Monster Magazines: Essentials for Building a Collection
With current monster magazines appearing regularly such as Fangoria, Scary Monsters, Monster Bash and Rue Morgue, among many others, there has never been a better time to collect these titles. Whether you prefer classic horror cinema or the growing number of modern horror films, there is a magazine to fit your taste. Moreover, these publications are considered highly collectible, typically increasing in value in both the short and long-term.
It all began with the appearance of Famous Monsters of Filmland in 1958. Today, the first 30 issues in good condition can easily be worth between 10 to 15 thousand dollars total. Not bad for a magazine with an original cover price of 35 cents!
A timelier example is Fangoria. Now in its second series, issue #20 was just released. A copy of the 2018 first issue easily sells for $100. Again, not bad considering the initial price of $19.79.
Remember, even the most impressive world-class collection began with that first item. Increases in value like the examples above are the reality rather than the reason to gather hordes of anything one enjoys, from Beanie Babies to magazines and everything in between. Collect for the fun of collecting, for nostalgia or investment, but always for the sheer love of what you collect!
The following four basic guidelines are all you need to get started in relation to magazines and other paper-based ephemera.
At a minimum, a collectible magazine should have no creasing or tears, missing pages or cut coupons. The Overstreet Guide to Grading Comics is a must-have reference on condition nuances.
Backing boards, bags and magazine storage boxes protect against any number of mishaps common to unprotected magazines. Mylar bags and acid-free backing boards and boxes are best for long-term storage, though less-expensive polyethylene bags and cardstock backing boards are fine in the short term. E. Gerber Products and Bags Unlimited are excellent sources for archival preservation supplies.
KEEP AN INVENTORY
From the very first item.
While a handwritten inventory on notebook paper works fine at first, a spreadsheet using software such as Excel is a better option. I learned this lesson late, although I had only been collecting for less than three years. An inventory lets you know what you don’t have as well as what you do have. Six copies of the same issue is not a collection, it’s a store!
FINDING BACK ISSUES
Completing a collection of any magazine is a daunting task. Sources such as yard sales, Estate sales and Thrift stores can yield successful results as can many comic conventions. Online auction sites such as eBay are another option. Then, there are “specialty-sites” such as the highly recommended Lone Star Comics. By far, the best option used by serious collectors are broker sources such as the legendary Steve Dolnick. His simple I Buy Monster Magazines ads are well-known to veteran collectors. A trusted broker since the early 1980s and author of numerous articles on collecting, Steve discovered the lost title Monster Parade, a short-lived competitor to Famous Monsters of Filmland, running only four issues from 1958-1959.
Except for a large eBay store presence, Steve no longer advertises in print and does not maintain any social-media site to speak of. His private clients range from beginning collectors to well-known celebrities.
So, as a fitting end to this very basic article on collecting, we are honored that Steve has granted us permission to include his email address here exclusively for our ReMIND audience, also letting us know that he has a nice stock of ReMIND back issues.
We can think of no better magazine to begin an impressive collection! You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org