I've mentioned my love of monster movies more than once here; as a red-blooded American boy of the mid-20th century, it'd almost be de rigueur.
A large part of that was the magazine, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, which I read from the age of ten until its demise seventeen years later. The copy illustrated here is the first one I ever bought myself, having read borrowed or newsstand copies before.
Forrest J Ackerman, the Editor, was like that uncle who bought you toys and ice cream when no one else would....I remember getting his phone number (213) 666-6326 (or MOONFAN, as it was often put in FM) I called him a number of times, generally getting the answering machine, as Forry traveled a great deal, but occasionally reaching him. I remember back in the fall of '74, calling him whilst a dinner party was in progress...I could hear the unmistakeable voice of Vincent Price in the background, telling a joke. I asked Forry who was there, and he said, "oh, a few friends....Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury...." "Forry, please, would you call one of them to the phone?" "Now, Alan" he said, " you wouldn't want me to do that; that would be rude". He was right, of course.
Every other month, I plunked down my coins for this shared experience, celebrating the love of the unusual, and those who made it possible. FM folded in 1983, one issue shy of its 25th Anniversary. It has been revived, without Forry, who passed away in 2008, but I've never bothered to read it....it's not the same, nor am I.