Inspired by Ron Cobb’s Iconic FM 1968 Fearbook Cover
Former Mondo creative director Justin Ishmael, who licensed Cobb’s artwork from Famous Monsters,is thrilled to announce his 12-inch tall Galligantus soft vinyl figure!
Galligantus is the fist Japanese vinyl piece Ishmael has released. The original sculpt is by Handsome Taro and sofubi cast is by Luke “Grody Shogun” Rook.
Galligantus is the first of Ishmael’s new “Make-A-Monster” series, which is inspired by the classic model kits we all love. Your kit arrives unassembled in a vintage-style model kit style box, filled with the nine pieces that make the 2-Headed Giant, and then you simply slot them together — possibly with the help of a hair dryer to warm the vinyl, but no glue needed at all!
Cast in glow-in-the-dark vinyl, this monstrous beast comes with a spiked ball mace on a chain and assembly instructions featuring artwork by Ken Landgraf.
Available now for preorder on Justin’s website , these $200 apiece works will begin shipping in early 2017.
We took a break from the action with during the holidays but it’s time to pick up where we left off – the Final Four in our Classic Monster Magazine Challenge!
You may recall we kicked off the Classic Monster Magazine Challenge in October with 16 of the coolest (and corniest) monster magazines from the 1960s and 70s. Over the course of several weeks, readers chose their favorite magazine in daily head-to-head battles. As the field of 16 became 8 and, now, four.
The four magazines still standing are certainly worthy of the honor:
Castle of Frankenstein
Famous Monsters of Filmland
The Monster Times
All unique, all meaningful and important in their own way to us monster kids. But only one can claim the brass ring — in the contrived world of championships, the contest must continue until only one remains. The choice, dear readers, is entirely yours.
We wrap up the Monsterama series with a monster movie that is near and dear to me. On the heals of Star Wars, I was space crazy like most other pre-teen kids of the late 1970s. But I had never lost my love for monster movies. Famous Monsters of Filmland had effectively (to younger readers) folded the Star Wars generation into their world of classic monsters to stay relevant but also because George Lucas was himself a monster kid who had grown up under the influence of Uncle Forry and crew. Then, in 1979, the perfect merger of sci-fi and monster movies arrived to scare all of us Star Wars fans out of our seats.
My parent’s dropped my younger brother and I off at the theater and bought us tickets, giving permission for us to see Alien. It was terrifying. I was twelve and it was one of the first monster movies I had ever seen on the big screen. It was also the first R rated movie I had ever seen.
Needless to say, Alien had a huge impact on this monster kid and I take great pleasure in knowing that so many of the original props used in this terrifying monster in space movie are in the possession of the one and only Bob Burns. This episode of Monsterama takes us back inside his collection for a closer look at his amazing collection of movie memorabilia from the Alien franchise.
Basil Gogos is THE Artist for Generations of Monster Kids
Like a bizarro-world Norman Rockwell, Basil Gogos artwork changed the face of classic horror. For 25 years, Monster Kids delighted in his horrifying yet dazzling images of their ghoulish heroes on their favorite magazine covers. His film monster portrait art of Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. the Phantom of the Opera, and countless others graced the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland from 1960 until the end of Warren’s publication in 1985. His intense colour and bold, impressionistic brushwork gave a unique sense of drama and sophistication to these iconic characters.
In this episode of Monsterama, Elvira takes us on a journey back to those days when Basil Gogos’ artwork beckoned to us from the magazine racks like sone ghoulish siren calling us into the wonderful world of Horrorwood Karloffornia. Enjoy:
Collecting Basil Gogos Artwork
Basil is still with us and has kept much of his artwork within the family. While original paintings from the Famous Monsters era are quite hard to come by, some of his more recent work from the 1990s and 2000s are available here at Artnet – price available on request. Good luck!
Limited edition lithographs signed by Basil are currently available on eBay for $100 each. Here’s the Bela as Dracula version:
Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook by Dick Smith (Warren Publishing, 1965)
It doesn’t get anymore classic than this!
Monster Kids were way ahead of trend and were into DIY before Pinterest was even a glimmer in the internet’s eye. Inspired by their favorite monster movies and made aware of the master artists and creators behind these movies thanks to Famous Monsters of Filmland, Monster Kids of the 1960s were making their own Super-8 monster movies complete with homegrown monsters.
Always aware of their audience, Jim Warren engaged future -Oscar-winning make-up artist Dick Smith’s to publish this one-shot “how-to” magazine. To use a rather obvious metaphor, it was like pouring gasoline on a campfire. One of the definitive magazines of Monster Kid-dom, this Handbook included 100 pages of photo illustrated guides providing Monster Kids step-by-step instructions for making monsters.
