Category Archives: Books

(Book Review) Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

The Most Useful Reference Guide to AURORA MODEL KITS Gets Useful Update

Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

Aurora Model Kits with Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis 3rd Edition by Thomas Graham (Schiffer Publishing, 2017)

Perhaps no company or toy line better defines 1960s and 70s Monster Kid culture than the beloved Aurora Plastics Company monster model kits.  Launched in 1963 with the iconic Frankenstein Monster, Aurora quickly added  Dracula and The Wolf Man. 

Aurora Frankenstein Model

The company had a hit on their hands with the original trio and quickly expanded to include a full line of iconic Universal Monsters, Toho creatures and more.  For the next 20 years, fantastic creatures of film and TV appeared to feed the ravenous appetites of Monster Kids.  Today, the Aurora monster model kits sit beside Famous Monsters of Filmland and Shock Theater as the matches that set fire to many a lifelong love, some would say obsession, with classic monsters.  The gorgeous painted box art by James Bama evoke the glorious cover art of Famous Monsters of Filmland and is a strong contributor to collectibility of these model kits to this day.

For many collectors of classic monster memorabilia, the Aurora model kits are holy grails.  Thomas Graham‘s reference book has been a valued resource for collectors since it’s first publication in 2005.  The 3rd edition, published in May 2017 provides an additional 15 pages more than the previous editions and more comprehensive coverage of the model companies that followed Aurora, including Polar Lights, Atlantis and Moebius. Executives from these companies explain how they have added to the list of revived Aurora models, with information on reissues and current collectors’ market values.

Aurora Model Kits History

(click on image to see larger version)

Over 500 color photographs enhance this comprehensive history and guide to Aurora models, now updated to include new companies continuing the Aurora tradition. Aurora executives, sculptors, artists, and engineers who created the models tell the story in their own words. Every model Aurora made is described in detail.
Aurora Model Kits Book Contents Page

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Aurora Model Kits 3rd Edition Interior Spread

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Collector Resource

While we focus on the iconic monster models on this site, it’s important to note this is a book about all the products from Aurora and the companies that followed.  To that end, this book provides excellent coverage of all the model categories including other licensed characters figures from Film and TV, dinosaurs, aircraft, auto, military and more. Importantly for collectors, Graham provides a comprehensive directory of every model with details to help you determine the precise version for your collection.

Aurora Model Kit Directory

(click on images to see larger versions)

The Directory includes In-depth information on every model kit:

  • original release dates
  • factory number
  • box art description and versions
  • reissue details
  • approximate current value

If you’re a serious collector of monster model kits, or just love these kits and want to know more about their history, I highly recommend this book.  I’ve owned the 2nd edition for several years and the 3rd edition update is an important expansion that I am finding quite helpful in understanding the reissue versions from Polar Lights, Moebius and Atlantis, which I often find confusing.

In addition, the updated pricing valuation is useful.  Really a limitation of price guides because valuations are fluid and change with the latest auction price, Graham’s research is helpful in setting a benchmark for what a collector can reasonably expect to pay, or price to sell, a specific model kit for.  A  general rule of collecting is that an item is worth what a buyer will pay for it.  Regardless, I find having a benchmark for valuation a useful reference point when considering purchases and the research Graham has done is quite helpful for collectors.

Where to Purchase:

Aurora Model Kits with Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis 3rd Edition by Thomas Graham is available now. Retail Price is $29.99 but can be found for less online.  Click the image below to  order on Amazon:

Related Articles:

Championship Round: Classic Monster Magazine Challenge

We Started With 16 Classic Monster Magazines; Only Two Remain

FMoF-vs-MonsterWorld

We started with 16 classic monster magazines from the heyday of Monster Kid-dom.  Over the course of several months, we’ve pitted two magazines against each other and readers have selected their favorite magazine.  16 became 8 and then 8 was whittled to four.  Now, only two magazines remain and one will claim the title of Champion of the Classic Monster Magazine Challenge.

