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Updated: Forrest J Ackerman is gone... Dr. Acula has returned to the grave... & the Ackermonster is at peace...

Hey folks, Harry here... Forrest J Ackerman, founder of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, inventor of SCI-FI and creator of Vampirella has slipped quietly away at 11:58pm (PST) in Horrorwood, Karloffornia. He was amongst friends and spent his last month on this Earth saying his farewells. The letters and expressions of well wishes and love that fandom sent his way gave him a lift of excitement and the strength to hold on through his 92nd Birthday. I received a call from his caretaker this morning telling me that Forry had slipped away and then I spent several hours in denial, not wanting to write about it. Uncle Forry as many Ackermaniacs referred to him, was for me, my ghoulish Santa Claus. He didn't live at the North Pole or even the South Pole, but at a magical place called the Ackermansion - and it was my visit there in 1993 changed the direction of my life. My father and I had been life long collectors and fans of all thing cinematic - but it was Forry's FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND issue 2 that forever put my father on the path to all things geeky cool. He found a load of 7500 issues of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND in San Antonio, that were in their original shipping bundles that the San Antonio PTA pressured the local distributor not to distribute. Well those 7500 issues were stacked against my far bedroom wall as a young child - the lurid photos convinced me that I had to know what the text said and my father would sit with me, reading Famous Monsters of Filmland to me as a child. Once I could read, I read every issue I could get my hands on. BUT it was that encounter at the Ackermansion that stuck with me. All at once I looked and thought... "What a life!" Looking at the ephemera, the mementos... this wasn't a fictional Bat Cave or Fortress of Solitude... this was a truly real location, where I real life character invented wholly by himself created a lair more fantastic than any dreamt of in fiction. I didn't want to live in the Ackermansion, but I wanted to be in a lair of my own construction, surrounded by the sort of things I loved and I wanted to express that passion with the equal level of unabashed love that Forry did. I'm very different from Ackerman, and so not worthy, he is and always will be one of my fondest inspirations. That final conversation I had with Forry is a warm and sad memory that I will carry with me for the rest of my days. However, I will tell you this... For the past half decade, Father Geek and myself have been buying a great deal of the Ackerman FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND archives and we here at AICN are going to create an Acker-Section to share the files of the vaunted FMOF with our readers. We're working on the backend now - and it will entail a great deal of photography and scanning, but I feel there should be a permanent presence left by Forrest Ackerman on AINT IT COOL. Because he has left a permanent impression upon my family and myself. His influence can not even closely be put into perspective. That so many of us know so much about classic horror, fantasy and sci-fi is due to a large degree to Ackerman. Whether you directly read FAMOUS MONSTERS is irrelevant, that everyone that you have read has read it is true. Be it Starlog, Fangoria, Scarlet Street or any geek publication - the fountain that we have all sipped from sprang from Karloffornia and the home of Forrest Ackerman. Many of the the technicians, special effects masters and filmmakers that work in the realms that Forry loved... do so in no small part based on the childhood passion that Forry gave them. The same can be said of the toymakers and animators. Ackerman gave us permission to openly love these things and to share our passion of them. I can easily say... without Forrest J Ackerman - you would not be reading AINT IT COOL NEWS. The following was written by Phil Tippett:
In the mid to late sixties Forry's Ackermansion was the hub for (all five) stop motion animators, especially when Ray Harryhausen came to town. We'd meet for 8mm (not super 8) film-fests and gawk at the terrific collection of artifacts from Kong, Mighty Joe Young, props and models from Ray H's work. It was pig heaven. Forry kept me going in the lean days by commissioning me to sculpt & fabricate creatures from covers of Sci-fi magazines from the 30's and effigies from H.P. Lovecraft tales. On one occasion I was delivering a plaster sculpture of Cthulhu and took a turn to hard just as I was pulling into the driveway. Cthulhu went over and smashed to bits. Forry looked over the ruins with that bemused detached smile and paid me anyway. I was able to eat that month on the twenty five bucks. I'll never forget Forry's kindness, generosity and inclusiveness. He'd always let you know when something cool or fun was coming up. Like his buddies, the two Rays, he fueled inspiration for a generation of us in a time when there really wasn't much out there. What a great guy. Phil Tippett Berkeley Calif, 2008
Then we have Mick Garris:
Harry-- I'm honored to be able to pay tribute to a man who had so much to do with how my life--and the lives of so many of my peers--has turned out. I don't think it's any secret that most of the people who make films, paint, write, compose, or perform in the horror and fantastic genre grew up mostly outside of the "norm". Whether by selection or defection, those artists I know were always outsiders, never the popular guys at the prom (if they attended at all). As a child of the sixties, I was astounded when I discovered Uncle Forry and FAMOUS MONSTERS on the rack of the local liquor store/market in my humble town of El Cajon, CA. I used to sweep their parking lot, and get paid with a copy of FM and a bag of Fritos. No one I knew shared my interest in the monsters and horrors that were profiled so gleefully in FM, and so I was shocked to see that there were enough people like me to warrant the publication of a magazine devoted to them. I even submitted my customized Aurora MUMMY model to their "Master Monster Makers" contest at the local department store... and won the local First Prize plaque (I suspect to this day that there were no other entrants). When I moved north to Los Angeles in the seventies with my band, one of my first visits was to the Ackermansion, which was amazing and overwhelming. And Forry could not have been more welcoming and accommodating. On my first publicity job on THE FOG, I arranged to have a genre press conference at the Ackermansion, and it was an incredible and memorable affair. I've been lucky enough to spend much time with FSJ over the years, at screenings, at luncheons (usually with his incredibly generous and loyal friend, John Landis), at awards ceremonies, at film festivals. His ever cheerful greetings and passionate discussions (and horrible puns) were never less than a total delight. Seeing his health decline in recent years is painful, but the fact that he has remained a potent and loving force in horror into his nineties, for God's sake, is a testament to the man and his monsters. Mick Garris
This came from Paul Dini:
Before the internet, before Entertainment Weekly and the nightly show biz shows, we fans of the cinema fantastic had no touchstone to that world other than through Forry and FAMOUS MONSTERS. Each month in its pages we would learn of Hollywood's horror lore, of Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney, Sr., and Jr., and of wonders to come -- Star Wars, Superman, Carrie, and hundreds of others. We devoured the articles, we marveled at the photos, we groaned at the puns, we ordered the models and horror masks, and most of all we loved the man who brought it all to us. Here's to you, Forry. And thanks, from me and every kid you held in your spooky, but always thrilling Dracula-like trance each month. Paul Dini
Here's the collected thoughts my father has had on Forry's passing:
