As we relaunch BEAR, and I once again begin an editorship of a bear focused magazine, I cannot let the moment go by without acknowledging the men who created BEAR back in 1987. Christian Nelson and Richard Bulger, who both have sadly been passed for some years now.
Without their efforts, to provide a periodical that highlighted the bear aesthetic, the community, and through several pages of personal ads brought people together way before the apps and the internet chat rooms, who knows what the bear community would look like now.
This is from the Wikipedia page for BEAR:
“In San Francisco, in 1987, Richard Bulger began a self-copied magazine called BEAR, dedicated to the appreciation of bears. Bulger had been running a modeling agency called Creative Options Agents (COA) with his photographer partner Chris Nelson. With his connection to gay biker culture and proximity to the Lone Star Saloon (a gay bar credited with the inception of the San Francisco Bear Community), Bulger sought to partake in the growing success of zine desktop underground publication taking hold in San Francisco. It’s often thought that BEAR Magazine was begun by a man named Bart Thomas, who died of AIDS before the magazine’s first publication. However, “Bart Thomas” was a pseudonym Bulger chose for himself (“bart” being the German word for “beard”) in the earliest days of the project. A friend of Bulger named David Grant was reported to have suggested the name “Daddy Bear” for this new magazine just before his death from complications from AIDS. The first copy of BEAR Magazine consisted of 45 xeroxed copies, promoted in The Big Ad and Handjob Quarterly (two established, popular zines at the time).”
I am excited to take on the mantle of the new digital version of BEAR and look to honor its past, and hopefully make Richard and Chris proud of what we do. The bear community has changed and evolved in many ways, and I will look to honor those changes too, I want to herald in more diversity on our pages, as well as showcasing the bear community from all over the world with photography and art.
The new version of BEAR owes its existence to the work of Roger Robitaille and BearFilms, and we will be highlighting their movies and performers on these pages for as long as Roger lets us!
We are also able to bring you content from the old Bear Omnimedia days, with discounted deals to access those movies (and other bear-focused studios) from Nakedsword.com starring the most famous of bear performers, Jack Radcliffe, who so many of us know well through his photographs and movies, as well as a host of photography of old Bear performers, as well as new photography and much more.
Take a look at the pages and articles, follow the advertisers, as they allow us to keep the magazine free, and enjoy our content, we are making this happen for you.
Thanks for reading, and keep in touch!
David Goodman, Editor in Chief, BEAR Magazine 2023