In classic Famous Monsters’ style, the cover by Vic Preslo wasn’t shy in selling the awesomeness inside. In this case, it wasn’t an over promise!
How to have fun creating your own monster make-up
Over 250 Exciting Pictures
With Simple Easy-to-Follow Instructions
by Famous Make-Up Artist Dick Smith
The mag was reissued as a paperback byImagine Inc. in 1985 and can be found on Amazon:
As you’ll see in the following pictorial tour, the book progresses from the relatively simple Vampire and Ghoul #1 to the movie-worthy Quasimodo, Mr. Hyde and ‘New” Frankenstein Monster. Enjoy the tour:
I found a copy of this magazine at a newsstand in the mid-70s that was used but in good condition. I scoured the magazine repeatedly, drawing the images and practicing the make-up on my younger siblings. Here’s a shot of my younger brother with the Split Face make-up I did for Halloween – not too bad, if I say so myself! (The teeth have been wiped away because he’s been eating candy!)
This magazine is fairly easy to find – though finding a really high grade copy requires a bit of patience. Reader copies are frequently available in the $15 range and recent and copies in VG condition have recently sold on eBay for $45. While prices range rather dramatically on this magazine in high grades, VF/NM copies can be found in the $55-$75 range. Pretty nice appreciation for a with a cover price $.60 back in 1965. With patience, you can get a collectible copy – and you SHOULD own this book if you’re a collector or a 60s Monster Kid. At minimum, I’d recommend a reader copy of this magazine as well – its just so much fun to read!
In Episode 3 of Monsterama, Elvira takes a spin through Uncle Forry’s mini-Ackermansion and explores the making of the Ackermonster himself.
Watch and enjoy:
The first place to start with Forry’s impact on monster fandom is with Famous Monsters of Filmland the magazine. Many of us collect this wonderful time capsule. Publisher Jim Warren has a new project underway to release digital versions of the earliest issues of FM (the most valuable and hardest to collect).
Ackerman was a prolific author and published far too many books to list them all here. I have the following book in my library and can highly recommend it as it is focused on Ackerman’s collection of memorabilia much like the Monsterama episode you just watched:
I owe much of my love for classic monsters to Famous Monsters of Filmland and I know I’m not alone in that fact. I could write about Forry’s impact on me and all Monster Kids, and fandom in general, for weeks – and we probably should! But we’ll let this episode of Monsterama do the work for us and the recommended media above, which have done the job so well, take it from here.
In honor of the great Christopher Lee, this edition of the Classic Monster Magazine archives features issue 84 of Famous Monsters.
This was the second appearance of Lee as Count Dracula on the cover of FM (the first was issue #45 with great art by Ron Cobb), and a rare photo cover at this point in the magazine’s history. But what a photo it is, capturing the raw, animalistic spirit of Christopher Lee’s Dracula. I dare to say that even the pantheon of great FM cover artists could do nothing to increase the impact of this cover. The extreme close-up of those red eyes, bloody fangs and snarling expression of Christopher Lee says it all.
So, sit back and imagine the wonderful scent of the aging newsprint as I remove my copy from its protective bag and journey story by story through this classic monster magazine.
Famous Monsters of Filmland #84
Warren Publishing , June 1971
A blood-shot eye-full of Christopher Lee, our Favorite Living (?) Vampire.
The Monster That Conquered The World
It came from beneath the sea.
The Scream Test
Carradine…Rathbone…Buster Crabbe…in real brain-busters!
The Hunchbacks of Notre Dame
See Them All! From LON CHANEY SR. to Charles Laughton to Anthony Quinn to James Cagney. And beyond! An Outstanding Visual Horror Feature! Part II (Conclusion).
House of Dracula
Great Cast- Chaney, Carradine, Atwill, Strange – in Great Filmbook bulging with Great Pix! 19 Pages!
The Devil Commands (Does Boris Obey?)
Pictures & Plot of a Hot One of Yesteryear.
You Axed For It!
A Choice Selection for Your Delection of Monsterrific Pix that Approach Perfection!
Conclusion of the Great 1935 Universal Flick.
Mystery Photo #51
A Fright Pic to Puzzle Your Brains. (Aren’t You Lucky You have Two of Them?)
Girls & Ghouls Gallery
Portrait #11: She Stayed After School to meet The Mad Ghoul. What Made the Ghoul Mad?
The Newspaper of the Monsters, by the Monsters, for the Monsters, shall not Perish from the Earth.
Monsters of the Month
The Creature Question He can’t Answer Hasn’t Been Asked Yet! (Oops…)
Back Cover – Weird World of Aurora
Ad for Aurora’s Monster Scenes model kits
Mid-grade or reader quality copies of this issue are quite reasonable with several current eBay listings for this issue priced at under $10. My personal copy, which you see in the scans on this post, is in Very Fine condition and valued somewhere around $30. A Near Mint copy is listed at Nostomania for $42.
