Forrest J. Ackermans…..Famous Monsters!

Famous Monsters DraculaFamous Monsters was the magazine that set the imagination reeling, giving a look at still after still of this fantastic imagery from a different era. Being a kid obsessed with all things scary and spooky. This magazine shouted at me from the magazine rack. Even though Famous Monsters had been around for quiet sometime before I was born. It was nice to know that I wasn’t alone in wanting to know more about my favorite monsters.

What made the magazine exceptionally memorable, however, was the wonderful pun filled writing of FM’s legendary editor. His name was Forrest J. Ackerman. Every issue found “Uncle Forry” having a “fangtastic” time, recalling the moments from the monster movies that mattered. He was a whirlwind of pun slinging goodness with an encyclopedic knowledge of monster movies and he loved the fantasy, horror, and science fiction flicks so much that his passion and admiration won over an uncountable number of “Monster Kids” with the decades and new generations. He wrote about his huge collection of monster memorabilia and invited anyone interested to peruse the “Ackermansion” and give those priceless goodies a look for themselves.

Of the many articles and pieces that appeared in each fun filled issue of FM, I remember the mainstay tributes to Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff as being particularly noteworthy. “LON CHANEY SHALL NOT DIE” and “BORIS KARLOFF LIVES ETERNAL” said the headlines, and with every issue Uncle Forry made sure of it.Famous Monsters Bride

He was a friend to Boris and Bela (he even wore the ring that graced Lugosi’s hand in Dracula, given to him by the Count himself), and the inspiration to a countless number of current successful genre creators such as Stephen King, John Landis, and Tim Burton.Uncle Forry

On December 4th 2008, Forrest J. Ackerman passed away. As a Monster Kid (or Grandkid, as the case may be), there was no way to not feel a twinge of sadness at the news, despite Forry’s colorful and selfless 92 years. He was a wonderful representative of the fantasy genres and a worthy keeper of the legacies of so many classic films, filmmakers, and actors. In a tribute to his verve, he held visits to his home/museum (now scaled down to “Ackermini-mansion” size) as recently as 2008, and visited his myspace as recently as March 2008.

His own legacy is in no danger. His influence is felt virtually everywhere within the horror/sci-fi genre of pop culture, from the master works of Steven Spielberg to the 70’s esc films of Rob Zombie. Even today horror magazines like Rue-Morgue and Fangoria pay tribute to him in nearly every sing issue. Almost every person in the industry has given thanks to him. Most importantly, he resides in the hearts and minds of his hundreds of thousands of Monster Kids, Grandkids, even Great grandkids

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