Collecting (our thoughts on) Eric Caidin
by Barlow (2015-05-18 17:38:44)
The news of Eric Caidin's sudden passing took us and the whole community by surprise. If you've acquired any coveted genre posters, lobby cards, photos, scripts or magazines over the past few decades, at some point they likely passed through the hands of Eric. Our friend Eric opened his shop, Hollywood Book and Poster, in 1977, and ever since then collectors big and small have flocked through those doors to buy, trade or just gawk at some of the most treasured ephemera in the world of collectibles. But Eric Caidin was so much more than a purveyor of particularly profound paper. Eric was himself a figure. Coming from a legacy of family collectors, Eric grew up a Monster-kid. Like so many of the 60s- 70s era, he was a Forrest J Ackerman (editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland) disciple, befriending the benevolent icon and maintaining a lifelong friendship with his mentor, "Uncle Forry" in Horrorwood, Karloffornia. Eric's reputation as a fixture in the genre grew along with his business and constant presence at every function, convention and event that a fan could want to attend. His passionate advocating of his special loves like Grindhouse films, Lucha Libre masked wrestling and movies in general, made Eric a beloved icon among all of us weirdos. When we last encountered Eric at our Mad Monster Party, Phoenix, AZ., (May 8th-10th, 2015) with his familiar head-down, perpetually falling forward walk, he was in great spirits. Manning his vendor table doing what he does best; promoting the stuff we all love. We hosted his Grindhouse movie event in our screening room and he was excited to present. Eric seemed a little more tired than usual, but even then, insisted on resting in a corner on a chair adjacent to his booth rather than ever leaving the dealer room floor. Who could have ever imagined he'd be gone a week later? At times like these, we give each other a stern lecture about appreciating the ones we love, because "you never know". But in the case of Eric Caidin, he was so open to our affection for him and all of us did expressed so much admiration, there's little doubt that he knew how much he meant to all of us lucky to be considered his friends. If Mad Monster was to be Eric's last con, it's good to know that it was a happy one for him. We were the lucky ones to be honored and delighted by his presence at a show aspiring to be made up of and by all of the spirit that was such a hallmark of our kind and generous Eric himself. The genre world mourns the loss of one our own today. But we also celebrate the immortality Eric accomplished, not only through his presence and friendship, but by attaching himself to so many tangible treasures that enrich, fulfill and decorate our lives into the future. We will miss you, but never forget you, Monster-brother.