by Aaron Einhorn
Not nearly enough science fiction fans realize the debt of gratitude they owe to Forest J. Ackerman. Uncle Forry (as he came to be known) was the father of science fiction fandom, and at his feet we can lay the credit for science fiction conventions (without which we wouldn’t have Comic Con), dressing up in costume for conventions, and the very term “Sci-Fi”.
We also owe a debt to Forest Ackerman for the creation of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, which was one of the first magazines dedicated to taking a behind the scene look at film-making in science fiction, horror and fantasy. Without Famous Monsters, who knows if we would ever have had Fangoria or Wizard?
Sadly, Famous Monsters largely left publication in 1983 (although an attempt at a revival was made in 1993). But fortunately IDW Publishing is now committed to bringing Famous Monsters of Filmland back to us with Michael Heisler at the head.
The full press release from IDW is below. And if you want to know more about Forest J. Ackerman, and what we as fans owe him, check out the fabulous documentary Famous Monster: Forest J. Ackerman.
Famous Monsters of Filmland, the classic sci-fi/horror/fantasy-specific film magazine that captured the imaginations of so many for more than three decades, today announced its return to print. FM has partnered with IDW Publishing, responsible for hit comic book titles such as 30 Days of Night, Angel, Transformers, and Locke & Key, to bring this new incarnation of the magazine to life. The new Famous Monsters magazine will begin its run on a quarterly basis starting in summer 2010, and will be available in major book retailers, comic stores, and online at famousmonsters.com.
Originally launched in 1958, Famous Monsters of Filmland was one of the first magazines to take readers behind-the-scenes of some of the most popular movies of present and past. Pulling the curtain back on the filmmaking process, the magazine became a lightning rod for legions of young fans, sparking the minds and hearts of future storytellers such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen King, and John Landis. Under the guidance of beloved editor-in-chief Forrest J Ackerman, credited with nurturing and even inspiring the careers of early contemporaries such as Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, and L. Ron Hubbard, the magazine brought monsters to life and made household names out of writers, directors, creature designers, FX artists, and monster makeup technicians.
Editorial duties for the magazine will be handled by Michael Heisler, a veteran of the comic book industry for over 20 years, with experience logged at Marvel Comics, WildStorm Productions and IDW itself. “FM was far and away my favorite magazine when I was a kid, and there has been nothing quite like it since,” said Heisler. “Our goal is to update that magic for a modern audience, with coverage of current horror in all its forms, while continuing to pay tribute to the classic films that started it all. Personally, I’m thrilled to be taking this step down the road that Forry Ackerman and ‘Chilly Billy’ Cardille put me on so many years ago.”
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, IDW Publishing has developed and produced some of the most popular titles in comics and garnered several of the industry’s most prestigious awards. IDW was named Publisher of the Year by Diamond Distributors four times and holds the distinction of being the only comic publisher to be named one of License! Global magazine’s ‘Top Global Licensees.’ The company is also recognized as being the fourth largest comic distributor in the U.S.
“Famous Monsters is partially responsible for my lifelong love of horror, so to be involved in helping the magazine relaunch itself into the dreams-or nightmares-of new generations of fans is amazingly gratifying to me,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief. “Phil Kim’s plans for the magazine are respectful to the brand’s history and very forward-thinking at the same time, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
“I’ve always loved Famous Monsters, and when I discovered an opportunity to reinvent the brand for modern times, I jumped at it,” said Phil Kim, FM‘s Senior Manager. “Knowing the legacy and the great expectations that came with this iconic trademark, I looked long and hard for a suitable company with an impeccable reputation for quality and respect. After a two-year search, I am proud to announce our partnership with IDW.”
Famousmonsters.com is a dynamic online portal for all things relating to genre-specific entertainment. Visitors to the site will experience a rich and multifaceted world comprised of videos, games, contests, shopping, social networking, and news.
About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The Transformers and G.I.JOE; Paramount’s Star Trek; Fox’s Angel; the BBC’s Doctor Who; and television’s #1 prime time series CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studios; and is the print publisher for ComicMix.
IDW’s original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com.
Famous Monsters of Filmland (words and distinctive lettering design) is a registered trademark of Philip Kim. Reproduction or use of the FM name or logo in any manner, including but not limited to internet “tribute” sites without express prior written permission from the trademark owner is strictly prohibited. All contents of website ©2008 Philip Kim. For more information visit: www.famousmonstersoffilmland.com.
(Source: IDW Publishing)