I hold in my hands right now the historic first issue of Fangoria magazine, which was published waayyyy back in August of 1979, nearly a decade before I myself was published. Prior to Christmas morning, I had never before seen this magazine in person, and now thanks to my brother I'm the proud owner of a nicely framed up copy!
Fangoria magazine was originally titled Fantastica, but the publishers were sued over the use of the name, by Fantastic Films magazine, and were forced to come up with something different. Thus, Fangoria was born, and the magazine proceeded to tank right off the bat, with its focus mostly on fantasy films.
Issue #1 featured a three page color spread on Tom Savini, and it was the incredibly positive reader response to that piece that is largely responsible for the publishers making the change from fantasy to all out horror. Special effects particularly became a focus of the magazine, and with the focus on horror over all else, Fangoria finally began to turn a profit. The rest is of course history.
Though this magazine is a really awesome display piece for my office, and it will spend the majority of its time with me housed inside the glass frame, I'm having a blast right about now reading through the magazine. It's like traveling back in time, and it puts a huge smile on my face to imagine that this very copy that I hold in my hands was at one point purchased and read by some young kid, who through it was introduced to Tom Savini, The Amityville Horror and Alien. I don't know why I just italicized Tom Savini, as if he was a movie, but I'm not gonna change it. I kinda like it. If any human being deserves to be italicized, it's Tom Savini.
Before the internet, Fangoria was really the only place to go to learn about horror movies, and for that I forever respect, love and appreciate the magazine, even if I feel that nowadays it's far from the best horror magazine on the newsstand. HorrorHound and Rue Morgue may have eclipsed it, but Fangoria will forever be the king of all horror magazines.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go pretend it's 1979 and that I'm eight years old, and I'm gonna read through this while lying on my bedroom floor. I'm hoping that at least for a moment, I can recapture the magic of what that must've been like, before crash landing back to reality, and back to my miserable and stressful adult life. Ah, to be a kid again!