The Nuntius & Our Community
and Update Texas/Weekly


Lasting from mid-1970 and into 1976, The Nuntius was the first Houston gay community newspaper.
It as edited by Phil Frank (real name: Floyd Paxton Goff) and it had a good mix of local news, gossip, drag
and bar information and the ever-important bar listing, which is why many customers picked up these papers.
I have not seen the first issue, but by the second it was up to 28 pages. By October 1972 it had merged
with the Dallas publication Our Community, with both names on the cover.

Nuntius, 1970 - 1976 (?)

Nuntius

The name means 'messenger,' and it often ranged to 30 pages, with fascinating insights regarding the community
(8 1/2x11")

Scans of issues with
an * are courtesy of the
ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, I am very
grateful for their help in filling the holes in
this history. Thanks!

Vol 1-2, 8/70, PDF



Vol 1-3, 9/70* PDF

Vol 1-6, 12/70* PDF

Vol 2-2, 2/71* PDF



Vol 2-3, 3/71* PDF

Vol 2-4, 4/71* PDF

Vol 2-5, 5/71, PDF


Vol 2-6, 6/71, PDF

Vol 2-11, 11/71* PDF

Vol 2-12, 12/71* PDF

 

Vol 3-1, 1/72* PDF

Vol 3-2, 2/72* PDF

Vol 3-3, 3/72* PDF

     

 

Vol 3-8, 8/72, PDF

Vol 3-10, 10/72* PDF

 

At left, this issue of the Nuntius was also Issue #12 of Our Community.
At 24 pages the size also grew, to 11"x16". Earlier issues were on a stiffer paper stock and the shift also went to that used in
a regular newspaper

Vol 3-11, 11/72, PDF

Vol 3-12, 12/72, PDF

Vol 4-1, 1/73, PDF

Vol 4-2, 2/73, PDF

Vol 4-3, 3/73, PDF

Vol 4-4, 4/73, PDF



Vol 4-6, 6/73, PDF

Vol 4-10, 10/73, PDF

Vol 4-12, 12/73, PDF
(there was no Nov issue)


The next issue gave an indication of winding down, or trying to. See a Letter to the Editor below, from Henry McClurg (Parker) announcing his own new publication, "Contact," which began in March 1974. Also, the first 1974 issue of The Nuntius was a combined one for Jan/Feb, and down to 16 pages, though it was back on thicker and brighter paper stock.

Vol 5-1, 1-2/74, PDF


Huge changes, and a gap in what I can tell is the story. I cannot tell when "The Nuntius" ended and "The Nuntius Southwest" began, or why. But it was now a weekly, and only 12 pages, with a new editor, Mel Plummer (see masthead below). And there was a big decrease in meaningful "content" and articles about the community. It's main claim was a regional bar listing.

Dec 19, 1975, PDF

Jan 16, 1976, PDF
June 11, 1976, PDF

July 23, 1976, PDF

Aug 13 , 1976, PDF

Aug 20, 1976, PDF

Aug 27, 1976, PDF

From the end of 1975 through September 1976, the publication referred to itself as "Nuntius Southwest," and then reverted
back to just "The Nuntius." Around October 1976 it changed from a newspaper format to magazine one, with glued binding.
Also, during early 1976 the paper's address moved to 4319 Montrose Blvd.

Sep 10 , 1976, PDF


The editor did not use volume issues, so start dates are uncertain.

When did this publication end? By this time it had some statewide competition: "Contact" began in March 1974, and "This Week in Texas" began April 1975. The Montrose Star began in July 1976.

Sept 17, 1976, PDF

Oct 15, 1976, PDF

Oct 22, 1976, PDF

Oct 29 , 1976, PDF

Our Community, 1971 to 1973

Our Community

An early Dallas publication, shown here as it later merged with The Nuntius, in October 1972, and has a bit of Houston mention. Last issue was #11 (Jan 1972) and it did not merge with Nuntius until October 1972, so there was a gap.

Issue 1, 3/71, PDF
Issue 2, 4/71, PDF

Issue 3, 5/71, PDF

Issue 8, 10/71, PDF

Issue 9, 11/71, PDF

Issue 11, 1/72, PDF

   

     

Update Texas and Update Weekly

Since these are the only issues that I have seen, here's what I can piece together. Mel Plummer became Editor
of Update Texas in September 1975 and continued the publication at least to November. By December he was
Editor of "Nuntius Southwest"...as he did not use Volume numbers for "Nuntius Southwest" I cannot determine
when it began, but it was also a weekly.
If anyone knows the story, please let me know. The format for Update
was very similar and it was slim, 8-12 pages, 11"x16". Content was also slight and again the regional bar directory
must have been the main asset. The October 17 issue the name changed to "Update Weekly" and on that issue only a
Volume number, Volume 1, Issue 2. Again, I do not know how long it lasted.
Perhaps it ended when he took over
"Nuntius Southwest," rather than trying to juggle two publications, and it would have been hard to sell ads to
the same bars for both. If so that would also be a clue as to when "Nuntius Southwest" began.

Sep 5 , 1975, PDF

Sep 26 , 1975, PDF

Oct 17 , 1975, PDF

Oct 24 , 1975, PDF

Oct 31 , 1975, PDF

Nov 14 , 1975, PDF

  
  

Below, article includes rare photo of "Phil Frank"


This section of this site will feature downloadable and searchable PDF files of selected early
gay & lesbian publications, mostly from Houston, but including some statewide ones.
Access
to these publications is courtesy of the Gulf Coast Archive & Museum, and the
Jay Allen and Peter Forbes Collections. Many issues of The Nuntius prior to 1975 are courtesy
of the ONE Archives, at the USC Libraries, in Los Angeles.

If you can provide other issues of these and similar publications
for scanning purposes, please contact me.

 Additions are added often, so please check back