Forrest J Ackerman: Fanboy Extraordinaire

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 6, 2008 in Fandom, Hobbies and Collections, Horror, Pulp Fiction |

Forrest J. Ackerman, posing with monster masks and science fiction artwork in his Los Angeles, Calif. Home, 1969

It’s with a heavy heart that I learned of the passing of Forrest J Ackerman because so much of what we take for granted today as fanboys we owe to the man and his generation. Forrest was among the members of First Fandom: The first generation of fanboys who during the 30s invented science fiction conventions, fan clubs, fanzines and cosplay. And Mr. Ackerman did all of that by playing a leading role in establishing the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society in 1934, attending the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939 and published on the first fanzines Futuria Fantasia in 1939. Here’s an interview with him talking about the early days of science fiction fandom from 1996:

Over the years Forrest put together one of the best collections of science fiction, fantasy and horror film memorabilia in his home which became known as the Ackermansion which he sadly had to move out of in 2002. Here’s a video tour of the legendary museum from 1998:

Of course he was also more than just a fanboy: His professional career included over 50 published short stories and acted as a literary agent to over 200 authors. Although what I love about him is that he wasn’t just limited to science fiction and fantasy in print, in fact with his magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland (which ran from 1958 until 1983) put the horror film genre (and science fiction and fantasy films) into the spotlight years before Starlog hit newsstands in the 70s. Here’s a cover of the magazine from the 60s (found via Modern Fred):

Famous Monsters of Filmland: Issue 38

So from here at we salute you Forry, thank you for all you have done for all of us in fandom…

Photo credit: The photo at the start of the article is from the Los Angeles Times, and was published on April 8, 1969.

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