Saturday, May 7, 2011

WILL THE REAL FAMOUS MONSTERS PLEASE STAND UP?

The new incarnation of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND appears to be rolling right along, albeit with the slight shuffle of a Kharis. With a year or so under his belt, Phil Kim (Kong) has instituted any number of staff changes and, in the course of it all, the magazine has gone from ho-hum to aha! within the last couple of issues.

I have done a fair amount of reading out on the 'Net and the jury is still out among a number of bloggers and reviewers. One thing is for certain, opinion appears to be split between rabid support and anemic apathy.

Special "Collossal" Collector's Edition FM #256. All that's missing
is Forry's favorite cover blurb, "Best Issue Ever!"
In the meantime, other publishers, such as Dave Davey and his UNDYING MONSTERS have picked up the villager's torch and forged ahead with their own versions of classic monster 'zines that many of us remember from the days of the original monster craze. FAMOUS MONSTERS on the other hand, has one roofer's boot planted firmly in the present and I think ultimately they will be better by doing so. Sure, I'd like nothing better than for FM to be resurrected and presented as it was back in its heyday, but that would be a suicidal move for Mr. Kim.

Nevertheless, I'll be honest by saying that, so far, FM has not been firing on all cylinders for me. I resist comparison with its contemporaries, but frankly, I think they could do better. However, every 'zine out there right now has got room for improvement. I still believe that FM has a very good chance of leading the pack at some point in the future.

A superb cover painting by Joe Jusko for the "retro" series
of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND
Ultimately, I'm having a difficult time figuring out just what it is that's keeping me from being one of those rabid followers I mentioned earlier. Maybe it's the attempt at trying to appeal to new readers while maintaining a sense of the old FM that us monster kids so fondly remember. Other 'zines are certainly more eye-catching and graphically alluring. FM is slowly breaking out of its more conventional page layouts. There was some marked difference shown in issue #255. Maybe a leap from austere to ostentatious is in order.

Ultimately, there are indications that FM may still be experimenting with its very indentity. If so, I'm willing to wait, you guys. And, while I will save my slavering rabidness for a little later, I will, however, offer unabashed and enthusiastic support.

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