The iconic 1980s and '90s horror magazine Fangoria is returning in its print form, thanks to multimedia production company Cinestate. In the bygone era before blogs, podcasts, smartphone apps or even the Internet itself, it could be tricky for movie fans to stay up to date on the state of their favorite genres. Trade publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter were read mainly by people within the film industry. The public at large had magazines like Entertainment Weekly and staunchly mainstream TV shows like Entertainment Tonight as their film and TV news sources.
Yet hardcore genre fans were often left wanting. Enter Fangoria in the late 1970s, originally envisioned by writers Ed Naha and Ric Myers as an all-fantasy magazine. Fangoria's first few issues were trounced by their major competitor Starlog. Their seventh issue switched the focus to horror, featuring Stanley Kubrick's The Shining on its cover, and took off from there. Fangoria thrived during horror's '80s heyday - the brand hosted awards shows, produced movies, released comic books - but suffered during the digital age. Print issue publication became sporadic starting in the 2010s, as ad revenue failed to support the cost of production.
Now, THR reports that Cinestate has acquired all the brand's assets and trademarks from The Brooklyn Company. Former Birth.Movies.Death.com editor-at-large Phil Nobile, Jr. will reportedly become editor in chief of the new Fangoria, with a new print edition scheduled to release this fall. Cinestate also plans to expand Fangoria into a multi-platform venture that will include podcasts, movies, and even publishing. According to Nobile:
“Fangoria is not something that competes with online blogs. Fangoria is not an algorithm. Fangoria is something you hold in your hands, something you spend a bit of time with in the real world. That’s what it was for decades, and that’s what we’re going to make it again.”
Of course, today's horrorheads have plenty of websites and podcasts devoted to the genre to choose from. Fangoria's brand name appeal and place as an iconic slice of genre fandom - not to mention the inherent 1980s nostalgia that comes with it - makes resurrecting the magazine's print incarnation an intriguing business decision on paper, but moving print issues of a magazine in this digital era is famously problematic.
Still, some of the genre's current notable names are set to contribute in some form, including director S. Craig Zahler (Brawl in Cell Block 99), Shudder.com curator Samuel Zimmerman, and Ashlee Blackwell, creator of Graveyard Shift Sisters, a site dedicated to black women in horror. With movies like Get Out and IT drawing huge box office numbers while focusing attention on the horror genre in new - and sometimes controversial - ways, this may prove to be a ripe moment for Fangoria to burst out of its coffin and perhaps shake up our expectations of what a multi-platform approach to this type of brand can really do.
Look for a new print issue of Fangoria in time for Halloween this year.
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