Friday, September 30, 2011

HEY, MMW IS IN THE ANNOTATED FAMOUS MONSTERS NO. 1!

I remember a news story back in 2008, where a couple of attention-seekers who turned out to be scam artists solicited a monetary reward for what was purported to be a genuine (dead) body of the legendary Bigfoot. These people claimed that the body was real and that they had it stashed on ice in an "undisclosed location". Well, the payoff was made, the scammers left town and the poor sap who paid for the pleasure of being divested illegally from his income was left with the thawed out boy of a Halloween gorilla suit. Said simian suit was even confirmed as authentic costume parts by the manufacturer. So much for the historical cryptid discovery of the century.

Stories like this have been told over and over again throughout the years. People starved for attention -- or just being plain 'ol crackpots -- will sometimes stop at nothing to get it. Hoaxes have been around for centuries. I just think that they are more prevalent in today's world than ever before.

I waited with (fish) baited breath for THE ANNOTATED FAMOUS MONSTERS #1. I picked it up with the rest of my goodies from the cool comics guy Brandon at EVERETT COMICS. When I got it home, I rolled it over my hyper-excited cortexes. The first thing I noticed is that it really didn't look "annotated" at all, at least not the way that I'm used to seeing an annotated book. Maybe I've been living under a bat's wing too long, but this seemed to me to be simply alternate pages showing the typescript and the printed product. That part of it was disappointing.

Actually, it was very disappointing. I was expecting a page-by-page discussion, via footnotes and call-outs, of the creation of the first issue of the King of Monster Magazines. I would settle for nothing less than finally being witness to the entire, true story behind the birth of the Acker-Warren monster!

Well, it's not quite that, but it's a heckuva well-produced tome. For 25 bucks, you could do a lot worse. But, what exactly is inside this momentous publication? David Horne, Warrenophile extraordinaire, and author/publisher of the indispensable GATHERING HORROR explains:

“It is indeed almost all reprint material, although there are a couple of new things. Most of it is taken from "Forry's Folly," the 90th birthday publication [appears on page 522 of Horne’s GATHERING HORROR], although in somewhat different order. "The Birth of a Notion" is from Forry's own book on Famous Monsters [bottom of page 525 in GATHERING HORROR] – and it may have appeared in other places, too. The new material includes the introduction, the piece by Kevin Burns, "Forry's Stories" by Dennis Billows, "The House That Ack Built" (variations on this may have appeared elsewhere), and that page taken from your website [MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD Blogspot].”


Another knockout is the fabulous wrap-around cover by none other than Pete Von Sholly. I was curious to know about how such a great work of work could have come to be. So, I did the only thing that came to mind . . . I asked him! Here's Pete's explanation:

“I contacted Phil Kim and basically said I wanna be in FM! He replied enthusiastically and asked if I wanted to do a cover. Of course I said and what he wanted was "Forry surrounded by this favorite monsters" which was all he told me and all I really wanted to know. THEN he was to make it a wraparound which was great because it allowed me to get more stuff in without cramming and to do the Kong reach-around crushing the FM logo. Natch the front had to be FJ and the Big Five but for the rest I could reference Metropolis- and put Maria in Kong's hand instead of Faye and also I could get Lon Chaney in - plus Harryhausen- and Bradbury by association with the Foghorn/Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. I did it all in Photoshop using photo refs as sources and painting them up, adding lighting to try to tie it all together. I didn't know when I started the pic that it was going to be for the Annotated issue. But I like that very much, having been an FM reader from issue 1. Which makes me oooooollllld... but whatcha gonna do? If you're not old yet, you will be! If you're LUCKY! I will add that Phil was very pleasant and professional to deal with and PAID me the full fee immediately. So it was a good experience.”



What's left? The one-page spread entitled, "Fact or Fiction?" This has all got to do with the exclusive post that appeared here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD depicting an alternate cover to FAMOUS MONSTERS #1. The information was submitted by David Horne as a possible entry on the blogroll, and I think to get it out there to see if someone didn't have some more info on it as well. Here are the details as we know them. The text is re-posted from the earlier edition. David Horne wrote:

"Unfortunately, it was poorly reproduced in the publication I found it in. I've never seen this or heard of it anywhere else. The contributor who supplied the image (within his article) was Mark Carducci, who apparently owned the dummy cover. Carducci was a big FM fan and monster magazine collector."

