Action Magazine is now online

Action Magazine can now be viewed in its entirety on the world wide web. We are completely online.

It took me long enough to get there.

In addition to the complete publication issues, the site includes select Sam Kindrick columns, advertising rates and ad measurements, a history of the 35-year-old entertainment publication, photos of me and compadre Joe Cardenas, whose son Danny designs many of our better color covers, and some kind words of appreciation to webmaster Harry Thomas, the knowledgeable computer “techie” who put it all together.

Before Harry came along, I didn’t know a cyberduck from a ruptured duck, and my computer skills today are piteously minuscule. But I can now turn the Mac on and off, and (don’t laugh) I can send and receive e-mails without paralyzing fear and fits of filthy language and trash can-kicking rage.

Like a fairytale dream

Now the enormity of it, and the fairytale surrealism of the whole damn cyberspace event in my lifetime, still taxes my imagination.

The notion of people in Snakes Navel, Wyoming, or Itchypussy Japan, reading Trap Lounge owner Frank Mueller’s inimitable poetry in Action Magazine, will forever blow my mind.

Ron Houston, my longtime friend and former airtime companion on old KEXL Radio, died this past October without ever owning or even touching a computer, and I couldn’t see any negative effect on his life as a result.

When told of the KEXL website now managed and maintained by Jay Pennington of Boerne, and the various e-mails from longtime supporters of the radio station and friends from the past, Houston told me: “Well, Soul, I guess if any of them want to get a hold of me really bad, they can still pick up the outdated old telephone and call. I don’t need anything like a computer to complicate my life.”

This had been my stance until only a few short years ago when I was forced, kicking and scratching, into the 21st Century. Computers were then (and still are to a certain degree) devil machines and idiot boxes.

Internet ignorance

Until only a few years ago, I used my old Macintosh computer as nothing but a word processor, since I could no longer go to a printer with copy banged out on a regulation typewriter. Before purchasing my current Mac, and getting into a personal training program at the Apple Store at La Cantera, I had no internet access, no knowledge of photo scanning, no color photos or artwork in Action Magazine, and no way to send or receive an e-mail even had I wanted to do as much.

Everybody and their kids were communicating with electronic mail before I finally took the plunge. I had to get with the program in order to stay in business, but I fought it and I fought it hard.

When some advertising customer would tell me to just e-mail them an ad proof, or when one would say they wanted to e-mail me some ad copy, photographs, or other information, I would tell them that I could personally leave the copy or pick up whatever they had because I was going to be in the neighborhood anyway.

I simply could not bring myself to admit that I was computer illiterate, and that I had no way of sending or receiving anything electronically. I don’t know how many miles I put on the truck or how much gasoline was wasted before I finally capitulated and learned to e-mail this material with a click of the mouse.

In all seriousness, I am beginning to realize the advantages I have been denying myself with a print publication with no internet access. I am not one of those fools who believe that electronic gadgetry will completely replace the print media in this or the next lifetime, but a combination of print and cyberspace greatly expands upon the possibilities.

Now every single advertiser in Action Magazine is being exposed to a market place without borders or restrictions, and the aggravation of mail-order subscriptions has been removed forever from my mind.

Because of the time-consuming hassle of snail mail subscriptions, I had long ago discontinued the service. And this was a true disservice to Action readers who have moved away and want to receive the magazine on a monthly basis.

Military personnel especially.

It was hard to say no

It’s hard to tell a hard-core Action reader who is overseas risking his life and serving his country that we could no longer supply the magazine on a mail-order basis. But this is what it had come to.

Now everybody in the world with a computer may read Action Magazine without charge. Just click on, and you are there.

While I have had a bare-bones web presence for some time, this issue is only the third Action Magazine production which can be viewed in its entirety on the website.

And I am already beginning to see the vastness of possibilities with electronic access to the publication.

Possible advertisers from some far-flung ports have started to bite, and we are again hooking up with Action faithfuls like Karen Dittman in Marble Falls, Barbara (Legs) Marullo in Dallas, and former South Side musician Dale Dawson who now resides in Colorado.

Welcome back, maggots

And it is also comforting and reassuring to get a blast of hate mail every now and then. I had feared that some of the faithful hate mail maggots from my Express-News column-writing days had crawled back under their rocks and died. But a few of them have crawled back out, and their presence gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

The late Paul Thompson, my mentor and the most widely-read columnist in San Antonio newspaper history, always told me that the hate mail cretins were to be coveted and cherished.

“When you don’t hear from them anymore,” Thompson always said, “then you are in real trouble. They are an indication of readership, and the worst thing that could happen would be for them to forget your name.”

Now they can jerk off with their resentments by simply hitting I think this is a real hoot.