Saturday, November 26, 2016

Digging Up The Dirt with KillDozer and Mad Monster Founder Eben McGarr

If you've ever picked up fliers at a horror convention, chances are you've grabbed at least one Mad Monster Party flier. They have multiple convention dates a year, spread across the states, on top of also putting out a print magazine, which is edited by Joe Moe and Eben McGarr. The latter is the guest of this installation of Digging Up The Dirt. 

KillDozer: Other than being a monster kid, what inspired the creation of Mad Monster as a publication? By that I mean what really lit the fire to make the dream a reality?

Eben: It's the culmination of all the things I personally wanted from a magazine. It's been described as "Highlights" for Monster Kids and that's kind of the perfect way to look at it. As for what lit the fire to make the dream a reality, that is the secret to what keeps the Monster alive and that answer can be found in the first issue.

KillDozer: What was fundraising like when trying to get Mad Monster off the ground? Was Joe a big part of the planing from the beginning? If not when did he come into the picture and who else was involved during the early stages?

Eben: I came up with the concept and created the outline - I knew I wanted the fun borders to be proprietary to each issue, the flip books, models and games, overall theme, etc. I reached out to my friend and brilliant artist Dan Plegel who is a Mad Genius and he worked with me, tirelessly to bring the Monster to life. At that point, I had known Joe for years, we had brought Forry to NecroComicon, a horror convention we hosted in 2003. I had assumed he would be the new editor/face of Famous Monsters and, when I heard he wasn't, I unleashed my flying monkeys to snag him for us! He immediately got what Mad Monster was all about and was instantly on board. He initially came on board to write and before the first issue was done, I asked him to be co-editor of the magazine and partner in all future plots & plans.

KillDozer: Most genre fans are aware of Fangoria's printer issues at the moment, have you experienced similar problems or ever thought of going to a digital format?

Eben: Many warned us against going into print, you'd think we were launching a catapult repair company. Our mag demands paper. We use a heavy paper stock so you can build quality models and crafts from our pages. The flipbooks in the corner wouldn't be as cool when viewed by clicking a mouse or scrolling from your phone...the sound of the pages flipping... to us, paper is UNdead.

KillDozer: Being a fan of the publication, I've noticed you are not shy about writing or discussing anything political. Do you think your readers share those beliefs or are you trying to spread awareness about certain things?

Eben: We are about entertainment and don't especially consider ourselves political. We are all animal lovers and, to us, that's not really a political issue. There have been one or two debates in the office over content which only lead to more confidence in our choices for having fully thought through the subjects.

KillDozer: The puzzles and games are genius! You really bring back that old monster magazine vibe with things like crossword puzzles and mazes. Was that something you wanted from the beginning? 

Eben: Yes! It's one of things we look most forward to working on. We've had a few contributors over the years but, again, Dan Plegel is our resident architect of horrors.

KillDozer: I was lucky enough to pick up all the copies of Mad Monster at a convention but where should everyone else go to grab a copy? What is your schedule for releasing new Mad Monsters?

Eben: We have so much going on, we kind of get to the mag when we get to it. It takes a lot of work for our skeleton crew. One day we hope to see it monthly. Our past issues are available on

KillDozer: How do you go about choosing a cover? When deciding on art is it about capturing the attention of the reader or do you just go with what you love?

Eben: We go with what we love.

KillDozer: How did you become involved with the amazing charity organization Scares That Care? Can you tell us a little about what they do and how we can support them?

Eben: We love Joe Ripple and have seen the good he does first-hand. They help people in need and are 100% transparent about where all of the funds go. Find our about them at and follow them on social media.

KillDozer: Mad Monster seems to have their hands full being involved with everything from magazines and conventions, to broadcasting and film screenings. Is Mad Monster run like a business, or a group of friends just making the magic happen?

Eben: It's more of a family that makes magic happen.

KillDozer: The paper models included in the publication are amazing! Have you built any yourself? What was the inspiration for those?

Eben: Not personally, I never have time, I wish I did. Inspiration? Always loved models.

KillDozer: Are you confident enough to complete one of your cross word puzzles in pen?

Eben: Absolutely. I designed them so I know the answers. ;)

KillDozer: What's next for Mad Monster? Where can people find/follow you?

Eben: Working on something fun but it's a secret. Find us on Twitter - @madmonstermag, Instagram - @madmonstergram, and Facebook. 


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