Then I add:

The publication that Horne references is the Comic and Fantasy Art - Amateur Press Association (CFA-APA) membership publication Issue #33, dated January 1994. While provenance appears to be limited only to this publication, that it was offered by a serious fan of monster magazine lore suggests strong evidence in support of its authenticity.

The implication in the ANNOTATED FAMOUS MONSTERS #1 piece is that this could be a hoax (incidentally, the image shown on the page is to the left, not the right -- looks like the page design was changed without editing the text. Also, I'd like to hear from one or two of the historians that are mentioned that have also apparently heard of this).

Regardless, while anything's possible, I believe that, based on the existing info and both the time and the person from where it originated, the alternate cover is most likely for real. Is there a reason not to think so? Sometimes a monster magazine cover is just a monster magazine cover. I just think it's so obscure that there is virtually no empirical knowledge of the event ever taking place beyond the publication in which this most curious bit of forgotten Monsterology lore first appeared. Sort of like having just a hair or two of a genuine Bigfoot in your freezer instead of claiming to have the whole enchilada, isn't it?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

HAPPY (BELATED) BIRTHDAY, JOHN ZACHERLEY!

Photo from Zacherley.com
A comment from Dr. Theda has reminded MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD of a very auspicious occasion. According to the ZACHERLEY website, horror host extraordinaire John Zacherley celebrated his 93rd Birthday on September 27.

Happy Birthday to a real Cool Ghoul!

LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS BACK IN PREVIEWS

I noticed that the venerable British horror film magazine, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS is back in Diamond Distribution's monthly PREVIEWS catalogue. This is the big book of comics and genre books, magazines, toys, apparel, and video that one can pick up at any comics shop.

LSOH was pulled from PREVIEWS because, like a number of other publications, including many independently-created comics, there were not enough pre-orders to meet the minimum. Of course, this cuts off the limb of many an indie publisher, but when you're an industry monster, who cares? I begrudingly shop using PREVIEWS, because it's the only way I can guarantee that I'll get my monthly dose of monster mags. Otherwise, I have to take my chances with Barnes & Noble, which is about the last store with a decent newsstand around. I know I could buy direct in many cases, but budgetary constraints of my own prevent me from doing that for the time being.

In the meantime, LSOH has sent out their periodic sales flyer. This ones for the holiday season -- that's the Halloween holiday season.




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

STOP THE PRESSES! THE GRAVEYARD EXAMINER IS BACK!

In some ways, the original run of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND was like having your own, neighborhood monster club magazine. The easy-going banter and Forry Ackerman's alliterative puns all gave the sense that this was, indeed, the monster mag for us Monster Kids. In other words, it's voice was universal and it belonged to us. One feature, THE GRAVEYARD EXAMINER, even had pictures, want ads, fan drawings and other stuff both for and by FM's predominantly young readership.


Now, THE GRAVEYARD EXAMINER is back, this time as a digital newsletter to supplement the print edition of the latest incarnation of FAMOUS MONSTERS. And, while today it lacks the "monster club" feel of fan comraderie, it instead offers up plenty of the latest info on DVD's, comics, collectibles and more monster goodness. Click HERE to view the first issue at YUDU (hey, isn't that where MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD's Archives are, too?).

Here are a couple of sample pages to whet your appetite:



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FAMOUS MONSTERS No. 258 SNEAK PEEK



[Source: GRAVEYARD EXAMINER Sept. 26-30, 2011]
A few days ago I mentioned that I was getting a little frustrated with Blogger's "noodling" around with so-called improvements to my "Blogging Experience". I know that it is the nature of this industry, as well as the digital industry as a whole, to constantly evolve, grow, and (hopefully) progress. My most recent experience with this not-always-welcome phenomenon was seeing the news about Nikon's next gen line of cameras about a month after I bought a D5100. While it probably won't put this model to shame anytime soon, it still illustrates the fact that electronics manufacturers seem to revel in constatntly dangling the digital carrot in front of consumers.

But, like everything else in life -- artificial or otherwise -- this all comes with a price. Hackers, spammers, and other unsavory characters are out, surfing the bandwith for cracks in any firewall that they can get their nefarious string of code through, all for a buck -- and a lot of times just to see if they can frack up someone's day.

