Return with us to the wondrous days of Famous Monsters, the science vs. fiction of Omni and Starlog, the satirical humor of Mad Magazine, and the brilliant short stories of the legendary pulp magazines.
Gravity City Digital Magazine — a stunning amalgam of these great periodicals will burst upon the genre by Halloween!
Filled with Mad Magazine lampoon-style ads and spoof gadgets and products, the magazine — aside from its humor — serves as a platform for emerging authors of science fiction, fantasy, and Horror, as well as illuminating interviews and articles about new films, books, and other genre events.
Gravity City is a media partner with Phoenix FearCon Online. FearCon will run until December 31. Gravity City will provide coverage of the film festival’s events. Gravity City is also offering Issues 1 & 2 (now out of print) to all ticket buyers of Phoenix FearCon (https://phoenixfearcon.festivee.com/)
Joining Artie Cabrera and editorial collaborator Christopher J. Valin is Margarita Mendoza, a veteran of marketing and advertising, and Jay Michaels, a prominent personality in the genre community as well as producer and host of In the PassionPit, an ongoing podcast, and video program that spotlights indie artists and their creations — just like Artie and Gravity City — as well as appearances at PhantasmCon, Boston Sci-Fi, and others.
Margarita Mendoza has already begun spearheading a far-reaching marketing campaign and soliciting [real] advertising while Jay Michaels is the communications director.
The Third Issue of Gravity City Digital Magazine is currently in production and it features exclusive interviews with Star Trek: Discovery writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt, as well as television writer Larry Brody (The Six Million Dollar Man, Hawaii 5–0, Automan, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn animated series (HBO) conducted and written by Christopher J. Valin.
Also — Gravity City Digital Magazine is more than a magazine and an adjoining website. It endeavors to act as a compendium for the Gravity City fictional universe it’s based on. Readers and fans have dubbed Gravity City as Star Wars meets the best of ’70s crime dramas.
Synopsis: “In the far reaches of space, the celestial body known as Nebuna is the home to a metropolis with a bad attitude and an expansive wasteland filled with legends and mystery. The tales you are about to read will give you an unflinching ride through the crime-infested gutters and corruption of GRAVITY CITY and the wondrous world that lies beyond city limits,” expounds Artie Cabrera, founder, and publisher of the magazine and creator of the universe and website.
“Gravity City is filled with dark stories, Noir stories, science fiction stories, gumshoe stories, war stories, alien stories, and smuggler stories. In this city, imagination is bursting at the seams, the sky’s the limit and the tales to tell here are numerous and filled with variety.” — an Amazon review.
A series of Gravity City novels written by Artie Cabrera and Christopher J. Valin will be released sometime in 2021.
Ai had a chance to chat with Artie about his far-flung creation.
Tell us about you as an artist?
I was fortunate to have grown up in the era that I did and with a family who were so vastly different from one another that we basically had a wealth of music, movies, and literature lying around the house. I witnessed the golden age of Spielberg and Lucas, Kenner, Hasbro, and Mattel toys, sugary, neon-dyed cereal, and Saturday Morning Cartoons in real time. There wasn’t any shortage of inspiration for me because we were a three-generation home, so I had access to a myriad of content spanning back to the 40s and 50s. A lot of it I consumed by sneaking off into the bathroom with magazines or books I perceived to be off-limits to me – i.e. Playboy, Robert Crumb and Ralph Bakshi pictures, LIFE magazine, National Geographic, and various lifestyle or Pulp periodicals. Sometimes I feel like I was raised by the strangest menagerie of characters. I owe most of my earliest impressions to Tony Montana, Bruce Lee, Prince, and G.I. Joe. All that brought me here to this point today, and is essentially the well that I draw from for Gravity City.
Why a Magazine and Book Series?
