Saturday, October 22, 2016

Monsters: Fiendish Facts, Quivery Quizzes and Other Grisly Goings-on (A Golden Family Funtime Book, 1977)

This entry in the "Golden Family Funtime" series is called (take a breath...) "Monsters: Fiendish Facts, Quivery Quizzes and Other Grisly Goings-on", a collection of essays, puzzles, games and trivia revolving around all things monster. Written by Donald F. Glut (he also wrote, interestingly, the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back, among other comic and horror titles for kids) and illustrated by Dennis Hockerman (cover only) and Carole Jean Bourke (interiors), "Monsters" offers a fairly comprehensive overview of the monster genre with an emphasis on their presentation in books and films, padded out with a little cryptozoology for good measure.

Categories of monster reviewed here include the literary (Frankenstein's Monster, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde)...

...traditional/folklore (Werewolves, Vampires, Mummies, Voodoo Terrors)...

Werewolf indicators. Keep the tweezers handy if you want to pass for normal.

A depiction of the burning at the stake of accused werewolf Stubbe Peter, Germany, March 31, 1590.

...and cryptozoological/extra-terrestrial "real world" monsters (Prehistoric Monsters, Monsters From Outer Space, and Abominable Beasts).

The quizzes revolve around monster movies and are actually kind of fun and require some knowledge of the genre. "Creature Color Contest" asks you to complete the movie title with the correct color name.

"Dracula's Countdown" is the same concept, but using numbers selected from a list.

Simbar the Werelion (a character from the comic book "The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor") challenges you to match the actor to the monster they portrayed.

There are a few visual puzzles as well, challenging you to find hidden animals in a drawing (The 13 Black Cats and Find the Missing Werewolves)... the party game where you stare at a picture for a period of time and then are expected to answer questions about details of the picture from memory (No Hyde-Ing Place).

Optical illusions and magic tricks are found here as well, including the severed-finger gag I remember from Spooky Tricks (presented here as Frankenstein's Finger).

There's a board game "Escape To the Castle" that takes up a two-page spread...

...and finally, Sinister Shadows demonstrates how to make Godzilla, a werewolf, vampire bat, and other monsters with your hands.

Other entries in the Golden Family Funtime Books series focused on crafts, games, magic, and riddles. Take a look at that funtime family!


Tredegar Trafalgar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tredegar Trafalgar said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I had completely forgotten this little booklet for nearly forty years until I saw this, and then it all came rushing back - it's where I first learned a lot of the pop-culture horror mythology, way back in third grade. Really, an important part of my childhood. And I would never have remembered anything about it again if I hadn't seen your entry. You've brought a bit of lost personal history back to me.

(Deleted & reposted corrected because I can't do basic math, apparently.)

Daniel S. Duvall said...

By way of synchronicity, I stumbled upon my ol' copy of this Monsters book in the basement a couple of days ago, having not examined it up close and in person for decades. I was 6 years old in 1977, and this book was my favorite bit of reading material -- the words and pictures totally revved up my imagination. The section about werewolves caused me to speculate about one of my classmates when I entered a new school system in the fall of 1979 -- this fellow had a unabrow, which the book had taught me is a sign that someone transforms into a wolf when conditions are right. At some point in the late 1970s, I brought along this book on a family expedition to spend a few days with the extended family, and I asked an older cousin what her favorite monster was -- eager to show her my favorite book and yammer at length about the creatures of the night, I was stunned when she told me that she didn't have a favorite monster and wasn't interested in them. I'd been drawn to spookiness for as long as I could remember, and the idea that some people don't dig monsters was a new one to my young mind. Once the shock wore off, I holed up elsewhere in my aunt & uncle's home and pored over the book for maybe the 500th time in my life. I'm delighted that I stumbled upon this classic paperback as I was cleaning the basement, and I look forward to immersing myself in it at my present age to see what memories it evokes.