Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Crawling Eye
I think I've figured it out. Ya' see, some people are tactile and are touch-oriented. Some people are, as Freud would put it, "orally fixated". And people like me, well we're hard-wired visually. Although the musician in me loves -- even craves -- the sound of melody, it's the visual stimulus that revs my engine. I think that's why I've always been attracted to the printed page. Besides being endlessly fascinating, I can never pass up gawking at a lurid pulp, a comic, or -- you know, a monster mag for instance. I might have a bit of crow in me because I like bright, shiny things which include a strikingly gaudy book/magazine cover or illustration. I love standing at a magazine rack and scanning the carefully designed and marketed covers, all attempting to lure me into their carefully contrived, capitalist trap! Plus, there's always the element of the tantalizing and forbidden that surrounds these types of images as well, so I guess I'm just a sucker for what's behind the curtain. There is also a visual/emotional appeal to what I sometimes call "grotesque beauty", but I don't want to wax too philosophic here. Therapy might help to find the root cause of my fixation, but since I'm enjoying myself so much, what's the point, right? I mean, who the hell wants to be cured of the love of monster magazines? In my final defense, I can only think of a declaration that Forrest J. Ackerman made in an early issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND: "Monsters Are Good For You"! Thanks, Forry, for that bit of sagacious wisdom!

FAMOUS MONSTERS spotted on the newsstand!
Speaking of FM, issue 252 has hit the stores. I bought my copy at the local Barnes and Noble and was damned suprised to see it on the news rack right there alongside FANGO and RUE MORGUE. However, most notable was, besides the multiple copies available for all the monster 'zines, I considered myself lucky enough to pick up the last remaining copy of the latest VIDEO WATCHDOG. Go figure!

The fanfare seems to have died down around FM, and it has been replaced instead with controversy. Word on the street has it that Editor-in-chief Michael Heisler and Managing Editor Mark Redfern are both gone, which leaves Jessie Lilley as the heir apparent by way of the customary ladder . . . unless there's a masked phantom waiting in the wings of Phil Kim's suddenly mysterious opera house.

In FM's email newsletter they did mention that they "listened to the readers" and will be making some changes, most notably the cover price being reduced to $9.95. Other changes include a bi-monthly publishing schedule (instead of the initial quarterly schedule) and downloads for mobile devices. On a positve note, I am loving the Kerry Gammill-painted Lugosi ISLE OF THE LOST SOULS cover of issue 253. Like the Hammer Horror cover of issue 252, it is a work or art to behold. It is apparent to me that whoever is pulling the creative strings at FM does not have the magic wand to turn it once more into the King of Monster Magazines.

MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD'S queries to FM have gone unanswered, which either means they're not yet willing to spill the beans about this situation, or, more likely their thinking, "Who the hell is this MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD guy, anyway?" In any event, let's hope that things settle down and the smoke clears. When you look at FM side-by-side with titles such as FANGORIARUE MORGUE, and HORRORHOUND, you know these guys have got a tough row to hoe. I'm still excited for them and wish them the best of luck. At the end of the day, I'm not so sure if all this intrigue bodes well for the long-term success of the magazine. Time will tell, as they say.

New features: page tabs, website links, etc.
You may have noticed at the top of this blog, right under the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD title, a number of page tabs. Here I've added an "About MMW" tab that replaces the standard "Profile" widget from the blog's sidebar. I've also added some multi-media pages and other goodies that I hope you check out from time to time. This is all designed to create less distraction on the main page, but at the same time include items that are related to monster magazine reading and collecting, and make your visit at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD as entertaining as possible. I'm still working on uploading some of my collectibles to offer for sale. With the cover prices of 'zines these days, I've gotta bankroll some extra income!


On the sidebar, I've added a "Web of Horror" widget that lists numerous "official" and fan websites of interest to the inquiring Monsterologist. I've gotta say, though, out of the list so far, the always stunning Ingrid Pitt's "Pitt of Horror" has the best looking website of the bunch! Harryhausen's is a close second. The rest, while interesting and worthwhile to visit, suffer from a lack of updating and depth of material. And, let's get the Bela Lugosi Fan Club going, guys!

There's also big news on the monster comics front. You probably already know that Dark Horse is publishing the new version of CREEPY comics. Another Warren Publishing icon, VAMPIRELLA is back once again in comic book form from Dynamite Publishing. Yet another big title just released is BELA LUGOSI'S TALES FROM THE GRAVE. Why not scroll up top, click on the "Monster Comics" page tab and take a look at a multi-page preview?

Well, the sun's coming up so I'd better hit the silk. Thanks for taking the time to read my musings and have a good week. Don't forget to come back and visit MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD often!

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