The first issue of Bacchanalia was released in April 1953. It was an 8 1/8 by 9 3/4 size publication of 32 pages.
The fanzine featured the eight page article "Random Notes on H. P. Lovecraft" by T. C. Cockcroft, as well as other articles and fiction such as "Reflections of a Mirrorman" by Terry Jeeves, "Vignettes" by Ray Mathews, "The Master" by Roger Dard, and "Fragment Of A Memory" by David Cohen. The Art Director was Dick Jenssen who also did the back cover art inspired by the Lovecraft story "Pickman's Model". The front cover illustration by Ray Mathews, entitled Ex Libri, is a pen and ink drawing of a demon with an collection of burning people cradled in his hands.