Forrest J. Ackerman RIP

Started by gracebuster, December 05, 2008, 09:39:30 PM

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Monster Kid

A whole year... it seems incredible.  Today I am wearing my Forry brooch I made to wear to the Rising Star convention in Salem, Virginia in 1995 where he was a guest.  It has a photo I took of him at the World Science Fiction Convention in 1983 where I met the Ackermonster in person for the first time (or as Forry would write it.. "firstime".) 

There is no "lastime".


Yes, I can't believe it's been a year since we lost one of life's true heroes. I'm so fortunate to have met him.
"Well friends, that's all there is to life: just a little laugh, a little tear." - Prof. Echo (Lon Chaney, Sr.)


eMail to An Angel '10

Dear Forry:

Two years out now since you embarked on that final journey into the light, and yet in some ways it feels like you never left us.  Not a day goes by that your name doesn't come up in conversation amongst our regular crowd, that your photo doesn't turn up in some new publication or on some website, or that one of your puns isn't unleashed on some unsuspecting fan (generally to their great delight, I might add).

Of course there are still a few detractors out there, shallow of soul and drowning in ego, who accuse us of inhabiting the "Church of Ackerman," as they call it.  If such is the case, praise the Ack and pass the imagination, 'cause I am ready to testify...

A nearly complete print of METROPOLIS surfaced this year to universal acclaim, and how I wished you could have been there to see it!  At the screening I attended, I held open the seat next to me in your honor, and as the film unfolded I thought perhaps I felt a nudge or two coming from the empty space to my right; perhaps it was just my imagination, but then imagination was essential to your DNA, wasn't it?

After all, what is imagination but the power to dream writ large, on a scale that you intrinsically understood and communicated so well for so very many years.  You even gave it a bricks & mortar home (several actually) which we collectively called The Ackermansion, but was more like a sci-fi utopia where friendship and laugher and monstrous history all collided to unforgettable effect.  Even now whenever I find myself in LA, I like to climb the gentle curving slope of Glendower to visit the grand old House That Ack Built, just to stand in its shadow of memory.

And yet the vacuum you left behind remains potent and impossible to fill (tho God knows we've tried, with stories and memories and laughter, just as you would've wanted).  But you are a creature of dreams now, and we must be satisfied to carry you with us in the pockets of our hearts.

Two years ago tonight, the lights of Mars dimmed, the sidewalks of Atlantis rolled up, and all the workers below Metropolis doffed their numbered caps in sadness and memory.  But we've picked up the banner you left us and pushed ever on, just as you'd have wanted.  While you may be gone, the future vision you gave us still shines and all things still seem possible.  And the light of The Fan in The Moon still echoes from the quiet place from where you now hold court.

The Church of Ackerman?  Watch now, Forry, as you continue to pack the pews...

Until next year,


Dr. Madd

Madd The Impaler-

Dr. Madd- The Original- accept no subsitutes.


Jeff, No one puts it in words as well as you, in my opinion.  Thanks for writing here again about our old friend and uncle.  I surely miss him, too.  Some of his things sit on my piano and hang above the piano--and when I pound the keys with any of his favorites--and he had so many (lately, his grandfather's favorite, LONG, LONG TRAIL and his grandmother's, ALICE BLUE GOWN have been staying on the music rack)--when I play the old songs, Forry's there, always near.  And he always will be, for those of us who enjoyed the "Eck" who was Ack!  "He is not gone--he is just--away."
Robert in Ohio

"I don't care what they do, so long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses."   Mrs. Patrick Campbell


eMail to An Angel '11

Dear Forry:

Better than half-way now through the first lustrum since you decided to blow this earthly popsicle stand and see just what eternity had lined up for you... and still sorely missed by so, so many of us who now walk in the footprints you left behind in our hearts and imaginations; much like those left behind last century by mankind on the moon: deeply set, undisturbed, enduring through space and time.  Just as it should be. 

There are no days that you are not thought of, and fondly.  Fans and friends (many of whom you brought together originally) still gather (now just as often virtually as not) to swap 4e stories and memories, always punctuated with a sort of divine laughter than can only come from a deeply felt, mutual love and respect for you, each other, and the promise of what real Imagination can provide, be you 9 or 99.

In short, you can rest assured that the Metropolis you built still stands.

Of course it's not all punshine and roses; we've lost more old friends over the previous year (Prince Sirki is loath to take a rest it seems). But happily others soldier on, bent perhaps by age and infirmity but decidedly unbowed; ambassadors of the Golden Age of Scientifiction still walk among us, and proudly.

So I hope as you continue your last, longest journey beyond everything we know, you'll spare a moment (or eternity) to toss a whisper of starlight back this way now and again.  And we, in turn, will keep watching the skies... and listening for those echos in the night.

And say, I'm delighted to report the newest generation of fantasy fans is showing real promise.  You'd be proud of many of them; while it's true that their monsters might not be ours, they are just as likely to join in a rousing chorus of "Lon Chaney Shall Not Die!" or "Lugosi Lives Eternal!" (in spirit if not in fact) as the old crowd did back in the day.  They get it, Forry, they really do. 

And of course should they somehow not have heard the tale, I will take every opportunity I can to gather them 'round and quietly intone...

"Now, let me tell you about my Uncle..."

Until next year,



I'm doubly grateful for Forry, being such an enormous influence in my youth, and then bringing me to the UMA upon his passing, looking for others with whom to share my grief. Rest well were always my favorite Uncle.
We're all here because we're not all there.

Monster Kid

December 4, 2008... Forry moved on.  Our hero and mentor!!!  Long may we sing his praises!! 


I remember so well, when Forry left the earth and went beyond. I also remember the Rue Morgue magazine tribute. 2008.
    "They come from the bowels of hell; a transformed race of walking dead. Zombies, guided by a master plan for complete domination of the Earth."


I'll admit it: I know hardly anything about this man. I've never read his magazine, nor did I even learn about him until some time after his death. Yet reading what all of you wrote about him makes it feel like I've known him all my life.

Mike Scott

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