What kid growing up in the seventies didn't enjoy PIZZAZZ magazine? It was more a less a knock off of the popular Scholastic magazines Dynamite and, more closely, Bananas. However, this had the Marvel Comics badge, and so it was extra cool - Spidey and The Hulk were popping up everywhere on the pages of PIZZAZZ.
In the very first issue, Stan Lee himself gives a brief introduction to the magazine and its creation:
Here it is - the question all America is asking - the most urgent query of our time; namely, "Hey, guys, why are you publishing another new magazine?"
And here, in our fearlessly courageous style, is the gutsy, unvarnished answer: "Why not?"
But, if that reason's not erudite enough, we'll lay another one on you. After years of creating the world's best-selling comic books, we thougt it would be a blast to also produce a handsome, full-color, top quality magazine, printed on the very finest paper, with exciting features, puzzles, news and stories, as well as comics and cartoons. In other words, the kind of magazine we ourselves would eagerly look forward to each month. So we created - PIZZAZZ! And now, let's share the excitement of discovering PIZZAZZ! Today, you've found a brand new magazine. Tomorrow, we want you to call it an old and trusted frined. Go to it, O lucky one. The best lies just ahead!
|Stan Lee, the master at work|
|Spidey, Cassidy and Kong - PIZZAZZ had 'em all.|
[Download the entire first issue of PIZZAZZ. I've got a bunch more - let me know if this is something you'd be interested in (i.e. worth the effort of uploading).]
Update: By special request, here's another issue for your reading pleasure. More to come. Enjoy!
The magazine was a perfect time capsule of the average American pre-teen in the 70s. It regularly featured articles on the many popular music artists of the day (kinda like CREEM but less racey). PIZZAZZ featured stories on Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, Shaun Cassidy, Linda Ronstadt, and KISS.... lots and lots of KISS!
|Knights in Satan's Service|
Considering it was a Marvel publication, it's not surprising that it featured several comic book pages: namely a Tarzan comic (which I was never much into) and a Star Wars comic. If memory serves, the comic wasn't that great despite the Star Wars frenzy going on back then.
|BLOORP! Artoo has gas|
And of course, you had to have a little gratuitous sex appeal for the young lads to enjoy. Nothing too extreme - just a few photos of Farrah, Suzanne Somers, Cheryl Teigs or Linda Ronstadt.
And if that weren't enough, there were cool magic tricks courtesy of Doctor Strange.... none of which ever seemed to work wen I tried to do them myself.
The mystery is what ended up killing off PIZZAZZ. Once upon a time, there were tons of magazines for young boys to consume: Dynamite, Bananas, PIZZAZZ, MAD, Cracked, Crazy, Creepy, Eerie, Conan, Sick, etc., etc. Where'd they go?
I don't have an answer for that, but at least I can say that I enjoyed them while they lasted.