Screenshot 2017-01-23 14.53.14

Not surprisingly, Warren Publishing is represented in the championship round.  The underdog MONSTER WORLD defeated the iconic CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN to make it the the championship round against Warren’s essential magazine FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND.  So we have an all-Warren finale: MONSTER WORLD vs FAMOUS MONSTERS.

We know one Warren title will claim the championship, but which one will it be?  As always, join us on our Facebook page or Twitter to cast your vote!

Classic Monster Magazine Final Four

Classic Monster Magazine Final Four BracketWho Will Be Champion of the Monster Magazines?

We took a break from the action with during the holidays but it’s time to pick up where we left off – the Final Four in our Classic Monster Magazine Challenge!

You may recall we kicked off the Classic Monster Magazine Challenge in October with 16 of the coolest (and corniest) monster magazines from the 1960s and 70s. Over the course of several weeks, readers chose their favorite magazine in daily head-to-head battles.  As the field of 16 became 8 and, now, four.

The four magazines still standing are certainly worthy of the honor:

Monster World

Castle of Frankenstein

Famous Monsters of Filmland

The Monster Times

 

All unique, all meaningful and important in their own way to us monster kids.  But only one can claim the brass ring — in the contrived world of championships, the contest must continue until only one remains.  The choice, dear readers, is entirely yours.

Be sure to Like CCM on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  We will post the head-to-head contests each day on those two social networks where you can cast your vote.

 

Celebrate October with Our Classic Monster Magazine Challenge

The Greatest Classic Monster Magazine of All Time? You Decide!

Classic Monster Magazine Challenge Bracket

It’s October.  Or, as we call it here at CCM, The 31 Days of Halloween. No matter what you call it, we can all agree it’s the most wonderful time of year and to celebrate, we’re hosting our first-ever March-Madness style competition featuring those classic monster magazines of the 1960s and 70s.

Each day for the rest of the month, we will pit  2 classic monster movie magazines against each other and you, fellow Monster Kids, will choose who goes home and who lives to fight another day. The competition will occur on  the Collecting Classic Monsters Twitter and Facebook pages.

To participate, just follow us on Twitter @CollectMonsters or Like us on Facebook.com/CollectingClassicMonsters  where we will post the daily competition,  announce the previous day’s winner and share details on each magazine title included in this year’s challenge.

In case you’re wondering why certain magazines aren’t included, here’s the criteria used for our selection:

  • originally published beginning during the primary Monster Kid era of the 1960s and 70s
  • First issue appeared prior to 1980
  • Editorial focus on Classic Monsters and Monster Kid genre films, not Horror or Sci-Fi exclusively
  • Magazines must be editorial/fanzine focused rather than comic anthologies such as Creepy or Vampirella

That said, let us know if there are glaring omissions from our list so we can include them in our next competition — there’s no grand prize here; just some fun in the digital clubhouse for Monster Kids and Collectors.

And while you’re at it, check out our Monster Magazine Archives to read up on all the past articles we’ve written about one of our favorite collectible categories!

Classic Monster Comics: Marvel Classics #20 Frankenstein

Marvel Classics Adapted Classic Horror and   Sci-Fi Literature in the 1970s

Marvel Classics Comics #20 Frankenstein

Marvel Classics Comics #20 Frankenstein (Marvel Comics, 1977)

MAN vs MONSTER The Ultimate Classic of Nightmare and Retribution told in the MIGHTY MARVEL MANNER!

Like many kids my age, I owe a debt of gratitude to Marvel for introducing me to classic literature through this series.  While the interior art isn’t anything spectacular,  the covers always worked their magic and the stories, being the classics they are, did the rest.

At 52 pages, and without ads, these were long comics compared to most.