Father Geek here... with sad news of the passing of a genre icon... I first became aware of FORREST J. ACKERMAN in 1957 one rainy morning in the instrument room of my Junior High band hall. A Latino friend opened his tenor sax case and a garrish, red magazine fell out on the floor. I picked it up to hand back to him, and I've never been the same since. There on the cover was a beautiful babe in strapless black cocktail attire, buuut more importantly... there was a green faced Frankenstein Monster in a black tuxedo with his arms around her. In a very real sense they called out to me (in your own words, 4E), "Come here little boy, take us home with you." It was issue #1 of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine conceived, written, and edited by Forrest Ackerman (Dr. Acula, Uncle Forry, The Ackermonster, etc). I spent the next 2 weeks haunting every sleazy magazine stand on the southside of San Antonio praying for a copy to fall into my hands. I tore through Humberto Garza's copy repeatedly in study halls, and I subscribed starting with issue #2. You see this was the very first issue of the first ever movie monster mag. At this time there had been NO Starlogs, NO Fangorias, NO Castle Frankensteins, NO Cinefantastques, NO Monster Times, NO Monster Worlds, NO Monsters to Laugh Withs, NO Monsterlands, NO nothing! Annnnnnnd I would be 21 years old and a college senior majoring in Film before Father Geek found a Famous Monsters of Filmland #1 to call my own. I know many of you readers may be at a lost as to why we are covering this... well, more than any other person, FORREST J. ACKERMAN is why this site exists... Pick up a copy of Harry's book and turn to the dedication... Harry says: " To Father Geek, Mother Time, and Forry "...Yes, that is the one and only Forrest J. Ackerman, publisher, historian, effects and makeup man, and a monsteriously fiendish friend to fantasy fans around the world since the late 20's. A major influence on the world of Science Fiction/Fantasy for well over 70 years, 4E Ackerman was also widely considered one of the nicest and most generous individuals on this planet. Since the end of the 1920's he has worked as an agent, actor, editor, lecturer, archivist, researcher, writer, and anthologist. In 1957 Forry began editing the magazine "Famous Monsters of Filmland", a publication that changed the lives of a generation, or two (including this writer and his children) and provided the seminal push that admittedly drove avid readers like John Carpentar, Joe Dante, John Landis, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg to create motion pictures. 4SJ's efforts spurred young writers like Stephen King to work toward and realize their (and our) dreams in print. 4E's the man who wrote the 1st VAMPIRELLA story for Frank Frazetta to draw, and you still don't know who I'm talking about? Well, he's a lifetime resident of Hollywood. His Grandfather built the beautiful Bradbury Building there. The one used in "THE DEMON WITH THE GLASS HAND" and, that leaking one in the rain from BLADE RUNNER. Forry acted as the agent for a young Robert Heinlien and Isaac Asmov and more old world-famous Science Fiction writers than you can probably name. He was the 1st to put Stephen King on the printed page. He was very very COOL long before there was a word to describe it. He, and boyhood buddies Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen would put on Ray's homemade masks and scare the bejezus out of the other teenagers in the back of dark theaters in the early 30's. They formed the 1st LA Science Fiction club back in their teens. His personal friends have included such genre icons as Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr., Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Vincent Price, Robert Bloch, Fritz Lang, A. E. van Vogt, Curt Siodmak, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Ed Wood... and of course his 10s of thousands of proxy "nephews & nieces" around the world. Forry's home (3 stunning stories, plus the "Grizzlyland" basement, "GarageMahal", and infamous "Porch of Peril") the ACKERMANSION (located on a cliff in the hills of Horrorwood, Karloffornia overlooking the D. W. Griffith compound), was an ex-post-facto museum devoted to the worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Filled with 100's of thousands of vintage books, magazines & fanzines, original paintings & drawings, scripts, toys, sculpture, comics, photos, and tons of motion picture props, the Ackermansion was opened to the public in 1950 well before the creation of FMOF, Monster World, Spacemen, Monsterland and Uncle Forry's other popular mags. For health and personal reasons Forry decided in late 2002 to close the Ackermansion and part with a significant portion of his storied collections. Re-located nearby in a less demanding home, Forry welcomed his fiends, both old and more recently acquired, to the new, if much smaller Ackermuseum. Father Geek back with more... I just realized that I didn't mention any of the wonderful films Forry lent his talents to, like as the writer of the fantastic claymation epic horror fest, 1967's MAD MONSTER PARTY, or his effects expertise as the "Chief Space Ship String Puller" on 1955's classic BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES, or as the Technical Advisor on 1971's SATAN'S BLOODY FREAKS. But Uncle Forry wasn't content to remain a faceless man behind the cameras, Noooooo, he was out in front in over 50 Horror/SciFi/Fantasy films. Movies like: THE TIME TRAVELERS, and THE QUEEN OF BLOOD, and SCHLOCK, and THE HOWLING, and BRAINDEAD, and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 2, and INNOCENT BLOOD, and AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON. He even did non genre flicks like KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE and BEVERLY HILLS COP 3. Yeah his career in front of the camera stretched from the 1940's right to 2001's VAMPIRE HUNTERS CLUB and 2002's ATTACK OF THE B-MOVIE MONSTER. I (Father Geek) count myself lucky to have shared this planet with Forrest J. Ackerman, to have known the man, to have visited his home several times, and met with him scores of times since the late 1960's in cities and towns all over this country; among them Detriot and Tulsa, Houston and Atlanta, San Francisco and San Antonio, Minn-St Paul and Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Baton Rouge, Disneyland and Grizzyland, San Diego and Dallas, Grapevine and Spring, and of course Horrorwood Karloffornia and Austintaious. We've exchanged stories in Homes and Hotels, in Great Olde single screen Theatres and darkened rooms with bedsheets tacked on the walls, at banquets in Grand Ballrooms and in small after hours diners, in hotel hallways and alleys, in bars and even once on the roof of an Austin parking garage. Where ever and when ever they were fun-times, phantastical times, unforgettable times. Thanks 4E for those memories, thanks for inspiring that kid with maybe 50 comics back in 1957 to become that 63 year old kid in 2008 with 20,000+ comics plus 10,000+ movie posters, and a lifetime of coolness acquiring and putting it all together. Annnnnnd thanks for doing your magic for my two children, their lives are far better for you having touched them... You'll be missed here in Austin... greatly! Dankon 4E... Gis revido.
And lastly - in 2003 - Forry sent me a letter contemplating his own impending death that he had asked me to pass on in case he passed away. This is his personal statement and closing thoughts on life that he wished for me to share. Things he wanted to set straight according to his personal beliefs and philosophies. It is especially hard to read today...
IN CONTEMPLATION OF MY INEVITABLE DEMISE Mothers Day 2003 AT MY AGE, 86 going on 87, it is crystal clear to me that I am nearer the end of my life than the beginning and the thought passes my mind more frequently than it used to before I nearly died twice in 2002 that I’m a mortal man. Bob Bloch paved the way for the following ruminations with his remarkable revelatory article in the October 1994 issue of the now defunct prestigious slick paper science fiction oriented periodical, Omni. He stated bluntly: I’m going to die. Soon.—Thus absolving me of Harlan Ellison’s bitter accusation, “Bob was a very private person and he and his wife Elly resented your blabbing about his impending death at the World Science Fiction Convention.” Charles Brown reported that I broke the bad news “in unctuous tones.” Gay Haldeman congratulated me on my “gracious handling of the sad news.” So much for my exoneration. Bloch said: “I think anyone who isn’t afraid of dying is crazy.” So in Bob’s estimation I’m crazy. I wouldn’t be afraid of going to sleep one night, having no dreams and never waking up to know I was dead. On his death bed, Al Jolson breathed “I’m going!” I hope kind fate allows me long enough when I feel the end is near to record on tape “Science Fiction”, to die with my lifetime passion on my lips, then close my eyes and wait for my last breath. Let me turn back the clock a moment and explain something that most of you probably aren’t aware of. When I was a helpless child, unable to protect myself, my well-meaning parents subjected me to 7 different Sunday Schools before I finally rebelled. When I reached the age of reason, at 15 I had an epiphany and became a born again secular humanist before we had an euphemistic term for atheist. I realized in intellectual clarity that “God” only existed in the immature beliefs of inculcated humans, that ALL religions were unworthy, unnecessary crutches, remnants from supernatural times. Time for childhood’s end. Two Star Gods Fought With ax and mace. A spark flew into The womb of space. Space nurtured it And gave it birth. Now men fight on planet Earth. --Alan Moss Peace on Earth. We sing it. We’ve paid a million priests To