Monday, June 02, 2014

Press release: 'Monster Mag' #2 - Relaunched in English - Go buy a copy

The original horror films poster mag is back!

...Even better, it’s relaunching with a limited edition of the most scarce film magazine in the entire world...

This is a digitally remastered limited edition – a faithful printing of the original, differing only in credits on the editorial page and the Quality cover symbol replacing the 1973 Warner Bros one – to avoid any passing off.

Ebay/Paypal users can order it now from:
Or check our website:
Long before video nasties, DVDs and downloads, MONSTER MAG ruled! The original horror films poster mag, it was launched in 1973 by prolific Dr Who scripter Roger Noel Cook and ran for 14 issues. Following a short absence it was revived by Dez Skinn in 1976 for a further three issues before morphing into The House of Hammer.
Outside of its high profile for gory content making it highly collectabl
e among young teenagers at the time, with back issues regularly now selling for £20/$30, it has a far greater claim to fame... By accident, its second issue has become the world's most scarce film magazine.
While French and German editions can sometimes be found on eBay - where they sell for as high as $1250 - there are no copies in existence of the 1973 English language number 2, having all been destroyed by HM Customs on arrival from its Italian printer, deemed unsuitable for an all-age market. A “For Adults Only” band was added to covers from issue 3 and stickered for a rereleased issue 1.
Another frustration for collectors is that in vol 2 #3 (issue 17) editor Dez Skinn promised that the next issue would be a "Double X" Special. But it never happened. Instead the legendary House of Hammer was launched.
With Roger Cook and Dez Skinn both working together again, there's some long-overdue tidying up they're promising to prioritise...
On this revival, Skinn commented, “I must admit feeling a great debt to Monster Mag. Without it, I certainly wouldn’t have gone on to producing House of Hammer, or Starburst. And without those, there’d have been no Doctor Who Weekly, Warrior, V for Vendetta, Miracleman or any of the rest that have kept me busy these last forty odd years.

Eager to gain magazine experience and contacts, Roger landed his first job with the world’s biggest publishing company, IPC Magazines... as a teaboy.

Within a year, by this time aged 18, Cook was hired by IPC rival Polystyle Publications to be in-house staff script-writer on such series as Popeye and Tom & Jerry for the weekly TV Comic. His work proved popular enough for him to be given the weekly Doctor Who scriptwriting job. Over the next few years he wrote over 200 stories, making him the most prolific Doctor Who writer in any medium.

But restless in a sea of anonymous contributors, he left the comics industry and across the next decade he burned a trail of daring and innovative products in the UK and America, his publishing ideas making millions for Warner Bros, Paul Raymond, Hugh Hefner, Felix Dennis and Richard Desmond.

Now based in Marbella, Spain, and following a 35-year break from music, Cook has returned to his first love. With over 50 million units of his songs from the last three decades in circulation, he recently signed an agreement with the Russian Music Box TV network for his material to be aired to their 80 million Pan-European viewers.

And in partnership with his old IPC colleague, ex-head of Marvel UK Dez Skinn, Cook has recently been commissioned to develop a range of film and TV production concepts for the Asian film market, Hollywood and, for European TV, a new crime thriller series.

Over the last 45 years, Skinn has made a career of creating innovative new entertainment concepts and characters for and from print and screen. Having developed over 70 adventure magazines and comics he has influenced generations of teenagers, earning him the title of “The British Stan Lee”.

Despite initially being a research chemist, following a quick change to journalism for Yorkshire Newspapers’ DONCASTER EVENING POST, Skinn moved to London in 1970 to work at IPC Magazines, writing and editing for children’s weekly comics including WHIZZER & CHIPS, COR!! and BUSTER as well as for TV’s The Two Ronnies.

In 1975 he left IPC for the publishing side of Warner Bros where he ran MAD MAGAZINE, TARZAN and a range of teen titles. It was here, a few months after reviving Roger Cook’s 1973-launched MONSTER MAG that he created the award-winning HOUSE OF HAMMER magazine, licensed from the renowned horror film company.

Leaving Warner Bros in 1977, he created STARBURST as a cult entertainment magazine which he then sold to MARVEL COMICS when headhunted to revitalise the company’s UK publishing. As their editorial director he was responsible for the future of such characters as SPIDER-MAN, THE AVENGERS and THE INCREDIBLE HULK. At the suggestion of his immediate superior, Stan Lee, he began writing a weekly editorial SEZ DEZ which appeared in the full line of Marvel titles, giving his column an audience of over half a million readers. It was also for Marvel that he created and launched the DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE, recently winning him a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest-running TV tie-in title. Timeslip, a 2-issue serial he wrote as a fill-in for the weekly has become the most reprinted Doctor Who story ever.