Stan Lees Presents Marvel Classics Comics Featuring Frankenstein

  • Freely Adapted from the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly (Shelley is misspelled throughout this comic)
  • Written by John Warner
  • Drawn by Dino Castrillo
  • Lettered by John Costanza
  • Colored by Petra Goldberg

I’ve scanned  the first 21 pages of my well-read copy for your reading pleasure (click on the each page to open a larger image for reading):

Marvel Classics Frankenstein Page 1

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 2Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 3

Marvel Classics Comics 20 Frankenstein Page 4Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 5

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 6Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 7

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 8Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 9

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 10Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 11

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 12Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein page 13

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 14Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 15

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 16Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 17

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 18Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 19

Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Page 20

 Inside Back Cover:Marvel Classics Comics Frankenstein Inside Back Cover

About Marvel Classics Comics

Between 1976 and 1978, Marvel Comics published a series called Marvel Classics Comics adapting classic literature in the vein of the long-running Classics Illustrated, which had ceased publication in 1971.

I was well immersed in the Marvel Universe by the time this series appeared, but I was also old enough (10 years old in 1976) to be reading some of the classic works of Jules Verne, HG Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs by this time.  The fact that Marvel Classics Comics included a lot of classic horror and sci-fi literature in this series drew me in and was my first exposure to many of these novels.

I still have my original copies of these book sin my comic book collection and thought it would be fun to share them with you.  While my collection includes such titles as Black Beauty and Moby Dick, my collection is overwhelmingly  focused on the more fantastic adaptations, including Dracula, The Time Machine, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and such.  I plan to feature them all here in due course.

By the time Marvel published issue #20, adapting Mary Shelley‘s novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus in 1977, I was quite familiar with both Universal’s version of the story as well as Marvel’s own version of the monster.  So this one surprised me a bit.  While I noted the difference in the monster’s appearance on the cover, I was already familiar with the idea that there were different versions, thanks largely to my front-to-back readings of Famous Monsters of Filmland every month.   It would be years before I would actually read Mary Shelley’s novel, so I was surprised at how different the story was.  The monster could talk! More than that. he actually plotted and tool revenge in a calculated manner — I clearly recall not likely this version of the monster, who I always found one of the most sympathetic of the classic monsters due to Karloff’s magical portrayal.

Collector Value

Current price guide values list Near Mint copies of this comic at $13.50,  and copies are readily available.  None of the Marvel Classics series has appreciated significantly, in part because it’s not original creative content. Nonetheless, they make a nice addition to any Frankenstein or classic monster collection

Multiple copies are  currently listed on eBay at less than $10.

In the early 80’s,  Fisher-Price re-published several of the Marvel Classics comics as hardcovers and included fully-produced cassette tapes featuring audio recordings of the stories complete with sound effects and music.  Intended as  “read-along” to accompany the books.

Fischer Price Frankenstein Cassette

Frankenstein was included in this series and makes a nice collectible.  You can listen to  an mp3 of that recording here courtesy of the cool website AdventureAmigos.net

What was your favorite issue in the Marvel Classics Comics series? Please share in the comment section:

Colors of a Monster Kid: Monster Gallery Coloring Book

This Wasn’t Your Ordinary Coloring Book

Monster Gallery Coloring Book

Monster Gallery coloring book (Troubadour Press, 1973)

Troubadour Press published  beautifully crafted coloring books that stood head and shoulders above the usual coloring book fair.  They specialized in genre content and  treated these subjects with the same reverence as the kids who these books were made for.

These 11×14″, heavy paper stock coloring books covered a wide variety of subjects and contained detailed and thoughtful descriptions opposite beautifully intricate and eye-catching line drawings.

In 1973, Troubadour published their first monster coloring book, Monster Gallery, written by Leah Waskey, Troubador’s bookkeeper, and drawn by Mark Savee,  Savee’s elaborate drawings capture a wide range of classic monsters and were a site to behold for this very young Monster Kid.

 I had several copies of this book, along with others from Troubadour, and I loved to color them and then display them as the art they truly were.  Until discovering these books, I wasn’t much into coloring.  I much preferred drawing monsters myself.  But  I spent hours studying Savee’s art and attempting to recreate as my own drawings.  I think his simple, yet detailed, style made a lasting influence on my own drawing style to this day.

If you are unfamiliar with Troubadour Press, or simply want to know more about this influential publishing company, I highly recommend this interview with Malcolm Whyte, Troubador’s founder.

