So, as I was saying some time ago, one of our favorite pasttimes, especially during the heat of the summer and the cool of the winter, and the -- well, you get the picture -- was making our own monster magazines. This went on unabated for several years during the monster craze of the mid-60s.
My buddy, Doug's 'zine was HALL OF FLAME, patterned (of course) after FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Like me, Doug spent a lot of time cutting up our now-valuable SPOOK STORIES cards for the magazine's photos of classic monsters -- just like in FM. Here's Doug's take on his creation:
"Despite the fact that my title, HALL OF FLAME, was lifted directly from FM, I tried to avoid copying the magazine too much. Forry’s influence was pretty heavy on me, however, as I ran the occasional Mystery Photo and attempted a pun here and there. John and I were pretty competitive in trying to come up with new features and new approaches to monster material. Since we had all the same monster cards, magazines, and comics, and had seen all the same movies and TV shows, it was comical to think our magazines would be very different from one another. But they were! For one thing, John is a very good artist, while my drawing is terrible. He put his drawing skills to good use. Our writing styles are a bit different, too. I tried to do longer film book-type articles, which basically re-told a movie’s story. John was more creative. He really scooped me when he produced a digest-sized magazine, a “Best of Monsters Magazine” which included his memoirs. I think we were twelve or thirteen at the time! Our parents indulged our magazine-making. It was quiet, created relatively little mess, and kept us occupied during the time out of school."
Only one correction to the above. I was a pretty good tracer.
Across-the-street-neighbor, Richard's mag was called BLOODY, and his content was focused more on the humorous side. His flair for drawing helped his 'zine look a bit more sophisticated than Doug's and mine --but not by much. We were barely in our teens, ya know!
Sister Linda's was SHOCK, and only lasted a couple of issues as she was only into monster mag making as a passing fancy. She was older than the rest of us and had been drawing for quite a while before any of us ever even took a pair of scissors to a monster card. Her cartoon-style lent itself well to her tongue-in-cheek approach.
And my 'zine? We were all consciously trying to avoid anything that resembled the title of our beloved inspirational publication. I chose something straight, to the point, but ultimately not real imaginative . . . MONSTERS MAGAZINE. There it was, and it was all mine. I was the Dr. Frankenstein to the magazine that became my own, living thing! And now, at last -- unleashed upon the world is the actual cover of MONSTERS MAGAZINE #1!