Going independent once again in 1982, he launched WARRIOR as a nationally-distributed comic magazine anthology. This title was the birthplace for then new writer Alan Moore’s assigned V FOR VENDETTA, later sold to Warner Bros as a graphic novel and live action feature film and MARVELMAN, recently acquired by Disney for their Marvel line.

In 1990 he launched COMICS INTERNATIONAL as an industry trade magazine, which he published and edited for 200 issues before selling the title and moving into a partnership with Roger Noel Cook, to create new ideas for film and TV.

Skinn is also author of several books, including 2003’s Harper Collins hardback COMIX: THE UNDERGROUND REVOLUTION, which was awarded Book of the Week by The Guardian newspaper.

A comment from his mentor explains his never-ending drive: Stan Lee had once said that he felt Skinn’s greatest strength was in producing new ideas and that as soon as he had them fully developed he should pass them on to others so he could move on to creating more.

In constant demand on the lecture circuit, because of his outspoken passion for and belief in education through entertainment, Skinn, whose name was an answer to a BBC-tv Mastermind question. was invited to Abu Dhabi in 2012 to chair a University of New York sponsored debate on LITERACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE 21st CENTURY.
A highly self-critical perfectionist, Skinn’s personal motto as well as his continuing goal has always been: GOOD, BETTER, BEST... BETTERED.
While Cook is busy refreshing his sun tan, Skinn is available for interviews. Please email to arrange such.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Smiths Horror Bags - Horrid Shivers advertisement +

Sometime ago I did a post about a coffin shaped sticker that came free with 'Whoopee' comic dated 14th August 1976. Well this is the only one of these stickers I have seen, the others were part of a set from Smiths Horror Bags called 'Horrid Shivers' of which you can see a promotional advertisement from below as well as the cover of the Whoopee issue and a photo of the actual sticker that came with the issue. Its really nice to see another Horror Bags ad, now we need photos of the actual Horrid Shivers set.

A big thank you to Irmantas at the brilliant British comics blog - Kazoop

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lack of posts

I am really sorry for the lack of posts here, for some reason Blogger isn't letting me add any photos to my posts. Hopefully I'll work it out soon and get back on track again.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ritz cinema, Lincoln - Live M.R.James Ghost stories performed by Robert Lloyd Parry

Award winning actor R M Lloyd Parry (who featured on the cover and in a 8 page feature on M.R.James in the September 2012 issue of Fortean Times magazine) returns to Lincoln (first time at The Ritz Cinema & Theatre) to perform his highly acclaimed one man show 'Oh, Whistle...' (part of his M R James Trilogy.) Here he will regale us with two ghostly tales by the master of the ghost story, M R James.'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad' - a tale of nocturnal horror on the Suffolk coast - is considered by many to be the author's masterpiece. It is beautifully complemented here by ' The Ash Tree,' a story of witchcraft and vengeance down the generations.

Montague Rhodes James (M R James) 1862-1936, was a medieval scholar, the Provost of King's College Cambridge, and the author of some of the best supernatural tales in the English language. He produced roughly one story a year between 1893 & 1930, many of them composed to be read aloud to friends at Christmas.

Victorian/Edwardian dress actively encouraged.

Tickets are £9 each & available from

A sample video of Robert Lloyd Parry's wonderful performance telling the story of M.R.James 'The Mezzotint'

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

'HORROR BAGS' [90's Lucky bags] Packaging box

Greetings lovers of the weird and macabre.

I thought it was high time that I began another post and hopefully keep the posts coming more often, it has been ages now and I am sorry for those that keep checking for a new post. All I can say is I'm sorry and thanks for visiting the old Cobwebbed Room. Also I have several comments that I still need to answer too, I will try and do this as soon as I can. Sorry again.


I featured the Horror Bags [Lucky Bags] awhile ago and I forgot all about showing a photo of one of the packaging boxes that they were sold in. Would love to find one of these boxes full of the actual Horror Bags. As I mentioned in my original post, these were certainly the best of the horror/Halloween themed lucky bags.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ladybird Horror classics books and tapes

Enjoy these classics of horror from Ladybird books and Pickwick Tell-a-tale,these are wonderful dramatized adaptations with music and sound effects.Click on the links below.Enjoy. 

FRANKENSTEIN - Side 1    Side 2

DRACULA - Side 1    Side 2

Dr.JEKYLL & MR.HYDE - Side 1    Side 2

THE MUMMY - Side 1    Side 2

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'Heinz Haunted House' - Haunted Theatre promotion

I am sure that this is only the second promotional item that I have seen from Heinz Haunted House,the other being the badge which is very easy to come across. If you know of any others please do let us know. I really like the Haunted theatre background which of course is the house and scenery featured on the actual tins. The basic idea of the set is that you can decorate the scene with the sheet of glow-in-the-dark stickers,not sure if the stickers would come off again easily. Also here we have an advert from a comic of the promotion.