By Professor Kinema (Jim Knusch)
In the 'golden age'- the late 1950s and early 1960s- of monster fandom a lot was happening. A generation weaned on television and made fearful of the evils of communism and the reality of nuclear war was coming of age. That is, they were into their teens. Both the USA and Great Britain began to resurrect (in more ways than one) and breathe a new life into many of these classic monsters in updated productions for the big screen. These new offerings were embellished with color and gore. Life magazine of Nov 11, 1957 featured a two page spread promoting new and upcoming horror and sci-fi releases from American-International Pictures. Big screen horror and monsters were in. Vintage horror movies, especially of the 1930s, were finding a welcome audience on the tube. This acceptance was so strong that it led to a repackaging of select titles being syndicated and offered weekly under the title of SHOCK! The SHOCK! TV package was seen in some areas as SHOCK THEATRE, NIGHTMARE and HOUSE OF HORROR. As was suggested by the SHOCK! promo book, some of these were hosted locally by bizarre personalities. These personalities in themselves became phenomenally popular. This was evidenced by major pictorial articles in national magazines, hundreds of fan clubs, the marketing of premiums and-most importantly-high TV ratings. To the teenage fan caught up in all of this a trip to the local newsstand would result in the purchase of a comic book, a humor magazine or an occasional 'Tales of the Crypt'- type of periodical that was somewhere in between a comic book and pulp magazine. By 1958 something new was added to the racks; the Monster Magazine.