Julian Rignall - Editor
Mean Machines wouldn't have even existed without this man. Although there were others involved with its inception, Julian 'Jazza' Rignall was the key figure. Famous for his legendary mullet (seen in full bloom on the left) and love of unfashionable rugby shirts, Rignall became something of a videogame icon for the readers of MM.
Rignall's first brush with fame came in 1983, when he won the annual Computer and Videogames Arcade Championships by gaining the highest score on arcade machine Gyruss (Radio DJ Dave Lee Travis was on hand to give the award - that should give you an indication of how long ago 1983 really is). This was Rignall's first contact with CVG - he would later edit the publication.
Julian's first magazine job was writing for Commodore 64 magazine Zzap!64. Mention Zzap!64 to anyone who owned a C64 in the mid to late eighties and you will probably be greeted with insane bouts of nostalgia and fond memories. Rignall was one of the most respected writers for the magazine and was voted 'Reviewer of the Year' in 1987. He eventually worked his way up to Chief Editor, and In 1988 he left Ludlow-based Newsfield (the company who published Zzap!64) and headed for EMAP, who owned CVG. He officially joined the magazine for issue 82 (August 1988 - the same issue in which EDGE magazine's founding editor, Steve Jarret, also stepped on board). This was a massive step up, as EMAP were one of the biggest publishers in the country and CVG was the longest running and most respected videogames magazine in the UK at the time. Within the space of a few issues he was given the role of Deputy Editor and by issue 94 he had risen to the position of Editor.
It was with C&VG that he started his obsession with consoles, taking over the 'Mean Machines' section. He also published several volumes of The Complete Guide to Consoles. He eventually rose to the position of Editor with CVG. Sensing the increasing popularity of consoles, he decided to publish Mean Machines as a separate monthly but thanks to his superhuman work ethic, continued to contribute to CVG. Whilst working at CVG, he was handed the captaincy of the UK Videogame Team (no, I didn't know we had one either) and led them to success in both the European Championship and World Championship in 1988 and 1989 respectively. Or so it says in Mean Machines issue one. It could all be a big lie.
In 1990 he tied the knot with Glenys Powell, whom he had met whilst working on Zzap!64 (they got engaged in the summer of 1987). He left the world of videogame journalism and joined Virgin Interactive as 'Vice-president of the Videogames Project and Design', which basically meant he was responsible for sourcing and cultivating future projects. During his time at Virgin, he split from Glenys. He eventually grew tired of Virgin, and moved back into writing. He joined the US company Imagine Games Network (better known as IGN) as Chief Editor. He moved to fellow-Imagine company Snowball shortly after.
After being briefly employed as Vice President of Web Development by online gaming company Unrivalled Entertainment, he moved to the online division of US supermarket giant (and now owner of ASDA) Walmart, where he was employed as Online Editorial Director. He wasn't there for long - jumping ship to Haggin Marketing in 2004 before taking on the role of Vice President, Editorial Director at Bank of America, overseeing the editorial content of its web presences.
However, you can't keep a good journo down (as the saying doesn't go) and Rignall is now working for Future Publishing's US arm. In 2009 he helped launch a World of Warcraft magazine.