Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Dynamite 3-D Poster Book (1979, Neal Adams, Scholastic Book Services)

In grade school, I was a regular patron of the Scholastic Book Club, the children's reading program that let kids order books and records from a catalog once a month and have them delivered right to their classroom.

If receiving a copy of Norman Bridwell's How To Care for Your Monster, or C.B. Colby's Strangely Enough in front of all your envious classmates wasn't incentive enough to place an order, there was sometimes a special offer for a free poster as a bonus. Admittedly these were usually lame "cute animal" posters... kittens clustered in tall grass or a droopy bloodhound wearing reading glasses, the kind of thing you might glimpse on the wall of one of the Bradford children on an episode of Eight is Enough.


But on one occasion there was a truly magnificent piece of art offered with your book order... a huge illustration of Dracula, standing in a graveyard against a full moon and a sky swarming with bats. And better still... it was in 3-D!

Now, the item below IS NOT the same image. I've yet to track down the exact poster that loomed over my bed throughout my formative years only to mysteriously disappear in the wormhole connected to my parent's garage. But after laying eyes on this beauty, I'm convinced they were both by the same artist.


This specimen comes from the 1979 Dynamite 3-D Poster Book (which would place it around the same time I remember acquiring my poster), and wouldn't you know it, this is a Scholastic Book Services offering too! (Dynamite was a celebrity-focused kids magazine, published by Scholastic, Inc. beginning in 1974. Like People Magazine for the swing-set set.)


The artist is Neal Adams, who has wielded a pen for both Marvel and DC at various points throughout his comic drawing career, which began in the so-called Silver Age and continues today, drawing both superheroes (Batman, X-Men, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, et al) and monsters, sometimes for illustrated children's records like A Story of Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein (Power Records, 1975).


The Dynamite 3-D Poster Book contains six posters by Adams (The Werewolf, The Horse aka "Run Free", The Vampire, Skateboard!, Clown aka "Look Out!", and The Sorcerer), which fold out to a size of approximately 16" x 22", a pair of cardboard red and blue anaglyph glasses, and a brief article about the history of 3-D (emphasizing its success as a 1950's movie fad, although the 1960 non-3-D William Castle film 13 Ghosts gets an honorable mention.)


These posters are really gorgeous... break out the 3D glasses and enjoy!


On a related note... does anyone happen to have a copy of this little poster visible on the wall of Nicholas Bradford's bedroom? I recognize it as one of a series of funny-caption posters that were about half-page in size and printed on cardstock, this one a baby orangutan caught in mid-screech, with the cartoon bubble reading "How Come I Always Have to Take Out the Garbage?" (or comparable hilarious sentiment.) The one directly above that is another in the same series, a baby with the caption "Bald is Beautiful".

Oh dear, I have to sit down before I collapse in a heap of mirth. Anyone have images of these things?

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