Vol. 1 No. 23
Publisher: Mark Frank
Editors: Mark Frank, Ronald V. Borst, Jim Wnoroski
Cover artist: Bill Nelson
Like Larry Ivie's MONSTERS AND HEROES and other "semi-pro" genre 'zines in the 1960s and 1970s, PHOTON was sparsely distributed. When found though, it was well worth the hunt. Published by Mark Frank and co-edited by Frank, Ronald V. Borst and Jim Wnoroski, PHOTON is what you might call the "CINEFANTASTIQE of indie monster 'zines". The editorial trio took their monsters seriously, and as a result, the title has endured through the years as one of the best of its kind. I whole-heartedly agree.
The star-studded list didn't stop with these three, however. Add Forrest J Ackerman, Paul Jensen, Eli Savada, Greg Bear and Robert Sherl to the contributors, as well as artists Bill Nelson (who provided the superb cover of issue #23), Dave Ludwig and Richard Corben. Combined, they presented a visually appealing, insightful and erudite look at virtually every subject they put their collective minds to.
Issue #23 turned out to be a salute to the works of Tod Browning. In his editorial, Frank laments the fact that Browning (at that time) was not "universally accepted as a director of 'classic' horror films". He defended Browning by saying, "Most of us, however, credit him with establishing a mood that has come to be associated with horror at its atmospheric best." Bravo, Mr, Frank.
To punctuate the assertion, Eli Savada provides a history of one of the most controversial movies of any kind from the 1930s, FREAKS. Savada went on to write a biography of Browning with horror historian David J. Skal.
Paul Jensen, who has appeared as commentator on several "Making Of" special features on monster movie DVDs writes a retrospective of THE INVISIBLE MAN in this issue. Other material includes reader's letters and capsule movie reviews.
Artwork is interspersed throughout and is highlighted by the intricate lines of Bill Nelson, who went on to become an accomplished portrait artist.