Tag Archives: Monster Magazines

Classic Monster Magazine – Famous Monsters of Filmland #84

Classic Monster Magazines

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 1971 Christopher Lee Cover

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84

Warren Publishing , June 1971

A blood-shot eye-full of Christopher Lee, our Favorite Living (?) Vampire.

Magazine Contents

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Contents

The Monster That Conquered The World

It came from beneath the sea.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 The Monster That Challenged the World

The Scream Test

Carradine…Rathbone…Buster Crabbe…in real brain-busters!

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Scream Test

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).

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Hunchbacks of Notre Dame Article

House of Dracula

Great Cast- Chaney, Carradine, Atwill, Strange – in Great Filmbook bulging with Great Pix! 19 Pages!

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 House of Dracula

The Devil Commands (Does Boris Obey?)

Pictures & Plot of a Hot One of Yesteryear.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 The Devil Commands

You Axed For It!

A Choice Selection for Your Delection of Monsterrific Pix that Approach Perfection!

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 You Axed For It pg 48

The Raven

Conclusion of the Great 1935 Universal Flick.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 The Raven

Mystery Photo #51

A Fright Pic to Puzzle Your Brains. (Aren’t You Lucky You have Two of Them?)

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Mystery Photo page 55

Girls & Ghouls Gallery

Portrait #11: She Stayed After School to meet The Mad Ghoul. What Made the Ghoul Mad?

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 page 55 Girls And Ghouls

Graveyard Examiner

The Newspaper of the Monsters, by the Monsters, for the Monsters, shall not Perish from the Earth.

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Page 58 Graveyard Examiner

Monsters of the Month

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Page 59 Monsters of the Month

Professor Gruebeard

The Creature Question He can’t Answer Hasn’t Been Asked Yet! (Oops…)

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Page 66 Professor Gruebeard

Back Cover  – Weird World of Aurora

Ad for Aurora’s Monster Scenes model kits

Famous Monsters of Filmland #84 Back Cover Weird World of Aurora Ad

Collectors Value:

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.

Summary

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.

 

Classic Monster Magazines

 Classic Monster Magazines

Every few weeks, I will go in-depth on a classic monster magazine from my personal collection. We’ll kick this new series off with one of one my favorite comic book monsters, the Man Thing …

Monsters Unleashed #5

Marvel Comics Group, April 1974

Monsters Unleashed! Magazine April 1974. Cover art by Bob Larkin

Fantastic Cover by Bob Larkin

Printed on the interior of both the front and back covers, a poster of the “most startling swamp creature of all” which, of course, you had to remove the cover to hang!

IMG_3441

Special Bonus: Giant-Size Man-Thing Pin-Up  

a double-page pin up of everyone’s favorite swamp creature, ready to hang on your bedroom wall and drip slime over your carpet

Magazine Contents

Man-Thing: All the Faces of Fear  

a horror from the past comes back to haunt the Man-Thing…and this time only one of them can possibly survive.

  • Written by Tony Isabella
  • Art by Vincente Alcazar

Man-Thing: All the Faces of Fear from Monsters Unleashed #5

Great splash page of the Man-Thing battling a pack of gators in the swamp apparently to protect that  mysterious leggy cloaked woman standing in the background.

Man-Thing

I’ve always been a Man-Thing guy–Swamp Thing just looked too human for me.  But Man-Thing is clearly a creature of the swamp, a muck monster.  With his trip-tentacled face and black eyes, he fit right into my empathetic + frightening formula for a classic monster. I’m still a sucker for any comic with him in it.

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad                                                                                                              

Review and reflections of the brand new Columbia/Harryhausen epic.

  • Written by Gerry Conway

Golden Voyage of Sinbad - Monsters Unleashed! 1974

Peter Stubb: Werewolf
  • Written by Tony Isabella
  • Art by Ron Wilson

Peter Snubb: Werewolf! Monsters Unleashed #5 1974

The Dark Passage

Nick Raftis was a murderer.  He was tried, convicted, and jailed. Then Nick escaped…only to be hunted by the very ones he killed.

Dark Passage - Monsters Unleashed 1974

Glenn Strange, Frankenstein: Monster fo Dodge City

Recently, he starred on TV’s Gunsmoke as Sam the Bartender. But to monster fans everywhere, he will be remembered as the Frankenstein Monster. A tribute to the late Mr. Strange by expert Don Glut.

  • Written by Don Glut

Monsters Unleashed Curtis Magazines Marvel Comics

Demon of Slaughter Mansion

Twice before we’ve promised this story. Twice before it failed to see print.  Now, at last, you can finally read the terror-tale that was too hot to publish.

  • Written by Don McGregor
  • Art by Juan Boix/Pablo Marcos

Demon of Slaughter Mansion - Monsters Unleashed! Marvel 1974

Monsters in the Media

An in-depth look behind the movies, the books and the television plays that have been bombarding you in the past, and will be clawing your way in the future.

  • Written by Carla Joseph

Monster in the Media - Monsters Unleashed! #5 1974

The Werewolf Tale to End All Werewolf Tales!

A honeymoon is not the best time to track down a monster. Yet, what happens when a monster tracks down you?

Werewolf Tale to End All Werewolf Tales - Monsters Unleashed! 1974

Frankenstein 1974: Once a Monster…

His mind is no longer his own, for it has been transplanted into the body of a monster…and Own Wallach can do nothing but scream in horror..or resort to – murder. A Frankenstein special.

  • Written by Gary Friedrich
  • Art by  John Buscema/Winslow  Mortimer

Frankenstein 1974: Once a Monster.... from Monsters Unleashed #5

Curtis Magazines

was the name of an imprint used by Marvel Comics to publish black and white magazines between 1971 and 1975.   Marvel saw the success Warren was having with their black-and-white Horror anthology magazines and wanted a piece of the action.   Marvel’s editor, Stan Lee, and the mighty Marvel Bullpen were challenging Comic Code authority through their mainstream color comic books with stories about drug abuse in Amazing Spider-Man and the like. Magazines, however, were outside the Comic Code’s jurisdiction entirely making them fertile ground for edgier subject matter like horror and monsters.

The paper stock Marvel used was pretty low quality compared to their color comic pages, and finding VF+ grade books from the Curtis imprint is no small feat.  They’ve appreciated in value nicely over time.

Monster Magazine subscription ad- Marvel Monsters Unleashed! 1974

Collectors Value:

Monsters Unleashed #5 has a increased in value nicely over the years, with NM currently priced around $39.   My personal copy, which you see in the scans on this post, is in Very Fine condition and valued at around $26.

Summary

I started buying comics when I was 4 years old and loved the circular racks at my local convenience store.  I drifted to the magazine rack through the gateways of Mad and Cracked magazines as well as the Treasury Edition comic books that were too big for the comic rack.  It was then that I discovered the brave new world of Warren and all these great anthologies, now classic monster magazines.  My parents just thought they were oversize comics and I had no problem getting them — Vampirella was a different story, but then the covers usually gave the contents of those books away to parents.

I still love these classic monster magazines with their fantastic painted covers featuring some great monsters.  The combination of 1950s horror comics together with original stories from the 1970s only enhance the charm for me since I wasn’t around the great over-the-top horror comics of the 1950s.  In short, these magazines mean a lot to me and always will.