While it’s not my first column here at the blog, I did want to take a moment to extend a welcome to all of you before I huck my wares. “For Whom the Blog Tolls” is my own little corner of the FM digital universe where I’ll be discussing the things I’m working on here at FM (magazines, conventions, interviews, office drama, events) as well as whatever it is that I’m having fun with and think you might want to know about as well (books, movies, comics, video games, fashion models). Not everything here will have to do with classic monsters, but the idea is that you get to understand what your EDitor is all about. Some posts might be long, in-depth reviews while others will be barely longer than a tweet, just catching you up on where we are with certain projects. So welcome. Enjoy. Stay and look around a little bit. Be entertained. Be educated. Be enlightened. . .
Now, onto the business. The latest issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS is getting ready to head to the printer within the hour. This is our Halloween issue, #270, and is centered around the Mexican monster movies of the masked fighters El Santo, Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon, and the rest of the luchadores! This idea came to be for a couple of reasons: First, I am a HUGE wrestling fan. My dad (a very accomplished M.D. who ran his own practice with over 10 doctors for more than 20 years) grew up watching pro wrestling. He loved it so much that he made sure his boys inherited that love—and boy did we ever. This was a perfect opportunity to take something that I loved and share it in the pages of FM with all of you. It’s a wonderful part of monster history that hasn’t gotten a lot of real estate in the pages of FM, but that it certainly deserves to have.
It all starts with the unbelievable cover of Santo gorilla pressing the Wolf Man while the lady vampires wait in the shadows, preparing to strike. This cover was created by our cover artist Terry Wolfinger, who also painted the Kirk Hammett limited edition Comic Con variant for #269.
- TERROR BY DESIGN: D.M. Cunningham chats with Robert Englund and Wes Craven (Freddy Krueger and the director of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST., respectively) about the creation of Freddy’s famous glove. We’ve got a few never-before-seen shots, including a blueprint.
- 80 Years of THE INVISIBLE MAN: We’ll look back at the terrifying film that put Claude Rains on the map as one of Hollywood’s top talents as well as dissect John Fulton’s incredible special effects that were decades ahead of their time.
- The Doctors: Alex West takes a long, hard look at the films centered around those doctors who have eschewed their oaths to help people and have instead taken it upon themselves to spread terror.
- BEAST IN THE WORLD: CM Punk is one of the world’s most famous professional wrestlers and entertains millions of people every week. But when he’s traveling around the country on his tour bus he’s watching HALLOWEEN, old DARK SHADOWS episodes, and any other piece of monster entertainment he can get his hands on. He’s been a Monster Kid for as long as he can remember. I had the great privilege to sit down with my fellow Chicagoan and chat about all things monster.
- VIVA LA LUCHA! Now we get into the meat of it all. Our lucha section is one of the most complete resources for the genre you’re going to find. We’ve brought in a crack team consisting of Dan Madigan, former WWE employee, screenwriter for SEE NO EVIL, and author of the definitive lucha book, MONDO LUCHA A GO-GO. Keith J. Rainville, author of the fantasic ZOMBI MEXICANO and proprietor of www.frompartsunknown.net, and Todd Stadtman, whose wonderful reviews of Lucha Cinema can be found at toddstadtman.com/luchadiaries.html. Here you’ll find an introduction to the culture and the cinema of the luchadors and monsters, biographies of the most famous of the masked monster slayers, a breakdown of lucha creatures and their English-language counterparts, lucha comics, art, and toys, and a few pieces about the masked wrestling heroes of Japan, Aztekaizer and Ultimo Dragon.
- Anniversaries of the Living Dead: We celebrate 45 years of Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and 35 years of DAWN OF THE DEAD. We chat with Romero and others from the cast and crew as we re-examine just what it was that made these films so memorable.
This issue is a perfect encapsulation of the Halloween spirit: Masks, monsters, scares, fun, and lots of (eye) candy. Head on over to www.captainco.com to grab a copy before they’re gone!