Horror fans were shocked and surprised in February when it was announced that horror magazine Fangoria was making a comeback.
Despite a downward spiral in sales and quality, new Editor Phil Nobile Jr. has some exciting plans for the magazine. Here’s what he had to say –
Tell us how you got involved in Fangoria?
Dallas Sonnier, the new publisher of Fangoria, knew my work at Birth.Movies.Death. and I interviewed him about his film Bone Tomahawk back in 2015. He called me out of the blue in January and told me he’d bought the magazine, and we traded ideas for a couple weeks, saw that we were on the same page and I came aboard in March!
Was it sad what Fangoria became in its first incarnation?
Definitely, but as sad as it was for readers like me, my sympathies lie with the folks who were actually trying to make the magazine happen under no-win conditions. They were not being supported by their employer and my understanding is that many of them kept working even after the pay ran out. On top of that, they were on the front lines publicly, so they caught much of the flak on social media. That was a terrible situation to put the contributors in.
You have made some very encouraging promises to former readers, was this always the plan to reward readers?
Dallas told me the plan to offer free subscriptions to readers who were stiffed on, I think, our very first phone call. He hasn’t wavered from that pledge once, and it’s both a testament to his moral compass and his smarts as a businessman. He recognized we needed to earn back some faith for the brand.
What will be different this time around?
Fangoria is now a 100-page quarterly, which means we won’t be covering news and reviews in quite the same way. We’ll be going for longer reads, first-person filmmaking stories, and we’ll be opening up the table a bit, working with some great writers whom folks will recognize, but maybe not have seen writing about horror before.
What sort of features do you have lined up?
That’s a secret for now! But based on the online response to our contributor list (Tim Lucas, Grady Hendrix, Matt Zoller Seitz, Russ Fischer, Ashlee Blackwell, S. Craig Zahler, Meredith Borders, Anya Stanley, Jacob Knight, Matt Barone, Mike Gingold, William Wilson, Simon Abrams, Anya Stanley, Ama Lee, Barbara Crampton, Charlie Brigden, Sam Zimmerman, Tony Timpone, Preston Fassel), I think people will like what we’ve got cooking.
Is a big feature on Halloween (2018) in the offing?
Well, our first issue is in October, so odds are we’ll have some Halloween content in there.
What has the reaction from studios been to the return of Fangoria?
The studios have been great! Very cooperative and excited. I think they get what we’re saying about how Fangoria is now an institution. Next year is its 40th anniversary, after all.
Did you read Fangoria growing up?
I did – I was part of the ’80s readership. I was terrified of horror movies as a kid, and Fangoria was a conduit into discovering the people who made those films, and how they made them. In using it to get over my fears, it fed a lifelong fascination with filmmaking.
With print sales across the board declining how hard will it be to balance a good print magazine and great online content?
For now, our online presence is going to focus on the Fango community via social media. There’s plenty of great horror content online and so our focus will be on the magazine – a printed, hard copy experience that we invite readers to go offline for a couple hours and experience.
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