AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Introducing Elvira!

Awesometoberfest 2019

For this first week of AWESOME-tober-fest I want to talk about Fangoria.  Yesterday, I started off by talking about one of Elvira’s predecessors, Vampira.  Including a little controversy where the actress that played Vampira was not happy with Cassandra Peterson or her portrayal of Elvira. But with that cattiness aside, let’s move on to Elvira herself for the rest of the week!

I love Elvira, I have for years.  I still do, actually.  And she shows up in Fangoria A LOT. So let’s start off by taking a look back at her very first appearance, in Fangoria #22 from 1982.

This first article on Elvira, appropriately titled Introducing Elvira!, was the second in a series of “horror host” profiles where Fangoria was interviewing past and present TV “horror hosts”.  The first profile in the previous issue (Fango #21) was for horror host pioneer John Zacherle who hosted movies on Shock Theater in Philadelphia and New York in the 50s and 60s.  Here for the second article in the series, we are introduced to the new girl on the block, Elvira.

Intro Elvira! 1 Intro Elvira! 2

Like I said, this is from 1982, which is within the first year of Elvira’s existence. I love this early publicity shot of Elvira. She hasn’t even acquired the trademark bee hive hairdo just yet.

Intro Elvira! 2

In the article we learn a bit about the person behind Elvira, Cassandra Peterson.  How she had worked as a Vegas showgirl, actress, and secretary before she got the Elvira gig. Cassandra even dated Elvis Presley for a while! But the article is mainly going over how quickly Elvira has become a national sensation broadcasting out of a small LA TV station.  She’d become so popular in Southern California, that for a 3-D broadcast of Vincent Price’s The Mad Magician, the station partnered with 7-11 stores and sold over 2.5 million red/blue 3-D glasses.

Intro Elvira! 3

Cassandra Peterson says at the end of the article that they are in negotiations for an Elvira movie as well as another movie appearance for Cassandra as herself.

As Fangoria is want to do, they place a color Elvira pin-up at the end of the article. And here it is in all of its glory.  And in this pin-up, she does have the bee hive.

Intro Elvira! pin up

Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.


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