bring it. After 2000 years Of Psalms We’ve got as far as atom bombs. Touched by the Holocaust, Wendy’s two brothers and sister-in-law gave up on God because He either gave up on them and millions like them or else He wasn’t the benevolent, all-loving, all-powerful Deity that priests and rabbis portrayed him to be. He either turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the suffering and extermination of impotent innocents or He didn’t exist. Same for a Czech friend, whose entire family was slaughtered by Nazis before her very eyes, then she was abducted and forced to be a sex slave for 6 years for Hitler’s henchmen. She bears the numbered tattoo of a concentration camp prisoner in case there are any Doubting Thomases that such things existed. I’m convinced the colossal Cosmos couldn’t care less about the little specks of life on Earth called humanbeings. Nothing has ever occurred in the ensuing 14 lustrums (7 decades, 70 years) to contravene my conviction. Here’s the scenario. Quoting Bloch (I never knew this but suspected it) “The brain is technically alive for 3 or 4 minutes.” By prearrangement, a significant other will kiss my cooling lips and whisper in my ear, “Mi amas vin Kvari’—“I love you, Forry.” I will feel my eyelids being closed, I will hear a sobbing mixture of voices, “He’s gone”, We’ve lost him”, “How can we live without him?”, “Dear Forry, rest in peace”, “I’ll never forget you”, etc. It will be frustrating not to make a movement, utter a sound, but I know this is what I expected. When my brain ceases to function and my consciousness evanesces, I will never know there was an individual named Forry Ackerman who loved science fiction with all his heart and nonexistent soul, that he read it, wrote it, collected it, agented it, joined clubs, received awards, attended more World Science Fiction Conventions than anyone else. He will never know he learned Esperanto, traveled all over the globe, welcomed over 50,000 fans into his home. He will never know he was an inhabitant of a planet variously known as Earth, Erde, Terre, Tero and other names in a multitude of languages. He will universe out there with billions of bonfires in the skies called stars. NOTHING will he know. And what comes afterward among the living? MR. SCIENCE FICTION DIES headline in Locus, various Appreciations. Mundane newspapers give him attention somewhat less than Heinlein’s. Like Wendayne before him, a couple of weekends devoted to friends gathering and reminiscing about him. As time goes by, fans will occasionally visit his crypt and place red carnations in the vases there. He’ll appredciate it while he’s alive but will be unable to see or smell them. He’ll suggest photos be taken and sent to Joe Moe at Forry’s last address, and if his “Guardian Angel” receives enough of them he will print a page and distribute it to whoever may be interested. Forry’s inert body will gradually molder away until nothing is left but bones once clothed with his flesh. Barring an earthquake, bomb or some unforeseen catastrophe , his remains will remain in his coffin beside his wife. A thousand years from now no one will know or care who Forrest Ackerman was. Maybe one day in the far distant future the very cement surrounding the crypts will crumble and his bones will join those of the dinosaurs before him. But more immediately. He can imagine some annual award in his memory. Inclusion in a panoply of postage stamps (probably 50c First Class by then) in a sheet of commemoratives remembering important individuals in the development of Science Fiction: Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Hannes Bok, Ray Bradbury, Charles Brown, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Campbell Jr., Arthur C. Clarke, Groff Conklin, Ray Cummings, Gerry de la Ree, Phillip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Virgil Finlay, Hugo Gernsback, H.L. Gold, Martin Greenberg, Robert Heinlein, David H. Keller, Damon Knight, Henry Kuttner, David Kyle, Fritz Lang, Ursula Le Guin, George Lucas, Robert Madle, P. Schuyler Miller, Catherine L. Moore, Sam Moskowitz, George Pal, Raymond Palmer, Frank R. Paul, Julius Schwart, Mary Shelley, Steven Spielberg, Olaf Stapledon, Harry Warner Jr., Stanley Weinbum, H.G. Wells, Donald Wollheim, S. Fowler Wright, Jules Verne and who have I overlooked? Shame on me. Descriptions on the back of each stamp by John L. Coker III. A statue of me may be erected in the museum of the Science Fiction Experience, or better yet an animatronic robot in my form like the one of Abraham Lincoln in Disneyland. A play or movie may be made about me (think of all the roles for Gernsback, Wells, Heinlein, et al, and the challenge for two actors to portray Ellison and Ferry in reel life as mean-spirited toward me as they were in real life. Well, that’s about as far as my ego-orientated imagination can take me. Soon ring down the imaginary curtain and all aboard for Final Blackout. Sorry I won’t be seeing you Bob Bloch, Hugo Gernsback, Sam Moskowitz, Boris Karloff, war-lost brother Alden, Wendy and scores more in Never Never Land, but you won’t miss me. My maternal grandfather died with a beatific smile on his face as though he were seeing angels or loved ones. Maybe I’ll get lucky and imagine my mother calling, as she did when I was a child, “Forry boy, come and take your nap.” My blest wishes for anyone who may care to have them.
As you can tell, Forry did not believe in a here after. I will not insult his beliefs by saying he is in some place he did not believe in, rather that Forry was a peace with the process of dying and that he led a most remarkable life that touched many more than who knew his name. It has been one of the great honors of my life to share conversation and laughs with Forry and that I will hear his voice only in reflection and upon reading his writings... well, that's comfort enough for me. I miss him already. As more remembrances come in, I'll add them below... Here's one from Rick Baker:
What do you say when a man passes away who was instrumental in the course that one's life has taken. I don't know, but I do know that I probably wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for his influence. Uncle Forry and his magazine Famous Monsters showed me that people actually made a living making monsters. I will never forget seeing Famous Monsters for the first time. My mom took me with her to the market, like she did every week, I always hated going but I didn't have a choice. I asked if I could look at the magazines while she shopped. I looked at the rack and there was issue number 3 of FM. What was this? I thought to myself. I anxiously took it off of the rack and proceeded to turn one monster filled page after another. I couldn't believe it. A magazine that was made just for me. I vividly remember in the letters section a photo of a guy with a blob on his back with a caption that said" blob on his back." I also remember an article where some make-up artist that I never herd of before , or since ,making up a kid into a monster, called "Boy into Monster". I was so excited. I asked my mom if I could have it and she said no. I don't think she objected to the subject matter I just think that she didn't have 35 cents to spare. Needless to say I was disappointed ,but let me tell you I happily went to the market with her every week . I saved my allowance so I could buy the next issue. I don't know why, but it took forever before them market had another issue. It was issue # 6. From the back issue department I bought issue # 3 and I still have it today. Famous Monsters was magic. I would memorize every page. Uncle Forry was my hero. I remember seeing an article about the luckiest boy in the world, a kid who lived next door to Forry. I thought to myself boy that is the luckiest kid in the world alright. I finally met Uncle Forry, or Dr Acula or 4e , when I was twenty and was working on John Landis's film Schlock. Forry had a cameo in the film and invited us to the Ackermansion. I was excited but not as excited as I was when an article on Schlock appeared in FM with photos of me in it. Here I was in the magazine that I loved so much. Even more exciting was when Forry did an article on Rick Baker Monster Maker. Now I was in the big time .Here I was in the same magazine that had articles on Jack Pierce ,Dick Smith, Ray Harryhausen. I couldn't believe it. I have had lots of magazine articles written about me since but none of them had the same thrill as reading my own name in Famous Monsters of Filmland. Forry and his magazine inspired so many kids of my generation to get into the film business and I am sure that the state of the art in make-up and effects wouldn't be the same today if FM and that strange uncle that we all had didn't exist. I will forever be thankful to my Uncle Forry for my education in monster mania and for pointing me in the direction that my life has taken. Life will be different without 4SJ but I will never forget him. Rick Baker Monster Maker

