Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CHILLING MONSTER TALES NO. 1


CHILLING MONSTER TALES
No. 1
Editor: Not credited (can you blame them?)
Publication Date: August (?) 1966
Publisher: M.M. Publishing LTD.
Color cover/ B&W interior
68 pages (including covers)
Cover price: 50 cents
Estimated value: $10.00 - $45.00

I’m sure you’ve heard the term that goes something like: “This piece of *!?# is not worth the paper it’s printed on!” Well, dear readers,, the mid-60s muck masquerading as a monster magazine named CHILLING MONSTER TALES is about as close as you’ll likely ever come to justifiably using this phrase.

Now, you may have noticed that reviews here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD are generally favorable, if not downright laudatory as a rule. This is for good reason. Most of the ‘zines that have been reviewed here so far have been titles that I generally like. That is not to say, however, that you’ll never read a negative word about any mag that’s covered. Quite the contrary; you may remember that, while not overtly negative, I was quite reserved in my discussion of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #252.

But, folks, here’s where the monster hands have gotta come off and the rock ‘em, sock ‘em gloves have gotta be put on for this stinker. To those of you who (I think unjustly) malign the Charlton monster magazines, I’ve got news for you. Charlton’s MAD MONSTERS and HORROR MONSTERS are like GQ and ESQUIRE compared to CHILLING MONSTER TALES. Shucks, even THE MONSTER TIMES can be considered high art compared to this abomination on paper.

Looking through a rag . . . er, mag like this (and thank goodness, their aren’t many of them), I am reminded that numerous so-called “fanzines” are considerably more “pro” than their “pro-‘zine” counterparts, especially when you align them with CHILLING MONSTER TALES. As a matter of fact, using the term “pro-‘zine” becomes a downright oxymoron. Maybe a better term would be “commercial-‘zine”?

Like other bombs of the sort, there is no masthead describing the genius behind the making of it, and I’m sure they hid their misshapen heads in embarrassment. There is only one credit to be seen in the entire issue, and it goes to Sam Moskowitz for his piece on “Dracula’s Gues”. Could Mr. Moskowitz have been responsible for the rest of the issue? If it’s the same Sam “Weird Tales” Moskowitz, the same famous horror anthologist Sam Moskowitz, I shudder to think.

The magazine wouldn’t have raised my ire so much if they would have at least refrained from using the infantile gag balloons right in the middle of a serious article. I mean, this makes Forry’s FM puns eternally forgivable, even worthy of someplace like SNL! In CHILLING MONSTER TALES, however, the jokes are piled on over and over in devastating ruination. Then, they even have the gall to add an actual humor section with more of the utterly moronic jokes!

Anyway, I think I may have discovered a reason – not an excuse, mind you – for CHILLING MONSTER TALES to still stink to high heavens even after all these years. After doing some research and checking, I suggest that it was produced by the same cabal of crud that threw together the slapdash cheapie called 3-D MONSTERS two years prior in 1964! Why, you ask? I have come to my conclusion by including here an exhibit that reveals some of the exact same page design – right down to the blurbs. Not only that, both magazines share the same 40th Street address in New York. Coincidence? I think not.

In conclusion, I really don’t expect every monster magazine to be a work of art. But, when you see unbridled travesty in the likes of what I call monster magazine roughies and cheapies such as CHILLING MONSTER TALES and WORLD FAMOUS CREATURES, one can only come to the conclusion that somtimes monster magazines have been exploited just as much as some of the monsters that they covered within their pages.



3-D MONSTERS pages on left/right, CHILLING  MONSTER TALES in center.


















1 comment:

Matt said...

Wow, they couldn't even be bothered to typeset the lame jokes into the word balloons.

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