Friday, March 26, 2010

Forry tells his story

As a rabid fan of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND in my teens (and don't worry, I took rabies shots), I read this autobiography of FM creator Forrest J Ackerman with a lot of interest. I think Forry (or 4SJ, 4E, or "the Ackermonster," as he was also known) was an egotist, but it was that ego, injecting himself so heavily into the magazine, that created the reader's personal involvement. Forry's force of personality infused with the stories and pictures of monsters made his magazine successful while his imitators failed. Ackerman's autobiography follows the same pattern of familiarity, punning, creative spelling and stream of consciousness writing. It's like a letter from a friend.

In this excerpt from the book Ackerman explains the magazine's creation, his relationship to publisher Jim Warren, and earliest days of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND.

Forrest J Ackerman died in 2008 at age 92.

Copyright © 1986 IMAGINE, INC.


  1. What would being a kid be like if it wasn't for monsters? I really enjoyed this stuff when I was young, and Ackerman's autobiography brought it back to me.

    Thanks for the comments, Prof.

  2. HGE: Is there a figure more beloved (and I do not use that word lightly) in the horror community than Forrest Ackerman? That was a rhetorical question, but then you knew that.

    This post and article is a fine example of why. Great post! -- Mykal

  3. In retrospect, aren't you glad publisher Jim Warren made Ackerman aim it at young boys? Lots of people have written scholarly and intelligent articles about horror movies, but 4E's style in FAMOUS MONSTERS is what we remember, what we love about the magazine. I'm sure a lot of people who now write those scholarly articles once were fans of Forrest J. Ackerman.


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