Bizarre is a self-described "alternative" and "non-mainstream" magazine. It is a sister publication to Fortean Times. It has no connection to the fetish publication also known as "Bizarre" published between 1946-1959.
The magazine has a wide variety of features and articles which include unusual news events from around the world, drug usage, different types of fetishistic and deviant behavior, interviews with famous counterculture figures and showcases of cult directors, musicians and authors. Bizarre has also covered legislation regarding sex offences and civil liberties (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, the fallout from Operation Spanner, legislation banning "extreme pornography" and The Terrorism Act 2000, for example ), along with issues like censorship and human rights abuses, both domestically and abroad. It has also started a campaign to raise awareness of prejudice towards subcultures following the murder of Sophie Lancaster.
From the start the publication had much in common with more mainstream lad's mags, typically featuring a semi-nude model on the front cover, nude photography in special sealed 'x rated' sections inside, and frequent reviews of weird gadgets, films, music, and websites. They regularly cover art, gay culture, the avant-garde and the Cinema of Transgression in their art and music reviews.
Bizarre was launched as a bimonthly title by John Brown Publishing in February 1997 and was edited by Fiona Jerome. It was an immediate success and changed to monthly issuance a year after its launch. Circulation peaked at over 120,000 in 2000 but has declined to less than a quarter of that since the title was sold to "I Feel Good" (IFG), a company founded by former Loaded editor James Brown (no relation to soul music icon James Brown), in 2000 for approximately £5million. When IFG collapsed, Bizarre was acquired by Dennis Publishing. Its current editor is David McComb.
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