Category Archives: Books

Book Preview: Forrest J Ackerman Scrapbook

New Hardcover Book Pays Loving Tribute to Uncle Forry Forrest J Ackerman Scrapbook

If you are reading this website, then I don’t need to introduce you to Forrest J Ackerman.  You already know that he was the long-time editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and  a legend in his lifetime.  You also know he was an author, agent, editor, archivist and collector whose collection at one time included several hundred thousand items in his Hollywood wonderland known as teh Ackermansion.

The Forrest J Ackerman Scrapbook: Treasures from the Ackermansion is loving look at his amazing life, with an in-depth examination of various aspects of his remarkable collection of sci-fi, fantasy and cinema memorabilia. The book is written and edited by Bill Walker and Brian Anthony and published by their independent publishing firm specializing in books on film history:  www.walkeranthonybooks.com

The book comes in at 200 pages, the majority of which are photographs from the of estate of Forrest J Ackerman.  Bill and Brian  were given unprecedented access to rare and previously unknown and unpublished material by Kevin Burns, the executor of Forry’s estate.

Forrest J Ackerman Scrapbook interior pages

Forry’s collection of animation props and models are given special attention. Several of the models used by Willis O’Brien in King Kong, Son of Kong, and the unfinished Creation are examined in detail in beautiful, never before seen high resolution images.

Forrest J Ackerman Scrapbook Interior Pages

Forry’s friends Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury are here, along with a section dedicated to the fans, including the famous… and not-so-famous…Famous Monsters of Filmland, the various Ackermansions, contributing artists and their work, the Captain Company, Aurora monster models, books, paintings, posters and lobbies are all included in this deluxe hardcover, full-color,  200-page tribute to the Ackermonster!

Forrest J Ackerman Scrapbook Interior Pages

We can no longer tour the Ackermansion in it’s multiple forms, as many of us had the great fortune of doing through the years. But this book does a great job of capturing the feeling of those tours and documenting Forry’s collection and life.

Published on the 101st anniversary of Forry’s birth (November 24, 2017) it’s now available on Amazon and will make a great gift for the Forry fans in your life!

 

My Conversation with SCARY MONSTERS’ Don Smeraldi

I Met Up with New SCARY MONSTERS Publisher Don Smeraldi at SDCC 2017 – Here’s Our Conversation

George McGowan with SCARY MONSTERS Publisher Don Smeraldi at SDCC 2017

George: First off all, congratulations on taking over the helm of Scary Monsters! It’s a big responsibility you’ve shouldered taking over a magazine that has been around for 25 years. Having just shipped your 6th issue, I’d love to hear your story on how you wound up acquiring the magazine from Dennis and what attracted you to this business?

Don: We had been doing business with Dennis for many years and were offering for sale each issue of Scary Monsters on our classic horror and sci-fi movies and collectibles website (which we had launched in 1999). He would purchase various magazines and collectibles from us. We first advertised in Scary Monsters in Issue #67 in June 2008. In April 2015 I submitted a two-part article I had written, which appeared in Issues #99 and 100. Sometime shortly after that we heard that Dennis was thinking about retiring from doing the magazine. In August I reached out to him and let him know we’d be interested in continuing the magazine. At that point he said it was a bit too soon, but we continued to talk at length and we took over to start 2016. In terms of what attracted us, Vicki and I had worked together years ago at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters designing and editing/writing (respectively) national publications. Since we also ran MyMovieMonsters.com and I was planning retirement, taking on Scary Monsters was a natural. It really was a dream come true … a bucket from the wish list I thought I’d never have a chance to fill.

George: Obviously, you’re a Monster Kid and I’d love to hear your ‘origin story’ – what was your first monster movie? What is your favorite monster movie now?

Don: I don’t necessarily recall the first monster movie I saw. Unfortunately we rarely went to the theater as kids so my exposure to the genre was through TV. I recall being scared by many of the previews of movies that would air later on TV, including Day of the Triffids. I know I definitely saw Day the World Ended at a young age, and “Marty the Mutant” really creeped me out. Even the promo and opening for The Outer Limits TV show made me run from the room, only to return when the show actually started. I eventually saw all the Universal Monster films (The Wolf Man being my favorite character and the Frankenstein series also up there). I also remember staying up late and watching Shock Theater and many films of varying quality served up by Cleveland horror host Ghoulardi, as well as his successors, Hoolihan & Big Chuck, The Ghoul and, later, Big Chuck & Lil John. While I love all the classic Universal Monsters films, my favorite monster/fantasy film is Jason and the Argonauts. It fascinated me as a kid, and Ray Harryhausen‘s work in that film is legendary.

