Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fangoria's 300th Issue!

This month marks a pretty amazing landmark for horrorphiles.  This month marks Fango's 300th issue! 

A brief history of Fango's humble beginnings......

Fango started it's life as a fantasy magazine.  Originally conceived to be the "fantasy sister" to Starlog magazine.  It was originally to be called Fantastica, it was changed after Fantastic Films brought suit on an "unfair trade" basis. stating that consumers would be confused by the two magazine titles.  Thus it was rebranded Fangoria.  The first six issues were considered to be failures, loosing the publisher about $20,000 per issue! That's not a small chunk of change!  However, there was a great response to an article in issue #1 about Tom Savini's Special FX work on Dawn of the Dead.  Also, with the publisher sure that failure was imminent, they allowed editor Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin to reshape the magizines focus in a direct that he belived would work......which was focusing on horror.  Issue #7's cover featured Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, with ol' Jack's face glaring at us!

This is where Fango really started to take off!  Thank God Uncle Bob listened to the fans who wrote in tellin' him what they wanted!  My first issue of Fango was #113, which sported the Alien3 cover.  It was love at first sight!  I'll never forget browsing through that issue for the first time.  Being a video game geek as well, I went nuts over the article Horror In Gaming.  As a matter of fact, a recent conversation with my brother in law spurred me to break out my back issue collection and re-read that article.  Subsequently, I've been trying to track down many of the games mentioned in that article.  But that will be a blog for another time!   

Since that fate ful day in June, 1992 I've been hooked on this magazine.  Ninteen years and 187 issues later, I still anxiously await each new issue.  Especially now that the reigns have been shifted again, this time to one Chris Alexander.  The Schizoid Cinephile himself....the man who faced Dr. Uwe Boll in a boxing match and lived to tell about it!  See before Chris took over the magazine was feeling a bit strained....and was getting perhaps a bit wonky.  Not that wonky is a bad thing....some of my favorite movies are wonky........Killers From Space, anyone?  I digress.  After Mr. Alexander took over, he started to breath new life into the mag.  He brought in some new ideas that not only made the magazine seem fresh and new yet also brought a warm nostalgia back to the magazine.  All your favorites are still there....Monster Invasion, Dr. Cyclops, Nightmare Library.....but there are also some new columns in "The Gravy".  The Trash Compactor, Sound Shock and The Monster of the Month are all excellent new additions that remind my why I fell in love with the magazine in the first place!  

What can you expect from issue #300?  It is crammed from cover to cover with the 300 greatest horror films ever......as composed by the Fango staff as well as some guest writers from the genre world.  I'm only about halfway through the mag (been a bit busy lately) but I can tell you that ever title listed is indeed a fantastic movie.  It's not meant to be a list of definitive all time great movies....but rather a list of the movies that these folks hold near and dear to thier hearts.  I respect that.    That is why I continue to love Fangoria and I'll be eargerly awaiting the next 300 issues!


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