Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Vol. 1 No. 1
February 1962
Gothic Castle Publishing Company
Publisher: Calvin Thomas Beck (as Charles Foster Kane)
Editor: Larry Ivie
Cover: Larry Ivie
Pages: 68

The magazine most often cited as the closest competitor to Warren's FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND is CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Calvin Thomas Beck (using the pseudonym of Charles Foster Kane in early numbers) was the creator of CoF and this, the first issue, was published in February 1962.

Beck had been on the editorial staff of famous body builder Joe Weider's many magazines and, after noticing the buzz surrounding FM, decided to try a one-shot monster magazine of his own to see if it would stick. The result was JOURNAL OF FRANKENSTEIN and it gained little traction on the newsstands. However, Beck would not be denied and, after leaving Weider (whose wife was pin-up model and business associate Betty Brosmer), he came back in 1961 with the development of a less-expensively produced magazine (JoF was printed on slick paper).

The first issue of CoF bears the distinctive design characteristics of the magazine's original editor, Larry Ivie. Ivie would go on to produce his own fan magazine, MONSTERS AND HEROES, but would first cut his teeth on handling the editorial chores and graphic design of CoF. Ivie's rough layout style is in full evidence here and one does not necessarily need to look closely to see several instances of paste-up lines, even on the front cover.

Printed under the name Gothic Castle Publishing Company CoF was distributed by Kable News. It would last for two decades and twenty-five issues (plus a Yearbook in 1967) before Beck shelved his project to move on to other writing projects. It was resurrected by entrepreneur Dennis Druktenis, who published a few more issues of the title, including a handful under the JOURNAL OF FRANKENSTEIN name, while he was publishing his own magazine, SCARY MONSTERS (whose initial run just ended with #100).

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