Death Ray and Filmstar fold

Blackfish logoDeath Ray and Filmstar magazines have closed, as Blackfish Publishing splits from their parent company Rebellion. According to a press release issued by managing director Matt Bielby, the current issues of both magazines (Death Ray issue 21, and Filmstar issue 5) will be their last.

I liked Blackfish’s magazines, and I wrote for Filmstar: even among strong competition, I felt that Filmstar was an impressive title, and it’s more than self-interest that makes me sad to see it go. The editors I worked with were great, and I’m proud of the pieces I wrote for them (I’ll be adding all my film reviews to the Paperhouse archive over the next few weeks).  There are plenty of reasons why a publishing venture might not work out, but for Blackfish, it definitely wasn’t a failure of quality. Over the fold, the press release in full:

News release

7 October 2009

Filmstar and Death Ray to close

I’ve got some sad news, I’m afraid. Blackfish Publishing is currently in the process of splitting from its parent company, the video game developer and publisher Rebellion, which means that the current issues of Filmstar and Death Ray magazines will, at the very least, be the last for some time.

Filmstar will not continue in its present form beyond issue #5, now on sale, or Death Ray beyond issue #21, also on sale. This is, needless to say, a terrible shame, because both are terrific magazines, with a loyal and growing following, and plenty of potential. However, harsh economic circumstances and assorted unforeseen factors make it impossible for us to continue with them at this time.

I am hopeful that one or both magazines will find homes elsewhere, and that Blackfish itself will continue in some form. It’s a terrific little company, full of dedicated, passionate and talented individuals, and I would like to thank them all for their almost universally excellent work over the last few years: Guy, Jes, Lee, Adam, Joe, Allie and others on Death Ray; Mark, Thom, Keith, Steve, Dave and others on Filmstar; plus Meg, two Ians and, of course, Karl. In addition, I’d like to thank the raft of excellent and insightful writers and other contributors who’ve worked with us over the past three years.

Thank you for your interest in, and support of, our two magazines: they were great while they lasted, and will, with luck, rise again.


Matt Bielby
Managing Director
Text © Sarah Ditum, 2009

4 thoughts on “Death Ray and Filmstar fold

  1. Well that is just a massive pile of shit news. Really shit news.


    And a rubbish way to start a weekend.


  2. It’s truly lousy, and horribly sudden. Apart from the fact that they paid me and I liked what they asked me to write about (yay! Nazi zombies!) I thought they were offering something properly interesting.

  3. I don’t get it. Rebellion only bought them a few months ago! It seemed like a promising thing at the time! I really want to know more about what happened here…

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