Tuesday, November 16, 2010
INTERVIEW WITH A BLOGGER: MIKE SCOTT
Mike Scott doesn't know it, but he's in part, responsible for the existence of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD! That's right. Back in the not too distant past I was a frequent visitor to his Geocities spot called MONSTER MAGAZINES - THE FIRST DECADE. I thought then (as I still do now) that, at the time, it was the best site of it's kind. It was extensive, thorough, and a monster magazine researcher's delight. Well, as we all know Geocities folded (let's hope that Blogger NEVER pulls the plug for some dumb reason) and he moved his stuff over to Google for his current incarnation, MONSTER MAGAZINES. I had designs myself of getting my feet wet in the relatively new era of blogging, and finally decided on the subject. Figuring that further commentary and expansion of material was a good compliment rather than being redundant and competitive, MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD was the result.
I do not know Mr. Scott personally, but I feel I do know him through his numerous comments and assorted emails he has sent me in the first six months of MMW. I appreciate his insights (and occasional corrections!) and perspective, and, as a result, I believe he helps to make MMW even better. For these reasons, and for being the first victim of the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD "Interview With A Blogger" series, I hereby bestow upon Mr. Mike Scott the honorary degree of Professor Emeritus in the field of Monsterology! Congratulations, Mike. This and 5 bucks will get you a cuppa Joe at Starbucks! Now, on with the interview!
MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD: Who is Mike Scott and how did he end up living in the world of monster magazines?
MIKE SCOTT: I was hanging out at a friend's house one day and there was a copy of FAMOUS MONSTERS lying there and I (having been a fan of fantasy films for some years already) picked it up and that's all she wrote! I started buying FM and whatever else turned up on the magazine racks. Back then, if it didn't show up on the newsstand(s) in your town, it didn't exist! I wasn't even aware of fanzines till the early '70s.
MMW: How long has MONSTER MAGAZINES BLOGSPOT been in existence? How did it come into being?
SCOTT: When I first got on the internet, in early 2001, one of the first things I looked for was info on monster mags and a cover scan site, similar to the comics and pulps cover sites that I had seen. I found a couple of pages with FM covers, but not much else, so I decided to do a site of my own. I built one at Geocities that had about 40 pages (eventually) of cover scans of all the english language pro mags from 1957-1967, calling it "Monster Magazines - The First Decade". Eventually, a 2nd decade would be added, along with pages on books, collecting and so forth.
About a year ago, Yahoo decided to close down all Geocities free sites, so I had to look for another host. Blogs (rather that traditional websites) seemed to be the place where most people were going and Blogspot seemed to be the most popular, so I decided to rebuild as a blog. It had everything I needed, if not wanted, plus a few things the old site didn't have. So, here I am, about nine years later and just passed the first year at the new place. [Happy Anniversay! -ed.]
MMW: Well, anniversary congratulations are in order, then! What made you decide on using Google Blogger instead of say, WordPress?
SCOTT: I don't even think I investigated WordPress. Blogger seemed to have what I wanted, so I moved right in!
MMW: Have you come across any creative restraints with blogging? In other words, is there a technology or widget from, say a web page that you’d like to have available on a blog?
SCOTT: It was a bit odd, at first, having every page look the same, other than the content. As far as new gadgets/widgets/gidgets, I'd like to have the large versions of the photos open in a new window, or some other way that doesn't take you away from the main page.
MMW: Blogger has recently made individual statistics available to the owner of the BlogSpot. Do you refer to these and do they influence what type of material you post?
SCOTT: I've looked at them, but haven't studied them. I did find out that we have viewers in Serbia and that there is actually a browser called "SeaMonkey"!
MMW: Have you ever published any fanzines or other publications or do you consider yourself more of a monster magazine historian and conservator?
SCOTT: I've always been more of a reader than a writer, so no. I like the designing part, but was never much more than an amateur. Historian? Conservator? Yeah, I might get away with that!
MMW: How would you describe your personal monster collection at the moment?
SCOTT: Monster mag collection? I'm no John Ballentine, that's for sure and all my stuff is English language, though I wouldn't mind having a copy of "Cinema 57"! I also collect books, DVDs and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON stuff.
MMW: If you could jump in a time machine right now and go back to pick out anything from the monster era of the past, what would be the one item you’d come back with?
SCOTT: The heck with that "one" stuff! I'm stopping at the newsstand every month (for a moment) and getting a mint copy of everything from Feb. '58 on!
MMW: FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND or CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN?
SCOTT: FM for the covers. CoF for the contents.
MMW: In your opinion, what is the current state of monster and horror BlogSpots?
SCOTT: Well, I think there are a lot of good ones, out there! If I wanted to, I could probably set here reading blogs all day! Your blog is one of my faves! [Interviewer blushes here]
MMW: Is the print monster magazine dying?
SCOTT: I'm kind of worried about that cough, but not yet, I don't think. I'm sure a lot of publishers are just hanging in there, but at least they are . . . hanging in there. I like ink on paper, myself, but I'm sure it won't last forever.
MMW: What’s in the future for MONSTER MAGAZINES BlogSpot?
SCOTT: Just keep going till I run out of stuff to post, I guess. I pretty much think every day is going to be the last, but then I think of one more thing to post.
MMW: Any last words you’d like to share with the readers of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD?
SCOTT: Buy monster mags!
Thank you, Mike Scott, and may you have a plethora of posts left to regale your readers at your MONSTER MAGAZINES blog!