Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fangoria Shows How It's Done

Roger Corman!

It's not often that a magazine really impresses me with big name after big name in its pages. I think you'd have to go back to the old Playboys of the late 1960s, early 1970s when sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices would write articles in the same issues where you'd find also find contributions from the biggest authors, entertainers, U.S. senators, and even philosophers and clergy in the country. So let me put forth the latest magazine that really impressed me: The 30th anniversary issue of horror film bible Fangoria.

As I paged through the 100-page special issue, I kept getting surprised by each new name I saw, either someone interviewed or even the authors of articles. There's director Joe Dante writing a tribute to Italian film master Mario Bava. John Landis (John Landis!) writing an appreciation of Jamie Lee Curtis. Director Mick Garris does the honors for Stephen King, Roger Corman does Vincent Price, Virginia Madsen does Christopher Walken, and on and on and on. And then there are the people who were either interviewed about themselves or who wrote about themselves for the magazine: Bill Paxton, Udo Kier, Tobe Hooper, Peter Jackson, David Cronenberg, Bruce Campbell, and of course on and on. There are also personal anecdotes by or about the people who have built the magazine over the years, including former publisher Kerry O'Quinn, former editor Ed Naha (also a former editor of the long-defunct Future Life from the same publishing house), former editors Bob Martin and David McDonnell (who's also the longtime editor of Starlog), and others. Oh, heck, there's even an original cover painting by Clive Barker.

When I've written on this blog before about my impatience with magazines that don't appear to even be trying, this is the antidote. Fangoria ("Fango" to the faithful) has really flexed its muscles with this issue, showing why horror fans need to pay attention to it. That's a successful effort. Congrats -- on the anniversary issue and on the three decades.

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