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Last updated
8 Jan 1998


CRASH (1984-92) was the youngest of the three main Sinclair magazines. It was my personal favourite, having the most reliable reviews, the best feature articles and the widest range of coverage of the three. Based in Ludlow, Shropshire, the magazine aimed from the start to be a fanzine-writ-large: the games reviewers were native Ludlovians (many in their teens) and many of the other contributors were genuine Sinclair enthusiasts rather than simply jobbing journalists working for a large publishing corporation. CRASH became the most successful, though not the longest-lived, Sinclair magazine. It had the largest circulation (over 100,000 copies a month at its peak) and was the standard guide for the software distribution trade in deciding which games to stock in the shops.

History of CRASH

The magazine went through two distinct phases: from its start in April 1984 through to mid-1989, it was a fairly thick publication of upwards of 100 pages a month. Then it succumbed to the free tape war which was raging at the time. With every 8-bit magazine competing for a falling number of customers, free tapes were given away every month containing half a dozen or more back-catalogue commercial games. The extra cost of the tapes caused a drastic cutback in the editorial content of the magazines. CRASH slumped from 90-100 pages a month (early 1989) to only 50 or less (late 1989). A year later it was sold to Europress Publishing. In 1992, with circulation still falling, it was merged with EMAP's Sinclair User. Only one merged issue was published, in May 1992 - both magazines were killed abruptly by EMAP while the June issue was still in preparation.

Who was Lloyd Mangram?

Former readers of CRASH may remember the mysterious Lloyd Mangram, who answered readers letters with the aid of the LMLWD (Lloyd Mangram's Long Word Dictionary) for those tricky spellings. Strangely, no picture was ever published of him - only cartoons of a pair of eyes looking through a huge pile of mail and a person with a paper bag over his head. In fact, Lloyd Mangram never existed - he was a "pen name" for whoever happened to be taking turns to answer letters that month. While Roger Kean (the editor) spent most time acting as Lloyd, two others were Barnaby Page (managing editor) and Eddie McKendrick (publisher).
Info by: Peter Thomas, Barnaby Page.


The best comic strip ever to have appeared in any computer magazine, ever, was CRASH's long-running Jetman series. Based on Ultimate Play The Game's character (from Jet Pac, Lunar Jetman and, on the NES, Solar Jetman), John Richardson's Jetman was more loony than lunar. Between 1984 and 1990, he fell into the hands of the Parrotmen, rescued Flash Gordon, bred a King Plurp, caught Star Blight from a kidnapped Monster and accidentally sent an alien fleet to Earth in the course of searching for the fabulous Eye of Oktup... Daft but very, very funny!

Where are they now?

A number of ex-CRASH writers are still kicking around:

  • Simon Goodwin, CRASH's Tech Tips writer, was still writing for Sinclair QL World when the final issue (July 94) came out. Today, Simon Goodwin writes for Amiga magazines and Computer Shopper. He was also seen at the Last Sinclair and SAM show in Gloucester. He is currently messing with both a Speccy emulator for Amiga and hardware Speccy emulation for the IBM PC; notably on Speculator '93, a QL Speccy emulator currently being converted to run on the Amiga. He reads comp.sys.sinclair.
  • Roger Kean was the first editor of CRASH and a director of Newsfield, the magazine's publisher, through its life. He is now a director of Prima Creative Services, the design arm of the publisher Prima, which produces lots of game books.
  • Eddie McKendrick, former publisher of CRASH, was one of the many Lloyd Mangrams. He is now head of New Media at Nickelodeon UK and The Paramount Channel. After a spell doing the ITV teletext service known as Oracle (now sadly missed), he now maintains the Nickelodeon text service known as NickText, and does web-sites and all sorts for both channels. Coincidentally, Nickelodeon's offices are at Rathbone Place in London, where Your Sinclair was based.
  • Barnaby Page was managing editor of CRASH during 1987-88 and is now an editor at Eastern Counties Newspapers.

Info by: Brian Gaff, Simon Goodwin, Jenni the Satsuma, Barnaby Page, Peter Thomas.

Articles from CRASH

Inside CRASH (January 1985)
Exclusive look at how the mag is made

The CRASH History (October-December 1987)
Lloyd Mangram's illustrated history
of the first four years of CRASH

The Oli Frey Cover Art Archive
Hi-res scans of the first 20 covers painted
for CRASH by artist Oliver Frey

The Jetman Archive
A small but growing collection of the legendary Jetman strip

Tamara Knight
Bizarre and anally-obsessed, Mel Croucher's memorable sci-fi serial
about the adventures of a neutron bomb in love with the beautiful
McDonald's trainee, Tamara Knight...