A Message From Managing Editor Ken W. HanleyNews Ken W. Hanley
A little over two years ago, I hurriedly made my way through New York, acting like a bucket of nerves as I searched for the offices of FANGORIA nearby Times Square. Having loved the magazine while growing up, I was excited to have learned they were looking for interns and that my unique skill set put me in the peculiar position of qualifying for such an opportunity. So when I finally made my way upstairs through a cramped elevator and found the door adorning the FANGORIA skull logo, I couldn’t have been more anxious, nor more ignorant of the path my life would soon quickly take.
On that day, I found an quaint office, packed with memorabilia, magazines and press materials; all trophies of a 35 year legacy in the horror business. But the only one sitting is the office, clocking away at his computer, was Michael Gingold, the Managing Editor of FANGORIA Magazine. As with many of the FANGORIA staffers, he was not as I expected, but from his energy alone, I knew I had found a fellow cinephile who loved what he was doing. We immediately hit it off, talking horror, movies, and upcoming events; in fact, aside from the handing of my resume, there’s was barely any talk of the potential internship at all. Two weeks later, I’d be returning to that office as an Editorial Assistant, starting my first day with FANGORIA Magazine.
Immediately, I fell in love with what I was doing, and truth be told, I probably went a little far with the editing at first. But this was an internship where I didn’t have to run and get coffee, exhaust myself physically or waste a ton of my little expendable income, and to work in physical media was a blessing unto itself. And shortly after, I met the other FANGORIA staffers: Tony Timpone, Thomas Defeo, the late (and dearly missed) Dee Erwine, Rob Feldman and, later, Chris Alexander, Sam Zimmerman and Rebekah McKendry. And soon, I was writing for FANGORIA; I still remember my first contribution, a review for THE COTTAGE that was likely harsher than it should have been.
But soon, I was engulfed in the trenches of genre journalism: while fulfilling the responsibilities of my internship, including transcribing, searching for files, copy editing and the like, I was also writing, attending events and experiencing a side of the media I had only heard about. It never truly felt like a job, and I quickly learned my voice as a writer, which was immensely satisfying. Even if my internship would go nowhere, I was earning an experience that threw me into the entertainment industry head first, and I would always be grateful for that.
However, about six months later, my cynicism towards internships made me wonder if this gig would ever work out, and if not (as many internships do), I needed a backup plan. And thus, I began to learn the importance of timing: around that time, an opening for a paying Web Editor position at Diabolique Magazine had been offered to me, courtesy of FANGO alum and current Diabolique Editor-in-Chief Max Weinstein. And thus, I began an even crazier life, dual-wielding my internship and my Web Editor position, which I did my best to remain separate from one another. And soon, I made more connections than I ever imagined, and I learned that to do anything in this business, a wealth of ambition would have to drive you where financial gain could not.
I was with FANGORIA as an intern for a year before I realized that I could not keep sharing my time; the exhaustion of my lifestyle was finally catching up to me, and I needed to focus on the job that paid over the one that did not. And the week that I was going to hand in my resignation, I received an unexpected phone call from FANGORIA president Tom Defeo. Assuming I was in some trouble, I picked up, but the conversation wasn’t about what I was doing, but rather, what I could do. I told Tom everything I wanted to do at FANGORIA if given the chance, and then he offered me a job as FANGORIA’s Web Content Manager. I immediately accepted, and one week later, during New York Comic Con 2013, the deal was negotiated and finalized.
In a little over a year since, I’ve been incredibly proud of the work I’ve done for FANGORIA, and the ambition of what I would do beyond the constrictions of a day job as well as the unfortunate burden of sleep has never left my mind. It’s been a wild, crazy ride that’s literally taken me places I had never been. But the reason I tell this long-winded story is not to tell you how I got here, but rather, reaffirm the importance of timing.
A little over a month ago, I realized I had to face certain financial realities, and knew that to do so, I’d have to change my day job, which would have severely limited the time I had with FANGORIA. I didn’t know exactly how to react, and I began to feel a lot of anxiety at the prospect of a lessened contribution at the company that I loved so dearly and worked so hard to bolster. I also knew it would put this job in jeopardy, as I knew if I couldn’t deliver the goods, someone else gladly would, and I would rather see FANGO thrive with someone who could do the job anyways.
But two weeks ago, my situation changed once more, and certainly unexpectedly: I learned Sam Zimmerman, a writer who I admire and legitimately feel is one of the strongest voices in this business, was leaving FANGORIA to take over Shock Till You Drop from the departing Ryan Turek. I awoke to this news and, aside from my excitement for Sam’s opportunity, I became anxious once again as I awaited for any news on what would happen now. Then I got the call from Tom once again, and I was offered the role of Managing Editor of FANGORIA.com. I ran to the office to sort out the details, but I wasn’t going to turn down this offer; not no way, not no how.
Twice in two years, I was about to reprieve myself of my responsibilities at FANGORIA, and on the eve of those times, I was offered a position in the company. Some might call it coincidence. Some might call it luck, though in losing Sam as a co-worker, I wouldn’t perceive this to be luck. But I like to consider this to be simple timing, as my faith in FANGORIA is just strengthened in the times where I risked losing it.
I know I have massive shoes to fill, and I won’t waste any of more of your time telling you what I’m planning to do as Managing Editor of FANGORIA.com. Instead, I’m going to apply my newfound time and energy to bringing you all the best damn FANGORIA.com I can provide. And if you’re willing to stick with FANGORIA.com, you can see what I’m talking about for yourself.
To A Horrifying 2015, One and All,
Ken W. Hanley
Managing Editor, FANGORIA.com