The Sorry Saga Of The Back Page
One of the things that was unanimously agreed upon at the initial AP planning meetings was that a good magazine needed to have a good strong last page, something for the readers to latch onto and to sign off the mag on a positive note with. Far too many publications at the time petered out with ads or a limp "Next Month" page or somesuch, so we decided that we'd have a trademark feature, something the readers would come to know and love like a familiar relative. So Issue 1 ended with the innovative and interesting "If I'd Known Then...", in which programmers pondered how they might have done their past hits differently given the benefit of hindsight.
But then Issue 2 bowed out on the first-ever Do The Write Thing, mostly taken up with trend-settingly whiny letters from software companies.
Issue 3, on the other hand, tried the first-ever In The Style Of..., with the original game artists graphically reinterpreting hits of the day in other circumstances.
Whereas Issue 4, of course, closed on Second Opinion, where obscure software-company people even we hadn't heard of offered their mealy-mouthed and ill-informed opinions on games from other software companies.
Second Opinion was such a hit that it also appeared in Issue 5, finally stopping the back-page rot.
Until Issue 6, when it was dumped again in favour of another In The Style Of...
BUT IT TRIUMPHANTLY RETURNED for an unprecedented three-issue run in Issues 7-10, before being obliterated forever with acid.
Clearly, the "strong, trademark regular back page feature" thing wasn't working out too well, so we had a rethink and came up with the dire Amiga Universe, an in-depth look at some of the fictional characters populating the said universe, an idea only handicapped by the fact that they were, of course, COMPUTER GAME CHARACTERS, and hence had NO PERSONALITY OR DEPTH WHATSOEVER. BY DESIGN.
Stretching this preternaturally thin premise out to the inhuman breaking point of a five-issue run brought us to Issue 16, where In The Style Of... made another brief reappearance, giving way in Issue 17 to the first-ever The Right Profile (a question-and-answer piece in classic/hackneyed style, depending on your point of view)
Astonishingly, The Right Profile managed to run all the way through to Issue 33 (interrupted only twice, for another In The Style Of... in AP24, and a last-minute "out-takes" piece in AP30 when Zig and Zag's useless PR agent failed to send in their Right Profile replies), before giving way to the well-intentioned Wish You Were Here in AP34.*
We thought Wish You Were Here (imagining locations from Amiga games as holiday resorts) was quite funny, but no one else in the world did, so it survived for just five issues (still making it our joint-longest-running Back Page Feature) before the whole idea of a running feature was abandoned in AP39, in favour of something different every month.
Like that was a change.