Wednesday, February 21, 2018

FANTASTIC MONSTERS OF THE FILMS NO. 1 (PART 1)


FANTASTIC MONSTERS OF THE FILMS
Vol. 1 No. 1
1962
Publisher: Black Shield Productions, Inc.
Editor: Ron Haydock
Editorial Director: Paul Blaisdell
Research Editor: Bob Burns
Associate Editor: Jim Harmon
Cover: Photo cover
Pages: 68
Cover Price: 50 cents

Back in the day, Paul Blaisdell and Bob Burns were bubbling over with imagination like test tubes in a mad scientist's laboratory. Put them together and you had at least double that. That's why it was no surprise that sometime in 1962, they decided to put out their own monster magazine.

And why not? Each had something to contribute and they both had a trove of movie still and other memorabilia that could easily be appropriated for the contents of their 'zine.

The idea was to make a monster mag for "older kids", you know, more mature than the pre-pubescent one reading "kids stuff" like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Plus, that Forry Ackerman guy and Blaisdell had a falling out after Paul's first appearance in FJA's publication. FM still showed films that Blaisdell had worked on within the pages of FM, but his name was never mentioned again. Towards the end of his movie career, Blaisdell was dejected and bitter with the Hollywood rat race, and the disagreement with Forry, even back in the late 1950s, might have been the tipping point of his disillusionment.

The working title of Blaisdell and Burns' magazine was originally FANTASTIC FILMS, but ended up deciding on using the longer (and similar sounding title to Forry's FM), FANTASTIC MONSTERS OF THE FILMS. Both versions used the close-up of Chris Lee as Dracula as the cover image.


Original title and cover concept (from MONSTERSCENE #5).
Bob Burns elaborated in an interview in MONSTERSCENE #5: "We originally wanted to call the magazine FANTASTIC FILMS not FANTASTIC MONSTERS. There was FANTASTIC FILMS later. The printer wanted to call it MONSTERS, and he was probably right tor the time. I think it had to be Monsters [somewhere in the title]. I think FANTASTIC FILMS at that time would have sounded too much like a journal magazine. He was right on that point. We had some really great ideas we wanted to do. Some we got through, some we didn’t. I brought Ron Haydock in on the thing. I didn't know how to edit and Paul certainly didn’t want to edit it either. I just wanted to be the research editor because I had all the stuff. In the first five or six issues every still in there was mine. I did the first two stories in the first issue, the one on DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and the one on DESTINATION MOON because I had so much material on both."

The first issue (shown today here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD) hit the newsstands in 1962. CV2lr3EE0i14x51U13s9






















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