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Chaosium Inc.

Vale Carl T. Ford

Posted by Michael O'Brien on

We regret to announce the passing of Carl Ford, the editor and publisher of the seminal ‘80s fanzine DAGON.

Created in Britain but distributed around the world, DAGON played an important and influential role in both the horror gaming and literary scene of the era. Spawning 27 issues in total between 1983 and 1990, DAGON had humble beginnings as an A4 photocopied set of pages stapled together. In time, the ‘zine would transform into the more well known professionally-produced A5 format with glossy covers, featuring the work of Dave Carson, Martin McKenna, Jeffrey, and Allen Koszowski to name but a few.

Starting as a gaming ‘zine, DAGON soon had regular columns by luminaries such as Sandy Petersen and Mark Morrison, as well a plethora of scenarios of all shapes and sizes. Just look through the issues of DAGON and you will find the names of many writers who would go on to make their mark in the gaming world—Steve Hatherley, Marcus Rowland, Richard Watts—not forgetting Peter F. Jeffrey’s Red Brain, a regular ‘ask me anything’ feature that delved into forgotten lore concerning fiction, films, and more.

As time passed, DAGON began to focus on weird and horror fiction, although its Call of Cthulhu roots would always remain. Special editions were devoted to authors like T.E.D. Klein, Thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell, and Karl Edward Wagner. In the days before the internet, Carl was able to establish relationships with authors and interview them. It’s an impressive line up, and speaks volumes of Carl’s dedication to the genre. Many of us were first turned on to these writers by DAGON; Carl’s passion was infectious and he played no small part in raising awareness of up-and-coming writers who had caught his eye.

Carl was an inspiration to many and to myself. In the late 1990s, long after DAGON’s demise, I felt a Call of Cthulhu shaped void the fanzine world. Thus, I began The Whisperer, a fanzine dedicated to the game. In truth, without DAGON, I doubt I’d have started that venture. Thank you Carl for opening the way.

Mike Mason
November 2017