Thursday, July 25, 2013


Slated to be unveiled at this September's FantaCon is author John Szpunar's Xerox Ferox: The Wild World of the Horror Film Fanzine. Szpunar's Facebook page shows examples of what will presumably be content included in the book. Titles such as MIDNIGHT MARQUEE and THE LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS will be represented, along with newsletter format 'zines and others.

While the title (Ferox means "fierce" in Latin, and is a nod to the ferocity of the self-publisher, I would surmise) mentions "fanzines", some pre-press promotional copy implies that it covers commercial magazines like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND as well. Outside of the sporadic release of monster magazine price guides over the years, this book could very well end up being the holy grail  of monster magazine research to date.

Xerox Ferox wraparound cover art by Stephen Bissett.

Here is the information seen at Barnes & Noble's web page:

Xerox Ferox Overview

From Famous Monsters of Filmland to Fangoria… and everything in between, Xerox Ferox is much more than a book about monster magazines. It is the first book of its kind to examine the home-grown DIY fanzines that dared to dig deeper than the slick and shiny newsstand mags ever would... or indeed even could.

The titles were as lurid as the films that they covered. Gore Gazette. Deep Red. Sleazoid Express. Before message boards, before blogs, before the Internet itself, the fanzine reigned as the chief source of news and information for horror fans worldwide. Often printed on the cheap and sold for the price of postage, madcap mags like Slimetime, The Splatter Times, and Subhuman traveled the globe, creating a thriving network of fans and professionals alike.

Xerox Ferox traces the rise of the horror film fanzine, from the Famous Monster-starved kids of the 1960s to the splatter-crazed gorehounds of the Fangoria generation. Featuring in-depth interviews with over fifty writers, editors, and industry pros, Xerox Ferox is the final word on an era that changed the world of fandom forever.

Xerox Ferox is the first title to cover the horror film fanzine phenomenon and culture in encyclopedic depth. The book also contains lengthy chapters that deal with the New York zine scene and the hub of its grindhouse activity, Times Square. In many ways, the book works as time capsule of that era-writers and filmmakers including Jimmy McDonough, Bill Landis, Mike McPadden, Steve Puchalski, Roy Frumkes, and Buddy Giovinazzo share their memories of the movie houses of Forty Second Street-and the dangers that were encountered while visiting them. Not limited to New York City, Xerox Ferox also concentrates on the drive-in theaters of the south. Other topics discussed include commercial Super-8 horror films of the 1960s and 1970s, the home video revolution of the 1980s, regional exploitation films, low budget filmmaking, and of course, self publishing, networking, and distribution.

Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781909394100
  • Publisher: Headpress
  • Publication date: 9/14/2013
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)
Meet the Author
John Szpunar is a freelance writer living in Detroit, Michigan. From 1998 to 2008, he co-ran Barrel Entertainment, a DVD company specializing in arthouse, gore, and sleaze films from around the world. Xerox Ferox is his first book of interviews.

Read an Excerpt
How I came to write this book (from the Introduction):
I started thinking about this book back in 2006. I had recently interviewed Deep Red editor Chas. Balun and fanzine veteran Steve Bissette. My idea at the time was to conduct and assemble a collection of interviews with some of the key people involved in the old fanzine scene. Not just any zine scene-I wanted to talk to the guys behind the horror film rags. Dirty little things like Subhuman, Slimetime, and Sleazoid Express.

I began working on things in earnest, but I quickly realized that I had started to spread myself way too thin. I started shelving a lot of the projects that I was involved with, and Xerox Ferox was one of them.

In 2011, quite by happenstance, I stumbled upon some ancient floppy discs and cassette tapes that had been patiently waiting in a box that I thought was long gone. The dust covered thing was labeled (in rather crude printing) "Xerox Ferox”. I decided to give the contents a once over, if only to relive a little of my past.

Before I knew it, the past became a big part of my present. I started making plans with myself to begin climbing the mountain that would eventually become Xerox Ferox.

I started out by transcribing the tapes. Shit, this stuff was good. Really good. But would anyone else be interested in a book about old fanzines? Would I be able to track down the people that I wanted to interview? And if I did manage to track them down, would they even care about the old boxes in their closets? Only one way to find out. I started making some phone calls.

One of the first people that I talked to was Jim Morton, the editor of Trashola. Jim was great-thoughtful, funny, and full of wonderful stories. I quickly transcribed the interview and made some more calls. Before long, I was talking to a lot of the old gang, and they were actually talking back. If I didn't have the contact information for a potential interview, it was almost guaranteed that somebody within my newfound circle would. Before long, I was looking at twenty, thirty, forty interviews. And that was only the beginning…

Xerox Ferox front cover.


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