Paolo Zelati

Horror Mania & Horror Time

This section is dedicated to "Horror Mania" and "Horror Time". Or rather, in their memory. Two editorial efforts to which I have dedicated myself body and soul. Two examples of a world that, unfortunately, no longer exists. After the photo gallery that features all the covers, you will find an essay by my friend Andrea G. Colombo, an adventure companion on both occasions, to whom I asked to celebrate our two “creatures”.

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Before the Internet hit traditional publishing like a tsunami, there was a time when it made sense to torment the trusted newsagent by asking if the new issue of our favorite magazine was out. A heroic era, made up of expectations and hopes, disappointments and unexpected joys. The ritual was repeated the same as itself, month after month, no matter what the magazine was or the topic of the same: the important thing was to harass the newsagent, challenging him to a game of resistance that lasted until the surrender of one of the two contenders. If you checked it, you would go home with the coveted pile of glossy pages.

Horror Mania (Edizioni Master) rode the queue of that glorious era, debuting on newsstands in 2004 and continuing its ride for 42 monthly issues before the world as we knew it evaporated forever leaving behind few traces of himself. The initial success was somewhat unexpected, certainly never seen before in our country for a magazine that focused entirely on the horror genre: supported by commercials on Mediaset networks, the huge circulation of the first three issues went completely sold out and the whole first year made dizzying numbers, continuing well throughout the second season and then settling into the third and preparing for the crisis that wiped out every niche product on newsstands. This despite the fact that the basic idea of ​​the project was not easy to achieve. At least not in our country.

In a nutshell, I was called by the Master Editions to select and coordinate a team of authors capable of creating a horror magazine aimed at both the novice and the expert, that is, capable of being exhaustive, precise, up to the required task, but without ever giving up clarity and simplicity in the exposition. A long and complex work of writing and rewriting so that form and content could best satisfy such disparate categories of readers. All this while trying to make important sales numbers, so as to guarantee the project a survival like never before in Italy.

Paolo was a perfect companion on the adventure in this sense, because he was able to combine an enormous competence in the subject with a great ability to transmit it in a simple and direct way. Thanks to the precious reportages , the previews and the numerous interviews, Paolo enriched the pages of Horror Mania in a decisive way, making an immediate impact on the public.

Paolo and I were contacted years after the end of the "Horror Mania experience" for the birth of what today we could define an experiment : the attempt to resurrect the spirit of the magazines printed for newsstands at a time when newsstands were about to become anachronistic. Unlike Horror Mania, Horror Time, released in September 2013 for the types of Eligio Editore (the reference to "time" in the title was not accidental ) was born with the clear intention of being a niche product. We were aware of how the Web was ruling and how absurd it was then to try to address a wide audience: our goal was the super-fans, a few heroic readers willing to leave the house to head towards one of the few remaining newsstands and buy an object made of paper and… passion.

We were hoping for romantics.

We were hoping for nostalgics.

Spoilert Alert: It wasn't enough

We worked to create a full-bodied and beautiful magazine, with refined graphics and a wide range of content, offering a large section dedicated to literature and many, many pages of cinema. The project was the ideal continuation of Horror Mania , although unfortunately it only lasted the space of 4 issues without ever being able to find a distribution worthy of the name. Those were frustrating months, during which our worst nightmare was the many e-mails from those who complained of having searched for the magazine on the newsstands without being able to find it. An endless trickle that we decided to stop with a touch of bitterness, surrendering to the evident decline of an era destined - in all likelihood - never to return.

Andrea G. Colombo

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