A constant theme of my youth was trying out different fandoms. I criticize the nerds of today as being more interested in being into a fandom than in whatever that fandom is about, but I can’t deny that this was me as a kid. I wanted to be into Star Trek, though I didn’t watch a whole lot of Star Trek. I dabbled a very little in comic books. I theoretically liked science fiction. And there was also my Godzilla phase.
I had a model of Godzilla (there was a model-building phase as well) that had glow-in-the-dark pieces. I had a Godzilla jigsaw puzzle (there was a jigsaw puzzle phase). I bought the Marvel Godzilla comics. I loved everything about Godzilla except for actually watching the movies, which were too slow for me. When I was in the drugstore and saw the above cover of Famous Monsters, I couldn’t resist.
It was Godzilla that brought me in, but one inside the rest of the contents were fascinating. I read about all these old black-and-white scary movies, the actors in them, and the weird stuff for sale in the back. The next issue’s cover featured Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, and I had seen other Harryhausen movies, so that interested me as well and I got it. After that Star Wars took over the cover spot for a few months and you know how that was.
I would end up buying the magazine sporadically. If you look at the covers here, you can see a parade of things that would have caught my interest, especially the Alien stuff. It was the current movies that kept me buying, but I also dug reading about the classic horror movies discussed within. I of course wouldn’t actually watch any of the movies. Back then, before VCRs even, the best you could hope for was one of them coming on the Sunday Morning Movie, and the few times I watched those they scared the bejeezus out of me (even such later Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder as The Crawling Eye and Fiend Without a Face.) But reading about them was pretty interesting, and I fancied myself a horror movie “fan” based on these articles alone.
Soon, though, I would gravitate away from Famous Monsters and move on to Starlog, which was more my speed, and which I may talk more about later.
When did I get it? July, 1977 is the cover date here. I don’t know how on target those dates are, considering Star Wars doesn’t show up on the cover until two months later, despite premiering in May.
Do I still have it? Not a one of them.