Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Masks of Famous Monsters - Issues # 34-35

Welcome to the lucky thirteenth installment in The Masks of Famous Monsters Series. Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine was an absolute treasure trove of early mask history. By combing through the 191 issues published between 1958-1983, it's possible to gain a good understanding of the decades of evolution and history of Don Post Studios and Topstone monster masks. The eventual goal of this series is to catalog and archive each monster mask appearance in the pages Famous Monsters.

It's been over a month since the  last installment of The Masks of Famous Monsters, where we saw the first appearance of deluxe "Hollywood" Don Post Studios masks. So, to close out the month of May, we'll look at two issues number 34 and 35...


Issue #34, published in August of 1965, would feature a fantastic full page shot of a Don Post Studios Mr. Hyde mask on the inside front cover. This is the same photo that was used in the famous Monster Calendar, and it would be the first appearance of such a photo in the pages of Famous Monsters. This at least gives us a clearer idea of when the calendar photos were taken...


While the Metaluna Mutant wasn't yet a part of the full page Don Post ad that had appeared in issue 33 and 34, it did make a brief appearance here on page one of issue #34...


The issue would close out with a full four pages of monster mask ads, although none were different from the ads in issue #33.

Issue #35 was dated October 1965, and it featured one of my personal top 10 favorite Famous Monsters covers. I have been told on a numerous occasions that the painting was based on the Don Post Dracula mask...


One of the real highlights of issue 35 was this article written by Terri Pinckard, a parent and avid reader of FM. Mrs. Pinckard writes an impassioned plea to other parents urging them to allow their children to read Famous Monsters. It's a rather well written article and it presents a solid case for fostering an environment were children are encouraged pursue their interests and imagination. There's even a nice shot of the Don Post Creature from the Black Lagoon Mask at the tail end of the article.


Curiously, the October issue would see a reduction in page space allocated to monster mask ads. I would think this was a prime time of the year to push masks, but Mr. Warren obviously knew what he was doing when it came to marketing, so I won't nitpick :) Issue 35 would be the first time this classic split page Don Post and Topstone ad would run in FM...

Don Post and Topstone Monster Mask Ad
 Finally, issue #35 would close out with the classic "sweater ad" appearing for the first time in black and white...





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