Everyone Needs a Hobby: The Tim Burton Fanzine with a Sense of Humor

If you had come to me in the summer of 1994 and asked me to rattle off a list of my favorite things in life, somewhere in the top of that list would be Tim Burton. My opinion of him has…ahem, fluxed in the years since, but back in the late 80’s-mid 90’s, he was my jam. While I’m tempted to turn this into a Batman gush-fest, I won’t. Trust me, there will plenty of posts in this blog that will go down that road. For now, I’d like to discuss this this thing:



I’m going to be honest with you. I have three issues of this and I don’t have the first clue where I got any of them. Much of the ’90’s for me is a blur of high school angst, flannel, and Friends reruns. But somewhere in there, I found this fanzine. Believe me, the irony that I’m writing about a proper fanzine in a medium that pretty much killed the fanzine is not lost on me, but here we are.

Where I was when this thing came out was in high school in a small town, with a bedroom full of Cure CD’s, a Batman obsession, and hard-on for Lydia Deetz.

tb quote

Let’s turn some pages. I’m not going to go into all of it, but I think we’ll hit some fun highlights. First off is a picture of the guy himself and a brief introduction.

tb picture

Despite the long, stringy mess of blonde hair I had in high school, you guys have no idea how hard I tried to rock this look. It didn’t work out. I was a lot more Kurt Cobain than Robert Smith.

Further in, we’ve got the “News and Sightings” section, where we find out the latest in Burton news. It goes for 4 pages and has some interesting tidbits. There is one particular paragraph that goes into the fact that Batman Forever is now filming! And MICHAEL KEATON WON’T BE BATMAN. Whaaaaaaat?

But my favorite part was this:


Tim Burton adapting The Fall of the House of Usher? Now we’re talking. And by that, I mean ’90’s Burton, back when he was in his Ed Wood days. But now? Well, the idea of him adapting Dark Shadows sounded like a good idea too. Make no mistake, Batman is and always will be my favorite film of all time, but Old Boy has slipped into unforgivable territory in recent years (*coughaliceinwonderlandcough*). The sad thing is, I think he still has it in him. I just wish he’d get off the idea of adapting other artists’ work and create something new. That’s where he’s always been his strongest, Batman not withstanding. I do have high hopes for Big Eyes. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. As for the prospect of a Catwoman film…hey, we got this…


That was something, right?…. No. That was not something. What that was, was one of only two times in which I nearly got up and walked out of a theater before the movie was over. The second one, by the way, was Batman and Robin.

Which brings us to my favorite part of this issue. The Vincent Price Filmography!

VP Filmography

This was an incredible resource for Teenage Horror Nerd Me back in the days when the internet was taking its first baby steps. You kids have no idea how easy you have it.

Lastly, I’m going to leave you with the title of a poem near the back of the zine:

“Body Piercings, Hairdye, Scars, and Speed”

Not kidding. That’s what it’s called. Oh come on. Like the Tim Burton zine that was published in the mid-90’s, geared toward mopey teenage goths, wasn’t going to have a damn poetry section.


It seems a few folks were dying to read the literary tour de force that is “Body Piercings, Hairdye, Scars, and Speed”. Well, never let it be said that I don’t deliver.



5 thoughts on “Everyone Needs a Hobby: The Tim Burton Fanzine with a Sense of Humor

  1. I’ve got to admit, now you’ve got me curious as to what the text of “Body Piercings, Hairdye, Scars, and Speed” was.

    ‘Ed Wood’-era Burton doing ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ actually sounds like something I might have enjoyed! This is the first I’ve heard of that shelved project. ‘Big Eyes’… well, that sounds as close to being promising as anything he’s been involved with in nearly two decades, although given his track record, I can’t say I’m holding out any big hopes for it. At least he managed to leave his wife and Johnny fucking Depp out of it for a change, although I see it’s going to have the same score of Elfman’s re-cycled themes as everything else of his, but I suppose hoping Burton would have stepped *that* far out of his comfort bubble would be asking for too much at this point.


    • Yeah, ditto to all of that. Another thing I would have told you in the summer of ’94 was that Johnny Depp was one of my favorite actors. I was still coming off an Edward Scissorhands high then, but holy crap am I sick of him now. Especially the pairing of him and Burton. He’s just become Hollywood’s go-to guy for every quirky character buried under a ton of makeup. That whole combo is just tired at this point. I’ve got mixed feelings on Elfman. He’s composed some of my favorite scores ever, but there’s nothing he could do with Burton or anyone else at this point that would excite me more than an actual Oingo Boingo reunion. Too bad we’ll never see that happen.


    • Oh, and I might make an update later tonight with the poem. I guess that was a bit of a tease. It was actually printed in a Gothic font. I may just add a pic so you can get the full effect.


  2. Depp definitely used to have some great roles; ‘Dead Man’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ were particularly fantastic. Now he’s just a caricature of himself. I’m not sure what the last film of his was that I really enjoyed; maybe ‘The Ninth Gate’. Similarly, Helena Bonham Carter wasn’t always stuck in such abysmal roles. I haven’t seen as much of her earlier stuff as I have Depp’s, but the last thing I can think of that I enjoyed with her in a reasonably major role was ‘Fight Club’, which, incidentally, came out the same year as ‘The Ninth Gate’. What happened to those two after 1999? My best guess is that Burton caught Bonham Carter having an affair with Depp sometime in 2001 and punished them both by hiring a warlock to cast a geas on them both to force them to accept only shitty roles from that day forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. I really enjoyed Dead Man and The Ninth Gate. It’s a shame that he’s sold his talent out for paychecks and mediocrity. I swear, he’ll still be making those Pirates of the Caribbean movies until he’s old enough to take over Keith Richards’s role. And I agree about Helena Bonham Carter as well. I was always more of a Lisa Marie man, myself.


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