Peel Here #44, Who ya gonna call…why yourself, after this easy 10-step course…


By Shawn Robare

In the spirit of straightening out my muddled memories of my childhood, I’ve finally solved a little sticker mystery that I thought I had previously worked out as far back as the first Peel Here column. One of the most vibrant memories I have of collecting stickers as a kid revolved around these little storybooks published by Antioch Press which each came with a page of 12 stickers. In particular my I remember both a set of stickers and a book that was merchandised off of the first Ghostbusters movie, which made up that first Peel Here column. When I tracked down the book to share here, I was a little curious about the stickers that were included, as I seemed to remember ones that weren’t on the sheet, and later I found a picture online of the sticker sheet that I was thinking of. Since there isn’t really a resource on 23 year-old sticker storybooks, I sort of made an educated guess, figuring that there were probably variants of the books, one with more traditional stickers of the actors, and one with the GB quote stickers.

Well, it turns out that I was wrong, and I was actually combining memories of two separate Ghostbusters books, both printed by the same company in 1984. I believe I had both, but for some reason I seem to remember the book portion of one more and the stickers of the other. Memory is such a weird thing, and it makes me wonder how many of mine are muddled like this; my brain picking and choosing the best moments to combines into a pleasant recollection of the past. It’s funny; I think this same phenomenon has also led a lot of people to remember things that didn’t exist at all, one of the best examples of which is a finally plot-resolving episode of the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon. The people who believe it exists, fervently believe that it exists, as they have specific memories of events in the episode, in particular a plot point in which one of the main characters was reunited with someone they came across in the realm. I’ve seen every episode of the cartoon, and there is no final episode (well at least not one that was filmed), and honestly the best explanation I can think of is that they are remembering various parts of separate episodes, combining them in their memory into an amalgamated final episode. Like I said, memory is a really weird thing.

Anyway, I managed to track down a copy of the second Ghostbusters Antioch sticker/storybook from 1984, the Official Ghostbusters Training Manual: A Guide to Catching Ghosts…

Here is a better scan (and a more complete set of) the stickers that were included with the book.

What’s fun about tracking down older books like this, especially ones that came with disposable components like stickers, is that sometimes you can get a feel for how the owners felt about it. Typically, if you found this book in a used bookstore or on eBay the sticker sheet would be lost or used up with absolutely no evidence as to where they ended up. In the case of Antioch, a lot of their books were designed with a page at the back that the owner was supposed to stick the stickers on, and in this particular book’s case, the stickers were designed to be applied on every other page. Luckily there was only one sticker missing from the sheet, and it ended up in the book, so technically it’s still sort of entirely intact.

Unlike the other GB book, which was a straightforward concentrated version of the movie story, this book is actually something new, a training guide to becoming a Ghostbuster. According to this manual, after only ten short lessons (well 9 lessons and a graduation day celebration) anyone who is looking for a change in their life can become a ghost hunting fool. There is of course the matter of making sure you apply the correct sticker to the correct lesson page, but thankfully there are silhouetted hints to help with this.

For sake of ease I’ll paraphrase for those of you clicksters in the go that can’t be slowed down with reading an eleven-page book…

Lesson 1: Buy a cheap run-down, possibly condemned building for a headquarters…

Lesson 2: Acquire some large, eye-catching, yet amazingly cheap form of transportation…

Lesson 3: Build your own proton pack if you don’t have access to a nuclear accelerator (it’s easy)…

Lesson 4: Acquire or build a foot pedal operated ghost trap (handy schematic provided for construction purposes)…

Lesson 5: Procure an Ecto-Containment Unit, probably the most daunting task as we’ve learned from the film that the EPA really hates unauthorized machinery located in rickety buildings, operated by people who build things like proton packs and ghost traps…

Lesson 6: Grow a set of solid brass balls…

Lesson 7: Know a slimer when you see one (as well as being prepared with old cold anchovy covered slices of pizza for bait)…

Lesson 8: Learn to be weary of all statuary…

Lesson 9: Final exam (i.e., pissing off a demigod while waiting for them to summon a giant piece of American iconography to test your mettle)…

Lesson 10: Sign the certificate and start booking birthday parties because you’re on your way!

Since I believe anyone who has made it through my cliff’s notes is just as capable of handling nuclear equipment as anyone who read the book, I’m also providing a cleaned up version of the certificate so that you too can bust some ghosts…

Next week I’ll either be preparing readers for a stint helming a nuclear submarine, or talking more about stickers. Both are just as likely…

  • Jay

    i still have this book from when I was a kid. I remember ordering it from Troll book club in school. It was a really original book at the time. I remember being one of the few kids that I knew that was a hardcore ghostbusters fan at the time. Thanks for the certificate! cool.

  • phaselus ille

    i also had this one. about this time i manufactured a proton gun out of my mom’s used (and broken) curling iron. i remember bringing both into school. what on earth was i thinking? do kids still do stuff like that. did they eveR?

  • Lamar The Revenger

    my God, i can’t believe this is here. my heart skipped a beat when i saw this book!