Saturday, June 23, 2018


It is the ultimate irony when a man who has exploited cheap sex, violence and horror, is in the end is exploited himself to the point of becoming a cult star. By a strange melange of slavish devotion, fascination for the perverse, a couple of books and a movie, filmmaker and pornographer Ed Wood has managed to rise like a singed Phoenix from the garbage heap of Hollywood to become posthumously awarded the dubious distinction of "The Worst Director of All Time". While that may not be exactly true, Wood still could not (or would not) get past wallowing in the shallow end of the Hollywood talent pool. Outside of his penchant for cross-dressing, Wood is best known for using (i.e. exploiting) Bela Lugosi as a draw in his outre but lackluster horror films. Lugosi "pulling the string" apparently couldn't pull in audiences, because the once very recognizable horror actor was now barely recognizable as an emaciated drug addict with a taste for morphine that he had habituated since being treated with it for sciatica.

It wasn't enough, however, for Wood to make a living directing films, especially when they were mere sprockets away from total grindhouse fare. Wood supplemented his income by writing sleazy novels and short stories, mostly for a "select" audience. Because of the proliferation of his work in the bargain basement world of adult entertainment, Wood would adopt many pseudonyms in order to separate his slumming with his other life as a would-be cinematic artiste.

Among these tarnished gems was a quartet of horror/sci-fi magazines that were without question, aimed at adult readers. Wood had shown his hand before with lurid stories of monsters, murderers and sex-starved madmen in Stanley's horror fiction magazines, ADVENTURE INTO HORROR and HORROR STORIES (seen previously here at MMW). These Gallery Press editions all appeared in 1972 and were written with the more purply pen of Ed Wood under his many guises.

The stories are fairly graphic, and are dimmed by the haze of licentiousness, and the bawdy black and white photos are considerably more excessive than those seen in the Stanley magazines. It's quite surprising to see as a result that, despite their low caliber, these four magazines are demanding prices in the hundreds of dollars -- that is, if you can find them, as they are all considered "super" scarce and highly collectible.

Once in a while, copies will show up for sale on the internet, and with a little digging I found these examples. I also have to admit that I bought all four of them back in the year they were published and they still remain somewhere in the Mysterious Mansion, encased in backer-board and mylar sleeves, waiting for their "day in the sun" again. When I find them, dear readers, I will share with you the contents of these horrific examples of Ed Wood at his smutty best. Stay tuned... 

Publisher/Date: Gallery Press V1 #1 1972

Special Features:  This magazine has 2 stories that are definitely Edward D. Wood Jr. pseudonyms - Roy Hemp and Chester Winfield. Illustrated with photos and B&W art. Meant for mature audiences.

Publisher/Date: Gallery Press V1 #1 1972

Special Features:  This magazine has stories by Edward D. Wood Jr. using his pseudonyms. Authors in this issue include: Waldo Q. Vadis, Alvin Tostig, Milika Sualee, Rusty McWharf, Franklin Furter, Cornelius Castor, and Dudley McDonley!! Illustrated with photos and B&W art. Meant for mature audiences.

Publisher/Date:  Gallery Press V1 #1 1972

Special Features:  This magazine is filled with stories by Edward D. Wood Jr. and his pseudonyms like Ann Gora, Dick Trent, and stories written under his own name. Every story in this issue, except one written by Kip Gebakken is by Edward D. Wood, Jr. Illustrated with photos and B&W art. Meant for mature audiences.

Adults Only magazine with nude photos and art, articles and stories, some by Ed Wood, notorious director of such cult bombs like Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda. Some are credited to Edw. D. Wood Jr, and Ann Gora, Shirlee Lane and other pseudonyms. Very Scarce. (please note : cover has nudity; image has been altered but it does not appear on actual magazine). Fine; as new copy. $200

Friday, June 22, 2018


No. 1
April-June 1965
Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
Editor: Don Arneson
Cover: John Stanley
Pages: 36
Cover price: 12 cents

After years of drawing successful comics starring Little Lulu, Nancy and Sluggo and many others, writer and artist John Stanley got the chance to create some of his own characters. One of them he named Melvin Monster.

Melvin lived in "Monsterville" and his parents were "Mummy" and "Baddy". Melvin goes to the "Little Black Schoolhouse", and his teacher is "Miss McGargoyle". He also has a pet crocodile named Cleopatra, who is anything but tame.

Stanley's Melvin strips appeared near the apex of the 60s Monster Craze and have been elevated to cult status over the years -- and rightly so. They more subtlety reflect Melvin as an outsider in society instead of the over-the-top spoofs that were to be used in the Glass Teat incarnations of THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE MUNSTERS (THE ADDAMS FAMILY would not be seen on TV until September 1965 and THE MUNSTERS first aired the following year). Instead, Melvin's stories have been labeled by many comic book historians as darkly satirical. They are certainly unique, especially when considering they appeared in a comic book. CAPT. MARVEL artist C.C. Beck went so far as to comment: "The only comic books I ever read and enjoyed were Little Lulu and Donald Duck".



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