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    A great man, a great life...

    by Kirbymanly

    My life was better knowing that he was around. It's up to us geeks to keep his spirit alive and well for the next generation. We loved you, Mr. Ackerman!

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST


    by Boba Fat


  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST


    by Goonie

    So strange. I am happy that he led a full and wonderful life, but still very sad.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Sad Sad news

    by tolomey

    that's all I've got

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    we will keep the monsters alive for you

    by redfishbluefish

    rest in peace.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Forry...

    by the_patriot

    Your work is a better monument to your memory than any that we could build. You'll be missed and thank you for enriching all of our lives.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Thanks Harry...

    by Goonie

    ...for working so dilligently to keep Ackerman's work alive. I can't wait to see his stuff on AICN. Thanks man.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Another great light goes out

    by cotman

    "There comes a point where life stops giving you things and starts taking them away..."

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Damn! Goodbye, Uncle Forry!

    by larrydart

    Another piece of my youth gone.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST


    by buffywrestling

    Had it in spades. RIP Forry

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST


    by R L S

    We all knew it was coming, sooner rather than later, but that doesn't seem to lessen the blow. <p> Goodnight, sweet prince.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:37 p.m. CST

    A tear in my eye as I write

    by cinemaniac

    We knew it was coming, but it doesn't make it any easier. My heart goes out to his family and friends. RIP Forry. You will be missed, but not forgotten.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:38 p.m. CST


    by disfigurehead

    What a great man. Goodbye uncle Forry.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:40 p.m. CST


    by disfigurehead

    He made me the geek I am today

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    What a guy. Very sad. I hope he wouldn't have felt too insulted by my fervent hopes that he was indeed surprised and greeted by Bloch and the others on the other side. <p> Rest in peace, Uncle Forry.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 5:57 p.m. CST

    When Monsters Cry

    by christian66

    Glad I got to visit Ackerman in the day. But he's not gone. Not by a long shot...

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Dear God...

    by deanbarry

    I know that you made the rule that all living things must die. To live on this Earth is an experience to be cherished. Our souls are enrichened with the experiences that we make as mortals. Also, if no one died, there would over population. So therefore it is the natural order. But know what? It's a really stupid rule sometimes! :(

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:04 p.m. CST


    by lunadude

    He fed our brains, now he will want to eat them!

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:05 p.m. CST

    My memory of "Forry Ackerman"

    by matineer

    During the 80's (could have been early 90's, but I was there)Mr. Ackerman auctioned off parts of his vast SF collection at the Puck building in NYC. I managed to get a makeup piece from Lincoln in the "Savage Curtain" episode. Stuff didn't cost a bundle back then. Well, I had some reverses and had to sell the makeup piece. But I had a chance to speak to Mr. Ackerman at the auction, he was very gracious -- and I appreciate that to this day. RIP.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST

    I am one of the lucky ones to have met him and known him,

    by Snake Foreskin

    sitting in his living room at the Ackermansion, listening to his wonderful stories and wishing they would never end. I will always cherish those times. Forry was indeed a special man and the world is a sorrier place now that he is gone. RIP, Forry.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST

    He was a Legend. I am honored to have met him.

    by Uncle Stan

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Thanks to my film school teacher...

    by blackmantis

    I got the whole Forry Ackerman tour through his house and basement and got to inspect all his goodies. I even laid eyes upon the golden idol from Raiders! Rest In Peace Forry!

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Good bye...

    by TheBigLebowsky

    Even though he didn't believe in life after death, I so hope he was wrong... If it wasn't for Forrest Ackerman, the geek culture as we know him wouldn't exist... There would be no comicon, no chiller conventions, no adults collecting toys, no nothing... Thanks for everything Forry, and may you rest in peace.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Thanks for carying that farewell burden these 5 years.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    I just heard the news. I called my Monster Kid buddy, Donnie Waddell, to share my thoughts. I wrote a brief email to Gene Simmons (he's not only the media Rock God you see on TV, he's also one of Forry's biggest fans), and then I logged on AICN and read Forry's epitaph from 2003. It hit me so hard I can't come up with a clever way to describe it. I just started to cry. One of my best friends is an atheist, and he lives happily with his own mortality, believing that how you "live on" is through your DNA. Your children. I struggled with the idea of faith for many years concluding only that it is not my place to tell anyone that what they believe is wrong and what I believe is right and that maybe we might all be wrong, or maybe we're all a little right and each religion only has a piece of the big picture. There's so much bad news in the world right now and so much hate and pain around every corner, and Forry's message as delivered here offers little of the comfort he gave us in the pages of Famous Monsters as children. Perhaps it's has he suggested--childhood's end. Goodbye, Forry. I hope you're wrong.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:30 p.m. CST

    the og geek with a dream

    by bacci40

    you did it forry...geek culture is now today's obits they keep pointing out that the ackerman's had no kids...that isnt true...forry has millions of kids...millions of grandkids and tens of millions of nieces and nephews....and we today all mourn his loss

