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Friday, September 18, 2009

VAULT VLOG: Where Have You Gone, Forrest J. Ackerman?


Anonymous said...

As a child of the 70s, Famous Monsters was my "Bible". Each issue was a treasure & I found such comfort in being able to share that love of monsters with so many other fans around the world.

Uncle Forry (and he was to many of us), always entertained us with his biting humor, but he also allowed us a glimpse into a world so few of us would have been able to indulge in, were it not for FM.

We FM fans were a community--sharing stories, trading tales of purchases from those amazing ads & becoming true students of the genre. Even though it was always laced with humor, the fun-factor was one of the primary ingredients that made the journey special. We could learn about Karloff, Lugosi & Godzilla--while chuckling along with Dr. Acula's newest story.

I doubt I would be the Monster devote I am today were it not for FM (which is why I consider myself a fan of "Monster Movies" as opposed to "Horror Films").

FM was our friend & our family, and I do so miss it's genuine & unapologetic nature that let us be kids & Monsters at the same time.

Wayne Hipley said...

Ackerman was also a master of self-promotion much as Stan Lee was in the early days of Marvel Comics. So there was an identification with a personality rather than it being just another fanzine.

I totally echo EBrock's comments as well as your commentary. This was indeed the "Bible" of horror movie fandom for all of us that sat up until midnight on Saturday nights and cobbled together coat-hanger-and-tin-foil TV aerials to watch classic black and white films on fuzzy UHF channels (in Baltimore, it was "Ghost Host Theatre on channel 45). And I still have a box of these in my basement. Absolute classic!

senski said...

Excellent points, Brian. I often wonder what is out there for today's young Horror consumers to use as a gateway into the height and depth of the genre. When I started buying FM in 1969 at the age of seven, I was fascinated by articles that merely consisted of lists; lists of movies by themes and sub-genres, or lists of movie that were (and often weren't) coming soon to a theater near you. (Oh, how excited I was when Forry told us to soon expect "The Brides of Dr. Phibes." If only that had seen the light of day...)

For a boy growing up in a town of a little more than 2000, FM was a lifeline to a world that made you feel a little less lonely, not quite the outcast. And the magazine was always filled with pages and pages of ads for BOOKS; paperback anthologies and classic novels. Forry was always pointing us in the direction of the Written Word, giving all due credit to Stoker, Bradbury, Bloch, et al. That's the way he developed lifelong fans, and it always struck me that the Ackermansion was filled with laden-down, bowed bookshelves. I take tremendous pride that, after a life's devotion, my home looks the same.

I know there are many examples from FM's letters pages, but I love the column in issue #95, which features a missive from a mature-beyond-his-years Frank Darabont. I once showed that to some of my college students, and I'm glad that they were suitably impressed. And it goes without saying that I'm grateful my parents weren't the type who worried about such material warping my young mind...

B-Sol said...

This post seems to have struck a chord with readers of the FM generation. I truly do feel like I missed out on something special.

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