The magazine was a happy accident and a way to promote the various elements and the Gravity City novels. Initially, I think it was only intended to be a twenty-five page compendium to go with our website or Facebook group. But I eventually had different plans, and I lost many nights staying awake brainstorming ideas and concepts for what I wanted the magazine to look like and represent. With a magazine, I felt like we could do so much more and just go wild. We’re not where I want to be aesthetically-speaking yet but the ideas are there, and they’ll continuously evolve.
How do you find artists and writers?
I wish the process was a lot simpler and fluid, but I’ll spend days sifting through artist-based sites, like Artstation, Adobe’s Behance, sometimes Pinterest. Sometimes I’ll see something on Facebook and set it aside. When I find something I think is suitable for the magazine—in that I mean, if the imagery is telling me a story or is so striking that it leaps off the page, and is within the tone of our magazine—I’ll reach out to the artist and ask them if the image is available to be featured. Most of them are gracious and are generous with their work and will give us their blessings.
Were you an avid Sci-Fi reader when you were younger?
As I mentioned earlier, there was an abundance of reading and visual materials in our home. Sadly, reading wasn’t what I gravitated to as much as I did when it came to visuals and music. Out of the three, music won out and I became an active musician for roughly twenty-five years. It wasn’t really until 2010 where I changed course and put my focus on writing. Even then, I still feel a stronger tug towards the visual realm. That hasn’t changed.
What makes Gravity City different or special?
Gravity City was born out of my need to approach science fiction in a way that was palatable for me. That’s not me saying that I attempted to fix science fiction or that science fiction was lacking in any shape or form. God knows that I’m not qualified to revise any genre. I’m quite envious of writers who are disciplined enough to sit down, be prolific, and write multiple books in a year. I’m not sure if that is part of my genetic makeup. But what I saw happening was that the hard science trend was permeating science fiction mainstream literature and there was a focal shift towards machine learning, artificial intelligence, time travel, and how potatoes grew on Mars. I guess it gained enough traction that it felt like storytellers were suddenly more conscious and inclined to be super-accurate and grounded in their stories than just going at it all willy-nilly. Which is all fine by me, but I don’t always need to know how the sausage is made. I can suspend my belief with most entertainment because I’m there to be entertained and not to read a thesis on time dilation or quantum theory. I don’t have a shot in competing in that arena. And I sure as hell am not going to write something that is going to hold a candle against someone who actually knows what they’re talking about and have studied a subject their entire career. So, I ran in the other direction, to the ridiculous and quirky side of things.
I naturally asked myself all the necessary questions to get me going and writing science fiction. What did I like? What do I want to see? What will I tolerate writing for the next ten years? I came to the conclusion that I was a fan of Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma films and space opera. I knew more about mob movies than I did science fiction, but I loved space opera, and so out of that, Gravity City was born. I gave it the tagline – Star Wars meets Taxi Driver because people like taglines, apparently. They’re easier to digest, I suppose.
Now, if you’re thinking cyberpunk or Blade Runner, it’s not really that, either. I think of it in terms of taking all the classic, gritty police, crime, and urban dramas and applying them to sci-fi. I will venture and say that it is an aspect I don’t often find in science fiction these days. Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough.
Who is your audience?
Hopefully, fans of science fiction and humor. I tend to get along with smartasses and goofballs, so maybe that’s our audience, I’m not sure. On a personal level, I don’t know where I’d be today if I couldn’t laugh my way out of tough spots, so I’d love to share a laugh with like-minded people who can embrace the silliness of life. If we can provide them with a good time with our magazine, that’s all I can ask for.
What’s your ultimate goal?
I think most artists’ goals are to see their creations come to life one way or another and see how others respond or are affected by their work. Personally, I’d love to hold a Gravity City action figure in my hand, maybe write a script and see our characters in motion on the big screen. But overall, it’s just to really deliver big, quality work that will resonate with the sci-fi community.
Issue 3 of the Gravity City magazine will be out before Christmas, and 2021 will see more of Gravity City in three novels that I have written with my collaborator Christopher Valin. Then maybe we’ll finally get those action figures.
Visit https://www.gravitycitynews.com/ for more details