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Famous Monsters Of Filmland

    by skimn

    informed my childhood culture as much as any movie or television program. Growing up in the '60s, we had Outer Limits and Twilight Zone on TV to view, George Pal and Ray Harryhausen films in the theater (long before Planet Of The Apes and 2001), but nothing could be more pleasurable than hiding under the covers, with the trusty flashlight and reading Famous Monsters. And Forry's love of the weird, the wonderful, the monsterous, leapt forth from the page and into the imaginations of the young, and to quote a corny cliche, the young at heart. In fact, the introduction of genre films through that magazine has indeed kept this 51 year old, feeling like a kid.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST

    very sad. I will miss him.

    by JediRob

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    RIP Uncle Forry

    by guido505

    Not much else I can say that hasn't already been said. You will be missed Sir.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST

    RIP, 4E

    by Barko

    Thanks for this post, Harry. I had tears in my eyes reading it.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Master Magician

    by HugePrawn

    true magic<br><br> the idea comes to us<br> we take that idea and sketch it out<br> we develop it<br> the idea becomes 3 dimensional<br> the idea is born and now we can see, feel, hear it<br> we hold a once intangible thought in our hands<br> that is true magic.<br><br> For those of us that create in this genre, Forest was our maestro. His enchantments will be missed<br><br> -Erik

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST

    The word legend gets bandied about....

    by FilmCritic3000

    all scattershot. But he truly defined the word. Rest in peace, good sir. You will be missed by millions.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST

    "we here at AICN are going to create an Acker-Section"

    by Geekgasm

    Easily the best thing you could add to the site. Please follow through on it. Don't be J.J. Abrams (i.e. all great ideas with half-ass follow through).

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Rest in Peace Uncle Forry

    by Kloipy

    You will be sorely missed by a lot of people.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:23 p.m. CST

    From one of the 50,000 that visited the AckerMansion

    by Alfie Boy

    From my first FM (#96), Forry was my favorite "Uncle." I never knew he was an atheist, I wonder now if his writings led me to be one as well. For that, I thank him if it's so. This is a great loss, and the mainstream world won't even bat an eye, more fascinated with the Hanna Montanas of the world. Good-Bye Forry! I love you.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Goodbye Forry.

    by uberman

    I used to sneak out of the house as a kid, bike around 4-5 miles down to the drugstore, buy a copy of FAMOUS MONSTERS, bike home, hide it under my shirt, sneak it downstairs and read it, dream of owning one of the masks or film prints, dream of seeing the movies. My mother would not let me have these mags, but I lived-LIVED-for them. In my office today is a large poster of FAMOUS MONSTERS, posters of the original KONG, WOLF-MAN, KING KONG VS GODZILLA, GWANGI, DRACULA, and a large bust of FRANKENSTIEN and a soon to be large CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. So, yeah. Forry was the first real uber-geek and he turned us all on, from us fans to now famous filmakers and writers. I loved/love him and cherish his gift to me and millions like me. And I've done alot of studies into near-death experiances and believe that Forry will be pleasantly surprised when he finds himself in the prescence of a loving God-a God who, like Forry, loves imagination and the wonders it brings. I recently read something from one near-death experiancer that makes sense. He said the We are all just one part of God exploring his creation. Thank you so much for giving me refuge in your fantastic magazine. I hope you experiance 1/10th of the joy I got from it.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    thank you...

    by surprider

    for being part of the magic and wonder of my childhood :-)

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST


    by deadboy1313

    And all the monsters bowed their heads in tribute at the passing of a monster's best fiend. The world was a scarier place thanks to Forry, but it is a much scarier place without him.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Does anyone know about Famous Monsters Mag?

    by Alfie Boy

    I flipped over to the Famous Monsters site to see if that creep Ray Ferry had the decency to post something on Forry's passing. I surfed around a bit and saw that as of 2008 the FM logo was under the ownership of another outlet, and has been turned into a webzine. Anybody know what gives?

  • Anyway rest in peace Forest. As a tribute I shall play the misfits CD titled, what else? "Famous Monsters"! RIP

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Very sad...

    by ckane123

    Like others here, I had the opportunity to meet Uncle Forry 15+ years ago at a sci-fi convention (I'll continue to call them that, in his honor) and was able to sit down with him and buy him a nice lunch - the experience was worth every penny. A wonderful, kind, smart human being - I hope similar words are spoken of me when I'm gone. Great posting Harry and I put my further thoughts on his passing at

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. Forry..

    by nolan bautista

    ..thanks for shaping my childhood (and adulthood)

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 8:03 p.m. CST

    “Forry boy, come and take your nap.”

    by Nosferatu Jones

    I kept together for the entire article until I read that line. Beautiful, sad, uplifting stuff. All hail Forry, the patron-saint of Sci-Fi geeks.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Goodbye Uncle Forry

    by Dataset

    You were the Johnny Appleseed of fandom. Thank you for planting those seeds. We are the forest of Ackerman. We'll never forget you.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Bye Forry

    by half vader

    You will live on, in an extended way, through many many people. Harry, the "Forry's Photomansion" is a great idea!

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 8:49 p.m. CST

    it always sucks when someone cool dies

    by The Amazing G

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 9:20 p.m. CST


    by rsswope

    Thank you Dr. Acula for the impact you had on my young skull full of jello. The Paranormal Pastor gives you a blessing for the beyond. You are legend.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 9:37 p.m. CST

    The Ackermonster....

    by cineninja

    ...will never be gone as long as there are monsters and children who love them. May the wind be at your back

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 9:44 p.m. CST

    No God??

    by Le Phantom

    I liked Forry and grew up on Famous monsters but I am saddened to think he was an atheist! He is a guy that dedicated his life to sci fi and the fantastic...But was close minded enough not to believe in the possibility of an existence beyond this or a creative force in the universe! Little space aliens, yes! But a God, no??? That's like saying I believe in the Easter Bunny but the thought of Santa is ridiculous! I would have thought he would have kept a more open mind on the thought of universal possibilities! Maybe he is right, but maybe he is somewhere now part of a universal consciousnes, reunited with the spirits of family and friends thinking what a schmuck he was!

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 9:56 p.m. CST


    by TylerDurden3395

    Fuck... Now I'm REALLY depressed. The first issue I ever bought was the 82 yearbook when I was five years old. In it's pages were The Thing, Tron, Road Warrior, Wrath of Khan, Friday th 13th 3-D, all movies I'd later grow to worship. That issue was the introduction I had to all of these movies. FUCK! I'm depressed now.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 10:29 p.m. CST

    He lived a full life and was loved by many!

    by Bob Cryptonight

    A terrific man...

