RIP Forrest J. Ackerman

December 6, 2008

The Lord High Emperor of Geekery has died at 92, after a long and scary life.

“Scary” in a good way, of course. Mr. Ackerman was a pioneer, perhaps THE pioneer, in the field of genre collecting, inspiring millions of other geeks, this one included, to come out of the shadows and indulge their love of horror, science fiction and fantasy.

His primary outlet was his magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, which I enjoyed as a boy but have not actually seen in probably 25 years. And that’s a shame. While the Internet is wonderful for accessing information — and certainly has brought the global nerd matrix closer together — nothing has ever really beaten that feeling of opening a new Famous Monsters, Fangoria, Mad or Cracked.

Mr. Ackerman wrote novels and stories under a variety of names, arranged for many more to be published, and directly inspired the greatest sci-fi and horror minds of the 20th century. Along the way, he built up one of the greatest private collections of movie memorabilia ever known.

Whether your thing is horror films, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, Star Trek or the Saw series, you owe a big thank-you to this man.

One of the best podcasts out there, GeeksOn, did a spectactular interview with Mr. Ackerman a couple of years back. It’s here.

As a real tribute, though, it wouldn’t hurt to watch some classic horror or sci-fi this afternoon, just as a way of saying thanks, and so long, and let’s hope the next stage of his journey gives Forrest J. Ackerman as big (and as sharp-toothed) a smile as the first.


One comment

  1. I really hope that his collection is to be preserved. In every interview I’ve seen/read with him I’d get lost in the background and not even hear what he was saying. Werewolves, vampires, the Seaview and Flying Sub, creatures, masks, you name it. He truly had a passion.

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