Why Michael Gingold Joining Delirium Magazine is an important Moment in Horror

d1I got into the horror genre at an early age. I was around 6-7 when I became hooked, but the real moment in which my “liking” of the genre flew into a full blow fanaticism was when I was nine years old and my father took me to the store to get something to drink (to get another obsession of mine, Dr. Pepper). While at the store, I would typically stand around the comic books and magazines until my father was ready, but during this particular trip, I noticed a magazine I had never seen prior to this life changing moment. There, just dying to be purchased, was Fangoria Magazine. I don’t remember what was on the cover, but after looking through the pages, I was in love, a love that has never been matched by anything else, print or human. I begged my dad to buy it for me, but he thought (foolishly) that if he told me I’d have to pull weeds to earn it, I’d be swayed away from Fango. He bought it for me and I pulled weeds for hours to earn it.

What was so magical about the magazine and what I loved about it, was how the writers and the approach in Fangoria at the time (late eighties) never talked down to their readership, instead it made you feel like there were others out there who were like you, that there was a horror community out there. I didn’t have many friends growing up, I was into books written by Stephen King and Clive Barker, listened to music like Concrete Blonde and Bad Religion instead of whatever top 40 stuff was popular and I ALWAYS brought an issue of Fangoria to school with me. I didn’t need friends because though I never imagined I’d meet or see either of them in person, let alone write for them, people like Tony Timpone and Michael Gingold were the only friends I needed and it felt like I was experiencing their set visits or conventions alongside them, just from reading their pieces in Fangoria. It was the happiest I had ever been up to that point. My dream was to one day write for Fangoria and be a part of the horror community. My family told me that it would never happen and that being into the horror genre was “of the devil”, so for a long time, I gave up on that. I still read Fangoria religiously, but never thought for a second that I’d ever be able to frame issues of the best magazine ever that I had contributed to.

Fast forward to just a few years ago. I was (and still am) the editor in chief of a site that I loved since its inception in 2004, Icons of Fright. I still read Fangoria, followed Icons, Shock Till You Drop and Dread Central, and I was sidetrack with the realization that I was a part of the community I had been told by family that I would never be a part of. After writing for Icons for a good while, I was welcomed into the Fangoria team as a freelance contributor, and I won’t lie, there were tears involved. Not only was I getting the chance to write for my favorite magazine, but what felt so surreal was the fact that though Timpone had somewhat stepped into Editor Emeritus position and wasn’t as active within the actual magazine, I would be writing alongside Michael Gingold (a childhood hero of mine) and another figure in horror that I really liked, Chris Alexander.  Being welcomed into the Fangoria family, even as a freelance contributor, was on par with my first child being born, it was that important and special to me.

We all know that things have slowly changed at Fangoria over the last couple of years. Financial issues regarding the printing of the magazines and for anyone d2who has written for the magazine since the beginning of those times, you know what issues we’ve faced, so I won’t get into slinging mud. While really important people who were significant figures to the magazine began to leave the publication for other opportunities (Rebekah McKendry, Sam Zimmerman, etc), Gingold and Alexander were still around so it felt like whatever issues the magazine was having would be fixed because they were in good hands. The first sign to me that things weren’t heading in the right direction, was when Alexander left the magazine, but not before hooking up with Empire/Full Moon head honcho, Charles Band to put out a brand new magazine called Delirium. Just as Bekah and Chris had with Fangoria, Chris welcomed me into the Delirium fold as a freelance writer, making me feel so incredibly happy, the magazine was a love letter for all things cult or off-kilter. So I would contribute to Delirium, head up Icons of Fright and tackle any Fangoria assignments I got, including awesome set visits, interviews, etc. It felt really good. When Alexander left last year to take over Shock Till You Drop, a feeling of anxiety within the magazine became a strong presence in the horror community, people voiced dissatisfaction and it began to feel very different than the magazine I had grown up reading. I found out about the change within the magazine while covering last year’s Fantastic Fest for Blumhouse.com, but what I thought at the time was, “Well at least Gingold is still there!”, and continued to follow everything happening.

Recently, it was announced (and addressed by MANY people) that Michael Gingold and W.R. “Bill” Mohalley, the magazine’s longtime art designer were let go from their positions at Fangoria. The bottom dropped. People voiced their anger that a real life horror journalism icon would be let go like he was, and though I STILL have faith that Fangoria can somehow pull it together, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it felt like a punch to the gut. What would become of the man who was one of the mg2biggest inspirations on my journey as a writer growing up? Where would we see Gingold next and more importantly, would we?

I was getting ready for an interview yesterday, when I checked my e-mail and saw a press release announcing that both Gingold and Mohalley had joined the Delirium team. I was elated and throughout the entire interview I was doing, I kept thinking to myself, “this, this is important.”..and it is. Delirium Magazine has grown since its debut, and while it originally was something of a magazine based on all things Full Moon/Empire, it’s evolved into all things cult and fun. I’ve had the privilege of writing pieces in three of the ten issues that have been released thus far (Issue #11 looks amazing and will be the debut of Gingold and Mohalley in the magazine), signed at two events for the mag, and I can honestly say that Delirium was already quickly becoming an important magazine in the horror genre, and adding reuniting Gingold and Mohalley to the team really shows how much Chris and Band want to put out a magazine on par with the issues of Fango that caused that nine year old version of myself to fall in love with the horror genre.

More geared towards the love of the genre and celebrating that love and less about having a financial gain being the driving focus, it’s something that will lead into special issues and viewpoints that we want to read and be excited about It’s the start of something that was already growing, the beginning of putting together one of the most solid teams around. Hell, Delirium already Alexander, Jason Bene, David Del Valle, Justin Beahm and well…me (I’m joking, though I am VERY happy to be a small part of the team, I don’t deserve to named alongside such talented artists and writers). I feel like this will be the start of something really big and significant for the horror genre, and while I believe Fangoria will eventually bounce back, what’s transpiring right now at Delrium is something to look out for and something to follow. I’m so very happy to see it all happening and I look forward to seeing this moment turn into one of the biggest movements in horror journalism.

One Response to “Why Michael Gingold Joining Delirium Magazine is an important Moment in Horror”
  1. Jay Sharp says:

    R.I.P. Fango. You had one helluva run.

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