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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
GE Fabbri company logo

GE Fabbri Publishing, Ltd. was a London, England, UK-based publishing house that primarily produced specialized partwork magazines, and was a full partner of Midsummer Books Ltd., with whom it had entered into a joint venture in 1996 for a promising Star Trek project.

Many of the company's subsequent collections were based on US and UK entertainment properties, with its various James Bond publications proving to be among its most popular releases.

The company was founded in 1986 as GE Publishing by three partners, Liz Glaze (the "G" in the company name), Peter Edwards (the "E" in the company name), and Phil Costick, before entering into a joint venture in 1990 with Italian publishing company Fabbri Publishing (formerly known as Fratelli Fabbri Editori). The latter company was founded in 1947 and was acquired by publishing giant Rizzoli Corriere della Sera (RCS), in the process becoming GE Fabbri Publishing, Ltd..

In 2011, GE Fabbri merged with fellow magazine publisher, Eaglemoss Publications, another notable part-work publisher, to form Eaglemoss Collections. The copyrights to the previously created Star Trek content were retained by Midsummer Books, which closed when its proprietor Stan Morse retired around 2012. [1] [2]

Star Trek licensing

In 1996, GE Fabbri was sought out by British partwork publisher Midsummer Books Ltd. to enter into a full-blown joint venture. [3](X) It was actually Midsummer Books' owner Stan Morse who came up with the initial idea, and who together with his editors Chris Bishop and Martin Ritchie, became the initiators of the Fact Files. It was felt that Midsummer lacked the funding and experience to produce this pop culture project by itself so it opted to bring GE Fabbri into the equation. [4]

Partner GE Fabbri became, as the better-funded company, financially responsible for the launch and distribution of both the Star Trek Fact Files (1997-2002, 304 issues) and its American follow-up, Star Trek: The Magazine (1999-2003, 48 issues under their subsidiary Fabbri Publishing (US) imprint). Notably, Ben Robinson eventually became Editor-in-Chief during this period. The company was also the official producer of the spin-off DVD/magazine partwork publications Star Trek: The Collector's Edition (2004-2006, 70 issues) and the subsequent Star Trek: The Original Series - The Collector's Edition (2007-2008, 28 issues).

Robinson was originally hired by Midsummer Books to oversee the two originating Star Trek publications as a freelancer, before he became permanently tenured at Fabbri around 2004, where he put all of the experience he had gained working on the two Star Trek publications to use by helping to create new products based on other entertainment properties. Like Midsummer Books, Fabbri did not have experience with this type of publication prior to its involvement with the Fact Files. [5]

While the Fabbri editors performed the lion's share of the practical work for both Star Trek publications, all design and editorial work continued to be done solely at Midsummer's offices in Hammersmith, London, and not at GE Fabbri's own London offices in Covent Garden. This meant that Midsummer Books retained the overall legal copyright for the two Star Trek publications that were produced under the aegis of Fabbri. [6] Midsummer Books was credited as "Produced by" under its Aerospace Publishing imprint in the Fact Files colophons (a reminder of its real-world partwork publishing roots), and as "Created by" under its own name in those of The Magazine.

Incidentally, and rather ironically in the first case, the Italian and Japanese-language versions of the Fact Files (and their derivative follow-up publications) were not published by original partner company Fabbri, but rather by competitor De Agostini, the publisher of the similarly conceived The Official Star Wars Fact File (2001-2005, 141 issues). The French-language versions of these publications were outsourced by Fabbri to Data Base Factory.

In 2006, GE Fabbri marketed the Star Trek: The Figurine Collection, a partwork featuring ten to eleven centimeter-tall white metal figurines of prominent characters from the Star Trek universe, with companion magazines.

At a later point in time, Morse sold the Fact Files/Magazine content copyrights to Eaglemoss after his retirement. It enabled his former Editor-in-Chief Robinson to launch the Illustrated Handbook reference book series in 2019 for his subsequent employer Eaglemoss, which relied heavily on content previously featured in the Fact Files.

Star Trek staff

  • Jennifer Cole – editor
  • Chris Dows – staff writer
  • Ian Fulwood – staff artist
  • Rob Garrard – CGI artist
  • Peter Griffiths – staff writer
  • Peter Harper – staff artist
  • Tim Leng – editor, writer, photo compositor
  • Marcus Riley – editor, writer
  • Martin Ritchie – editor, designer
  • Ben Robinson – editor, writer
  • Stuart Wagland – staff artist

External links

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