Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Classified ads from 1974 issue
of The Monster Times

The one true turtle avenger (sorry, Leonardo & Co.) is featured on the cover of this December 1974 issue of The Monster Times.

Yes, it's Gamera, whose name on this cover is spelled "Gammera" because of the 1966 U.S. release of Gammera the Invincible, an Americanization and spelling bastardization of 1965's Japanese film Gamera, the Giant Monster. It's Gamera, with one M. Period. And, yes, he's full of turtle meat. But you're never getting through that shell.

The Monster Times was a weekly magazine that churned out four dozen issues on newsprint between 1972 and 1976. It was heavy on horror, talking apes, kaiju, Star Trek and comics. This 1974 issue had a cover price of 75 cents, which was probably the bulk of an average kid's weekly allowance in those days. It's equivalent to about $3.86 today.

I'll be delving into some other groovy corners of this issue in future posts, but today I'm sharing highlights from the classified advertisements, which are dubbed "The Monster Fan Fair" and are featured on the next-to-last page of the 32-page issue:

  • Buy — Sell — Trade at Supersnipe Comic Book Art Emporium, 1617 Second Ave., NYC 10028 (212) 879-9628. New & old comics, original art, big little books, movie memorabilia, science fiction, & The Monster Times.1
  • Anybody who has any facts or photos of Anthony Zerbe or Robert Armstrong, please write to: Mary Demonte, 96 Bay View Ave., Lynn, MA 01902.
  • July 28 is the best day of them all and don't you mock it, me or ham. Mark Markham, 1041 #41 Shell Blvd., Foster City, CA 94404.2
  • Wanted: Stills and information on ape make-up. Send list and price. Chad Urbina, 1511 Kenniwick Loop, Alexandria, LA 71301.
  • Oregon's Department of Justice is not looking into Gothic Castle (CoF) Publishing Company. They handled one case against Gothic Castle which was satisfied by them.
  • Vulcan Fan Club join free. If you want penpals, if your [sic] looking or selling something at reasonable prices, then join. Write to: Steven Prange, 5202 Patterson Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208 or Steven Drofich, RR 1 Box 170-Y, Palmerton, PA 18701. It's only logical that you do.
  • Wanted for use in fanzine original sci-fi poetry about space, other worlds. Any style, length not in excess of one page. Send no poems yet, for info write: Brian Franczak, 336 Maple St., New Britain, CT 06051.
  • Wanted: A pen pal. my age 10, interested in UFOs. Contact David Mumford, 15 Saddlebrook, Houston, TX 77029.
  • Wanted: Monster pen pals, ages 11-13. Write to Ricky Perry, 3520 Beverly Dr., Ft. Worth, TX 76117.
  • I am seven and don't get a big allowance. If anyone has TMT back issues they don't want, send to Jim Cirronella Jr., 21 Wedgewood Ave., Colts Neck, NJ 07722.
  • Wanted: Color stills from Night Stalker, Frankenstein, True Story, Duel. Send prices to: Richard Ekstedt, 60 Dwight Road, Oakhill, Middletown, NJ 07748.
  • The Japanese Fantasy Film Journal, popularly known as JFFJ now taking orders for issue number 11. Contains a filmbook on Ghidrah, articles on Jap super heroes, special effects, much more. To reserve your copy, send 75¢ to Greg Shoemaker, 3235 Collingwood, Toledo, OH 43610.

1. Supersnipe was a famous comic book store that's worth its own post. But many others have done that, and I'm a generalist more than an expert. So I'll leave those other posts to do the job. In summary, though: Supersnipe was one of the first comic book stores in New York City. It was in business from 1971 until the mid- to late-1980s. Its owner, Ed Summer (who died in 2014), hobnobbed with the likes of George Lucas, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ray Bradbury. His tiny, influential store was often filled with Marvel and DC writers and editors. There's some nifty old material on this Facebook tribute page for Supersnipe. Finally, here's a description of the store from the August 23, 1976, issue of The New York Times:
"...[T]he store at 1617 Second Avenue, gives little heed to the aesthetics of decor. Its name is the SuperSnipe Comic Book Art Emporium, and its cluttered quarters leave room for only a small fraction of the 400,000 comic hooks, pulp magazines, science fiction periodicals, Tarzan books, Oz books and similar works that its clientele covets and trades in.

"The management says it can come up with the original first issue of Batman comics for a buyer willing to part with $1,250. Or, for $750, it will part with the first edition of a comic book called Special Edition, containing an early Captain Marvel adventure.

"Since youngsters, who are among the customers, are unlikely to come up with such sums, some books are available at two for a nickel, For those who might covet the first issue of Batman but make a point of never burdening themselves with cash, Master Charge is said to be acceptable. Old Donald Duck comics are said to be a hot item these days, for those who like to be au courant.

"The store, between 83d and 84th Streets, is closed Sunday and Monday. It is open from 12:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; on Friday from 12:30 to 7 and on Saturday from noon to 5:30 P.M."
And, yes, that "first issue of Batman comics," from 1939, regularly sells for $1 million or more now.

2. This one's an utter mystery to me.

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