paper cutter so we could bring the digital version to you unaltered. 

Issue 5 was our first big Bava issue, and if any of you have Mario Bava--All the Colors of the Dark you may recognize some of the photos that originated here. Might be fun to compare this to the book and see what changed. :-)

Issue 7 is devoted to Barbara Steele, the iconic star of BLACK SUNDAY. This issue sold out years ago and was never reprinted. Unless you were able to get an original copy, you've been unable to finish reading the 3rd part of the Titian article. So here you go!

In other news... not to bury the headline

The Digital Archive is complete!

Yes, we've digitized all 174 back issues and the 2 Special Editions, and they will be published and on sale in December for $549. Individual issues will be $3.99.

It's on sale for a few more days at a discounted price now through the end of November as a pre-order.

We are so excited to see this project about to go live! Hope you are enjoying the previews of what's to come too!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekend Reading!

Kubrick, Harryhausen, Star Trek Generations & Starship Troopers!

Available for viewing only until Monday night... 
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 VW 051         VW 047

We hope you enjoy these 3 treats for the weekend! 

These are the last 3 issues with major features by our friend Michael Lennick. The Harryhausen piece was written by our own Charlie Largent, who also designed the cover image for this issue. 

If you see anything we can improve, please let us know by leaving a comment below. 

For those of you on tablets and phones, these issues should appear and disappear automatically from your devices. There's been a bit of a 'bug' when an issue disappears, saying you need to resubscribe to see it again. But that's just a generic message we can't get around undoing. Please ignore it!

More to come in the final weeks ahead as we zero in on December and get to actually release these to the world!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Star Wars on the Cover?

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Password:      treats
Read thru Monday, November 18

Still in the Days of Cut and Paste - Literally!

This issue on The STAR WARS Trilogy and THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION was Michael Lennick's first big feature for us, and the subject was right up his alley. (His website he later created was He loved everything about Space, so we gave him all the space he needed for this issue. 

We rarely put STAR WARS on the cover of Video Watchdog. We were getting bored with all the coverage that film got on the covers of Cinefantastique and other magazines. It seemed they put something Star Wars-like on every cover in the '90s just to sell issues. We were rebels. But we made an exception for Mikey.

None of the illustrations for this issue were taken with digital equipment. This was in the days of cut and paste. Most were stills and photos from our collection or borrowed from others. I would lay out the text on the computer and leave a blank area for the illustration to be pasted in later. 

It was difficult to take an 8 x 10 still and figure out how it would fit into a 5 inch space. I used a proportional scale to figure that out. 

Then we'd pack up the stills and take them to our printer to have PMTs (photo mechanical transfers) made. We'd tell them to shoot at certain sizes like 56%. The pictures would come back on a thick photo paper with a dot pattern that could then be shot to negatives for the press. If you see a dot pattern in some of these illustrations, that's why it's there.

It was very difficult to do text on top of a picture, or fill in a blank background with a light screen of gray, but working with the folks at Crest Graphics, we were able to pull it together for the opening image for page 36. I was very proud of the result.

Today it seems like that technology was from a time and a galaxy far, far away...

Enjoy this digital one through Monday, and let us know how you like it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remembering Michael Lennick

Free Preview
June 1990
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Read thru Friday, November 14

Michael Lennick
1952 - 2014

On November 7 our dear friend and VW contributor, Michael Lennick, passed away suddenly from aggressive brain cancer.

We met on the set of David Cronenberg's Videodrome in 1981 where Tim had been sent by Cinefantastique to write a feature about the film, and I tagged along to take pictures. Michael was on the crew shooting video playbacks. He and Tim bonded like brothers. 

Michael had a keen interest in all things Science Fiction, and took a particular interest in the space program. He contributed to several of our issues, including issue #1's "Lasers on Stun" article. He was looking forward to the digital editions appearing, and filmed this testimonial for us for our Kickstarter/Indiegogo project.

We last spoke this summer when he called to ask advice about crowd-funding for his planned documentary "The Children of Pearl Harbor." The project successfully launched but had to be pulled when he went into the hospital a few weeks ago.

Michael was a talented and kind soul, with a quiet nature and more ideas than he knew what to do with. We miss him dearly. Tim wrote a wonderful tribute to him on Video WatchBlog

I would also like to honor his memory by sharing some of his articles he wrote for Video Watchdog here with you over the next several days. 

Although Michael loved print and had every issue of the magazine, he thought the digital editions were going to be really exciting. He was really looking forward to seeing his work in this new format and sharing it with the world.


May the force be with you, Mikey.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What a Surprise!

Another treat for you...
The first ALL COLOR issue!
October 2003

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Read thru Wednesday, November 12

The Secret

Our 100th issue was a special occasion, and we wanted to do something really amazing. We asked our Kennel members to contribute 10 short reviews so we could have 100 reviews for our 100th. We asked Charlie Largent to give our cover a new look. And then we kept the most surprising thing a secret: Color!

