Sunday, February 25, 2018


So it is official, fiends, the news is true; FANGORIA returns this October in a new quarterly format. And it's about time! Getting into horror back in the sad, old pre-internet days of the mid to late 1980s when I first started getting into horror, Fangoria was my source of information for wading into the carnage infested waters of horrordom. The magazine launched in 1979 and I remember being a chicken shit little kid picking up issues at the gas station, flipping through the pages with shaking hands, before slamming it back on the rack and running to the relative safety of The Amazing Spider-Man or Cracked.

The first issue I ever bought, was number #79, December 1988. The cover story was for Halloween 4; The Return of Michael Myers. I was twelve and been spending the last couple of years testing the waters, sneaking to watch The Thing or Friday the 13th on late night TV, taking notes about David Cronenberg's The Fly and Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys from episodes of Siskel and Ebert, and obsessing about Dario Argento and Clive Barker from episodes of Stephen King's World of Horror. Unlike these TV shows/movies, though, Fangoria was consistently on the shelves every month and once I had one in my hand, I could re-read it over and over again. It armed me for trips to one of the local video shops. It was a valuable source of research and inspiration for me as a young wanna-be horror writer, it introduced to filmmakers, writers, special effect artists, and actors that I came to think of as 'friends' growing up.

I believe it was issue 119, with Bram Stoker's Dracula on the cover that changed my life as a wanna-be comic writer. I had been writing comics for my friend to draw for a few years. We were doing super hero comics, while being influenced by films like Dawn of the Dead and Evil Dead 2, but we weren't seeing comics that matched where our hearts and imaginations were leading us. I went down to the grocery store to pick up the new Fango and flipping through the pages on my way to the register, I came across a big article on Rebel Studios and their fucked comic Faust; Love of the Damned. A book that featured graphic violence, graphic sex, and graphic violent sex. I called my friend and told him, we've found our comic! The very next comic-con, we were a couple of demented 14 year olds prowling the floor, asking every vendor if they had the book and no one wanted to deal with us, even calling us demon children and ordering us away from their booths. (One cool guy helped us out though, but told us not to tell who we bought the four issues from.) Who knows when I would have heard of this deep underground title without Fango.

The whole reason I started Stranger With Friction, was because I wanted to recapture the feeling I used to get from reading Fangoria back when I was weird, lonely, horror nerd that didn't feel so lonely after reading a feature from David Schow or an interview with Don Coscarelli. So it means a lot that Fangoria is coming back and I can't wait to have that first issue in my hands.

Fango forever!

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