Case in point: I have a link to Jim Clatterbaugh's MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT blog on the sidebar of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD. I hadn't seen anything new on it for a while, so I decided to drop Jim a line to see what was up. He replied that his blog had been "temporarily" shut down by Blogger because their security software had detected that his site was being used as a host for a spammer. I don't have any other details except that he has to go through some sort of "authentication" process before he can resume. There was even a cryptic implication that he might have to even vacate his space because of all this. As of a few minutes ago (Monday, September 28, 5:00 PM PST), his blog remains shut down.

So, in my mild rant of a few days ago I mentioned that Blogger had suddenly started using an image interface pop-up that was similar to Facebook. My beef was that you couldn't resize the image easily to read smaller scanned images that had text in them. Well, this condition seems to have returned to the original setup where, after you click on an image it will open in another window where you can click again on it to enlarge the picture. Yay!

Seems like my worries are slight compared to my friend, Jim Clatterbaugh's, though. What does raise a larger question with me however, is that this huge, seemingly chaotic miasma of online madness -- despite the prevalence of "social networks" such as Facebook -- is creating an ever-widening gap between the individual and more meaningful human interaction. And, as with everything else, there are outlaws, predators and flim-flam artists to watch for, along with scams and schemes that serve no pupose other than to either cause someone misery or remove them from their money as quickly as possible.

Now, I don't mean to paint a dim picture here. This all has its bright spot, and it is mostly bright, I might add. While I am a veteran computer user and fairly adept at the use of the Internet, I was once extremely averse to jumping into the world of blogging -- not because I was a Cyberphobe, but because I thought the idea of "journaling" about my life and my interests to anyone who cared to read about it was, well, kinda dumb.

Boy, was I wrong.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD ARCHIVES YEAR ONE


Offered again for a limited time is the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD ARCHIVES YEAR ONE 2010 PDF Book at YUDU.com. This eBook collects every post from my first year of blogging, and it's all free. Go to the YUDU page  HERE and click on the "View" button, or click on the link on the sidebar of this blogroll. So, go ahead, re-live the chills, the thrills, and the monster movie stills from MMW's first year -- all for free!

MONSTER CARD MONDAY



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

FANGERS 'N MASH - BRITISH VAMPIRE DVD FROM SHOUT FACTORY

Coming Tuesday is a new DVD release from SHOUT FACTORY called DEAD CERT. It's another entry in the vampire cycle that still seems to have some legs despite being a little long in the tooth after deluge from the last year or so.

Here is some info from the official DEAD CERT site, UK.net:

"The second feature from British director Steve Lawson (Just For The Record), the vampires-meet-gangsters horror romp Dead Cert marks a welcome return to a fun, almost traditional British horror filmmaking style that affectionately evokes the spirit of the contemporary-set movies of Amicus and Hammer – particularly the latter’s ‘Dracula A.D. 1972’ and ‘The Satanic Rites Of Dracula’.

An inventive hybrid of the vampire and Cockney gangster movie genres that comes complete with all the standard ingredients of both – creepy monsters, beautiful, scantily-clad women, tough-talking wise guys, guns, stakes, gratuitous bloodshed and a seemingly crazy vampire hunter – Dead Cert features a star-studded cast of familiar British acting talent that includes Craig Fairbrass (The Shouting Men; The Bank Job; Rise Of The Footsoldier), Billy Murray (Rise Of The Footsoldier; Essex Boys), Dexter Fletcher (Kick-Ass), hot newcomer Lisa McAllister (How To Lose Friends And Alienate People; Pumpkinhead: Ashes To Ashes), Steven Berkoff (44 Inch Chest), Dave Legeno (Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince), Jason Flemying (Clash Of The Titans; Kick-Ass) and, in a brilliantly judged cameo, Danny Dyer (Dead Man Running; Adulthood).



When respected but small-time gangster Freddie ‘Dead Cert’ Frankham (Craig Fairbrass) is unexpectedly given the chance to make a tentative leap into the big leagues with the opening of his new nightclub in London’s East End, he doesn’t quite realize what he is getting into. Unknown to Freddie and his partners, the club stands on the former site of a Black Church, established as a temple of evil in the 17th Century by a Romanian warlord-turned-vampire known as The Wolf. Flushed out of the city by emissaries of the Vatican during the Great Fire of London, and since then exiled in mainland Europe, The Wolf and his undead disciples have now returned to England to continue their diabolical plans to expand their legions and overcome mankind.