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 10:30 p.m. CST

    There is Blackness or there is Light


    and a peace you will never find in life. If it's the last 3 minutes of brain life- Then so be it. <P> Those who have experienced it call it the greatest peace and calm you will ever know, those who have had NDE's are not afraid of death. <P> Time is relative, dreams don't begin and in most cases they don't end. One second could be several lifetimes. Who's to say the brain doesn't purge itself in those last moments- presenting you with a state of existence unlike any we know in life. <P> Both my Father and his Friend Frank have been critically dead. Both had NDE's <P> Frank had a Heart Attack (2 actually) and my Dad was in a terrible accident while serving in the Army- He still has partial paralysis of his right arm. <P> You either see yourself clearly, hearing everything happening around you, and then white light consumes you- a tremendous peace and calm overcomes you. My Dad said "I'm not ready yet" and it was over. He said something about his voice being different as well- like it was his inner voice, how he sounds to himself. <P> As for Frank. Well he said he came to in complete darkness- a darkness unlike any darkness you know, he said he felt completely and totally aware that this was very real that it was not a dream. He specifically said that the "Ego was gone". <P> Very odd to hear Forry say something about his own Ego. <P> Enough of my mulling. I'm just saying as much hoping it gives everone here and those that knew you some comfort to know that whatever it is that appears to us after this ends is good enough to fool, and comfort those who saw it. <P> Forry I can't thank you enough as rabid a fan of all things Creatures, Horror, and Sci Fi. I've been spending my most of my free time on the Internet since 1996 looking at prop replicas, monster busts, masks, and 3d cgi creature and character creations- Most of it from people not yet in the biz. It all goes back to the classic universal monster flicks, those magazines, and others like creepy, errie and vampira, creepshow, vault of horror, and so on. You were a big part. Scracth that you Started it in mag form. Damn it! I'm going miss you even if I never met you in real life. That Life Sized Statue it will happen. Fan will leave flowers near it. Take pictures hugging it, posing in front of it, making it wear silly hats and shirts related to horror and sci fi- celebrating it thanking it and you in doing so :(

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by Mace Tofu

    I'm sure because of you he was sent a flood of fan letters before his passing and your idea to post his address was spot on as many here got to say goodbye before this sad day. Thanks. RIP Forry.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Le Phantom

    by spacechampion

    you are such a douche.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    My condolences

    by NivekJ

    This is one of the better moments here at Aint It Cool, and I'm sad to see it be a melancholy one. A very thoughtful tribute.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 11:09 p.m. CST

    I like that "Johnny Appleseed of Fandom"

    by Alfie Boy

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST Youtube Forry Tribute


  • Dec. 5, 2008, 11:14 p.m. CST


    by cgccomics

    I still have most of my Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines from the 50's through the 80's. I loved the articles, the photos and the wonderful corny but funny captions that came with some of the photos. Where else could you find a magazine like that? Even my dad liked to look at Famous Monsters. Rest in peace Forry. I wish I could have met you in person.

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 11:42 p.m. CST


    by Le Phantom

    First of all blow me! Second of all...I guess i am a douche for pointing out a legitimate pov, but it doesn't make me wrong! I liked Forry and all props to him and his passion and achievements, but i still think that letter reflected a sad and bitter closed mind...a hypocracy for some one who dedicated his life to possibilities!

  • Dec. 5, 2008, 11:56 p.m. CST

    i hope that there is a god and a here after

    by bacci40

    if any man deserved to be reunited with his love, it is forry...

  • Dec. 6, 2008, midnight CST

    RIP Forry

    by ebonic_plague

    The most you can ask for is to make your mark on this world. Sounds like Forry did exactly that.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 12:28 a.m. CST

    L.A. Geeks...

    by GhostJax

    I'm going to get to the New Bev around midnight with a bunch of FMOF covers to paper the place. Join if you want. Good night, Forrest. We miss you.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 12:43 a.m. CST

    I love the fact that...

    by Kasch

    Forry not only wrote his own perfectly eloquent elegy, but he also managed to call out both Harlan Ellison and Ray Ferry for acting like complete cocksuckers to him. I fervently hope that both of those egocentric assholes read this and feel like absolute shit for their juvenile behavior.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Goobye, Forry...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    ...I expressed my love and respect, as well as the place Famous Monsters had in my childhood, in the previous post about Forry Ackerman, which alluded to his nearness to death's door, so I will only say that -- from one "secular humanist" to another (who can, of course, no longer appreciate the sentiment) -- thanks for that beautiful expression of what it's like to be an atheist approaching the end of life. I'm glad that it (apparently) went so peacefully for you.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Don't forget Tolkien's famous letter...

    by Kingasaurus

    ...written to Forry criticizing a potential film treatment. It gave us a rare insight into what the Professor thought about his work being turned into a film, and the contents of that letter were dissected quite a bit when Peter Jackson was working on LOTR. Thanks for picking Tolkien's brain, Forry. I appreciate it.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 1:26 a.m. CST

    I was lucky

    by skerns

    I had the pleasure of meeting Forry and Wendy at AmberCon 2 in Wichita, KS in 1977. My first Science Fiction convention, after years of reading FMOF. He was gracious, kind, funny, and tolerant. He even let me try on Lugosi's Dracula ring which he wore constantly! Forry, I'll miss you... We'll all miss you...

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 1:54 a.m. CST

    So long Uncle Forry....

    by lurk3001

    ....and thank you Harry for keeping his memory alive. I loved Famous Monsters. I couldn't wait to get to Circle K each month and get the next issue. Rest in Peace Forry and thank you.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 2:11 a.m. CST

    "You don't know what you've got 'til...

    by Charlie & Tex's gone." This is very sad stuff, but Forry's sheer enthusiasm for sci-fi will carry his legacy for many years to come. We'll admit that we didn't appreciate or realise the monumental significance of Forry's contribution to the sci-fi & horror genre until fairly recently, but it is awfully sad that he has passed into the beyond. God speed Forry, you cheerfully demented dynamo!

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 2:30 a.m. CST

    GhostJax....go to the vista theater

    by bacci40

    that is where uncs hand and foot prints are enshrined...i would join, but i hate crying in public

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 2:30 a.m. CST

    GhostJax....go to the vista theater

    by bacci40

    that is where uncs hand and foot prints are enshrined...i would join, but i hate crying in public

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 2:44 a.m. CST


    by GhostJax

    I'm starting from Beverly Hills. I'll hit them both. Thanks, man.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:18 a.m. CST

    sounds like...

    by billyhitchcock

    ...he created geek heaven at his house.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:52 a.m. CST

    goodbye Uncle Forrey

    by Bloo

    someone above said He was the Johnny Appleseed of fandom an dwe are a forest of Ackerman's<P>I like that<P>I know you didn't believe in Him Forrey, but it's my prayer that you rest in peace, with God and his angels and that Oleg watches over you<P>You wer eour inspiration, our mentor, our grandfather, our "cool" uncle. You inspired us and called us out, you motivated and led us. If the geekdom had an Abraham it would be you, stepping out into a strange new land with new clue where you were going and not even for sure if you would see the promise, but you heeded the voice and paved the way.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 4:12 a.m. CST

