JustinFrancoeur, besides helping with Vintage is The New Old content, he maintains the website www.dcinthe80s.com which as the name suggests, is a webzine for DC comics fans from the 80s. A byproduct of his website is the fanzine, Baxter Stock which is released in print with no specific periodicity.
Back in November or so he told me that he was working on a secret project that would surprise me and that was enough to raise my curiosity to the roof. The secret project was nothing less than an issue of his fanzine 100% dedicated to retro games. This new issue of Baxter Stock talks exclusively about all the major game releases from the 80s that portraited DC comics characters.
But he didn’t stop there! To make it a really special edition on the best 80s style, the fanzine was going to be the first released in 3D! Now I was hooked!
Interestingly enough, only after he started collaborating to the site that I learned he lives in Ottawa region, very close to where I live. That said, I ordered my issue and we schedule one day when I could get it directly from his hands (and I would save the shipping costs, of course ;) ). After we finally met in person, I went home happy with my fanzine and those cool 3D glasses!
I decided to write something about the zine here in ViTNO because it is relevant to our content on all levels, but how I could write something about a friend’s work without being biased? Well, that’s impossible but Justin did such a good job that even biased I can be 100% honest. With that out of the way, let’s dig into it.
This issue of Baxter Stock it’s a full-color 16 page printed in 3D and it also includes those cool cardboard 3D glasses so you can see the pictures of the games popping out of its pages.
When we met, Justin went through all the images and showed me how he manually edited each one of them to create the 3D effects on the right places and the end result is really good. The type of 3D effects and the 3D glasses really adds to the vintage style of the zine and its contents.
Although the text is not 3D at all and should be read without the glasses, the fanzine is also printed in a standard black & white mode for those that are color blind and the 3D effects in the images won’t work. This way everybody can enjoy the zine displaying clear and crisp images. Although I can see the 3D colors, I bought both editions because I thought that for “bed reading”, having the b&w version would be more convenient and reserving the 3D version to “play” with the images and show to other people the cool effects.
In terms of content, the zine covers games like Superman – The Game, Batman, Batman the Caped Crusader, Superman Man of Steel and others. These games were released on many different platforms at the time, like the ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-bit, Commodore, Amiga, and Atari ST.
The articles are not simply a review of the games but show also Justin’s expertise in DC comics since he takes the time to add the context of the games, which comic book or movie the game was based on, etc. He told me that he spent the time to playing (or replaying) all the games he wrote about and the result shows in the tips and strategies to complete the game he includes throughout the articles.
Baxter Stock costs US$ 5.00 for the 3D version and US$ 3.00 for the B&W one plus shipping. He told me that at first, he was concerned about shipping costs so he would be willing to ship to North America only, but even if you are elsewhere and wants a copy, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and talk directly to him. I recommend!