RIP, Forrest J Ackerman, the pioneering science fiction fan, editor and writer who coined the term "sci-fi" and founded Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. 4e left the party on December 4, at 92, after a long illness. of heart failure at home at the legendary Ackermansion in Los Feliz in Los Angeles.
Among those who grew up reading Famous Monsters of Filmland was author Stephen King. Other childhood readers included movie directors Joe Dante, John Landis and Steven Spielberg, who once autographed a poster of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" for Ackerman, saying, "A generation of fantasy lovers thank you for raising us so well."
Ackerman was a celebrity in his own right, once signing 10,000 autographs during a three-day monster-movie convention in New York City.
This, after all, was the man who created and wrote the comic book characters Vampirella and Jeanie of Questar and was the ultimate fan's fan: a man who actually had known Lugosi and Karloff and whose priceless collection of science-fiction, horror and fantasy artifacts ran to some 300,000 items.
(Thanks to all the readers who suggested this!)
(Image: Forrest J Ackerman at the Ackermansion.jpg by Alan Light, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)