Friday, October 26, 2007

Famous Monsters

Now that is one swanky monster. I know I want to go to whatever soirée they're headed to.

Famous Monsters of Filmland was published by James Warren and edited by Forrest J Ackerman.

We can also thank Forrest J Ackerman with creating the very first Vampirella comic. Hubba.

Now for the scaaary part.

Among the many things Forry has done over the years, he was the literary agent for L. Ron Hubbard, back when L. Ron was hustling pulp stories--long before he decided to make real money by inventing a religious cult. He also represented Ed Wood Jr., who wrote outrageous pulp fiction when he wasn't directing classic movies like Glen or Glenda. Forry is also widely credited for having popularized the term "sci-fi".

Anyway, 4SJ is still around. He turns 91 next month. You can visit his website here.

I don't know when my dad started buying me Famous Monsters, but I remember seeing my first ones when I was 4 or 5 years old. The first ones I remember are these two:

What's funny is, my dad disapproved of comic books and Mad Magazine, but had no problem buying these. I carried them around, memorizing monster movie trivia and establishing a life-long love of bad puns. I even got in trouble for bringing them to school and scaring other children with the combination of movie pictures and stories I made up.

Sadly, my once vast collection of Famous Monsters of Filmland is now almost entirely gone. Like the GI Joe stuff I wish I'd taken better care of. We still have two editions, one of which was MizBubs' when she was a kid:

The 1966 Yearbook (Think Simpsons comic book guy: BEST. ISSUE. EVER.)

The 100th Issue, published in 1973.

You can see all the cool covers of every Famous Monsters on this here website.


justacoolcat said...

I totally loved Famous Monsters as a kid and I totally forgot about the mag until now. Thanks for the memories!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I read that as Famous Monsters of Finland, and thought that would be even more intriguing. Now I am very curious about Finland's monster population. The famous ones anyway.

Erik Donald France said...

Monster Mash -- even better is Famous Monsters of Sweden ::::;->

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I was into this mag as well. We also bought Creepy, Eerie, and any other monster mag we could get our hands on. Scan those old mags if you can and post them on Flickr when you get a chance I'd love to see them, or if you don't have time send them to me and I'll scan them for you.

Doc said...

I have most of the issues of the short-lived Elvira comic. Does that count for anything?


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I also thought it was Monsters of Finland, and of course I immediately thought of Tom of Finland. Weird.

Dale said...

Your blog Bubs - now with even more Scary Monsters and Super Creeps. I love it so much, it scares me.

Bubs said...

Dale, I want to be the king of creepy. But in a good way. I mean no harm.

Kirby, thanks. Maybe now I'll get more hits from the leather community.

Doc, while Vampirella was pretty hot, Elvira is pneumatic. No problem there.

Dr MVM, rest assured you will see some scans from the issues I have. Coming soon to a blog near you.

Erik. There is no Swedish erotica here.

Barbara, what's with the Finland? They don't have cool movie monsters in Finland. Just reindeer.

Coolcat, you are so welcome. I've rediscovered the magazine lately myself.

Mob said...

I bought a book awhile back called Life Is But A Scream by Ray Ferry, which promises to give a sneak peek behind the scenes of the magazine, you might want to seek it out if you haven't seen it before. I believe the time period covered may fall after your classic reading days, but it could be of interest to you for trivia's sake.

Bubs said...

Thanks for the tip Mob. I'd never heard of this book. This guy Ferry was the one who offered to "revive" FMOF and ended up in a nasty legal fight with Forrest J Ackerman

Johnny Yen said...

I loved those magazines-- the gorier the better. When my family lived in Lincoln Park, we were friends with a hipster family at the end of the block (they lived in the building that is above the popular Four Farthings pub) and their son was allowed to have those magazines, so I'd read them when we visited them.

jewgirl said...

that is so cool, bubbsie. I love vampirella. good create-a-word.

I used to collect archie comic books. even my oldest, dating back to the 40s aren't worth anything. the gems you have are way more valuable and so much fun to read over and over again.

Anonymous said...

I am so digging the mag covers.