The Magazines that Made Me


Growing up we didn’t have access the vast library of Japanese Godzilla books we do today. We can find just about any Godzilla book or publication online from Mandarake, Amazon Japan, Buyee Japan and more with mouse click. However, back in the 70s and 80s, that was not the case. There were only a few and for kids virtually impossible to get. What we did have were faithful horror and sci-fi magazines and books published in the U.S. For me they were my Godzilla Bible. From time to time, I will highlight my favorites in a new blog segment called “The Magazines that Made Me,” playing on the Netflix series The Toys That Made Us. My hope is that you share the same feelings I have for these magazines.

My most sacred compendium of Godzilla was the premier issue #1 of Fangoria magazine published by Starlog in August of 1979 for $1.95. Fangoria is “an internationally distributed American horror film fan magazine, in publication since 1979” (Source: Wikipedia). This beautiful magazine joined my small collection of magazines alongside of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Fangoria #1 came out during the time Mattel was delivering great Godzilla toys. Life was good.

Fangoria #1 featured Godzilla (1954) prominently on the cover besides a atomic mushroom cloud. This first issue came with a beautiful pullout “giant color poster” with the cover art of the Italian re-release of Godzilla. The table of content boasted “the complete Godzilla screen story: two and a half decades of titanic terror” in its 11-paged article “25 Years with Godzilla” by producer and the Godzilla historian Ed Godziszewski (pp 30–40). And it was all that I could have dreamt of back then. I happy to still have the magazine with its tears, tatters, tape and tortured pages.

At that time, Fangoria #1 was one of the few magazines in my collection with color photos of Godzilla. I was mesmerized by two photos in particular, Godzilla stomping through New York City in Destroy All Monsters (1968) and Godzilla standing over Megalon in Godzilla vs Megalon (1973). These two films I had not yet seen at that time. I had never seen the MegoGoji suit with his big eyes, strong brow and long slender fingers. The fantastic poster art for the film on page 31 captured me because it cause the kaiju in a familiar scene atop the World Trade Center buildings in King Kong (1976).

I read this article over and over. As a kid I couldn’t understand all its words (eg, paraphernalia, polarized, dubbed, stock, eerie). I didn’t understand sentence, “Warner Brothers chose to rename the movie rather than purchase the rights to the ‘Godzilla’ logo.” In this article, I first learned of the proposed films Godzilla vs the Devil and the Rebirth of Godzilla. Fangoria #1 provided me a summary of the 15 Showa Godzilla films and a textbook that I used to teach my friends in my Godzilla class held on my front steps (lol). I tested my students in the article’s loaded information. Fangoria #1 meant so much to me. If you can find a copy, pick it up! Check out a good history of the magazine on The article ended with a small icon that I still believe is Godzilla’s head