If you grew up watching horror movies—or even surreptitiously sneaking off to look at the video box art for horror movies you weren’t allowed to rent— in the ‘80s or ‘90s, you likely have some warm memories of Fangoria magazine. Founded in 1979 as a spin-off of popular sci-fi fan magazine Starlog, Fangoria has published regularly ever since, surviving the rise and fall of its own spin-off magazine, Gorezone, as well as various ventures into radio, TV, and film production. But these are tough times for the magazine industry, and after a very public split with longtime editor Michael Gingold last year, Fangoria has lost another editor-in-chief in Ken Hanley. Over the weekend, Hanley posted on Facebook, saying he no longer works for Fangoria, but “I will forever be grateful for the freedom and opportunities that the company offered me throughout the years, and i will miss writing for them.”
This was not just a polite breakup letter, though. After expressing his gratitude, Hanley dropped this bomb: “For those wondering, there will likely never be another issue of Fangoria, print or digital, unless the magazine goes under new ownership.” (He then repeated the same statement more publicly on Twitter.) After the ensuing dust-up among the subset of a subset that is horror film writers online—including several who had written for Fangoria with the promise of payment, and who had never received their checks—the magazine came forward today with a statement saying, in a rather convoluted way, that the magazine can no longer afford to produce a print edition, and that “with time and continued patience from our fans, writers, artists and subscribers, we will be working endlessly to make good on any funds owed for magazines and/or articles written.”
The Fangoria website is still up and moderately active, posting an article every couple of days. And according to today’s statement, it will remain so for the foreseeable future. So while the brand isn’t dead, Fangoria magazine as we know it appears to be. In the unlikely event that the magazine industry recovers, its publishers insist it could still come back, but for horror lovers, it feels like the end of a goopy, gory, extremely entertaining era.