Monday, May 14, 2018

Night Cry Magazine: A Cover Gallery

The only annual issue of TZ Magazine,
considered as a precursor to Night Cry.
Cover art by Terrance Lindall
Night Cry magazine began life in 1984 with the digest-sized TZ Special #1: Night Cry, taking its name from a story by Katherine M. Turney published in the November, 1982 issue of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine. TZ Magazine previously released an annual issue in 1982, Great Stories from Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine, which can be viewed as a precursor to Night Cry. 

Intended as a companion to The Twilight Zone Magazine, Night Cry initially served to reprint stories from TZ Magazine with a focus on horror and dark fantasy fiction. Night Cry soon evolved into an influential periodical which featured original fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and artwork from the most skilled practitioners of horror and dark fantasy of the 1980s. Contributing writers included Robert Bloch, William F. Nolan, F. Paul Wilson, Orson Scott Card, Charles L. Grant, Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison, Bentley Little, and many others. The magazine was also the birthing grounds of the burgeoning Splatterpunk movement as authors such as John Skipp, Craig Spector, David J. Schow, and Richard Christian Matheson published early fiction in its pages. The magazine was notable for its arresting cover images, several of which were created by World Fantasy Award-winning artist J.K. Potter, who also contributed dozens of interior illustrations to the magazine. An added feature of Night Cry was that new illustrations were commissioned for each story, including reprinted material, which presented an interesting array of artistic interpretations for the fiction in each issue. 

T.E.D. Klein edited the first three issues of the magazine before departing the editorship of both Night Cry and Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine to concentrate on fiction writing. Alan Rodgers assumed editorship of the magazine with the Winter, 1985 issue and saw the magazine through to its end. Persistent distribution issues ensured that the magazine is not as well-remembered as its flagship companion. Night Cry endured for 11 issues (issued quarterly after the first issue) before folding with the Fall, 1987 issue, ending a brief but celebrated run from one of the finest horror fiction magazines of that very rich decade. -JP

Cover by Rosie Mackiewicz (1984)

Cover by Frances Jetter (Summer, 1985)

Cover by Manuel S. Morales (Fall, 1985)
Cover by J.K. Potter (Winter, 1985)
Cover by J.K. Potter (Spring, 1986)
Cover by J.K. Potter (Summer, 1986)
Cover by J.K. Potter (Fall, 1986)
Cover by J.K. Potter (Winter, 1986)
Cover by J.K. Potter (Spring, 1987)
Cover by J.K. Potter (Summer, 1987)
Cover by Harry O. Morris (Fall, 1987)


  1. I bought every issue of TZ magazine when they came out except for the annual, which was all reprints. I never bought an issue of Night Cry. I guess the lack of a connection to the TV show made it less interesting.

    1. Yeah, this one's sort of fallen in the cracks, likely due to only running 11 issues, but a glance at the table of contents of these issues reveals a very impressive array of writers and artists. I've accumulated a run of the TZ magazine just by hunting used book stores and comics shops but I've never seen an issue of Night Cry in the wild.

  2. I read issues of Night Cry, in the 80's. My dad worked at TV Guide and brought Night Cry and other magazines home from there, for me. I just finished reading all 11 issues online and those stories brought back so many memories for me. Some stories had stayed with me, for over 30 years. I always wanted to find those issues again (and just recently did, as I mentioned) but I couldn't find anyone else, who'd ever even heard of Night Cry.

    1. If you're a fan of horror and dark fantasy going over these issues is an eye-opening experience. So many great stories by the best names in the business at the time. There's nothing like it being offered today in a mass-market capacity. The magazine can be difficult to find in the wild but issues are regularly offered online at affordable prices. This one should be better known but I understand it suffered some distribution setbacks during its brief run. Still, I agree that the issues are worth tracking down and I figured there were enough readers around who remembered it to warrant this brief post. Thanks for reading!

  3. I was an enormous fan of the series, and as a kid bought about half the issues, but also as a kid, lost them over the years. Now I'd love to find reprints or online copies; where on earth are these online issues found? I looked through every avenue of legit ebooks I can think of, and some not so legit, and came up empty.

    1. Night Cry issues can be found over at the Internet Archive ( Happy reading!