Variations on LIFE Magazine

The Original Life Magazine : The true FIRST “Life Magazine” was a weekly humorous social commentary publication known for its cartoons, art, amusement, news, personalities, sport, theater reviews, and more. It was published from 1883 – November of 1936. For most of its run, it was a weekly magazine in small format, changing to monthly just before the name “Life magazine” was sold to the new, more common LIFE magazine.  See 2Neat.com for this early Life magazine.

Life Magazine International Edition : These issues were distributed in various countries other than the US, typically in the UK, Europe and Asia. Each biweekly issue contains selected content of international interest from the previous two “regular” Life Magazine issues. There is very little advertising content, so these issues tend to be thinner. The cover may be one of the previously published “regular” Life covers or another photo relating to the international stories featured in the issue. The International Editions began in July 1946 and ran as late as 1969. International Editions are much less common than the regular editions. A 1969 issue of LIFE International Edition mentions two regional issues, LIFE Atlantic and LIFE Asia, though it is not labeled as either on the cover and doesn’t even say “International” on the cover.

Life Magazine Australian Edition : I have not yet handled any of these to be able to compare them to “regular” editions.

Life Magazine New Zealand Edition : I have not yet handled any of these to be able to compare them to “regular” editions.

Life Magazine Atlantic Edition : I have not yet handled any of these to be able to compare them to “regular” editions. I know they were published biweekly and that their end date is probably around the end of 1970.

Life en Español – Spanish Language Version : These issues were published for distribution in Mexico, Central and South America. The First Spanish Language version of Life Magazine was published in January of 1953. Spanish Language Editions are much less common than the regular editions. An issue from 1966 listed distribution countries as Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, España, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and others (hidden by label). Content appears to be selected from at least two issues of the English language version published a month earlier, plus some new content of specifically hispanic interest.

Life Magazine – Overseas Edition for Armed Forces : SCARCE! I have seen only one of these, from January 21, 1946, so I do not know the date range (if any). Printed on the cover where the price would normally be is this phrase “Distributed by Special Services Division, A.S.F., U.S. Army, Not for sale.” Content appears to be very similar to the Regular issue of LIFE, but there are NO ADS and the magazine is slimmer.

Life Magazine – MINI-editions : SCARCE. I have seen two different mini versions of LIFE magazine. One has the same cover as the first edition of LIFE magazine, November 23, 1936 and was glued inside the special embossed brown binder issued for the first group of LIFE magazines. The other MINI issue has the same cover as LIFE magazine January 27, 1958 and was also apparently glued inside a binder, though I have not seen it in situ yet. These measure about 3 1/4 inches x 2 1/2 inches, have around 20 pages and have sample content from a range of issues close to the cover image date. These cute, little mini-magazines are some kind of promotional printing.

Life Magazine – SMALL Edition : I have seen only one version of this size and it has the same cover as the first edition of LIFE magazine, November 23, 1936. These are fairly common and were clearly either a subscription aid or a bonus for subscribers. They measure 8 1/2 inches x 6 1/2 inches. The content inside is an exact reproduction of the content of the first issue of LIFE magazine, but reduced in size.

Life Magazine – Reprints : I have seen only two reprints (other than the Mini and Small versions mentioned above, and Kennedy Memorial issues) from the original LIFE magazine series. The reprints were of the December 22, 1941 issue – the famous “America Goes to War” issue printed just after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the July 2, 1945 issue – the U.S. Navy defending Independence. They seem to be exact reprints (same content), but are a smaller size 11″x8″.