I am an unapologetic Monster fan. I’ve been one since I was a little kid. Monster movies and their spectacular images and fantastical stories, nested in old-fashioned myth and morality tales, are what sparked my interest in pursuing a creative life. In the 1960s, my Monster movie-watching went something like this: Midnight movie, The Bride of Frankenstein! Little bleary-eyed me, waiting impatiently in front of the TV set. Titles rolled. Music. A little adrenaline rush. Frankenstein’s Monster revealed himself in the flooded pit beneath the burning windmill…(ZZzzzz)…I woke up to a test pattern. I must have seen only the first 5-minutes of that movie three times. The Monsters I loved remained little more than concepts and snippets of images. The mystery stoked my burgeoning imagination even more!
Then came Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. A mag I was sure was made just for me. It was not just crammed full of photos of the creatures that haunted my sketch pad and dreams; it featured scene-by-scene descriptions of the movies I was too young (or sleepy) to watch. Beyond all that, it gave kids of the era our first look behind the scenes, where we learned who the artists were who made Monsters live! The Directors, Designers, Writers, Makeup Artists, and Special FX Wizards! Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, published by ambitious James Warren and edited by maven of Sci-Fi and Horror, Forrest J Ackerman. Forrest would become every Monster-fan’s “Uncle Forry.” He gave us a map to finding fellow fans and to participating in the genre and industry we loved at first sight.
The lot includes every issue from the first, in 1958, until the end of the publication, 2021. And being a part of the late, great producer Kevin Burns collection, these are the best quality copies available. Kevin was that Monster-kid who “traded up” until he got his hands on the mag in the best possible condition. Now you can possess the mystical oracles that kids of the era like Steven Spielberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, Gene Simmons, Tim Burton, Stephen King, Rick Baker, and SO many other notable figures read and were inspired by. The magic of Famous Monsters or “FM,” as we disciples call it, never diminishes. The effect of peeking behind the scenes of the movies we love is ever-potent for new generations.
Now, little Joe Moe may not have grown up to be a household name like the behemoths I’ve mentioned above. Still, I believe this Monster magazine, meant to be a 1-off in 1958, but ending up with a 65-year run, with its glossy, colorful covers and newsprint pages, is the principal reason I have the privilege of talking with you today. It guided me to terrific adventures, led me to write for and edit issues of the contemporary version of FM, and, most importantly, created my friendship with the original editor, Forrest J Ackerman (1916-2008), that has vividly colored every corner of my life to this day. Famous Monsters of Filmland is a passport to a world of wonder. It is the secret handshake to a connection with fellow fans, big and small. This legendary gateway to the endless possibility of the imagination can be yours, or your children’s, for a bid.
I bid you good bidding,
Consignment Specialist, Entertainment and Music