Saturday, August 20, 2016


Vol. 1 No. 1
MVP Entertainment, Inc.
Publisher: Steve Harris
Editor: Gina McIntyre
Pages: 84

When the 80s hit, the first wave of the pop culture phenomena known collectively as "monster magazines" were on their way out. The title that started it all, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, was in its final years under the helm of its original stewards, publisher James Warren and editor-in-chief, Forrest J Ackerman. Warren would suffer illness, forcing him to quit working and Ackerman would be lost without his stalwart partner for the previous 20-plus years. Indeed, it seemed like the moldering gothic castle was slowly giving way to the clean-room atmosphere of the space station. And, after the last liturgy faded from the huge success of THE EXORCIST in 1978 , change was inexorably in the air.

Other monster magazines had come and gone. Monster Kids from the 60s and 70s were growing up and the numbers who slavered, waiting for the next issue of their favorite monster mag to hit the newsstands were diminishing, now poised for the "next big thing". Pro-zines like CINEFANTASTIQUE (published from 1967 - 2006 and rebooted in 2007 as a webzine called CINEFANTASTIQUE ONLINE) was still going strong, but emphasis was more on newer films. Another pro-zine, STARLOG (published from 1976 - 2001, sold and folded from bankruptcy) was primarily a science-fiction magazine and articles about the vintage monsters us Monster Kids came to know and love were few and far between. LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS was one of the few fan magazines that "toughed it out" (and is still being published today) and kept its focus on classic horror films (albeit mostly British).

The success of TV's STAR TREK and the big screen blockbuster, STAR WARS, opened the door (or hatch) for a new era of technology-based science-fiction, fantasy and horror films. Of course, the magazines followed suit and covered what was popular to stay in business. Even FAMOUS MONSTERS reacted to the hot market of the two "Stars" by increasing its cover images and interiors with the high-flying science-fiction properties. The young upstart, FANGORIA, which began publishing in 1979, was a tooth-and-claw dedicated monster 'zine, but even though its editorial content would occasionally recognize its gothic roots by covering silent and 30s and 40s horror flicks, it would fill most of its pages with current and future fright fare.

Twenty years later, at the dawn of the new millennium, the monster magazine landscape looked a little different. Titles like SCARY MONSTERS were enjoying a decade-long run, and RUE MORGUE debuted in 1997. However, the venerable newsstand was disappearing and being replaced by the magazine rack inside "brick and mortar" book store giants like Borders and Barnes & Noble. Science-fiction and fantasy were still on the top of the heap so far as genre magazines went. Horror 'zines kept up the pace but were still being overshadowed by coverage of popular sci-fi TV and movie series.

In a seeming effort to resurrect the horror film magazine, in 1999 a Time Warner subsidiary-distributed magazine called WICKED hit the stands. Intended to fit in amongst its sci-fi competitors, the slick new publication was professionally designed and contained smartly written articles on the contemporary horror film scene. Lasting only 7 issues it tried to maintain relevance but couldn't keep up with the likes of RUE MORGUE, which wisely struck a balance between vintage and new horror.


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