Here is a full scan of this wonderful coloring book for your viewing pleasure (click on any image to see a larger image in a separate tab):

Monster Gallery Title Page

Monster Gallery The FlyMonster Gallery The Fly 2

Monster Gallery Frankenstein TextMonster Gallery Frankenstein

Monster Gallery The MummyMonster Gallery The Mummy

Monster Gallery Creature TextMonster Gallery Creature from the Black Lagoon

Monster Gallery HunchbackMonster Gallery The Hunchback

Monster Gallery Godzilla TextMonster Gallery Godzilla

Monster Gallery Cyclops TextMonster Gallery Cyclops

Monster Gallery WerewolfMonster Gallery Werewolf

Monster Gallery Abominable Snowman TextMonster Gallery Abominable Snowman

Monster Gallery Mr HydeMonster Gallery Mr Hyde

Monster Gallery Phantom TextMonster Gallery Phantom of the Opera

Monster Gallery Morlock TextMonster Gallery Morlock

Monster Gallery Vampire TextMonster Gallery Vampire

Monster Gallery Kong TextMonster Gallery King Kong

Monster Gallery Bride TextMonster Gallery Bride of Frankenstein

Monster Gallery Back Cover

Collecting Monster Gallery Coloring Book

Unfortunately, not only is Troubador out of business, their books long out of print, but it seems I wasn’t the only one upon whom these books made an impression.

Monster Gallery now regularly sells for $50+, even though a reprint exists (with a terrible cover),  which can be had for around $7.

No copies were listed oneBay at the time of this writing, but there are a number of copies available on Amazon.

Did you have this book as a kid? Do you still have it as a collector? Share your memories and thoughts with us:

Classic Monster Comics: Dell Comics The Creature

Classic Monster Comics – Dell Comics The Creature: Movie Classics #142

Dell Comics The Creature 1964

THE CREATURE, No. 1 (Dell Comics, 1963)

An unbelievable thing emerges from the murky Amazon jungle…a Monster!

Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide lists this as Movie Classic #12-142-302, but “Movie Classic” does NOT appear on cover.
Indicia title is “THE CREATURE, No. 1.”

In 1963 and 64, Dell Comics published a series of comic books featuring the classic Universal Monsters.   This was the Dec-Feb 1963 issue, titled  Dell Movie Classic #142 “The Creature.”   While the other comics in Dell’s Universal Monster series (Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, and The Mummy) were not direct adaptations of the movies, The Creature is a pretty straightforward adaptation of the Jack Arnold classic film.

Vital Stats:

  • 32 story pages
  • Cover art by Vic Prezio
  • Interior Pencil/Inks Bob Jenney

Here, in its entirety, is Dell’s The Creature! As always, click on the individual page to see a larger, more readable, scan :

As with almost all other Creech Collectibles, this is not an inexpensive comic.  It is by far the most valuable of the Dell Comics Universal Monster series.  Current price guide values list Near Mint copies of this comic at $225, though lower grade issues range more in the $45-$75 range.  All in all, not bad for a .12 cover.

Multiple copies are  currently listed on eBay and, of note, a CGC 9.0 copy is listed with a current bid of only $42 with 2 days to go in the auction.

There is a significant difference in value between the 1st and 2nd Printing of this comic, so be sure to find out which edition you are getting.  2nd Prints are pennies on the dollar compared to 1st printings.

Share your thoughts with us below.  Anyone have this book or remember it from your childhood?

 

 

Classic Monster Comics – Godzilla vs. Megalon Theater Giveaway

This Free Promotional Comic is VERY Rare!

Godzilla vs Megalon Free Comic

For U.S. Godzilla fans in the 1970s, comic books about the King of the Monsters were one of the few collectibles available to us outside of monster magazine covers.  While most of us fondly recall Marvel Comics Godzilla series, it was not the first American comic book to feature the King of the Monsters.

In 1976, Godzilla vs Megalon made it’s way to U.S. theaters by way of a distribution company called Cinema Shares International.  Movie goers received a free promotional comic book adaptation of the film courtesy of Cinema Shares that is now considered the first U.S. comic book of Godzilla.  This four-page, cover-less, newspaper print comic is quite rare and, thus, quite sought after by collectors.

