Cover Story: Reanimating Omni Magazine
The same went for the design of Omni: "Guccione came at science fiction from the point of view of design," says Evans. "He was enchanted by images, delighted by art, and approached Omni visually as well as philosophically. As such, it was a very evocative magazine. We're trying to maintain that spirit by really showcasing the rich archive of visual material he accumulated over his lifetime."
A painter and photographer himself, Guccione commissioned artists to create original paintings for Omni. The walls of his Manhattan mansion were hung with Van Gogh, Matisse and Renoir. And like it or not, he revolutionized pornography. "The art of Omni—no one can hold a candle to that," says Frommer.
Omni Reboot aims to continue that dedication to quality, and will recruit well-known authors and journalists. "Guccione valued working with talented people," says Evans. "The list of luminaries involved with Omni over the years is truly astounding—and that's something we take seriously."
Reboot will also continue the dialogue on sci-fi topics Omni raised thirty years ago, says Frommer. "It really is one of the few areas that can inform and entertain at the same time. It can act as eye candy but also stimulate the intellect. I don't know of too many intellectual properties that can do that."
"The fact that science fiction becomes science reality is a really unique concept. The reason why it's such a popular genre is that imagine for 20 or 30 years people—you wanna call them nerds, geeks, engineers, scientists, surrealist painters—for decade after decade they would have these conversations. For the last two decades the world has made those a reality."
In a twist, Omni's previous life actually foretold some of the changes that would ripple through the publishing industry: in 1996 it became the first major newsstand title to be online-only (though, that only lasted one year before total shutdown).
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.