The first Atomage magazine, in A5 format, was published in the winter of 1972.
John Sutcliffe hoped to use the magazine as not only a showcase for his new designs but as a means of explaining to females the reasons why males want to see them dress in leather clothes. The magazine featured a regular column written by Helen Henley as well as pictures and stories submitted by the readers.
The A5 format Atomage magazines ran for 32 edition with the last published in 1980.
Over time the A5 magazine started to feature bondage related pictures, some readers did not approve of this so in 1976 the bondage related content was moved to a special bondage ‘supplement’ which was an entirely separate magazine that could be purchased in addition to the main A5 size Atomage magazine.
In 1980 after 32 A5 sized issues of Atomage and 20 issues of the bondage supplement the strategy of the magazines was reviewed. While the magazine did not have a large circulation there was growth potential being at the forefront of what today we call the “fetish” scene so John decided build on his reputation and success so he restructured the magazines.
1980 saw the a rebranding of some magazines and launch of new titles. From 1980 onwards the magazine titles, all of which were in the larger A4 format, published by Atomage were :
- Atomage International, a successor the A5 Atomage magazine which concentrated on the leather clothing.
- Atomage Bondage, continuing the bondage supplements.
- Atomage Rubberist, focusing on the rubber fetish scene.
International distributors were found for the three magazines a they were intended to be truly world-wide publications.
In November 1983 the Atomage premises in Dryden Street were raided by the police. All the published material on the premises was seized. The printers of Atomage were also raided and the printing plates for the Atomage magazines were also seized.
John was informed that he would not be prosecuted for publication of the Atomage magazines if he allowed his entire back stock of magazines and printing plates (valued at £50,000) to be destroyed.
The destruction of every unsold copy of the Atomage magazines was bad enough but the loss of the printing plates created serious problems for John as he could not re-create the magazines again. Customers who had copies of the magazines sent them back to John so he could sell them again.
The police raid did not stop John producing magazines, indeed several editions of Atomage International, Atomage Rubberist and Atomage Bondage were subsequently produced.
Due to the small production runs (only 800 copies of edition 1 of the A5 magazine were ever produced) and the destruction of most of the stock by the police, the Atomage magazines are now extremely rare and highly sought after by collectors.
After Johns untimely death the Rubberist magazine title was purchased by G&M Fashions who continued to print new editions.