LETTERS  PCR #253     (January 24--30, 2005)

  • Lonnie Dohlen on Johnny Carson/Dr. Paul Bearer
  • Steve Beasley on Johnny Carson
  • Andy Lalino on Jim Warren and Famous Monsters

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    [Re: "Goodbye, Johnny", from the homepage] Let's not forget Dr. Paul Bearer went up against Johnny Carson on Friday Nights between 1974-76 (Fright Theater).

    Lonnie Dohlen


    PCR readers,
    I was born in 1957 and literally grew up watching "Johnny Carson" on WFLA TV Channel 8 [in Tampa], until he retired in 1992. You may notice that I called The Tonite Show  "Johnny Carson"...that's because he was the show. Sure, Jack Parr hosted it before Johnny, but Jack's most famous bit, for which I respect him highly, was the W.C. incident (i.e., "water closet", I believe ---N), and that's where it ended for Parr. However, the show thereafter truly became, The Tonite Show, STARRING Johnny Carson. We all know laughter is the best medicine, and Johnny is a hero without equal in that regard. A great game show would be to see how long contestants, of any age, could watch endless hours of Johnny Carson antics without laughing and/or crying. I dare say you'd see more than 5 minutes pass without falling on the floor in hysterics...and by the way, when it came to being serious, rather than become boring...we would sit there in rapt attention because Johnny Carson spoke from the heart. We've seen him laugh, we've seem him cry. Comedians and Comediennes (in my opinion even actors) young and old learned the art of timing as well as the (natural) style in the way Johnny delivered his material. I honestly know of no human that didn't enjoy Johnny Carson's brand of entertainment.

    Johnny Carson has no equal. May he rest in peace, while we continue watching him on video.... He shall live on...

    Steve Beasley
    Auckland, NZ


    I wanted to thank Matt Drinnenberg for turning us on (strike those dirty thoughts from your mind, readers!) to the Jim Warren interview (Re: "Matt's Rail", PCR #252 --N). I didn't expect such an in-depth expose on the man who helmed our beloved FM for decades. What insight! I was most captivated by the real-life inspiration of one of his foremost creations - "Vampirella".

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Warren's interview did not detail how competition from "Fangoria" and "Starlog" magazines impacted their business, which I'm sure was worthy of mention.

    Matt may want to check out a fascinating interview with Randy Palmer, the Managing Editor of FM during the last few months of its publication (before it folded in 1982) in Scary Monsters magazine issue #10. The article's titled: "The Famous Monsters That Never Was". Palmer states that after 1980 (in the wake of Fangoria's near full-color debut) that sales of Warren Publishing magazines and Captain Company sales were "way down". I found that perplexing due to the fact "Star Wars", "The Empire Strikes Back", "Superman", and "Battlestar: Galactica" toys were doing bang-up sales at the time (which Captain Company offered, albeit at expensive prices).

    Palmer laments the inability to hire Frank Frazetta to do "Creepy", "Eerie", and "Vampirella" covers or to add more color pages to FM, but then how does he explain Fango's success? They were able to maintain a healthy readership while offering full-color pages and better-written articles than FM could dream up at the time. Read between the lines and I think you'll find a magazine that was unwilling to change with the times. Reprinting articles and stories from previous editions further hurt their cause, as fanboys resented spending hard-earned allowances on what were basically repeats that were a rip-off.

    Forry Ackerman resigning in 1980 was another nail in the coffin, plus, according to Palmer, Jim Warren had "lost all interest in the business".

    Palmer's interview ends, sadly, with the reality that all that was left of Warren Publishing's empire, the movie stills, original artwork, manuscripts, Captain Company merchandise, and back issues of FM, Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella, was either tossed out or absorbed by another company. I'd love to get my hands on the lousy rats who considered all that work garbage. He/she needs a good, swift kick in the teeth with a steel-heeled boot. Double that for the fucking asshole who ordered Channel 44 to discard all of Dr. Paul Bearer's 1" tapes from Creature Feature. They ought to be brought up on the most severe charges imaginable.


    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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