Being at the right place at the right time, I was the very FIRST person (outside of Famous Monsters staff and the printer) to see a printed copy of issue #251! Phil Kim slid it out of the shipping box he had just received it in, and gave the honor of getting the first gander at it. I felt pretty lucky.
Issue #250 is is a fun and nostalgic issue, a transitional publication between old and new. It has the same graphic design, style and fonts as traditional FM, it's wonderful tribute to the man most responsible for making FM a cherished part of so many childhoods, Forrest J Ackerman.
Issue #251, however, points to a debut of an FM meant for both older kids and adults, and with much more content. Much heavier- and better-- paper than than FM has ever enjoyed before, with a heavy cardstock cover and a far greater number of pages. As someone who loves the original FM, I was nervous about how FM 3.0 would turn out, but I liked what I saw and am looking forward to future issues.
The Rich Corben cover is far more detailed than I thought from seeing on the internet. And thanks to editor Michael Heisler, who pointed out to me that the name "Famous Monsters" isn't a name of the utmost seriousness, but something whimsical, I realized that the Corben cover was a good inaugural image for establishing the tone of the magazine. The nosferatu-with-a-cute-rat image has been criticized by some (me included), but the slightly goofy look is just about right. It says "This is going to be FUN." That's the tone I've always striven for with my blog-- so I'm surprised I didn't "get it" sooner! (I've always been proud of the fact that the site Cool Ass Cinema has compared my blog to to the original Famous Monsters, but with "an adult-oriented sense of humor.")
I'm looking forward to reading this magazine, which I know will be featuring some top-notch artists and writers-- I talked to some of them at the Monster Bash convention!-- but who some of them are you'll just have to wait to find out. I see FM introducing some strong talent to monster kid readers, and that the list of names in future Rondo nominations for Best Article, Best Cover and Best Pro Artist will be an expanded one.
Sorry to sound like a commercial, but I am very happy with what I saw and want to share my excitement. Forgive me if you see this cross-post elsewhere.
For MORE on what I saw and did at this same event, visit this thread at the Universal Monster Army. And more more info on the coming FAMOUS MONSTERS convention (July 9th-11th), see the post just prior to this one.