While an adaptation of the film, the comic is pretty crazy and one can only assume the uncredited creative team didn’t have access to an English dub of the film.  In the comic, Jet Jaguar is called “Robotman” and Gigan is “Borodan” along with a pretty kooky narration that is pure 70s camp:

The colossal, Hell-spawned misanthropoid fearfully known as Megalon,

Godzilla realizes he stands little chance of subduing the boorish might of Megalon unassisted.

As I said, the creative team is uncredited and I can’t find any information on who might have been involved in writing, drawing and inking this little gem of a collectible.

Here is the comic book in all 4 pages of it’s full color glory for your to enjoy – click for a larger image of each scan:

Collector Value:

This comic is very rare and demands a hefty price tag.  Current price guides list NM as

A CGC 9.0 copy is currently available on Amazon.com  for $5,499!

Some lower grade copies are currently available on eBay at far more reasonable prices.

Did you get this comic at the theater?  Do you recall your experience reading it?  Share your memories with us in the comments section.

Classic Monster Comics – Marvel’s Godzilla

The King of the Monsters Rampaged Through The 1970s Marvel Universe

Godzilla King of the Monsters 1977

Godzilla King of the Monsters #1 (Marvel Comics Group,  February 1977)

Look Out America! The Mightiest Menace of Them All is Coming Your Way!

  • Written by Doug Moench
  • Drawn by Herbe Trimpe & Jim Mooney
  • Lettered by Joe Rosen
  • Colored by Janice Cohen

About GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS

The Marvel Universe is home to many a strange creature. With names like Grogg, Goom, Grattu and, yes, Fing Fang Foom, giant creatures have long found a home in the same comic book world that Spider-Man, the X-Men and The Avengers call home. It’s only natural, then, that Godzilla, Toho’s King of Monsters, would come to call the Marvel Universe home too.

1977 saw Godzilla in the height of his popularity. The giant radioactive dinosaur that had been born into this world as a terrifying piece of post-World War II, anti-American propaganda in 1954’s Gojira was now a full-fledged superhero. He wrestled across yearly movies – fighting all manner of evil aliens, undersea civilizations and fellow mutant menaces. He befriended the young (appearing in an anti-bullying PSA) and even had time to father a son! There were toys (many, many toys), Christmas-themed singles and, thanks to Marvel Comics, a monthly series that saw the monster journey through space and time in search of adventure.

Godzilla was no stranger to comic books – he had long found a home in black-and-white manga released in Japan and frequently tied to his regular output of films. Godzilla’s first American comic book appearance was four-page promotional comic giveaway for audiences at screenings of Godzilla Vs. Megalon in 1976.

The following year, Marvel Comics licensed the character for what would be a 24-issue series written by Doug Moench (the co-creator of characters such as Moon Knight and DC Comics’ Bane) and illustrated by Herb Trimpe (longtime Hulk illustrator and the first artist to draw Wolverine in a comic book). Marvel licensed Godzilla but did not pony up for the lizard’s film friends or foes – leaving Moench with the freedom (or burden, as the case may be) to create new adventures and enemies for Godzilla to combat over the course of the series.

click on these images for a closer look:

Marvel Comics Godzilla #1

The first issue of Godzilla, King Of The Monsters, a story called “The Coming,” the King of the Monster’s primary pursuer is none other than S.H.E.I.L.D, Marvel’s go-to organization when it comes to keeping world peace and/or capturing rampaging radioactive lizards.

Godzilla Marvel Comics 1977

Marvel Comics S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Godzilla

Dum Dum Dugan, Nick Fury’s right-hand man, is personally charged with ridding America of the creature and teams with a group of Japanese scientists to capture the behemoth after he begins his North American tour following an appearance in Alaska. From Alaska to Seattle to San Francisco,

Marvel Comics Godzilla vs S.H.I.E.L.D

Godzilla hits San Francisco

Godzilla Marvel Comics Origin

Marvel Godzilla 1977 ComicDugan and his team track Godzilla. Along the way, Godzilla takes in the sights and even has a chance to interact with local heroes – including a rumble with San Fran superhero team The Champions, a ‘70s alliance that included Iceman, Angel, Ghost Rider, Black Widow and more.

