RIP Forrest Ackerman

Just heard via Wil Wheton’s blog that Forrey Ackerman died.

I did have the pleasure to meet Mr. Ackerman once, when I lived in L.A. back in the early 90s.

Criterion had been working on the Jason and the Argonauts laserdisc and Curtis Wong clued me in that on Saturdays I could just go to his place, ring the doorbell and get a tour!

So we headed up there and sure enough, after ringing the doorbell, someone with an awful Dracula impersonation answered the buzzer. “Velcome, vhow mvay I hvelp vu?”

The next several hours were spent looking at his vast array of books, comics and artifacts he had collected over the years.

I never read his Monsters periodicals of old, but I could sense this was a man who loved Science Fiction. I mean not like today’s fans who seem to be fans because everyone else is a fan – This guy was the original fan.

He had models from War of the Worlds and had the very model of the Nautilus, the submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was stuck in a dirt floored room under a deck. Crazy.

He showed us a letter from a aspiring writer. Some kid by the name of King.

He showed us one of three capes worn by Karloff. One is buried with Karloff, the studio has the other and Forrey had the third. He also had one of the rings worn in Dracula.

It was a very cool, special visit and I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to meet someone who was not just a fan of Sci-Fi, but who helped shape the genre so much.