* by Bookmans Mesa Cashier Supervisor Roland Wakefield

Have you wondered what to say on a date with Don Johnson? How to write a love letter to Bruce Willis? How they got Tick-Tock from Return to Oz the walk? Or why Burke and Hare hasn’t been released in the U.S. and whether or not it should? Answers to these questions and more co-exist in the magazine aisle at any Bookmans location.

Bookmans takes magazines that we think will sell or make someone laugh. We see a lot of technical magazines. Some we take because there are no books circulating about the subject that won’t sell immediately. Some we take because the information changes so rapidly that any book we see on the subject is obsolete. Visit our magazine section to catch up on whatever interests you. The best part about the magazine section at Bookmans Mesa and Bookmans Flagstaff is that you can take the magazines to the café and peruse them out at your leisure. What could you need beyond a latte and a Teen Beat article informing you “How to love a hunk”?

The latest dose of brain fodder that I gathered for my personal collection is a Cinefex from 1985 that contains possibly everything available on the making of Return to Oz. The DVD has nothing but the movie on it (which I also bought at Bookmans) so this magazine and other interviews in sci-fi mags of that year are all there is. Apparently Tick-Tock was a radio controlled head with a contortionist balled up inside working the legs with his feet. It has photos of the wheelers and the rigs they had to wear to roll around with wheels for hands and feet. It also goes into details about the stop motion animation used at the end of the film for the rock king and the compositing of the actors into the shots. It’s no “dating tips on what Wil Wheaton likes in a girl”, but nevertheless it’s random, rare and was on our shelf waiting for anyone with the interest and $2.50 in store credit.

Another nugget is a Canadian entertainment magazine from 1985 containing an article about Pee-wee Herman at the peak of his popularity in which he says he’s working on a theme park based on Pee-wee’s shows and movies and how he wanted the second film to be a musical. After raising my fists into the air and screaming because I could have ridden a Pee-wee roller coaster, I realized how that fact (although I didn’t need to know it) changed my conversations for the next week. Every after-work outing is better when you’re contemplating a Pee-wee roller coaster and the song he would write to play during the ride and/or the wait in line. Sure, I should have been thinking about how I’m gonna pay my insurance next month, but this is more fun. Also I don’t like pulling my hair completely out and actually looking like Bruce Willis.

Look for Famous Monsters of Filmland articles about Love at First Bite implying a Birdcage-like sequel that never was…

Keyboard Monthly articles about “Accordion Power” with Weird Al on the cover …

or an issue of Los Angeles Magazine with a full article written by Steve Martin about how the town has evolved.

You’ll find magazines on cross stitch, gun cleaning, diabetic cooking, mountain bike repair or horse grooming. Somewhere in my office I have a Teen Beat with an interview with Jason Lee telling giggly little girls to listen to Sigur Ros (magical Icelantic ambience) to pump themselves up for the day. All this wonder in the same place for around a buck or two. What else do you need to better yourself or just better your quiet public giggles?

An article about Jean Claude Van Damme’s caffeinated chewing gum commercial shoots in Japan? It was there. The Rolling Stone issues from the ’70s with article written by Cameron Crowe about Led Zepplin? They’re there. An issue of Gear Magazine with 20 things you didn’t know about Shriners — 2 bucks.

Oh the marching sounds on the Nine Inch Nails song Pilgrimage is a box full of nails being shaken. Thank you Spin from 1999. The Tool song 46 & 2 is based on a book by Bob Frissell about aliens and evolution (that book is on the shelf at Bookmans for $4). Thank you Alternative Press from 1995.

The magazines that collect in any of the Bookmans stores range so vastly in purpose and detail that to me it is by far the best and most unpredictable part of the store. Ours is slightly better than other book stores because only so much entertainment is to be gotten from current magazines; our rows of magazines have the collective useful and uselessness from the past 50 to 60 years.

As for Don Johnson, tell him you love Italian food and rocking out to his pop sensation Heartbeat while driving around. Tell him to take you out on his boat named My Vice. Bruce Willis? Call him by his nickname “Bruno” according to All Stars from 1987. He loves that. Want to see Burke and Hare, the new John Landis movie with Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis in America? Empire Magazine from the U.K. tells you who to e-mail and tell. I didn’t read the article on how to groom a horse but I saw it while looking for old interviews with Tom Selleck from the movie Runaway. It’s there if you want to read it yourself. The Tom Selleck interview is not, because I bought it.