I'm frequently asked about early influences. I was religiously watching monster movies by first grade, particularly "The Creature Double Feature" on WLVI channel 56 out of Boston. My friend James, and I would draw the monsters from every single feature shown. Sadly, all of these drawings are now gone, the victims of mice, except for Reptilicus, which once I can locate it, I will post.
What probably cemented the monster bug in me was not the movies, Kirby and Ditko monster comics, or even the few issues of "Famous Monsters" that I had collected by then, no it was the book pictured here. "Movie Monsters" by Alan Ormsby (who would later go on to direct "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things") was published by Scholastic Books in 1975. I got my copy via the Scholastic Book Club in 4th grade, and read it over and over again.
The book, as Ormsby points out, has three parts: The Greatest Movie Monsters, a section which covered not only all the classic Universal monsters, but Mr. Hyde (Fredric March) and Blacula, as well as a page on Lon Chaney. The second part was a bunch of recipes for recreating these monsters in make-up using household ingredients such as paper bags, cornmeal, and shoe polish. The third section was how to put on a monster show, including a script you could use.
I never put on the show, but did attempt a few of the make-ups. Basically though, it was the first section that captivated me. I still have the same copy of that book, and it's in exceptional shape, considering how many times I read it.