Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Quick Tribute To Forrest J Ackerman

Gary Gygax will be forever the father of D&D & role playing games. There was another figure to whom I conversed with more then a few times. Forrest J Ackerman was a gentleman's gentleman. I wrote back & forth with him as a child. Forey is missed. He's the reason I'm into science fiction & horror

Who Was He? 
Forrest J Ackerman[2] (November 24, 1916 – December 4, 2008) was an American collector of science fiction books and movie memorabilia and a science fiction fan. He was, for over seven decades, one of science fiction's staunchest spokesmen and promoters.
Ackerman was a Los Angeles, California-based magazine editor, science fiction writer and literary agent, a founder of science fiction fandom and possibly the world's most avid collector of genre books and movie memorabilia.[3] He was the editor and principal writer of the American magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, as well as an actor and producer (Vampirella).
Also called "Forry," "The Ackermonster," "4e" and "4SJ," Ackerman was central to the formation, organization, and spread of science fiction fandom, and a key figure in the wider cultural perception of science fiction as a literary, art and film genre. Famous for his word playand neologisms, he coined the genre nickname "sci-fi".[4][5][6] In 1953, he was voted "#1 Fan Personality" by the members of the World Science Fiction Society, a unique Hugo Awardnever granted to anyone else

Three Quick Facts 

1.Ackerman had 50 stories published, including collaborations with A. E. van VogtFrancis FlaggRobert A. W. LowndesMarion Zimmer BradleyDonald Wollheim and Catherine Moore and the world's shortest – one letter of the alphabet. His stories have been translated into six languages. 
2.Ackerman named the sexy comic-book character Vampirella and wrote the origin story for the comic.
3.He also authored several lesbian stories under the name "Laurajean Ermayne" for Vice Versa and provided publishing assistance in the early days of the Daughters of Bilitis.[20] He was dubbed an "honorary lesbian" at a DOB party

Through his magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland (1958–1983), Ackerman introduced the history of the science fiction, fantasy and horror film genres to a generation of young readers.[22] At a time when most movie-related publications glorified the stars in front of the camera, "Uncle Forry", as he was referred to by many of his fans, promoted the behind-the-scenes artists involved in the magic of movies. In this way, Ackerman provided inspiration to many who would later become successful artists, including Joe DantePeter JacksonSteven Spielberg,Tim BurtonStephen KingDonald F. GlutPenn & TellerBilly Bob ThorntonGene Simmons (of the band Kiss), Rick BakerGeorge Lucas,Danny ElfmanFrank DarabontJohn Landis and countless other writers, directors, artists and craftsmen. 

 There's not a day that goes by that he is not missed in some small way all of the above was taken from his wiki entry. You can read the rest Here
Some of his works at Project Gutenburg Here


  1. FJA was one of a kind. A true lover of monsters, horror, and all things dark and awesome.

    Great post. FM, and other 'monster fad' periodicals, contributed so much to early D&D culture.

    Monsters. FJA showed them to us, and Gygax let us fight them.

  2. Great post dude! Forry Ackerman was an incredible guy, and a very big influence on me as well. His magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland remains one of my all-time favorite things from my misspent youth. Those garish magazines packed with tons of hacked-apart still photos from all sorts of crappy movies we'd probably never get to see, and all lovingly printed on cheap newsprint and available in the spinning magazine rack or at the newsstand...that was a great good thing. It sparked imaginations. It inspired. It provided a sense of contagious enthusiasm, even tacit support to go get involved, to go do great stuff. Ackerman is sorely missed. Few can do the sort of thing that he did oh so well. So many kids got hooked on monsters, fantasy, science fiction and all that stuff because of him. Who does this sort of thing any more? Who else would edit Perry Rhodan? Who else would build the all-time greatest collection of sci-fi memorabilia? Forry was great. Wish we could have cloned a few dozen more as back-ups...

  3. Forrest J. Ackerman wrote back to me when I was ten years old after I wrote to him about Gorgo in an old issue of Famous Monsters. Three weeks later I was back playing OD&D as well as Metamorphosis Alpha. The man was a classic act. Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane. There will be more fellas so stay tuned!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.