One of the more visually exciting monsterkid magazines was Fantastic Monsters of the Films. With a simple use of basic colors sprinkled throughout, and wall-suitable (if your parents didn't mind the tape marks) mini posters to make any monster fan salivate, each issue was quite a treat. Great photo coverage of classic horror movies and their stars made for an enjoyable read. Don't forget, this was at a time without the ubiquitous availability of media and movies that the Internet now provides (or impedes, depending on your viewpoint). Of note in this issue is coverage of Castle of the Monsters, a Spanish monsterfest production and Curse of the Faceless Man, one of my guilty pleasures. Here's the comic book reader version for you mobile monster types: Download Fantastic Monsters of the Films V2-1 (This copy comes from the creepy archives of Professor Kinema, who has graciously shared a metric ton or so of cool monster stuff over the ZC years.)
More Fantastic Monsters in the Closet: Issues 1, 2, v2-1,
Hammer's Psycho-inspired entry, Paranoiac, is a good one for Oliver Reed. His smoldering good looks just make him all the more sinister. Note the Universal International stamp on this Mexican lobby card for the movie.
With issue 4 of Castle of Frankenstein, the layout is easy on the eyes and the articles abound. Freaks, The Haunting, Blood of the Vampire, Black Sunday, Nosferatu, and Kiss of the Vampire are covered. So is George Pal, the Mummy, our feathered friends, and Lon Chaney Jr (second part). This issue, it can be argued, is the first one to show COF's appeal to the mature horror and fantasy fan. Comic book reader version: Download Castle of Frankenstein Issue 4 (Thanks to Professor Kinema for this copy from his archive.)
Lots of great ballyhoo in these pages for Tarzan's New York Adventure. Cheeta gets his spotlight and the coloring contest page has a lot to offer. And just in case you theater owners have trouble getting the girls in to see Tarzan, just "set femininity to searching for Tarzan's mate" by hiring a girl dressed up as Jane to look lost in the theater lobby. Of course, the skimpier the dress up, well, that would bring in the guys, too. Comic reader version: Download Tarzan New York Adventure Publicity
The tie and tails did it for me. I did a stint at the Magic Towne House in Manhattan many moons ago as a kid show magician on the weekends. I managed their small magic shop the rest of the week. My favorite tricks were the Lota Bowl, Silken Serenade, and the Die Box. I worked out enough fakes to outwit the smart alecks in the audience. Who doesn't want to be a magician, especially a dapper one like Mandrake? (This listing on eBay is from sheetzacacapoopoo. Hey, I can't make this stuff up.)
Castle of Frankenstein No. 3 has more coverage on Frankenstein's Monster, of course, but also a nice spread on Night Creatures, a scathing review of Something Wicked This Way Comes by someone named Erik (I wonder what novel he was reading), and a little serial hero highlighting. Frankenstein's creation runs amok in Kansas and the villagers love it, and young amateur monster makers get some notice. Sorry for the small hole in page 3: hey, it was a well-read copy, what can I say?). And of course, thanks to Professor Kinema (Jim Knusch) for providing his archive copies for my scanning monster to devour. Here's a comic book reader version for you to devour: Download Castle of Frankenstein Issue 3
eBay seller yesterdaytreasures14 listed this Halco Monster Man Halloween Costume. That graphic image on the vinyl suit is awesome. Can I get that in a color poster, say 6 feet high, please! I get goosebumps imagining Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Team running away from him. Arrghhh!
The second issue of Castle of Frankenstein kicks into gear with an improved layout, the dropping of the cartoons, and more substantial coverage of horror cinema with good use of photos. Larry Ivie provides an illustrated story and there are fun advertisements to bring back memories of sending cash in the mail and endlessly waiting for the goodies to arrive. Comic book reader version: Download Castle of Frankenstein Issue 2. (This copy courtesy of Professor Kinema.)
Not quite the costume I'd have in mind for a Halloween party, but if they tossed in the stun whip (STNG: The Last Outpost) I might be tempted. The whip would certainly liven things up. (NewYorkFind on eBay listed this one.)
A few years after Journal of Frankenstein hit the magazine racks, Calvin Beck (with editing by Ken Beale) returned with Castle of Frankenstein in 1962. The magazine's hand-pasted layout had not improved (no digital publishing tools back then), and this first issue went for the pictures and humor approach. Still, Zacherley's Wife Contest and TeeVee Jeebies hint at the more varied coverage to come in later issues. This copy courtesy of Professor Kinema. Here's the comic book reader version: Download Castle of Frankenstein Issue 1