Though the internet has lessened the need for traditional magazines, there is still nothing quite like flipping through a quality horror mag, be it the old dog (Fangoria) or the newer blood (the much more enjoyable Rue Morgue & HorrorHound). That being said, the market is admittedly a bit flooded when it comes to horror magazines, with still several others rounding out the pack, leaving little to no room for any kickstarts to make a name for themselves (much like in the horror blogosphere that I call home). It is for this reason that I am incredibly impressed to say that there is a new dog swingin' around in the park, one that looks to the past to offer a little bit something different to those who still crave their horror in print. It's called Mad Monster and though only one issue has been sent to the printer thus far, I feel pretty confident putting my stamp of approval all over this baby. If ya ask me, Mad Monster's future is so bright it oughta wear shades.
Again, much like with blogging these days, you really gotta do something different to stand out. Regurgitating news and content from the horror sites you dig just isn't gonna bring in the readers or impress anyone and the same goes for horror in print. I make this comparison because Mad Monster reads very much like a really fun and exciting horror blog, chock full of both entertainment and information. When reading a horror magazine or blog, you want to be both entertained and informed, reminded of why you love some of your favorite horror movies and introduced to other lesser known movies you perhaps had never heard of before. After reading Issue #1 of Mad Monster cover to cover, all of these criteria were more than met for me.
Rather than focusing on news or talking about brand new movies we've already read other outlets talk about, Mad Monster is more than happy sticking to the oodles of classic genre films history has already presented to us, shining the spotlight both on the founding fathers of the past who made the genre what it is today as well as on the more modern works that have come in their wake. It's truly a love note to the genre as a whole, as well as to the classic monster mags that have fallen by the wayside in recent times. What's old is new again and Mad Monster is a totally refreshing addition to the magazine rack, filling the gap between the mags that focus on the past and the ones that focus more on the present, and it's just waiting to be eaten up by hordes of hungry horror fans.
So what is it about Mad Monster that makes it so unique and awesome? Here are a couple of my favorite elements of the issue I currently hold in my hands ...
- Within the magazine itself are several pages that can be cut up, glued together and turned into a mini replica of the famous Bates house on the hill from Psycho. Watch the above video to see just how awesome this thing can turn out if done right. What other magazine serves a purpose like that even after you're done reading the whole thing?
- On both the right and lefthand corners of each page, there are small images that change ever so slightly as the pages progress. When gone through flipbook style, the images come to life. It's this kind of interactivity that really makes the magazine stand out from the pack.
- There's a full page ad in there warning against drinking and driving, with a little memorial to genre personalities Bob Clark and John McGarr, who lost their lives thanks to drunk drivers. Touching and totally unique little addition, with a really positive message to boot.
- Little ads promote faux products to send away for, calling back to the magazines of the past. This one features a sendaway ad for the Pazuzu demon statue from The Exorcist. I want one!
- The final page of the magazine features a horror themed crossword puzzle, which Jen and I spent a good half hour last night working on. It's not often I hold any horror magazine in my hands for that long at a time.
- Several exciting recurring features are set up, including Roadkill Gore-age, which profiles killer cars in horror movies, and Crypt Critters, focusing on killer animals. There's also a nifty 'What If?' feature, which in this issue ponders what would happen if Lon Chaney became Dracula, as was the original plan before his death. The article even goes so far as to feature images of what Chaney may have looked like had he played Dracula, Frankenstein and even The Joker. Once again, this kinda content gives the mag that fun blogging feel.
As you've probably gathered by now, the name of the game with Mad Monster is FUN. It's just plain fun from cover to cover, managing to make you feel like a monster loving kid again with each flip of the page. I cannot recommend this one highly enough, and I truly mean that. Like I said, the Freddy In Space seal of approval is stamped all over this thing and I am highly excited for the future of this little monster.
I must mention that while Mad Monster is an independently released newcomer to the game, that is not at all reflected in the quality of the magazine. The magazine is absolutely beautiful and is printed on very thick paper, making it perhaps the highest quality horror mag on the market, in terms of production value. On top of that, it's also the cheapest on the market, with each issue going for a mere $6.66. Shipping charges will also apply for most being that it's not yet available at too many retailers, but I have a feeling that's gonna be changing real soon. Want to help bring about that change? Head over to your favorite retailer and demand they carry it!
If you'd like to subscribe (yes please), you can pick up either a year (13 issue) subscription or a half a year (6 issue) one. Head over to Mad Monster for all the details.