Steve Mandich was first published at age ten when his Darth Vader illustration appeared in The Art of Star Wars (Ballantine, 1979); but his literary career really began amid the fanzine explosion of the 1990s.
Within the photocopied pages of his self-published zine Heinous, Steve examined such pop-culture anomalies as the enigmatic Human Fly, the defunct Seattle Pilots baseball team, the fundamentalist comics of Jack Chick, the deadpan legend Bob Newhart, and monorails. Heinous was called a ‘wickedly enjoyable read’ by Utne Reader, and select articles were chosen by Playboy advisor Chip Rowe for the anthology The Book of Zines (Owl/Henry Holt, 1997). Daniel Clowes was another fan.
Most notably, Heinous gained praise for its extensive coverage of motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, which Steve expanded into Evel Incarnate: The Life and Legend of Evel Knievel. The definitive biography of the 1970s icon was adapted into a film biography for Turner Network Television in 2004. In 2005 he was credited as a ‘Daredevil Consultant/Historian’ for the History Channel documentary Absolute Evel: The Evel Knievel Story, and in 2006 he was interviewed on the CMT program True Grit: Evel Knievel.
Steve’s work has also appeared in various other fanzines, newspapers, and blogs, and in such books as Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth (Feral House, 2001). Most recently, the Seattle native wrote about 42 of his favorite spots to eat, drink, shop and have fun in the guide map Seattle: Rain or Shine (Herb Lester, 2013).
Steve died in 2013, survived by his wife and their two daughters.