I am bemused by the fact that my Sherlock Holmes post of a few days ago has randomly generated a link to a “New Jonas Brothers Myspace blog” as being “possibly related”. Even the Great Detective would have trouble with that one.
So in my latest haul from the library, I have a tome from the John Stanley Collection, Melvin Monster. John Stanley is probably better known for Little Lulu; Melvin Monster ran only nine issues, but it’s a bizarre, utterly charming book. Melvin lives in Monsterland in a horrible house with his monstrous parents, Mummy and Baddy. Mummy, needless to say, actually is a mummy, and Baddy has given up on his son because he wants to go to school and be nice to people.
Melvin was around from 1965-1968, during a great monster boom in popular culture brought on by the rediscovery of the Universal horror flicks via TV, and magazines like Famous Monsters. There was literally not much else like Melvin on the marketplace, except possibly The Milton the Monster Show. a cartoon with a suspiciously similar name but lacking the whimsy of Melvin.
The book from Drawn & Quarterly is a thing of beauty, from the binding to the printing – even the pages within have a yellow cast reminiscent of yellowing newsprint. These folks are serious about their publications; this book is the sort of handsome beast I would love to have on my bookshelf. The John Stanley Collection is apparently an ongoing project, and I looking forward to future volumes – especially if they go further into his career, and eventually reprint issue #1 of Ghost Stories, a comic which still give me the creeps decades later, and raised such a furor among parents that Stanley was never let near a horror book again, which is a damned shame.
Probably the most famous of the nightmare makers was the story that led off the book, “The Monster of Dread End”, and luckily for you, (or perhaps unluckily, depending on how well you sleep at night), The Horrors of It All has scanned it and put it up on the Web for your reading… heh… pleasure.