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FJA's Monsterland

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Publication.

Letter-size Cinema magazine printed on newsprint-quality paper, with some glossy pages. Published by New Media Publishing. Editor: Forrest J Ackerman to #9, then James Van Hise. 17 issues, February 1985 to Fall 1987. Publication schedule was nominally bimonthly, but in fact fairly erratic.

This was Ackerman's return to Monster Movie magazines after the demise of Famous Monsters of Filmland. FJA's Monsterland attempted to combine coverage of classic Horror and sf film with modern gore and Splatter Movies, a format which sometimes made for an unwieldy combination. Ackerman disagreed with the publisher over various matters including the direction the magazine should take. This contributed to his departure with issue #9 (April 1986), at which point the title became simply Monsterland. It struggled on for a time, adding actress Brinke Stevens as a magazine host bylined "Evila". Stevens's allure did not help sales, however, and the magazine soon ceased. Ackerman later complained that while he was away on other business the publisher would insert more material on splatter movies, of which he strongly disapproved. Given the popularity of Fangoria (1979-current) and of gore in horror films at that time, it is perhaps unsurprising that divided leadership led to the magazine's failure. All covers were either film scenes or staged photographs with Stevens or other performers.

Collectors should note that while the first issue is dated February 1985 on the cover, it is dated December 1984 on the contents page. All issues had a removable centrefold spread. Each subscription copy was sent out in a plastic mailer-bag; thus many remain in excellent condition. Two Fearbook Annual editions in identical format to the parent publication appeared in 1988, presenting a mix of reprint material and unused articles; these are more difficult to locate than regular issues. FJA's Monsterland was apparently also distributed in the UK for its entire run. A companion publication was SF Movieland. [GSt/DRL]

see also: Media Magazines.

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