It’s the news that shook the horror world: in 2018, following a slow evolution from monthly printing to website articles and then a notable hiatus, Fangoria rose from the grave. Prolific horror film producer Dallas Sonnier decided to take on the “Herculean task”, as he puts it, of resurrecting the magazine — in print.
Ten years ago, that might not have been such a huge deal, but with tablets and smartphones and websites and digital newsstand alerts on everyone’s radar, print is a difficult thing to pull off in 2018. We here at Famous Monsters are intimately acquainted with the process, so we thought it a natural move to sit down and talk shop with our fellow horror brand about staying relevant, reinventing the classics, and relying on good old print.
The name of the game is that Dallas Sonnier knows what he’s doing: having produced some of the most critically acclaimed and cult classic genre films of the past ten years — including BONE TOMAHAWK, DARK WAS THE NIGHT, and BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 — he comes into Fangoria with a clear sense of what works and what doesn’t in marketing new products. “We didn’t want to just put the magazine out again; we wanted to change it up a little bit, tweak it a notch, and go for something unique,” he says. “Make sure that it was competitive in the marketplace.”
This includes a quarterly publication, and while that might sound overly ambitious, Sonnier and his Editor in Chief Phil Nobile assure us that it will not be a waste of time. They plan to up the print quality, use heavy card stock, go to a perfect bind instead of a saddle stitch (which for many magazines is a make-or-break element these days), and include exclusive content that will not be offered on any digital platforms.
Not even a digital version of the magazine? Nope – digital content will be restricted to the website. “This will be a print only edition,” insists Nobile. “You have to put your devices away for two hours. We’re excited to offer that alternative to readers.” It’s the era of the coffee table read, after all: a magazine isn’t something you digest and throw away, but a keepsake for collectors and aesthetic hounds.
This is new territory for Fangoria who, during Famous Monsters’ lull in publishing from 1983 to 1993, carved out a huge amount of influence in the horror market with a monthly saddle-stitched publication known for its “gore” and frank approach to slasher films.
Where FM was always known as the classic monster magazine, Fango embraced the new school of franchise movies like HALLOWEEN and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and later on, b-movie monster romps like SLITHER and FEAST. If the cover photo made you cringe, it had to be Fangoria.
Regardless of its previous reputation, Phil Nobile is planning to sample everything at the table in this new incarnation. “As far as classic horror and new horror, we’re excited about all of it! It’s sort of like creating a dinner party — we’ve got this individual covering this film, and this person doing this end of the genre, and curating the right voices to cover the right parts of this enormous genre that’s grown so much in the 40 years since Fango first started,” he explains.
Sonnier is very straightforward about what horror should do to get noticed by him. “I don’t care if a movie is PG13, R, anything. I want it to be authentic, genuine, and never pander. As long as a movie is unflinching, rating aside… I want to watch something that someone has poured their heart and soul into.” Pure horror movie content — sounds good to us!
As of today, 5/1, the new Fango has opened itself to subscriptions and signups, so go give them some love! And stay tuned: this year’s Famous Monsters annual, aka FM #290, will feature an extended version of this interview, and both the FM annual and the first new issue of Fangoria will be introduced to the world in October 2018. It’s a double whammy of horror goodness. Holy F!
Click the logo above to sign up for some horror love. Also, keep careful watch on our social media… future FM-Fango collaborations are on the map. We love and support our fellow monster fiends!