M.T. Graves appearances in Famous Monsters of Filmland

The original Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, published by James Warren and edited by the inimitable Forrest J Ackerman, was THE cornerstone of the Monster Boom that began in the late fifties and is going on stronger than ever today. Charlie Baxter's character "M.T. Graves," hosting horrors from The Dungeon on WCKT in Miami, Florida, was featured in three of the first ten issues, as described below.

The photos were original WCKT publicity releases. At least some of the punny captions used in these issues were written by Charlie Baxter and/or the WCKT publicists, though shameless punster Forry Ackerman is likely to have had a hand in the hilarity too.


Famous Monsters of Filmland #5 (November 1959)

M.T. Graves appearance in Famous Monsters #5    

FM #5, page 65.
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Teaser photo for forthcoming feature article.

Photo caption:


Famous Monsters of Filmland #6 (February 1960)

Cover of Famous Monsters #6      

FM #6, front cover with Forry Ackerman's autograph!
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The cover text "ZACHERLEY'S SHOCKING RIVAL", "SEE PAGE 34" refers to the M.T. Graves feature article inside.

The rarest of all monster magazines is FM #6 with this M.T. Graves Dungeon sticker affixed (only four known copies at this writing).

M.T. Graves sticker from rare copy of Famous Monsters #6

See more about this rare variant edition here!


M.T. Graves on inside front cover of Famous Monsters #6    

FM #6, inside front cover.
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Photo caption:
Hiya, Fellow High Brows!    Ain't I the Werewolf's Eyebrows?    There is no truth to the rumor that I browbeat my wife—I haven't got a wife.    I beat my widow instead—and she's dead tired of it.    Now I'm looking for someone new.    Say . . . you'll do nicely!    Come up and see me—on page 34 of this issue.


First page of M.T. Graves feature in Famous Monsters #6    

FM #6, page 34 (first page of 4-page feature).
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Miam's TV Station WCKT creates a Monster called M.T. GRAVES, the man who craves company in his dungeon—yours.

M.T. Graves was born at a very early age in Iraq, just west of Iran. "Iran away from home," he relates, "as I couldn't stand living behind the Iran curtain."


Second page of M.T. Graves feature in Famous Monsters #6    

FM #6, page 35 (second page of 4-page feature).
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Photo caption:
"Snakes alive, my keeper's caught me playing hookey again!" The man in the white suit makes sure that Mr. M. T. Graves is kept under control in Miami, Florida.


Third page of M.T. Graves feature in Famous Monsters #6    

FM #6, page 36 (3rd of 4-page feature) (click for larger view).

Top photo caption: M. T. Graves and His Skull Friend, Hedy White. "I love her," confides M.T., "because she's one woman who never opens her mouth."

Bottom photo caption: Would you like a little candle light suffer—er—I mean supper?

born of very extinquished parents
Earlier it had been curtains for his parents, who had made the mistake of defying one of the Arabian Knights and had been exiled to the pepper mines of Siberia, where they sneezed to death before their M.T. headed son was born. His Mother was the well-known Lona Lee Graves. His Father, the famous Philp D. Graves. Young M.T., being born parentless, was adopted before his birth by his oldest son, a circumstance which was to have a profound effect upon his later life.

floored in florida
At the age of 7 days, disguised as a baby, M. T. Graves fled in a jet-propelled baby-carriage over the Carpathian Mountains, across the Dead Sea, around the dark side of the Equator and, finally, over Niagara Falls in a barrel arriving breathless in Florida, where he immediately went into seclusion in a cozy little retreat knonw as The Dungeon, a kind of hole with wall-to-wall straw located beneath a giant rock near North Bay Village.

the last straw
As a hobby, M. T. Graves began counting straws in his dungeon, and when he reached the last straw, he became a TV announcer. Now, once a week, he tells little tales of terror. In an exclusive interview for FM readers he revealed: "My favorite play by Shakespeare (frankly, he always gave me the Willies) is A Comedy of Terrors. Next to that, Romeo & Ghouliet. By the way, did you know that Wild Bill's real name was Shockspeare? He changed it on his 100th birthday, because he was afraid people might confuse him with the William SHockspeare who was writing for FAMOUS MONSTERS."


Last page of M.T. Graves feature in Famous Monsters #6    

FM #6, page 37 (fourth page of 4-page feature).
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Photo caption:
M. T. went to a psychiatrist—but the poor old Head Shrinker took one look at his patient and got sick himself.

real gone florida fan
The Chamber of Commerce pays M. T. Graves hush money to shush his opinion of their state, but he goes right on stating it anyway, on Miami's Channel 7. "Where else but in Florida," he asks, "is the mildew so dewy? The fungus so much fun? The air so bomby? The seashore so near the ocean? The sharks so friendly?" Yes, good ole M.T. is real gone on Florida, and the Founding Fathers just ish he would be gone from it. But not his fans!

raves for graves
We all nknow that Drac loves Zach, but it's also a fact that M. T. Graves has his legion of loyal followers, too. Of course, what they'll do if they ever catch up to him is another question, and I shudder to think of the answer. In the meantime (and I do mean mean) M. T. Graves goes on playing the Don Juan of the Dungeon. And that's the low down on the feller in the cellar.


Another photo of M.T. Graves  in Famous Monsters #6    

FM #6, page 54 (click image for larger view).

Photo caption: Good gravy—it's our friend GRAVES again. He claims this picture was taken in Key West, Florida— where he was westing while reading FM. "Westerns" reminds us: don't miss the announcement on page 66 of this issue. It's wild . . . real wild! You might even call it WILD WEST!

NOTE from E-gor: The announcement mentioned in the caption was for a brand new Warren magazine, intended as a companion publication for FM, called Favorite Westerns of Filmland. It lasted two issues under that title, then changed to Wildest Westerns for four more issues before it folded. I, E-gor, ordered the first two issues from Captain Company and bought the others on the newsstand. Cowboys and Monsters—what a combo!


Famous Monsters of Filmland #10 (November 1960)

Picture of M.T. Graves and his Coral Gables Fan Club in Famous Monsters #10    

FM #10, page 51 (click image for larger view).

Photo caption:
An unretouched photo (we wanted to retouch it—but the artist fainted) of a gala Halloween party held by Monster Club Members of Coral Gables, Florida. Guest of Horror was our old friend M. T. Graves. From left to right: MIKE FLAXMAN, THANN SHUGARS, LYNN DRAKE, M.T. GRAVES, JOHN BALLARD and CULLEN BULLOCK. More photos from this wild party next issue.

NOTE from E-gor: Another photo of the Coral Gables Famous Monsters Club is in FM #11, but without M. T. Graves.


Links to Other M.T. Graves information on this site

E-gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts: Home page | M.T. GRAVES entry

M.T. Graves' Dungeon

Charlie's #1 Fan Remembers the M.T. Graves and M.T. Space Shows

Charlie's #1 Fan Remembers Charlie Baxter's Other Shows

Charlie Baxter Gallery Exhibit 1: Pictures from His Career as a Horror Host

Charlie Baxter Gallery Exhibit 2: Pictures from Other TV Kid Shows