Scary Monsters Magazine
 

George: I’m curious if you are a collector? If so, what do you collect and what are some of your favorite pieces in your collection?  

Don: I have collected magazines (mostly Famous Monsters of Filmland and Scary Monsters), books, monster models and other related items in the past but our monster business over the past 18 years has allowed me to briefly admire thousands of action figures, models, bobble heads, collector cards and other cool stuff before we ship them out to customers. So my “collection” is short-lived and not hands on but there’s always new items to enjoy. Two favorite pieces that we do own and showcase are a Frankenstein’s Monster bust with a hand-built base. His eyes light up, the base has a glowing plasma sphere and working gauges — just like from the lab. It’s a one-of-a-kind work of art. The other is the Sideshow Collectibles Little Big Head of Frankenstein’s Monster — and it’s not the little one, it’s the huge one (about 4 feet tall) that is pretty hard to find. We lucked out getting both pieces. 

George: A big focus of your business is your online store, MyMovieMonsters.com.  Tell me what your product focus is in your online store and what us classic monster collectors can expect from your store in the near future?

Don: Back in 1999 it was strictly a classic horror and sci-fi movie site offering new VHS tapes at first then transitioned to DVD. Over the years we’ve focused more on monster magazines (both domestic and international), comic archives, books, action figures of all sizes (mostly monsters and sci-fi creatures but some superheroes), model kits, collector cards, bobble heads, and more. We have a vast selection of Godzilla figures, bust coin banks (both monsters and superheroes) and Sideshow classic monsters that are either brand-new and purchased by us or pre-owned but their display boxes have not been not opened. We always try to have the latest classic horror and sci-fi magazines and model kits in stock. Anyone can register on our website to receive email updates on new product — and unlike others we don’t spam you and only send an occasional message when new items warrant it.

Don & Vicki Smeraldi Monsters Kids of Year Rondo Awards

George: Another big congratulations goes out to you and Vicki for being named Monster Kids of the Year in the 2016 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards! Clearly, the Monster Kid community appreciates your efforts to keep a “Real Monster Magazine” alive! With other classic magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria ceasing publication in recent years, how do you keep a print magazine business sustainable and growing? What can the Monster Kid community do to support your efforts?

Don: We are really blessed to have a great team of contributors who volunteer their talents to help make the magazine what it is. Many have stayed on with us since we took over. We also are thrilled to have Scott Jackson crafting each cover. He just keeps outdoing himself each time! Of course, the biggest hurdle is the cost of printing and distribution. We’re always looking for ways to save on those costs. Our readers have done a great job supporting us by subscribing and ordering from the “Scary Stuff” catalog section that’s in the back of each issue. One way to support us even further is to consider buying one copy of each issue to read and one copy to put away, which many collectors already do.  Another is to share those reader copies with children and grandchildren — if you can get them to put down their handheld device for a little while! It’s no secret that the fan base is dwindling because most of the movie stars (even child actors back in the day) and caretakers like Forry Ackerman and many others have passed on. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to celebrate the classic films and the movie makers and stars for generations to come — and we hope to be a part of that for a long time!   

George: I’m excited to begin our new ongoing column on Collecting Classic Monsters beginning in Scary Monsters #106! Thank you for the opportunity to further our mission of providing a singular resource for collectors to learn more about classic monster, retro Sci-Fi and vintage fantasy film memorabilia! To me, this ongoing column is an example of how being a Monster Kid extends beyond our love for the movies and characters themselves into a full-fledged lifestyle.  What other ‘Monster Kid lifestyle’ features are you working on that we can share with our readers?

Don: That’s so true. It’s a lifestyle. Collecting is such a big part of being a Monster Kid for so many. As an extension of your column, we may consider doing collector profiles or Monster Kid profiles of some of our long-time readers. We get some of that info from their submissions to our Monster Memories Yearbook that we publish each March, but the difference is we’d also like to draw the information from them. Covering the more family-friendly conventions (like Monster Bash, Ghoulardi Fest, etc) that have a dedicated following is a big part of living out the hobby through our pages, too.

