Famous Monsters’ Famous Forry at Comic-Con

By Mark Ramsey | 2008/07/28

ackerman.jpgIt was 30 minutes before the panel which bore his name, but nobody knew if Forrest J Ackerman, the co-founder of Famous Monsters of Filmland, was coming or not.

Forry’s 92, you see, and frail.

This is the 50th anniversary of FM, one of the rare magazines that all but vanished years ago yet still inspires a cult following today among fans and collectors alike.

What was designed as a Q&A with a horror icon rapidly became a tribute to one of the giants of my monster-loving youth. And not just me, but all the kids who assembled and painted those Aurora monster models, who hung the Frankenstein posters and bought the monster masks, who scheduled their week around those Friday late-night “Shock Theater” movies with the zany, kitschy local horror hosts.

“Forry might come rolling in any time now,” said host Verne Langdon, “but if he does let’s all ignore him,” he said with a chuckle.

At Langdon’s side was Forry’s Famous Monsters co-founder, Jim Warren.

“I’ve met exciting people in this business, but Forry is not one of them,” said Warren, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

“I first met Forry in a hotel,” said Warren. “He approached me wearing a bolero looking like Dwight Frye’s testicles. It was instant rapport – we had the same sense of humor.”

You know you’re in the presence of horror legends when the metaphors illustrate the private parts of classic Hollywood B-stars.

Forry is one-degree from virtually every notable classic horror star. Witness the story of Forry’s introduction to the man who played Frankenstein’s monster:

“You’re Boris Karloff,” Forry said.

“Well, the last time I looked I was,” said Karloff.

Ackerman was then introduced to Karloff, who said “I see you love the monsters as much as I do.”

Ackerman beamed.

And so shall we all.

Next up was another panel devoted to 50 years of FM, and there – holding court in front of the microphone – was none other than the man, myth, and legend rolled into one: Forrest J Ackerman himself.

How many times have you seen Metropolis, Forry?

“111 times – to date,” he replied.

Forry’s hearing isn’t what it used to be, but his pun-filled sense of humor has not diminished one iota.

“There’s a McDonalds on the moon,” Forry cracked. “Same food, but no atmosphere.”

“There are some people who light up your life. Forry’s one of them,” said Warren. “Forry is my kind of guy.”

Mine, too.


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