My final panel on Thursday was in many ways an echo of one I attended earlier that day. Like the Creepy and Eerie brands, Famous Monsters of Filmland is another classic magazine that struggles with the process of balancing past and present. (In my opinion, recent issues haven’t entirely succeeded in doing so. It is now a glossy production with a high cover price and inconsistent quality.)
Nevertheless, in their annual “Stake of the Union Address” in Room 24, executive editor Ed Blair and publisher Philip Kim, made several announcements about expanding the Famous Monsters brand:
• Landon Computers will be producing “artwork” for PCs
• Hermes press will be publishing deluxe archive editions
• A Famous Monsters reality show is in the works
• An original movie is in development, written by Adam Wilson and Melanie Wilson LaBracio, the screenwriters of Trolls, which is coming from Dreamworks Animation in 2015
• A feature film is in development about the life of Forrest J. Ackerman (founder of the original Famous Monsters of Filmland)
Girogio Tsoukalos from Ancient Aliens was on hand to discuss the Roswell Cosmic-Con and Film Festival, recently held in New Mexico with plans to continue and make the annual event even bigger. In humorous detail, Tsoukalos described arriving in Roswell for this year’s convention. With his continued participation, it’s likely to gain more notoriety as time passes.
As for plans for the magazine, Joe Moe, Famous Monsters’ “link to Forry”, announced that the next retro issue of FM will be #193, reflecting the time period of February, 1984, when FM first went glossy and was making the transition from classic monsters of the past to slashers of the future. Not surprisingly, the retro issues of the current run are the most popular issues.
There will be an annual Kaiju issue published largely with the input of writer and associate editor August Ragone, who also sat on the panel. In fact, twice a year, FM plans to publish Monster Attack Team, a “huge glossy magazine” focusing on the giant monsters of which he is so fond.
Todd Masters (Masters FX) also sat on the panel and announced more features in the magazine regarding make-up and special effects. How-tos for doing your own makeup were staples of the original magazine’s run.
|The entire panel seemed thrilled that ESP Guitars will be producing a limited edition Famous Monsters guitar. Jeff Moore from ESP presented a prototype to the audience. It is indeed beautiful, inspired by issue #254 featuring horror legend Vincent Price.
Whether you loved Famous Monsters of Filmland as a kid or are discovering them just now, the brand is growing. There’s no doubt you’ll have several outlets for expressing your appreciation.