In order to give the monster opponents that offered a fair fight, Moench invented a fleet of new monsters (including Yetrigar – the biggest bigfoot of them all!) for Godzilla to rumble with. He and Trimpe also invented the mechanized-monster fighter Red Ronin. The character, a by-product of Stark Technology and enemy to monsters everywhere, is a giant samurai-inspired robot that has, even after Marvel’s Godzilla license expired, continued to pop up in the Marvel Universe – even recently given the alter-ego of a teenage girl.

Halfway through the series, Moench began to find his groove and decided to send Godzilla on even stranger adventures – ejecting the lizard from Earth and sending him to the moon to settle a longstanding feud between two warring alien races and to the west to rumble with cattle-rustlers and cowboys. Godzilla was even shrunk down to the size of a rat thanks to the use of Pym Particles, a material invented by Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man) that can change the size of anything it comes in contact with.

Once shrunk, Godzilla began a multi-issue arc that saw the monster slowly begin to grow back to full-size. Captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Fantastic Four before he had retained his full size, Godzilla was sent back in time to the age of dinosaurs – Marvel’s top scientists surely not considering what possible ramifications could come from the exposure of a radioactive monster to the prehistoric timeline. Obviously Reed Richards wasn’t a Ray Bradbury fan.

As it turns out, Godzilla’s radiation does futz with the time travel technology and instead of being sent to the past, he is sent to the Jack Kirby-created alternate dimension Dinosaur World, home of cross-species BFFs Devil Dinosaur, a giant red T-Rex, and Moon-Boy, a monkey boy with a heart of gold.

Once the Fantastic Four realized their mistake, they plucked Godzilla from Dinosaur World and plopped him back in the middle of New York City. Now at his full-grown size, it was finally time for the King of Monsters to battle Marvel’s premier superhero team – The Avengers. The last two issues of Marvel’s series featured Godzilla in an all-out-rumble with The Avengers and the Fantastic Four and featured appearances from S.H.I.E.L.D., The Daily Bugle (including a showdown between J. Jonah Jameson and Godzilla) and even one final last-minute cameo from Spider-Man. In the end, all it took was a stern talking to by a young boy to send Godzilla on his way – disappearing into the ocean and out of the Marvel Universe forever.

Or was it forever? Despite the fact that Marvel’s license with Toho for Godzilla had ended, Marvel was not willing to let go of the King of Monsters that easily. In 1985, Doctor Demonicus, a monster-loving mad scientist that had first appeared in an early issue of Godzilla, King Of Monsters, made his return in an issue of Iron Man. He even brought along an old friend. In order to skate international copyright laws, Godzilla was never referred to as Godzilla and was given a makeover courtesy of Demonicus. Now with a few horns on his head, a fin along his back and webbed hands, the new and improved “Godzilla” was free to rampage across the Marvel Universe again – without Marvel needing to cut a check to Toho.

This new version of Godzilla only appeared a few times – including once in an issue of The Thing’s solo series in which the monster was, presumably by accident, referred to directly by name. A few years ago, in the first issue of Mighty Avengers, a spin-off series featuring a team of government-sanctioned Avengers, New York City was attacked by a horde of monsters controlled by the Mole Man, an underground-dwelling, monster-loving villain. Among the monsters was Godzilla – without the amphibious adjustments Demonicus had made to his body. This cameo was most likely not an official appearance by the monster – instead just a clever gag from artist Frank Cho.

Marvel found a lot of success in the ‘70s with licensing characters – including series set in the Marvel Universe that featured toy properties Rom the Space Knight and the Micronauts. Unfortunately, the use of these characters in the Marvel Universe means that many stories from Marvel Comics are no longer able to be reprinted – with collections of comics from the ‘70s often skipping over issues that feature characters to which Marvel no longer has a license. Even Shang-Chi, a Marvel mainstay and recent Avenger, has almost no reprint collections available due to the fact that Shang-Chi’s father was established to be Fu Manchu and Marvel no longer has the rights to use the character.

