Remembering Gerry de la Ree
Here at Miskatonic books we love new, cutting edge horror. However, it feels that there is such a disconnect between readers today and the antiquarian thread that leads back through history to great professionals and fans of yesteryear. We try to remind the seasoned seniors of good memories and new fans of what they missed and may want to check out.
In the mid-1950′s, Gerry de la Ree was a stalwart of horror and science fiction conventions and ran a mail order operation from his New Jersey home.  Perhaps his most notable contributions to fandom was his small run indie press in the 1970′s featuring Lovecraft, Poe, and a series of Virgil Finlay’s work.
In those days when long distance phone bills were as pricey as your teenager’s texting invoice, people used – shock! – snail mail. Yes, the good old (then reliable) U.S.P.S. If you wanted something, you clipped an ad from a comic book, a pulp, or some other magazine and sent a SASE (stamped self-addressed stamped envelope) for more information, or a return reply.
Circulation through distributors was spotty even in big cities, so it was common to miss an issue of your favorite issue. Therefore, folks like de la Ree provided a service to young fans. He also looked for talent, and when he spotted it, he supported it through recommendations or small spot jobs as he could afford it.
For a time in the 1950′s Gerry de la Ree worked for the Bergen/Hackensack “The Record” working with sports editor Al Del Greco, with Gerry de la Ree doing the layout. Robert Weinberg tells stories of visiting him (and Sam Moskowitz, another NJ stalwart) and how when Virgil Finlay got cancer, he helped sell art to pay some bills.
Sadly he passed too soon at the age of 68 in Saddle River, NJ. Back in January 1993. Featured is perhaps the first news story of young de la Ree’s career from 1953.