It's coincidence, not genius, that The Dinosaur Times, a magazine for kids with a passion for the paleontological, shipped its first issue to newsstands at the height of the current "Jurassic Park" mania.
Larry Brill, co-publisher of the colorful and info-packed quarterly, had come up with the idea for the magazine about 1 1/2 years ago. By the time he got financing and a staff together to put out the first issue, Steven Spielberg had come out with his must-see movie and, well, the rest perhaps will be publishing history.
The Dinosaur Times, which is tabloid-sized and costs $2.50, is for kids ages 9 and up "who for whatever reason, just love dinosaurs," says Mr. Brill, who previously published a similar magazine, The Monster Times, for about 10 years until being lured into using his design skills for a major bank.
"But 1 1/2 years ago, I decided it was OK to have fun again," says the New York-based publisher, who is 54. "I'm a grown-up fan of monsters, science fiction, fantasy, comics, everything."
The 32-page issue offers dino info from the historical to the whimsical -- the first issue, for example, notes how Maya Angelou's inauguration poem mentions the beast, and features an "exclusive" interview with Michael Crichton, author of "Jurassic Park." Every issue features a centerfold -- a poster of the dinosaur of the month, that is. While much of the magazine is devoted to fun and fantasy, the non-fiction articles are fact-checked by dinosaur experts from institutions such as the Smithsonian, Mr. Brill says.
And while "Jurassic Park" has increased interest in the prehistoric mammals, The Dinosaur Times will continue if and when that particular brand of dino-mania wanes. "We're here for the long haul," says Mr. Brill, who plans from four issues to six issues next year.
Maryland News, a magazine distributor, says some 2,000 copies were sent out in the state -- you can find the magazine at various outlets such as News Center bookstores, Safeway groceries and convenience stores such as Royal Farms, 7-11 and High's. Subscriptions are available for $11.95 for four issues by writing CSK Publishing Co., 299 Market St., Saddle Brook, N.J. 07662.