Antic (magazine)

Antic (ISSN 0113-1141) was a magazine devoted to the Atari 8-bit family of home computers and later the Atari ST. It was named after the ANTIC chip which provided 2D graphics in the computers. The magazine was published from April 1982 until June/July 1990. Antic printed type-in programs (usually in BASIC), reviews, and tutorials, among other articles. Each issue contained one type-in game as "Game of the Month."

February 1987 cover
First issueApril 1982
Final issueJune/July 1990

Its main rival in the United States was ANALOG Computing, another long-lived magazine devoted to the Atari 8-bit line. Multi-system magazines COMPUTE! and Family Computing also served Atari 8-bit owners with type-in programs.


NASA programmer Jim Capparell was an early Atari 8-bit owner. He quit his job on 15 January 1982 to found a magazine for the computer. Companies such as On-Line Systems, Broderbund, and Synapse Software agreed to purchase advertising in the new publication, and Capparell's staff distributed the first issue of 30 pages at the March 1982 West Coast Computer Faire. The first issue of Antic was published in April 1982. While it began as a bimonthly magazine, within a year it had gone monthly. [1]

By Christmas 1983 the magazine was 148 pages, but in 1984 Antic saw advertising sales drop by 50% in 90 days. The Antic Software catalog, bound into each issue, contained public domain software, re-released products from the Atari Program Exchange after it folded, and original titles. It helped the company avoid bankruptcy, and in 1985 it started II Computing for the Apple II series.[1]

Antic started selling games and application software under the name Antic Software after the Atari Program Exchange was closed by Atari, Inc.. The Antic Software catalog was bound into issues of the magazine and included former APX titles.

In 1985 Antic began ST Resource, a section of the magazine devoted to the Atari ST line.[1] In 1986 it began STart Magazine for the computer. The daughter magazine would outlive its parent by about a year. When Antic ended, it continued as a section of STart, appearing in six more issues. A magazine for the Amiga, the primary competitor of the Atari ST, was published from 1989 until 1991 under the name Antic's Amiga Plus.[2]

The last issue of Antic was June–July 1990. All told, 88 issues and a "Best of" book were published.


A utility called TYPO ("Type Your Program Once," and a play on typographical error) was used to verify that programs were typed in correctly. It generates a checksum for each Atari BASIC line entered in a program. By comparing each line's checksum with that printed in the magazine, the reader could be sure they typed the BASIC source correctly. TYPO was later succeeded by TYPO II, a smaller, faster program.

Versions of TYPO were also published and used (with permission) by Page 6 magazine.


  1. Bisson, Gigi (May 1986). "Antic Then & Now". Antic. pp. 16–23. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  2. "ANTIC's Amiga Plus Magazine".
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