It was always tantalizing for me to see the images in color as I placed them on the page, and it was always disappointing for me to see them turn into black and white on paper. It was time to publish in color. Only Tim, John Charles (VW's Associate Editor), our printer and myself knew of this plan. We wanted it to be a big surprise.

Believe me, it was a struggle with old CRT monitors in RGB colors to match the CMYK colors on the press. And we had one company print the negatives while our printer did the printing. Having color profiles bounce between my computer, Harlan Type and Crest-Graphics took some adjustment.

OMG... I was in LOVE!

Finally it was done. We crossed our fingers. We couldn't wait to see the proofs. We went over to Harlan Type and saw the pages rolling off a wide printer on large sheets of shiny paper. I fell in love! I couldn't stop staring at each page. It was so magical!

Finally, Publication Day Came 

Gary Hill, our rep from Crest-Graphics, presented us with the first issues in person.
Gary Hill

This issue also had our first and only fold-outs in the front and back of the magazine. 
If you click on the Flash version of this issue above, you can actually see 
the inside covers fold-out like the real thing!

Then Gary gave us a wonderful card signed by all our friends at Crest-Graphics, 
and a bottle of 1995 Cuvée Dom Pérignon Champagne!

No time to celebrate... we had an issue to get out! 

My mom, Ellie Goldschmidt, helped to stuff those famous coupons 
into each issue, and I went on with shipping duties. Celebrating came later that night. 

We had a party on the floor...

...opened up the champagne, and toasted to the future!

Ahh... great memories! I slept with that issue under my pillow that night.

Now it's time for you to get started reading. You only have until Wednesday to finish!

Login with use the Username/Password combo listed above, and not your own, OK?

We are still in the testing phase all month. If you should find any problems, please let us know in a comment below. And let us know how you like it too!

Thanks for stopping by. :-)


Friday, November 7, 2014

A Taste of Things to Come

Video Watchdog #2 - Free Look!
 Login: digitaldog  Password: treats
Login: digitaldog
Password: treats

Available thru Sunday, November 9

Our Testing Team has been putting the Digital Editions through very detailed and heavy-duty testing for almost a week now, and I am extremely pleased with the feedback and suggestions for improvements they have come up with for this Archive! We can't wait to see what you think too!

Your Turn!

Throughout this month I'll be posting different editions for you to try out. VW #2 is one of my favorites. As a designer, it is dear to my heart. It was the first time I got the printer to superimpose the text "Blood & Donuts" over a picture (way back in the paste-up days), it was printed on real paper (not cover stock like the first one), and I got some very good magazine design advice from my mentor and logo designer, Radomir Perica. We reprinted this one from the original plates, but with black and white covers. So if you have one with a purple tint on the cover, you have the first printing.

This is a David Lynch issue, and he is bringing back TWIN PEAKS, so let's celebrate by looking back at the series, way back in Fall of 1990.

PCs - Click, Login and Have Fun!

If you're on a computer, just click on the cover above, login with 'digitaldog' and the password 'treats'. We'll keep the login name and password the same throughout this month, but this issue will only be available through Sunday, November 9. Check back here for another issue.

For Tablet or Phone Users

To see this on your device, download the Video Watchdog app from the various app stores, and once you are in, tap on Editions at the bottom of the screen and log in with 'digitaldog' and 'treats' for the password. The issues will show up on your device all month, but they'll also disappear when the time period expires.

If you already have the Video Watchdog app and have logged in with a different username/password combo from our website, your previous purchases may disappear for a short while when logged in with this username and password, but you'll get them back again when you re-enter your usual credentials. Don't worry!

For more information about getting the apps, check out the instructions above in the FAQ area.

Please Leave a Comment

Help us to test! If you find any problem with the issue, we want to know. Of course, we'd also love to hear how you like it! Let us know in a comment below.

I hope you'll pass the word along and tell a friend to stop by. Free treats all month! 

Have a great weekend! More fun is coming!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Testing has begun!

Today begins the launch of a 30-day testing period for the Digital Archive!

The interest level for this project was amazing! A big Thank You to all who applied to be Testers. We received an overwhelming response and narrowed the field to 34 who use a wide range of test devices.

144 issues are ready and being tested right now. The remaining issues will join the testing phase over the next couple of weeks. I'm so proud of our digital specialists team who exceeded the 105 issue goal I initially thought we could achieve! And in the next few weeks I'll be spotlighting them here on the blog, and outlining some of the procedures we went through to bring these to you.

Also throughout November we'll be posting an issue here and there so you can see for yourself how it looks and works on your device--free for a day or two only. So watch this blog, or subscribe to it on the right if you want to be notified of anything new by email right away.

And if you like what you see, the Digital Archive is on sale now for preorder at a significant savings through November. Maybe it's time to ask Santa for a new phone or tablet...