The First Issue (Part 1)

The First Issue (Part 1)

With each week that goes by, we're hit with the news that another magazine is being shut down. It seemed appropriate to celebrate the first issue as much as the last.

Here is a small collection of pop-culture/entertainment debut issues...

In chronological order:

Billboard, November 11, 1894, (originally titled: "Billboard Advertising").

TV Guide, April 3, 1953

Rolling Stone, November 9, 1967.

Roger Black tells SPD that he believe that the AD for the first issue of Rolling Stone was John Williams, who was Dugald Stermer's assistant at Ramparts. Roger says, "The story goes that that Jann had been some kind of arts editor for Warren Hinckle's Sunday Ramparts, a kind of SF strike paper 1966-67 era. The first RS was pasted up on the boards of the paper. Hence the Oxford rules and the Times bold caps heads, a nod to the Times of London."
UPDATE: John Williams was the art director of Rolling Stone for the first 12 issues. He had been alternately production manager and consulting AD at Ramparts, and knew Wenner through both Ramparts and the Sunday Ramparts newspaper. --RN

Interview, November 1969, (originally titled: "Inter/VIEW, A Monthly Film Journal").

Best we can find, Andy Warhol had art directed the first issue

People Weekly, March 4, 1974 (art director: Elton Robinson).

SPIN, May 1985, (art director: Bob Guccione, Jr.).

UsMonthly smaller.jpg
Us, July 1, 1985, (art director: Robert Priest).

While, this is not technically the first issue of Us, its the first we could find of the Wenner Media (then, monthly) days. Us was founded in 1977 by The New York Times Company and sold in 1980. Thanks to Liz Betts for digging this one up.

1987 Premiere_1b.jpg
Premiere, July/August 1987, (Art Director: Robert Best).

Robert tells SPD: "I was part of the start up of Premiere, seven weeks start to finish with a hand full of people." 

Entertainment Weekly, Feb 16, 1990, (art director: Michael Grossman).

VIBE_Snoop_and_Treach cover.jpgVIBE, Fall 1992 "preview issue", and September 1993 "premiere issue" 
(art director: Gary Koepke).

Do you have a first issue to share? E-mail us a JPG to 
[Additional reporting by Robert Newman]
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  • Grant Glas

    Wow!! Great post. Love the Snoop/Vibe cover.

  • Josh Klenert

    I'm dying to see what the very first Us magazine looked like. No trace of it on the interweb.

  • James Reyman

    For those people who don't believe in evolution, you don't really have to go back to the Cretaceous period or ancient Egypt. You only have to look at this list. Look at that TV Guide cover!! I would kill for that issue of Rolling Stone!

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