Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Hi Jon,
I posted my email again after your electro-mechanical brain went down with shell shock but I'm absurdly busy at the mo, having an overdue novel to hand in plus a buzz on Powerlines http://www.amazon.co.uk/Powerlines-New-Writing-Waters-Edge/dp/1906120404 and an offer of an angling column in an upmarket mag. However...
I'm thoroughly enjoying Alan's macabre series of articles. I too remember those wonderfully unpleasant badges and Creepy and Eerie magazines. The corner newsagent of the terrace row I grew up in was a remarkable library for an impressionable youngster, selling not only a comprehensive selection of specialist pornography but more importantly, an encyclopaedic array of US import teen magazines. These included the ones mentioned plus the original 60s Monster, most superhero comics, Archie, Scooter and cult Hot-Rodding publications.
Alan may work his way round to them but I wonder if he recalls any of the banned trading/bubble gum cards such as The American Civil War series with its gruesome depiction of being 'tied to a cannon' and horse cavalry impaled on a spiked booby trap? There was also the Aurora construction kits of the Universal horror grotesques - The Mummy (had that one), Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, etc., which also included a working guillotine with lurid box illustrations and a re-glue-able head.
Then there were the creepy polystyrene push-fit gliders and a grimoire of horror/hot rod model cars with skeletal drivers. Happy days and more, please, Alan.

1 comment:

Steve Jones said...

I remember those Civil War cards.More gruesome were the eventually banned "Outer limits" cards from the TV show of the same name and the Mars Attack series which inspired the film of the same name years later.
scans of some comics and Famous Monsters of Filmland can be found online by the way.