On the opening night of the club, Freddie is approached by an uninvited guest in the form of Dante Livienko, an Eastern European businessman, gangster and drug-dealer with a fearsome reputation. Livienko and his associates want ownership of the club and are prepared to make Freddie an offer he can’t refuse in order to get what they want. But to Freddie, his new, legitimate business means far more to him than money and he’s not about to give up his hard-earned turf without a fight. What he doesn’t know, but is soon to find out, is the man he is about to cross is a 500-year-old vampire determined to rebuild his empire of evil on its original, unhallowed site.


Produced by horror specialists Black & Blue Films and recalling the previously mentioned Hammer classics, as well as later vampire movies such as ‘Vamp’ and ‘The Lost Boys’, Dead Cert is a bloodsucking feast with more bite than most and one that horror fans will defininely enjoy getting their teeth into - especially now that it has been selected for the opening night of the prestigious FrightFest horror film festival.

Dead Cert (cert. 18) will be released on DVD by Momentum Pictures and distributed in the United States by SHOUT FACTORY on 27th September 2010. Special Features include: audio commentary; ‘Making of’ featurette."



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Friday, September 23, 2011

HEY! I'M IN G-FAN MAGAZINE!

G-FAN #96 has been out for a few weeks now. This has gotta be one of my favorite issues of late as it contains an article on one of my favorite Japanese monster movies of all time. While Godzilla, Rodan, King Ghidora, and Mothra pretty much top my Kaiju favorites, it's monsters of a smaller kind that I'm talking about. The title? MATANGO, or ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE to us Westerners. Atmospheric and full of creeping doin's aboard a derelict ship being used for cover by a group of shipwrecked pleasure yachters, MATANGO is allegedly based on a short story by classic weird fiction author William Hope Hodgson ("The Voice In The Night").

There's tons of other good stuff in this issue to roll over your cortexes. So, besides an article about humans turning into walking mushrooms, what makes this issue of G-FAN any more special than another? Well . . . 'cause I'm in it! Yep, my article FAMOUS MONSTERS' COLOSSAL KAIJU INVASION appears on Page 66!

Whether or not you're interested in what I have to say about FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #256, I suggest you pick up a copy of G-FAN #96 -- Editor J.D. Lees' 'zine is the best one out there when it comes to Japanese Kaiju and related topics.


G-FAN #96 back cover image.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

HAMMER GAL GOES TO PRISON

According to the Associated Press, this week in Los Angeles, "A former Playboy Playmate of the Year who appeared in the horror movie ROSEMARY'S BABY has been sentenced to nine years in state prison for shooting her husband in the back at their Hollywood apartment.

Los Angeles County prosecutors say 66-year-old Victoria Rathgeb was sentenced Wednesday. She pleaded no contest to attempted voluntary manslaughter.

Authorities say Rathgeb shot and wounded her husband last October during an argument. Prosecutors say he recovered and was in court for the sentencing but did not make a statement.

Rathgeb was 1968's Playmate of the Year under the name of Angela Dorian. She had TV and movie roles in the 1960s and 1970s and played a recovering heroin addict in the 1968 hit ROSEMARY'S BABY.


Readers of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD may also know that the gorgeous Miss Vetri/Dorian/Rathgeb was the stage name of the actress who played in other horror/adventure movies over the years, such as WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH and INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (a,k.a. GRAVEYARD TRAMPS).


















TYPE "O" IN 3D

What do Bram Stoker's most famous creation, a well-known Giallo film director, and an ex-Blade Runner turned Hobo With a Shotgun have in common? Dario Argento will be directing Rutger Hauer as Dr. Van Helsing in a movie entitled DRACULA 3D, that's what! The news clip above from TOTAL FILM magazine, October 2011, explains more.

Oh, and unless you've figured out a way to enlarge pictures after clicking on a blog image that end up, FaceBook style in a new window, you'll have to either enlarge your brower magnification or download the image and enlarge it with your image browser to read the text. I discovered this Blogger "improvement" after reviewing my last DEADTIME STORIES features before posting them. This time I managed to be able to set up the image so that you don't need to click on it to read it, but I won't be so lucky every time.