    Another legend has gone.

    by alucardvsdracula

    Sad day.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Every Monster Kid's Uncle...

    by Grinning White Skull

    Farewell, Forry. I was so lucky to grow up with FAMOUS MONSTERS, CREEPY, EEIRE and VAMPIRELLA. I'm a better Monster Kid because of you.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 4:54 a.m. CST


    by Dingbatty

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 8:24 a.m. CST

    G'bye and thanks

    by Nyllednav

    I grew up in Elgin Scotland and Monsters was hard to find there, but there was an ice cream shop that sold comics that would get the occasional Monsters magazine. Thanks 4E,for I was the only geek in my town, and you made me realize there were others out there. We were not alone.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Beautiful job AICN...

    by Pdorwick

    ...this whole thing is a beautiful send off for a truly wonderful man.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I loved Vampy, and still do

    by toadkillerdog

    I still have my colection of Vampirella mags, as well as a select few Famous Monsters. I never had the pleasure of meeting Uncle Forry, but my childhood was undoubtedly made richer by his mags and, all of us who love Sci-fi and fantasy have had our entire lives enriched by his passion and talent.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Nice 2C that fans congregated at theaters out west...

    by Alfie Boy a tribute to Forry. In this embarrassing cultural vacuum known as Philadelphia, no one did anything that I could find. The cretins and cultural illiterates around this part of the country sit around and idolize nothings like sports stars.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Perfect tribute

    by Goldmagus

    Well done, Harry - perfectly pitched, touching, moving tribute to a great man. I'm a kid from Croydon, England, living my dreams as a producer in Hollywood - and I don't think I would ever have got here without the inspiration of Forry's magazine, which magically appeared from time to time on a local newsagent's shelves. And wow - how the years fell away when Rick Baker wrote about that BOY INTO MONSTER article - I can see the photospread in my minds eye as clearly as if I had that issue of the magazine in front of me! Rest In Peace, Ackermonster - thanks for your amazing life...

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 1:38 p.m. CST

    The Passing of the Founding Father of Geekdom.

    by RobinP

    I wrote my own eulogy, please follow this link...

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Feebles prop

    by torpedoboy

    I'm lucky enough to own a "Meet the Feebles" puppet that was once in his possession. He was a great man.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Great Tribute

    by hallmitchell

    As good as your Stan Wintson tribute was Harry. This was a great one.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Thanks Forry...

    by Frankenbastard

    I’ll never forget my trip to the Acker-mansion, holding that Kong Brontosaur and getting teary eyed. So long Forry, thanks for making me love monsters and sparking my career.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    And Harry...

    by Frankenbastard

    Thanks for posting his letter, outstanding.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Maybe the best thing Harry has written

    by I am_NOTREAL

    A proper adieu to man who touched many. I would now and again find issues of FMOF at my local A&P back in the day. I probably read less than a half dozen overall but they played their role and are still remembered today, as is Mr. Ackerman.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Goodbye Forry!

    by mojoman69

    I have been a fan of FJA since my Mom first showed me an issue of FM back in 1960. I was hooked and never looked back. Forry inspired me to build monster kits and today I have my own company which produces monster and figure model kits. I put on a few monster memrobilia shows in Chicago and had the honer of havign Forry as a guest twice. I had Ray Harryhausen as a guest too and was amazed to have breakfast with two of these childhood icons. One can never say too much about Forry, he was kind, giving, generous and loved. It is too bad that he got screwed over by the likes of Ray Ferry and his crew when they tried to revive FM. Not to mention people who would steal from the Ackermansion! Shame on all of those who did! But still Forry opened his home to all those who wished to see it. I am sorry to see you go old friend! Prince Sirki has claimed one of the best!

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Did Forry have children?

    by Alfie Boy

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the memories, Forry

    by DoctorTom

    I actually remembered FJA (or 4E, or 4SJ as he sometimes used) from his stint bringing Perry Rhodan to the US before reading Famous Monsters. His enthusiasm for science fiction was obvious from each of the 'books', which was actually more like an older pulp magazine in paperback form. He loved to reprint old forgotten SF stories from the 20's-40's in each issue. Issue seems the most appropriate word, since (like the comics in the sixties and seventies) each of the 'novels' was numbered as well as having the title of the book. He also had a letters page for readers comments and had some editorial comments of his own, sometimes as introductions to some of the stories that he selected. His joy for the genre shone out of the pages. Sometimes I would think of him as science fiction's Stan Lee the way he promoted SF with such entusiasm. Later I picked up a Famous Monsters of Filmland and could see the same enthusiasm there. Most magazines now seem to have lost that entusiasm, unfortunately. I'm glad to hear of the "Ackermansion wing" forthcoming at AICN. He didn't believe in the afterlife, but he would probably agree that remembering his life and work fondly, and continuing to keep them visible as a kind of literary immortality would be a kind of afterlife he would enjoy.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Alfie Boy....yes and no

    by bacci40

    did he pass on his dna? nope...but every cinephile, horror fan, sci fi fan, the makers of both good and bad scifi and fantasy films and books are indeed his children...he may have one of the largest families in recorded history...its why he opened his home to strangers...he didnt see them as strangers, he saw them as family....kirby did the same thing

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Thanks, 4E...

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    I still carry with me the coolest memory of travelling with Father Geek and Head Geek to Dallas for a convention. We were invited to a private showing of King Kong. Among the less than ten people there were Forry and Ray, who shared a lot of memories and model making details. They were both gracious, enthusiastic, and patient with our endless questions. Geek paradise. Thanks again...

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 8:19 p.m. CST


    by Dataset

    I wonder if the oscar "in remembrance" montage will include 4e. It would be a shame If it doesn't.

  • Dec. 6, 2008, 11 p.m. CST could it not?

    by bacci40

    he deserves to recieve a special postumous forry, then possibly no dante, spielburg, lucas, baker, landis, and tons of others in the movie biz

  • Dec. 7, 2008, 1:51 a.m. CST


    by ArcadianDS

    where would any of us be but for our fathers, and their heroes?<p> nice write-up for Forry AND for Fathergeek. I called my dad today after reading it.

  • Dec. 7, 2008, 2:32 a.m. CST

    letter to forry

    by jofex

    Thanks Harry for the heads up on Forry's condition. Joe Moe shared that the very special man got an eye twinkle from my gushing note. I will forever regret I didn't go see 4SJ and his collection more than once- back in 1992. Much later I had the transcendent thrill of sitting behind Forry and Ray Harryhausen as we all watched a print of King Kong. I'd seen the movie so instead watched them watch it- and tried to absorb everything that meant-- the electro-chemical process of those images igniting brain cells and the chain reaction that resulted in so many lives changed. So that's how the world evolves, I thought. Anyway, its childhood's end for so many of us. Can anyone else still sense-memory the smell of a crisp, new issue of FMOF? Glad the brain can take us (back) there. Maybe that's proof we do in fact last-- in the collective sense-memory. If so, we'll bump into Forry again. Hope so.

