Sunday, August 21, 2016

Modern Monster #1: A Must Have Magazine of the 1960s

When I talk to my baby-boomer buddies who also grew up to become professional writers and artists, it wasn't just comic books they read in the 60s. While the cultural impact of the era's four color funnies -- particularly Batman with its TV series and Marvel with its marvelous new take on superheroic adventure cannot be denied -- paperback books, model kits, gum cards and monster magazines also held considerable sway over our youthful imaginations.

(Even its cover screams out that Modern Monster is a different sort of beast.)

Those monster magazines are of particular importance, and there were some that EVERYbody seems to have read: Famous Monsters, Castle of Frankenstein, Fantastic Monsters of the Films and the subject of this piece, Modern Monster (which became Modern Monsters with its second issue).
(A look at MM and its newstand competion. From Must Have Magazines of the 1960s)
Thanks to the incredibly successful Famous Monsters' pun-filled approach to writing, most mags targeted at the emerging monster fans had a certain Batmanish campiness about them. But not Modern Monsters. It took the subject seriously with well-written histories, thoughtful reviews and surprising interviews, like the one with Don Post in MM's first issue.

(Modern Monsters took its subject seriously with good writing and big, unblemished images,)

Published from the Hollywood Playboy Building Modern Monsters was something else -- color centerfold and all -- and it remains worth reading even today.
(The full color King Kong pull out centerfold)
Here're a few more pages from my digital restoration of the book, including that totally surprising ad for flamenco dancer paintings. Now that's grown up!
(Page from a detailed and well-researched article about the Shock Theater TV movie package.)

(Invasion of the Body Snatchers also gets some great coverage.)
("Humor in a Jugular Vein" -- just like Mad's first issue from over a decade earlier.)

(Any excuse is acceptable when it allows a Julie Adams image to be used.)

(Oh the horror! Flamenco dancers in a monster mag!)

And you can get this issue of The Masked Mayhem Presents Must Have Magazines of the 1960s: Modern Monster #1 on Amazon, too. Just click anywhere on the image below for ordering info.
Order your copy here!

No comments:

Post a Comment