I'm losing my patience with Blogger noodling around trying to "make things better". Take the new Dashboard interface -- no, I mean it. Go ahead, take it, 'cause I don't need it. Mine's working just fine, thank you very much. If they really wanted to impress me, they'd focus their attention and make a more serviceable, WYSIWYG composing tool -- and, throw in an easy Design element for embedding sound into a blog. Oh well, that's all I'll say for the moment. I'll just continue to suffer in silence . . .

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SUMMER S'QUATCH NOT A VEGETABLE IN THE NORTHWEST

"There's nothing like the smell of Sasquatch in the morning. It's the smell of Discovery" - Anonymous

The East Coast may have its Skunk Ape, but the Pacific Northwest claims home to the grandaddy of Cryptozoology, the hairy, stinky, elusive critter that goes by many names . . . including Sasquatch. My recent stroll through the WAX WORKS "A Living Museum", in Newport, Oregon, proved this out as the star of the regional section of the exhibit (beating out even Lewis & Clark) was Bigfoot.

Pictured are the unsuspecting lumberjacks going about their work, while the rarest of all wild beasts of the forest lurks just out of sight. Is S'Quatch just curious . . . or . . . hungry?




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD POST NO. 666


Red Devil Halloween mask from RUBIES COSTUME CO.

MIDNIGHT IN THE WAX MUSEUM

One wouldn't expect to see full-size classic movie monsters "in the flesh" in a small central coast town in Oregon. But there we were, as they say, and there they were.

The town is Newport and the place is THE WAX WORKS. My wife and I were on vacation and I had noticed one of the flyers that seem to pop up in the brochure racks of every store, restaurant and motel in existence.

So, we paid the fee and entered. The first thing I noticed was that it was very dark. I suppose it was so that the hot lights wouldn't melt the wax figures?  I found out soon enough that it was really to obscure the -- I'll say it -- rather disappointing renditions of virtually every character in the place.


I came upon the monsters rather quickly into the self-guided tour of THE WAX WORKS. Dracula was posed next to a dumped over trash can, I'm guessing to give the impression that he was lurking about in some alleyway. Frankenstein was next and, as usual, bore more of a resemblance to Boris Karloff than did Dracula to Bela Lugosi.

The other "monsters" in this House of Horrors were Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator, Director Alfred Hitchcock, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Unfortunately, this place didn't hold a wax candle to the excellent work tthat was seen at the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, CA (now closed) and the Hollywood Wax Museum on Hollywood Boulevard. But, still, it was an unexpected experience, and how could you not have fun when it comes to monsters?






Uh-oh! There's more to come?

Monday, September 19, 2011

BOOBIRA IS BACK!


BOOBIRA is a resin parody of the classic Horror Hostess. She is sculted by Jim Fawkes and was originally released in 1994. This wonder of physics stands approximately 5" tall and consist of 2 solid resin plastic parts -- and I can't imagine which they may be from the photo. The kit sells for a measly $21.99.

MONSTER CARD MONDAY (SPECIAL EDITION)


Some months ago, I was rummaging through the garage and found a small box of trading cards purchased in the dim, dark past. The box contained an eclectic assortment of cards, SPOOK STORIES, ADDAMS' FAMILY, and two of the strangest cards I had ever seen. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember seeing them before, let alone buying them. As with all monster-related questions, I called upon the editor of this blog to enlighten me as to what the heck they were. John explained that they were from a series of cards designed by the legendary underground comix genius Robert Crumb for Topps in 1965! John later featured the cards in MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD'S MONSTER CARD MONDAY feature.

The original artwork for two of the cards from this series was offered at auction by Heritage in a recent Signature Comics auction. Both pieces measure 3.5” x 5” and are signed by Mr. Crumb. While the catalog entries list the punch line which would have appeared on the card’s reverse side, no photos of that side are shown. That leads me to believe that only the lettered artwork side was in the auction. Fewer than ten people placed bids. The first drawing, “You deserve a big hand,” sold for $776 (base price plus buyer’s commission). “You have a peach of a complexion,” the second piece, sold for $1135! To me that is an astonishing amount of money to pay for such a small work, but given the importance of R. Crumb and the scarcity of original art, perhaps I am off base. After seeing the results form this auction, I have a little higher regard for my two samples of these weird cards now!




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