 
We really would like to see more monster memory articles submitted by readers. They don’t need to be highly polished articles but it would help greatly to have them formatted in a program like Microsoft Word. They should be no more than 1,500 words. The monster memory doesn’t necessarily need to be from 40 years ago. It could be about a recent experience or special purchase that really stands out in the reader’s mind. Examples are available in nearly every issue of Scary Monsters and Monster Memories. A critical piece that is often missing from submissions is photos! They should be of high enough quality to be reproduced. We can’t print photocopies of photos or blurry images. But we do want to bring to life in our pages as many of the memories as possible. Childhood photos involving monster collectibles and photos with celebrities or other Monster Kids are great. People want to see the folks that are willing to share their special memories. That’s a big part of our magazine. While we can’t guarantee every monster memory will be published, we can sometimes run a portion in the Scare Mail section or use a photo or two as stand-alone pieces. The best way to submit a monster memory and photos is via email to scarymonsters@mymoviemonsters.com. Or submit the material via U.S. Mail to Scary Monsters, PO Box 567, Wildomar CA 92595-0567.

So there you have it, folk! Don and Vicki are carrying the torch for all of us Monster Kids and keeping our fandom alive in print. I’m thrilled to be contributing a new ongoing column to the magazine as an extension of this website and hope you’ll support Don and Vicki’s efforts by buying the magazine, or better yet click here to subscribe!

(News) 2017 Halloween ComicFest T-Shirt is a Monster Rally

Check Out This Halloween ComicFest T-Shirt!

Halloween Comicfest 2017 Classic Monsters T-shirt

If you’re like me (and you probably are since you’re reading this website), Halloween is your favorite holiday! That’s why it’s never too to start planning your next Halloween activities.  For the past six years, Diamond Comics Distributors has organized Halloween Comicfest as an October counterpart to their hugely popular Free Comic Book Day that occurs every May.  That’s right, participating local comic shops across North America celebrate the Halloween season by giving away free comics, most with Halloween themes.

What’s even cooler, you can order packs of these mini-comics to give away to trick or treaters who come to your door.  Now that’s sure to keep the pranksters away! These cool trick or treat mini-comics are available for pre-order exclusively from your local comic shop throughout July.

2017 Commemorative T-Shirt for Monster Kids

Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie, Black Beetle) designed this year’s commemorative T-shirt, which is available for pre-order at comic shops throughout July.

Known for his pulp and retro-inspired style, Francavilla’s artwork is unmistakeable and brings to life the iconic classic monsters as they ride off to give comics to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

“After the FCBD design I did last year, I was very happy to work with Diamond on another project. When asked to work on a design for Halloween ComicFest, my thoughts went straight to the Addams Family. The family friendly horror take on that series was perfect inspiration for this project. Of course, I had to include most of the horror icons like the Monster, the Vampire, the Mummy, the Bridge, and the Werewolf.”

The 2017 commemorative T-shirt is available in black in adult sizes Small to XXL (MSRP: $14.99-$17.99), youth sizes Small to Large (MSRP: $11.99), and Women’s V-Neck in sizes Small to XL (MSRP: $14.99-$17.99). The commemorative HCF T-Shirt, plus the complete listing of the HCF 2017 titles, will be available in the July issue of PREVIEWS in comic shops 6/28.

About Halloween Comicfest

Celebrating its sixth year, Halloween ComicFest is an annual event that takes place the Saturday on or before Halloween each year and is designed to introduce friends and family to the many reasons why comics and comic shops are great! Comic shops are the perfect location to get into the sppoktacular season: from zombies, vampires, monsters, and aliens to costumes and more, comic shops have it all when it comes to Halloween fun!

Major publishers like DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing put out free comics for fans to enjoy during Halloween. Also available are all-ages mini-comics, perfect to give out to trick-or-treaters or as party favors to inspire the next generation of comics readers! Popular series from past years have included Archie, Pokemon, and Grumpy Cat.

I’ve ordered mine!

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(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

(click on images to see larger versions)

Aurora Model Kits 3rd Edition Interior Spread

(click on images to see larger versions)

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?