when I was a kid, there was a 7-11 about a block from my house. It was where we went if we were out of milk, Dad needed smokes (before he quit in ’76 that is), and where I bought my comics and my Famous Monsters of Filmland. My two goals at that young age were to have my picture in FMoF and to go on Wonderama.
Sadly, neither happened, as both ceased production at roughly the same time. However, Forry’s love of monsters and horror movies (and his groan inducing puns) shaped me, molded my tastes. He gave me an appreciation for the classics from Universal, Val Lewton’s movies (which today are still creepy as hell), and of course Hammer movies. To be fair, my Mom and I would watch the Hammer movies every Sunday at 3 PM.
These were my early influences. As the years rolled on, Fangoria, Stephen King, T.M. Wright, Clive Barker, Peter Straub and John Irving picked up the mantle of my imagination. They were all storytellers of untold talent; something Forry appreciated, and definitely what whetted my appetite for horror. Well, Irving isn’t a horror writer, but his characters come alive in a way few people can manage, and even his lesser works are still heads and tails above other works. I’ll refer you to The World According to Garp, Hotel New New Hampshire, Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany as examples.
An icon is gone. Yet, his influence, infectious affection, and puns will forever remain. And for that I am grateful.