Saturday, December 06, 2008

Uncle Forry (1916 - 2008)

Some sad news today: The "original" sci-fi fan and memorabilia collector has passed away. On December 4th, 2008, the world lost Mr. Forrest J. of the towering genre figures of the twentieth century.

Ackerman -- known as the "# 1 Fan Personality" in many genre circles, -- was a literary agent, a passionate advocate for horror movies, and a damn fine writer in his own right (The Frankenscience Monster, The Ackermanthology The Sci-Fi World of Forrest J. Ackerman, Dr. Acula's Thrilling Tales of the Uncanny, etc.)

Most fans, however, remember Ackerman as the enthusiastic editor-in-chief of Warren's classic magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland (1958-1983). It's no exaggeration to state that it was this periodical that launched the genre press in the United States, and likely worldwide. Avowed aficionados of the magazine include Peter Jackson, John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, and George Lucas. We probably can't accurately calculate how many great movies (not to mention great books...) the world has seen because the creators were avid readers of Famous Monsters.

Also, we would likely never have had Starlog, Fantastic Films, Cinescape, Cinefantastique, Fangoria, The Monster Times, Epi-Log, Scary Monsters, Filmfax or the other magazines that have honorably followed in Famous Monsters' revered footsteps.

Known widely as a generous soul (he hosted "open houses" for fans at his Acker-Mansion for years), Mr. Ackerman also won a Bram Stoker lifetime achievement award in 1997. With Mr. Ackerman's passing in 2008, a significant chapter of science fiction and horror history closes.

Reflections on Film and Television offers its heartfelt condolences to the Ackerman family, and celebrates the life of an American original.

1 comment:

  1. This man defined what it means to be a sci-fi fan for me, and millions of others. He will be missed.