Monsters and Martians menace racksWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Though it’s not a comic book, the classic Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine is so intertwined with the comics industry and its fans that a celebration of its return was unavoidable. Last year, the magazine that mothers loved to hate could again be found on the racks, this time under the auspices of comic publisher IDW.
Famous Monsters of Filmland No. 70, a “retro” issue, arrived last week.
“I dig this,” said Jim Collins of JC’s Comic Stop. “Because it’s a) a throwback to the late 1960s; b) it’s printed on newsprint; c) it’s got the former Governor of California on the cover; and d) because it’s Famous Monsters! IDW Publishing recently got the rights to resurrect the monster magazine. This issue is special because it was decided to fill in the ‘missing’ run of Famous Monsters issues No. 70-79 that never existed; instead, a companion title called Monster World ran for 10 issues [in its place in 1970].”
The legendary Forrest J. Ackerman, a science fiction and horror fan, created Famous Monsters in 1953 as a tribute to all those classic horror films of the past and to impart news of then-current pictures. Ackerman’s unique, punning sense of humor and devotion to the movies and their actors made the magazine the go-to monster source for an entire future generation of writers, artists, filmmakers and comic book creators.
Also in Collins’ picks is this week’s “Warlord of Mars” No. 5 from Dynamite Entertainment, a book that the late Ackerman would have loved.
“The title of this comic really should be ‘John Carter, Warlord of Mars,’” Collins said. “Most customers look under that title when the new issue comes in. I’m not sure if it’s because of the Marvel series from the ’70s with that title, but no matter, this is Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic character brought back to life and he’s taking no prisoners. As good as the previous comic adaptations were, this one takes it to a new level.”
Jim Beard has two upcoming appearances for his essay book “Gotham City 14 Miles.” He will appear April 26 at the Sylvania Library and May 13-15 at the Motor City Comic Con. Check out the “Gotham City 14 Miles” Facebook page (www.facebook.com/gothamcity14miles) for details and updates.