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In part one (see here) of my report detailing my trip to FANGORIA’s New York City offices, I told you how I, this 19-year-old Saddleback Community College student, made the trek from California to the Big Apple to meet the staff of the world’s longest-running horror magazine. Little did I know my class project would evolve into an almost full day of fun…
Editor emeritus Tony Timpone soon returned with a cup of water for me (I needed it pretty bad, I was still nervous) and a surprise: the 30th anniversary issue of FANGORIA. It was at this juncture that Tony went over some fun aspects of the magazine that appealed more to my personal taste. Using the magazine as a guide, he informed me about the Fango Radio program on Sirius XM Satellite radio and talked to me about the conventions FANGORIA used to host. Being a frequent visitor of the newly updated FANGORIA site, I never really understood half the things mentioned on the message boards (i.e. “When is Fango Radio coming back?!” or “Where is GOREZONE?”), but Tony was able to bring me up to speed in a matter of minutes. Apparently, GOREZONE, which was published from 1988 to 1992, was Fango’s answer to…itself. Talk about my mind being blown. This was an attempt at curbing the competition, and it worked. By the time the “cheapo” horror magazines came about, Fango and GOREZONE were already the leading contenders, taking up most of the newsstand space. However, the biggest reason for the failure of so many horror publications was caused by the internet. Why, then, has FANGORIA been able to triumph where others have fallen? It’s because of you loyal readers who keep coming back for more. However, the original GOREZONE wasn’t so lucky, as many of you know.
I had to bring up the topic of internships. Does FANGORIA allow them, how often, etc.? I didn’t feel awkward in the least about asking these questions because they were supplied by my professor. However, that’s not to say I didn’t pay extreme close attention and take note on Tony’s responses at that point (I’m kidding, I paid attention to every word… I just paid a little more attention to the topic of internships). I hope it doesn’t surprise many of you that to write for the best horror magazine, you have to put a lot of time into your internships, and there is only one intern at any one time. Congratulations to Sam, though, for finally reaching that point and joining the FANGORIA staff full-time after a year and a half of hard work!
When I originally sought out to find a writer from FANGORIA to interview, I had had my sights set on Chris Alexander. Keep in mind that I had no clue at this point that Mr. Alexander had stepped up as editor of the magazine; I’d chosen him because he wasn’t the editor. I figured someone as high up as Tony, with all his responsibilities, wouldn’t have the time to be interviewed by some random college student. I had also ended up choosing Chris because he had done the SAW VI film review and if anyone knows me at all, they know I’m obsessed with the SAW franchise. I didn’t even know Tony was stepping down until I did some research on Chris’ contact information, and I felt somewhat hopeless at that point because I didn’t know any other writers I could interview. Luckily, Tony was more than happy to accommodate me, and I’m extremely grateful he did. Because Tony was no longer editor, I asked him about his responsibilities with the company’s upcoming video-on-demand service and DVD line. While I’m not sure exactly how much I can disclose, let me just say that us fans have some real treats heading our way. You won’t be disappointed!
After answering a few more questions, and thus concluding the school portion of the interview, I decided to ask Tony what his favorite horror movie was. Staying true to classic form, PSYCHO (1960) was the first title to roll off his lips. I can’t say that I was surprised. Earlier I mentioned pre-screenings. As if my day wasn’t perfect enough, Tony only found it fitting that I join him for an early showing of REPO MEN, the film adaptation of Eric Garcia’s REPOSSESSION MAMBO starring Jude Law, since he had an extra ticket. Ecstatic reaction aside, I agreed. After taking a few photos of us together in the waiting area, and a couple of production assistant Marla Newborn on the FANGORIA couch, I thanked Tony for his time (probably more times than was necessary) and told him I looked forward to the upcoming evening.
About six hours later, I met Tony outside the Loews Theater in Lincoln Square. Having never been to an advance screening before, I was in awe at the security checkpoints and having to open up my jacket for inspection. So exciting! Much more comfortable and not so worried about saying anything stupid, Tony and I talked about horror films, likes and dislikes concerning them, various experiences Tony has had while in the horror film critiquing industry, and even a side chat about how it was stupid that the “reserved seating” was in the very back of the theater instead of somewhere logical… like the middle. Tony even joked about how we should charge these two guys who took up the last two seats in our once-empty row. Then the film started.
Two hours of arguably good, “cackling idiot”-free, sci-fi action later, the credits came on and Tony immediately looked over at me and said the most unexpected sentence of the entire day: “What’d I miss?” Apparently, and as Tony immediately admitted, he had fallen asleep for a good portion of the film. In that instant I tried keeping myself from laughing out loud, but at the same time I was delirious with delight at being able to explain the movie to him. Although I was elated at this opportunity, I’ve been known to get so excited in such instances to the point of not only going completely off topic in my hasty explanations, but the objective becomes obsolete and forgotten in my flurry of words (hopefully you’ve been able to understand my gibberish up to this point, if that’s the case). After telling Tony all he’d missed, he looked a little confused, so he probably suffered the same fate as many others who have asked me similar questions. Sorry Tony!
As with all things, this too must end. After the movie, Tony walked with me over to the local Barnes & Noble, where we would part, talking with me all the way. I had almost forgotten that he was once editor of the largest horror magazine to date, and I was a snot-nosed Orange County kid with crazy ambitions, as our conversation progressed. I think that that’s what I admire about Tony Timpone the most. The guy has an insane amount of character, and this article proves it! Instead of shrugging me off like some nuisance, he asked me to write this article for you, the fans. I hope I’ve done FANGORIA, as well as Tony, justice in this way.
So there you have it, an account of one student’s journey from the hot sands of the Southern California beaches to the jungle-like New York City, with its goliath structures and underground tunnels. I want to thank the FANGORIA staff for not minding my presence in the office, Marla for being so willing to take so many pictures of Tony and I. A special thanks to Michael Gingold, Sam Zimmerman, and Bill Mohalley for taking a moment to show me what they do in their respective jobs. And the BIGGEST thanks to Tony Timpone for answering all my questions, for providing a copy of the 30th anniversary of FANGORIA and for graciously letting me come back to the office, only moments after having left, to take the pictures I needed for my paper.
And thank you for taking the time to read this!
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