Sunday, December 27, 2009

Magazine Logo Matches: Famous Monsters and Monsterland

After Famous Monsters of Filmland's longtime editor Forrest J. Ackerman left his job at the Warren magazine, he clearly was not ready to retire. Competitor Fangoria had a field day with the personnel turmoil at Famous Monsters, and they made the most of it by publishing a tell-all interview with Forry in Fango #24 (December 1982, see photo below); Forry's final, unpublished editorial (Fango 25, February 1983); as well as a couple original articles by Ackerman in later issues.

But I don't think Forry wanted to be Fango's favorite guest star, paraded in front of its fans like Augustus wanted to do with Cleopatra in Rome. So he must have kept looking for a magazine home, and before he ended up with the ill-fated and somewhat bizarre Famous Monsters revival, he was involved with a magazine called Monsterland. He exited that publication by issue #10 (the issue pictured above), but at least one aspect of that magazine surprised me when I recently came upon a copy of Famous Monsters and Monsterland. The "Monster" word in the logos of each is either identical in design or close enough that I certainly can't tell the difference. Go ahead, click on the photos above to get larger images. Can you spot any difference?

Why the copying? It's not as if "Monster" in that exact font and treatment was an automatic newsstand draw. Before he left, the magazine was known as "Forrest J. Ackerman's Monsterland," and I would think his name had more to do with whatever sales there were than the "Monster" name design.

And if you've never heard of Monsterland before, don't despair. I only vaguely recall seeing it on the stands at the time and I did not buy an issue. It was produced by Hal Schuster and James Van Hise, who also took the Trek-heavy Enterprise Incidents magazine and turned it into SFMovieland (see photo, right) -- another magazine that somehow managed to never be purchased by yours truly.

Today, of course, Ackerman is no longer with us, and neither is Monsterland. With a little more creativity and quality and originality, maybe Forry would've found it to be his long-term home, but that was not to be.

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