Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Coming Soon: Mid-Atlantic Magazine Covers We Wish We'd Seen

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

From 1974 through 1986, Jim Crockett Promotions published a program sold at the arenas they titled Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine. From 1974-1977, these were written, edited, and produced by Les Thatcher, who worked in the office at that point for JCP. From 19u78 forward, the magazine was written and produced by photographer Woody Smith and Frances Crockett.

The magazine serving as program came out quarterly through 1981, sometimes relaced by a photo album rather than a magazine format. For unknown reasons, there were no official JCP publication from 1982  through late 1984 (except for the Starrcade 83 and 84 programs.)

The magazine resurrected in 1985 and there were several issues over the next few years until they started publishing magazines as programs under different titles. 

Art by Robby Bannister

The earliest issues used photographs on the cover, but starting with the final issue of 1975, art was featured on the cover of Mid-Atlantic Magazine for several years until early 1979. After that, photographs were consistently used on the covers.

We always loved those early art covers and wished there had been more of them. Longtime fan and digital artist Robby Bannister decided it would be fun to create some faux covers for different eras of JCP, some featuring wrestlers that never had a real cover of their own, but should have. He sent us a sample featuring Don Kernodle on a cover design similar to those published in the late 1970s and early 1980s. We loved the concept! We asked Robby to consider a series of faux covers that would be featured here, special to the Gateway. He happily agreed and we are looking forward to beginning that series over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

The format of Robby's covers will be similar in design to the various familiar designs featured on the actual covers over the years. We are suggesting the photos for the digital art to be based off of, and Robby will do the rest. There won't be any regular publishing schedule for the series, but we hope to feature a new one every few weeks or so, starting after Thanksgiving.

In the meantime check out some of Robby's art on his Facebook page featuring many different wrestlers from different promotions from the 1980s through today. 

Be looking for the first cover in the Gateway series featuring one of the greatest U.S. Champions of all time!