  • Dec. 7, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST

    HARRY: How about something permanent for Forry

    by Alfie Boy

    on the sie? Maybe replacing the ID4 backdrop w/ a pic of Forry?

  • Dec. 7, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Thanks Forry!

    by JarJar25

    I still remember getting the Famous Monsters Alien Issue! That was such a high for me, because living up in Port Angeles, Wash, the film wouldn't come out until late in the summer. That issue got me into Alien and H.R. Giger, which I still love, both films and art to this day. It was so important, because there was no way I could afford any artbook or anything else at that time. Famous Monsters got me through some tough times, way before the internet and home video. My one regret was never going to your home to see your collection. I think I will try to see Bob Burns collection next year. R.I.P. and until the next light!

  • Dec. 7, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Goodbye Dr. Acula. Rest in peace.

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    What would the geek world be today if Uncle Forry never started that magazine?

  • Dec. 8, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    The Underworld of AICN mournes his passing

    by orcus

    Somehow the archives are a bit less happier

  • Dec. 8, 2008, 8:30 a.m. CST

    What a great man. What a wonderful life.

    by 2for2true

    From the time I was eight, I made a beeline to the magazine section looking for the latest edition of FM. One of my favorites was the 1970 edition honoring the life of Boris Karloff. I remember the first page had a photo of Karloff, with the words, "The King is Gone." How sad FM is no longer around to do an edition devoted to its creator - the real King of Horror. I would love to see the Ackermansion perserved as a museum for all to visit, or at the least, have his collection preserved somewhere for geeks like us who were never fortunate enough to see it ourselves. Thanks for making my childhood so much fun.

  • Dec. 8, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST

    It's unfortunate...

    by richier123

    that he's going to spend eternity in hell. Maybe if he didn't look at all religion in black and white he could have better'd himself... With that said, I am greatful for his contributions to Sci-fi. Sad that he's gone.

  • Dec. 8, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    sorry richier...

    by jofex

    but you are a broken little kid. Whoever put poop in your head needs a good spanking. If Forry taught us anything it was to turn our back on bad nonsense and embrace good nonsense. Let's keep monsters fantastical. Real monsters like the ones crawling around in your head are far too scary.

  • Dec. 8, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    One of the most AMAZING moments in my life....

    by progrocktv

    ...was at Archon on St.Louis attending a talk with uncle Forry, Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen. Here, I was able to witness 3 friends, who are considered kings of the genre, getting together and sharing a warm conversation. Talk about a life-changing event and one that still brings a tear to my eye thinking about it to this day!

  • Dec. 9, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST


    by m2298

    Whatever happens or doesn't happen to Forry in the Hereafter is between him and the Deity. As for the rest of us, let's just celebrate his legacy and enjoy the films, books etc. that we (and Forry) love without any negativity.

  • Dec. 9, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Well said, m2298.

    by 2for2true

    People who proselytize and chastise others for refusing to accept god/religion are far more scary than any movie monster. As Carlin said, religion is like a lift in your shoe. If it makes you feel better and walk straighter, good for you...but don't go nailing lifts on other people's shoes.

  • Dec. 9, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    and conversely...

    by m2298

    people shouldn't go around mocking believers either. If you have a point to make about something, do it civilly (and yes I know this is an AICN talkback, but what the heck). And I suspect that any "Forry's in Hell" posters over here aren't really religious believers, but just troublemaking trolls.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Forry will finally find peace from James Warren

    by thegreatwhatzit

    FJA will slip through the pearly gates while Mr. Warren will be hi-fiving Hitler in Hades. Have no idea how Ackerman survived his publisher's egocentric fascism.

  • Dec. 11, 2008, 11:17 p.m. CST


    by mojoman69

    Just heard that Betty Page died tonight, never woke up after her heart attack. What a crappy week!

  • June 2, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Forry Ackerman

    by stephanpickering1947

    Tzeth'a LeShalom, Forry, VeShuvh'a LeShalom...go in peace, re-return in peace, Forry...for a brief time in 1964/1965, you touched my life personally, 7 years after I bought FM # 1...and forever changed my Jewish consciousness, regardless of my shortcomings in your this point, in Spirit realms, you realise you were mistaken: 'death' is a biological event, having nothing to do with you...when you passed from this realm, I bitterly wept, knowing that then I could not tell you in incarnate form what you meant to me...but I can, now, tell you, Forry, you were a tzaddik, a righteous individual.

  • June 2, 2011, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Forry Ackerman

    by stephanpickering1947

    Tzeth'a LeShalom, Forry, VeShuvh'a LeShalom...go in peace, re-return in peace, Forry...for a brief time in 1964/1965, you touched my life personally, 7 years after I bought FM # 1...and forever changed my Jewish consciousness, regardless of my shortcomings in your this point, in Spirit realms, you realise you were mistaken: 'death' is a biological event, having nothing to do with you...when you passed from this realm, I bitterly wept, knowing that then I could not tell you in incarnate form what you meant to me...but I can, now, tell you, Forry, you were a tzaddik, a righteous individual.

  • June 2, 2011, 4:32 p.m. CST


    by stephanpickering1947

    Tzeth'a LeShalom, Forry, VeShuvh'a LeShalom...go in peace, re-return in peace, Forry...for a brief time in 1964/1965, you touched my life personally, 7 years after I bought FM # 1...and forever changed my Jewish consciousness, regardless of my shortcomings in your this point, in Spirit realms, you realise you were mistaken: 'death' is a biological event, having nothing to do with you...when you passed from this realm, I bitterly wept, knowing that then I could not tell you in incarnate form what you meant to me...but I can, now, tell you, 4SJ, you were a tzaddik, a righteous individual.

  • June 2, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST

    4SJ - 2

    by stephanpickering1947

    Forry...I am quite sure that, in your Spirit realm, you have re-built the AckerMansion, with memorabilia of immeasurable doubt, OBie, and Boris and Bela and Lon and Elsa and PKDick and Marcel Delgado -- they have all made visits, signed the guestbook, donated items they have with times have you sat and watched the deleted scenes from Kong, or those earlier scenes from Maple White Land? Just know, that in the Adat haShem, you are still SciFi Fan # 1... STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham Goddess Jew / Epikoros Extropian Spiritist

  • June 2, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST

    4SJ - 2

    by stephanpickering1947

    Forry...I am quite sure that, in your Spirit realm, you have re-built the AckerMansion, with memorabilia of immeasurable doubt, OBie, and Boris and Bela and Lon and Elsa and PKDick and Marcel Delgado -- they have all made visits, signed the guestbook, donated items they have with times have you sat and watched the deleted scenes from Kong, or those earlier scenes from Maple White Land? Just know, that in the Adat haShem, you are still SciFi Fan # 1... STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham Goddess Jew / Epikoros Extropian Spiritist