MONSTER MAGAZINE review – Isaac Thorne

   

     Much like comic books and cinema before them, monster magazines went through a publishing
golden age a few decades ago. Magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria
brought together fans of the horror genre by way of nostalgia articles, interviews, reviews, and
coming attractions. Famous Monsters is still in publication, although seemingly without a stable
print calendar. Fangoria, with much applause and fanfare, is on its way back to print with a new
issue coming in October 2018. So, it’s fitting that Vance Capley’s simply titled Monster
Magazine very much evokes both the nostalgia and the fandom love of the genre of its
predecessors.

     I was skeptical when I got my hands on a digital copy of Monster Magazine, which features only
the publication title and its editor’s name on a generic cover that is only a solid background.
The inside pages, however, contain a bit of nostalgia for the 1961 film Konga, a couple of lists of
films shown on creature feature television shows, an interview with and centerfold piece by
artist Ricky Blalock, an article identifying some of the most surreal moments in horror film
history, and a horror comic book-style telling of H.P. Lovecraft’s Dagon illustrated by Capley
himself. It’s an impressive amount of information to pack into 34 print pages.
I do have a few suggestions for Monster Magazine that might make it more appealing for the
average horror fan. First among these is providing an actual magazine-style cover with some
stunning art (which Capley is obviously capable of producing). Although the trip down memory
lane is fun, it would be nice to include a new release section or review within the pages. If the
point of the magazine is nostalgia, perhaps include a regular column comparing a recent horror
film remake to its classic. There are certainly enough of remakes to make it work.
Interviews with actors, classic and modern, might also draw eyeballs to Monster Magazine. It
might be fun to visit with some actors from older films (who often appear at comic conventions
throughout the country) to discuss how their feelings have and have not changed regarding
their older work.

     Finally, the illustrated H.P. Lovecraft story in the issue I’m reviewing is a beautiful piece, and
certainly worthy of a prominent place on the cover. Hopefully, these types of adaptations will
be a regular feature of Monster Magazine.
Overall, Monster Magazine is worth a look if you’re nostalgic for some old-school horror and
the golden age of horror fan magazines. Capley is off to a good start.

You can get your copy of Monster Magazine here or here.

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