Trek Artifacts : Official Fan Club Magazine
Star Trek: The Official Fan Club Magazine (OFCM) began as a newsletter-style fanzine distributed only to members of The Official Star Trek Fan Club sometime in the 1970's or early 1980's (any of you have a specific date on this?). Due to demand, the newsletter became a glossy 10-20 page magazine with issue #58 and shortly thereafter was distributed publicly to newsstands and other magazine outlets in the late 1980's.
Modest by today’s standards, the thin, bi-monthly magazine provided a regular dose of all things Trek in an era when saturation media coverage of the franchise had yet to begin. In fact, aside from Starlog, there wasn’t a lot out there regarding Trek and the OFCM was the best place for news and updates regarding the movies and the new show, Star Trek: The Next Generation. No doubt the arrival of TNG was a factor in making the OFCM a nationally distributed magazine, as another way to promote the show, since it’s newsstand debut coincides with the series’ premiere. Although the amount of “news and updates” on Trek were often thin, the magazine featured great full-color photographs and covers as well as a black & white 4-page insert catalog for Trek merchandise.
Gradually the OFCM grew in popularity and thus also grew in size; in the 1990's the page count increased as did the number of articles, and the size of the merchandise catalog insert. As Trek’s popularity exploded in the early-mid 1990's so did the media attention afforded it and, in order to keep up with the changing times, the OFCM changed it’s name to Star Trek: Communicator with issue #100. Published by Decipher, the Communicator was a more well-rounded magazine with a greater variety and scope of articles (although these changes were already apparent in the last issues of the OFCM) featuring longer interviews with cast members, more coverage of the then-burgeoning Star Trek universe, and–of course–a larger merchandise catalog later dubbed “Quarks’ Bazaar”. The magazine changed formats again in the early 21st century, going with a smaller “square-bound” style and featuring fold-out posters. As Trek’s popularity and proliferation waned, the magazine was ultimately canceled in 2005 after issue #155, although it has now been “replaced” with the new Star Trek: The Official Magazine released in late 2006.
The scans included here are a sampling
of both magazine series (and all the issues I have anyway). More
scans will be coming in future Artifacts articles.
www.memory-alpha.org was used
as a source of information for this article.*