Sept 10, 2019
Not to be confused with the Brad Pitt movie of the same name, Ad Astra: 20 Years of Newspaper Ads for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Films says it all. It’s a huge collection of clippings which brings me back to very memorable days of when I went to the movies a lot–the 80s and 90s. This book is a spinoff of Michael Gingold‘s other tomes, namely his selling Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 80s and followup, from the 90s and 00s. His love for collecting clippings is very evident in what’s curated in this collection. I can only imagine what his scrapbook library looks like.
Alternate artwork, short three sentence reviews (from the major papers of those days) and rarely seen ads from editions from other countries make up this work.
I’d often jump to the entertainment section of the newspaper to see what new movies are coming the next day. I’ve seen about 80% of the movies mentioned in this book, and of those films I did not see–either I was sick or the parents forced me to study on a Friday night / weekend instead of heading to the movies.
David Alexander (former editor of Rue Morgue Magazine) is now at 1984 Publishing and serves as an extra eye to make the huge book read like it was from the newspaper. It’s mostly comprised of reproductions of all the original print ads, warts and all, and in finding the best lines to summarize what each movie is about. If I saw the ad for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back when it played at the Royal Theatre in my hometown, I’d be having goosebumps. It’s now a place for high end theatrical productions and movies. That’s the nostalgia I believe Gingold is going for.
I’m very hard pressed to find a film not mentioned! Ad Astra is complete and the only way to not find a listed movie is because the movie distributors made no ad for it.
5 Stars out of 5