The Complete “Insert Favourite Magazine Name Here”

Omni, Vol. 1, No. 2 (November 1978)

Omni, Vol. 1, No. 2 (November 1978)

Brooke and I are buying ourselves The Complete New Yorker for Christmas, and I’m incredibly excited. I know there is a complex labyrinth of legal rights involved, but I’m still happy that I’ll have access to some of the 20th century’s finest magazine writing at my fingertips. And it got me thinking.

There are so many other magazines that would be great to own in this format. Popular Science would be absolutely fascinating, as would Time, Life, and especially, Wired. Of course, Harpers and The Atlantic would have to be included. But the one I keep thinking of is extinct.

Omni was probably my favourite magazine as a teenager, and I owned every issue from #2 (November 1978, above, with a freaky cover by H.R. Giger) until about 1984. They’re actually still stored in a friend’s parents’ basement somewhere, but of course, I have no room for them anymore. Surely, a complete set exists somewhere, and there would certainly be some money to be made. Bob Guccione’s publishing empire will probably produce The Complete Penthouse first, though.

What would be your favourite candidates for the Complete treatment?

Update: Visiting Time’s site above, I was greeted with the news that Time’s magazine subscribers now have access to the entire archive online, back to 1923. I’m not sure what this means, though. Is it similar to the New Yorker’s scanned pages format? Though online access is good, it’s only available as long as you subscribe. I fear that this might be the preferred format for most publishers. They won’t let us own anything.

Life’s site lets you access all the covers from 1936 to 1972, when it was published as a weekly magazine. That’s pretty cool.

The Atlantic has online access to some of their archives (“Articles from January, 1964 – September, 1992, are not available due to copyright restrictions”), but you have to pay on a per-article basis. That sucks.

Update 2: More Omni reminiscing by Michael and Andrew.