Larry Ivie passed away this year. His Monsters and Heroes: The Magazine of Pictorial Imagination epitomized the growing fanbase whose interests spanned movies, comic books, and literature and where each intersected. Aside from his own creation, Altron Boy, Larry contributed to Eerie, Creepy, and Marvel Comics. In this issue, The Three Faces of Superman (for 1967, that is), and The Three Faces of Captain America (again, for 1967) appear, as well as "the original Flash Gordon," Siegfried: Son of Odin. A short article on Edgar Rice Burroughs The Monster Men is here to whet your interest, too.
By issue 16 of The Monster Times it was fairly apparent that this tabloid-sized monster magazine was well executed and keeping pace with the monsterkid-now-popular-culture-junkie that prowled the movie theaters and comic book conventions in the 1970s. Showing more editorial and article prowess than most of its brethren on the magazine racks, the first-person articles--written by the monster or pivotal movie character himself (or herself)--took a little getting used to, but it was different. In this issue Mighty Joe Young demands his rights while Godzilla makes it perfectly clear that he's announcing his candidacy for President of the United States. Keeping things a little more traditional is Jim Wnorski, writing on plant-based menaces in The Roots of Evil, andR. Allen Leider satisfying the country's need for a good old-fashioned horror film in Dr. Phibes Rises Again. On the comics front, Michael Uslan convinces us that Comics are Good Learnin! and there's a report on the 3rd San Diego Comic Convention. Highlights were an electrical failure that darkened the dealer's room, and some prankster dumped shark repellent into the swimming pool, turning it bright yellow. Those crazy fanboys!
In part 2 of Quasimodo's Monster Magazine issue 5, Lee Majors gets his closeup as The Six Million Dollar Man, Peter Lorre's life is revealed by Sharon Phillips in The Lorre Story, and Space 1999 blasts off. The Stepford Wives put in an appearance to. And along with the usual monsterkid mail-order goodies are perfumes, iron-ons, and an imported lock blade stiletto for $2.75 plus 25 cents shipping, and essential to round out your cosplay for West Side Story.
Jekyll and Hyde: Through the Years, by Steve Abrams, kicks off this jam-packed issue 5 of Quasimodo's Monster Magazine. Ron Weiss's Heroes of the Horrors gives credit where credit is due as he interviews Calvin Beck, and Judith M. Kass interviews Himan Brown, creator of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. Television coverage is provided for The Six Million Dollar Man and Space 1999, and Peter Lorre bio is given by Sharon Phillips. And, of course, the Gone Apes! section provides the gag-captioned photos we've come to expect from monster magazines published around this time. All in all, a stellar issue of monster coverage that's informative as well as entertaining.
Gammera the Invincible kicks off this issue 37 of The Monster Times, while the Planet of the Apes television series is given due attention, as well as the X-rated Flesh Gordon, that naughty version of our favorite planet-tripping serial hero. I recall seeing this oddity in a somewhat scrubby looking theater. Ah, the 1970s! Oh, and director Brian Clemens is interviewed. On the comics-side, The Spectre Returns, and there's the nifty Con-Calendar giving the rundown on upcoming conventions ("As with most gatherings of fans, the conventions often border on the insane, but the people are friendly and there's always a good chance you'll pick up some rare item for your collection."). In the Lousy Film Department is The Killer Shrews. Articles like Robots in the Cinema and part 2 of The Gothic Tradition in Film by Professor John Tibett make this issue a class act (in spite of the Flesh Gordon blasting all over the Universe coverage, of course).
The Monster Times was a cheeky blend of movie and comic book coverage for horror, science fiction, and fantasy fans. Its tabloid size, and very pulpy paper, were eye-catching on the newstand and aimed to capture the evolution of the 1970s pop-culture fan into a multi-genre consumer who sought out like-minded devotees of the fantastic and geeky. In this issue 40, Doctor Spector and the Monsters are revealed by Ron Haydock, Fay Ray Remembers with David S. Skipper, Gail Morgan Hickman gets Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Jim Danforth, and The Phantoms of the Opera article brings them out into the open. There's lots more, but I'll let you discover it for yourself.
Sporting another stylish cover by John Severin, Cracked's For Monsters Only issue 8 is chock full of great articles and a long, wonderfully ink-washed horror comic appearing after the requisite adverts. The usual photos with gag-captions abound. Richard Bojarski shines in this issue, writing two articles, Fantasy Films of the Forties (with a focus on Lon Chaney Jr) and Dwight Frye, the Mighty Midget of Menace (although I think Bojarski stretched a tad for that catchy title).