Day 29 of the Halloween Countdown: Son of Crestwood Monster Series!


By Shawn Robare




When I was out earlier in the year scrounging around for content for the 2008 Halloween Countdown, I never thought I’d find a cool little book that picked up the torch of the Crestwood Monster series (which I’ve written about both here, and here, as well as in the 1st issue of the Branded in the 80s magazine available for purchase here) in the early 90s, but I did.  While I was browsing the ever awesome Bizarro Wuxtry in Athens, GA (kept up by the ever kind and knowledgeable Devlin Thompson) I spied a little baby blue paperback at the back of a glass case filled with all sorts of monster related goodness from the past 30 odd years.  What immediately caught my eye was the marker attached to the cover which could mean only one thing (that this was some form of the invisible ink books that I grew up loving, having picked up a million and one Yes & Know books on family vacations over the years.)  This was a great find though being monster themed and all and was called the Mark and See Universal Studio Monsters Frightening Facts book (circa 1992…)





First things first, I was so jazzed that the back cover was a perfect copy of the front cover, even including an image of the attached marker, as there was no way I was going to get a good scan of the cover (since the marker bulged out so far.)  Anyway, when I first picked up the book and headed home I assumed that it was just a Universal Monster themed Yes & Know book, but when I got home and really took a good look at it I was floored.  Crammed into its 48 pages is a wealth of material on all of the Universal monster movies and their source material that this one book contains almost the entire Crestwood Monster Series…





There are sections devoted to Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon that feature one page Cliff’s Notes versions of the main films, as well as background on the characters and some fun facts on the films…





Though a lot of the interior artwork is re-purposed from the 90s Universal Monster campaign (as seen in the top left of the cover), there are also a lot of nice full page stills from the movies…





Most surprising of all was that the invisible ink marker still works, even after sitting on various store shelves for the last 16 years.  Now that’s quality!









The book also features four detachable monster trading cards with some nifty airbrushed artwork.   Snazzy!







Stuff like this really warms my heart as I’ll always be a fan of the Universal monsters films first and foremost, and (probably pointlessly) I fear that as the years go on and the films get older and lose some of their relevance to the current generation that more and more kids aren’t going to get introduced to them.  Crestwood was there for me as a kid, and Universal themselves were picking up the slack in the 90s, but what about kids today?  What books are out there turning pre-teens into Franky Fans?