All of the FMoF covers featuring Christopher Lee are iconic but this photo cover just says it all. Lee’s Dracula was scary and Warren did right by letting the close-up of his face tell the story. I was too young to get my copy at the newsstand and was fortunate to buy an a large uncirculated lot off eBay several years ago. It is interesting that there is no feature story about Christopher Lee or Dracula in the issue but that’s not too unusual since the cover needs to sell the magazine and most of the articles in this issue were reprints from previous issues.
Ironically, the only reference to Lee in the issue is in the Professor Gruebeard Questions & Answers page wherein the captions beneath the pictures of Peter Cushing and Lee are switched. The question referring to Lee is from Grant Creeper of Torrance, CA, and reads:
Q: Does a fan club for Christopher Lee exist? If so, please give me the address, for I would very much like to become a member.
A: Not only does a Chris Lee fan club exist, it’s been thriving and growing strong for many years. For complete details, write to the club’s president. Mrs Gloria Lillebridge 281 Centerville Road, Warwick, R.I. 02886.
Ms Lillebridge was active in several genre fan clubs and a quick google search shows that she remains an active member of Monster Kid-dom.
I think I’m going to drop Ms. Lillebridge a modern postcard via email and see if she’s still running that fan club, because the man did more than earn it. The ranks of Christopher Lee fans have surely swelled since this letter appeared back in 1971 given Sir Christopher’s prolific career and roles in major film franchises including Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
Thank you, Christopher Lee, for filling my life with frights and fun! Rest well.
Breaking News! Famous Monsters of Filmland for Kindle
Famous Monsters of Filmland #10 October, 1962
There’s really nothing quite like the old Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines from the 1960s. I’ve been collecting this title for most of my life, but some issues I have never been able to get my hands on. Issue #10, for example.
Well, Warren just solved that problem for me by releasing a digital version of this magazine for Kindle over at Amazon. I’m hoping it’s the first of many issues to come.
I’ll keep looking for a high-grade copy of this issue for my collection — but now I can read it while continuing my search!
Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 4
Forrest J Ackerman Statue by Dark Horse
Another week, another post about this year’s nominees for the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category. Today’s subject is the Dark Horse tribute to every monster kid’s favorite uncle, Dr. Acula himself, Forrest J. Ackerman.
This article provides detailed specs of this figure, a video biography of this influential man, as well as a current pricing and links to several sites where I found it available to purchase. From one monster kid to another, please note that this site is an affiliate of some of these sites, which simply means we receive advertising revenue from them.
The Original Monster Kid
Forry was the creator, editor, and principal writer for Famous Monsters of Filmland. He was also one of the great collectors of classic sci fi and monster memorabilia. He displayed his extensive horror book and memorabilia collection in his Los Angeles home, affectionately called the “Ackermansion,” where for fifty years, he shared his collection with fans during open-house events.
To say he had far-reaching influence in the science fiction, horror, and fantasy community would be like saying Neal Armstrong was important in space exploration–it’s true in fact, but it simply doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. Uncle Forry, as he was known, is one of the founding fathers of monster fandom and almost every Monster Kid alive today can trace their lifelong love of all things fantastic to this man, the Original and Ultimate Monster Kid.
This statue is a tribute to this influential man and I give Dark Horse great credit for commissioning this piece. Really, it’s about time. Collecting is a big part of being a Monster Kid and it only makes sense to have Dr. Acula present on our collection shelf alongside the creatures and characters Ackerman loved as much as we do.
I’m a huge fan of Forry. Unlike many of my elder Monster Kid counterparts, I never got to meet him, but his impact on my childhood is massive. I was a 70s monster kid, and found Famous Monsters early in my youth. I bought every issue on the news stand starting in 1975 through it’s final issue in 1983.
As an adult, I’ve continued to collect Famous Monsters and have filled in many missing keys from the 1960s.
My affection for Forry is the primary reason I like this statue. Cipriano is an amazing artist and many of his works make me drool a little bit. This isn’t one of those, largely because the subject is harder to capture than a super hero or Frazetta warrior. That’s probably the reason I really like this statue, but don’t quite love it.
I don’t own it yet, but now that the original run is sold out at retail and the price is coming down from it’s original MSRP, I can certainly see spending $100 or so to honor the man himself if nothing else.
It’s a really nice piece, and I think it’s important to recognize the importance of Forry to monster fandom.
Anyone own this? Look forward to your thoughts.
The Digital Clubhouse for Monster Kids & Collectors of Classic Monster, Retro Science Fiction and Vintage Fantasy Memorabilia