Marvel Comics Letter Page Godzilla 1977

Thankfully, Marvel worked out a deal with Toho last decade and released a black-and-white collection under their Essentials series that collects the full 24-issue run. Essential Godzilla is easily available and highly recommended for both fans of Kaiju and Marvel superheroes. If anything, the collection is worth a purchase alone for the multi-issue arc in which a shrunken Godzilla fights rats, sharks and New York muggers. You just can’t put a price on that kind of entertainment.

H/T BirthsMoviesDeath

Collector Value:

NM grade copies of issue #1 of Godzilla King of the Monsters are currently valued around $25.  The full 24-issue series is often available as a complete set on eBay.

 

CLASSIC MONSTER MAGAZINE: Dick Smith’s Monster Make-Up Handbook

Classic Monster Magazines

Famous-Monsters-Dick_Smith-Monster-Make-UP-HandbookDo-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook by Dick Smith (Warren Publishing, 1965)

It doesn’t get anymore classic than this!

Monster Kids were way ahead of trend and were into DIY before Pinterest was even a glimmer in the internet’s eye.  Inspired by their favorite monster movies and made aware of the master artists and creators behind these movies thanks to Famous Monsters of Filmland, Monster Kids of the 1960s were making their own Super-8 monster movies complete with homegrown monsters.

Always aware of their audience, Jim Warren engaged future -Oscar-winning make-up artist Dick Smith’s to publish this one-shot “how-to” magazine.  To use a rather obvious metaphor, it was like pouring gasoline on a campfire.  One of the definitive magazines of Monster Kid-dom, this Handbook included 100 pages of photo illustrated guides providing Monster Kids step-by-step instructions for making monsters.

In classic Famous Monsters’ style, the cover by Vic Preslo wasn’t shy in selling the awesomeness inside.  In this case, it wasn’t an over promise!

How to have fun creating your own monster make-up

Over 250 Exciting Pictures

With Simple Easy-to-Follow Instructions

by Famous Make-Up Artist Dick Smith

The mag was reissued as a paperback by Imagine Inc. in 1985 and can be found on Amazon:

Dick Smith’s Do-it-Yourself Monster Make-up Handbook

As you’ll see in the following pictorial tour, the book progresses from the relatively simple Vampire and Ghoul #1 to the movie-worthy Quasimodo, Mr. Hyde and ‘New” Frankenstein Monster.  Enjoy the tour:

Dick-Smith-Monster-make-Up-Inside-Cover-Front

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Dick-Smith-Monster-Make-Up-Vampire

Dick-Smith-Monster-Make-Up-Vampire-2

Dick-Smith-Monster-Make-Up-Ghoul-1

Dick-Smith-Monster-Make-Up-Ghoul-1-2

Dick-Smith-Monster-Make-Up-Split-FaceDick-Smith_monster-make-up-split-face-22015-07-16 15.18.242015-07-16 15.18.332015-07-16 15.18.59

 

 

 

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Dick-Smith-Monster-Make-Up-Handbook-Back-Cover-Warren

 

I found a copy of this magazine at a newsstand in the mid-70s that was used but in good condition.  I scoured the magazine repeatedly, drawing the images and practicing the make-up on my younger siblings.  Here’s a shot of my younger brother with the Split Face make-up I did for Halloween – not too bad, if I say so myself! (The teeth have been wiped away because he’s been eating candy!)

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Collectors Value:

This magazine is fairly easy to find – though finding a really high grade copy requires a bit of patience.  Reader copies are frequently available in the $15 range and recent and copies in VG condition have recently sold on eBay for $45.  While prices range rather dramatically on this magazine in high grades, VF/NM copies can be found in the $55-$75 range.  Pretty nice appreciation for a with a cover price $.60 back in 1965. With patience, you can get a collectible copy – and you SHOULD own this book if you’re a collector or a 60s Monster Kid.  At minimum,  I’d recommend a reader copy of this magazine as well – its  just so much fun to read!

Follow this link to see current copies available on eBay

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