Monsters

Another post (just) in time for Halloween! Today’s post celebrates the amazing Donald F. Glut, perhaps best known for his novelization of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. His career has seen him wear many interesting hats, including writer, musician, photographer, film historian, dinosaur expert, actor and filmmaker. He has long been celebrated by aspiring filmmakers for his many amateur films, which are available in a DVD set entitled “I Was A Teenage Movie Maker.” You should definitely check out his website: DonaldFGlut.com

In the 1970s Glut began writing for comics, scripting and creating characters for industry giants like Marvel and Gold Key. It was during that time that he penned this 1977 gem for Golden Press. Almost a decade later, my aunt would pull a copy out of her hall closet and hand it to me saying, “I think you might like this one.” Boy was she ever right! I devoured the book, and re-read it so intently that she let me keep it. (This same aunt would later take me to my first James Bond film. My aunt is cool, man!) It helped shape many of the interests already forming in my young mind, and would be cherished both as a reference and a reminder of simpler times.

This wonderful book is called “Monsters”, written by Glut and illustrated by Carole Jean Boerke, with an amazing cover by Dennis Hockerman. It features mention of every monster conceivable; with detailed histories of classic monsters in film and literature, tantalizing tales of the most famous cryptozoological creatures, a section on dinosaurs and even stories of UFOs and alien visitations. Each chapter includes quizzes, games and a list of topical films. There’s even a section of magic tricks and a full-sized board game. Additionally, several characters from Gold Key’s horror comics make appearances, including Glut’s own Doctor Spektor, Hephzibah Grimm, Ra-Ka-Tep, and Simbar the Were-Lion.

You can download the PDF by clicking here. I hope you will enjoy this rare bit of nostalgia as much as I have!

Adventure at the Haunted Mansion

Adventure at the Haunted Mansion cover

Here’s a little piece of 80s nostalgia just in time for Halloween… Hey, it’s never too early to start celebrating! (Click the image above or link below for the pdf)

Alexander Periwinkle
Hunter of Ghosts

In this activity storybook adventure, Chris and Carrie–who were the official kids of a famous crayon company for a brief moment in time–help their friend Susan buy a new dog, which they promptly lose in a spooky old haunted mansion. Over the course of the story you’ll help the kids explore the old mansion in search of the dog, enlist the aid of a paranormal investigator to appease the spirits which inhabit the house, thwart the uninspired plans of a highway planning board, and become an official Ghost Hunter with a certificate and everything! There’s quite a bit of story intermingled with lots of activities. Other installments in the series of six featured pirates, evil magicians, western outlaws, dinosaurs and space robots. The sturdy, oversized pages had a variety of activities and fun line drawing illustrations.

Colorubs Transfers:
Ditto without the Machine!

Each book featured a gimmick called Colorubs Transfers, a precursor to the Presto Magix full-color rub-on transfer scenes which would find widespread popularity only two years later. Colorubs were sheets of line art which you could use to complete the illustrations by rubbing the desired image into the book, leaving a blue carbon-copy of the image. The Colorubs were reusable and would last around 20 transfers. One side had artwork printed in black, and the opposite side had the same artwork mirrored in blueish-purple wax or carbon which would rub off onto the page. (The Colorubs look like the Spirit Masters that schools used to have for Ditto Machines–remember that wonderful smell!–similar to transfer paper used by tattoo artists today.)

Literally hours of fun activities are what make these books great

The real fun of these books were the interactive activites. Each book offered several cut-outs to make, like masks, paper models, simple magic tricks, pop-ups and more. Unfortunately, all this cutting and folding and taping and rubbing ruined the books, making it hard to enjoy the story after you’re done.

I scanned my copy so that my kids could enjoy the book without destroying my original, and now you too can re-live this bit of spooky fun!

> Click for the Adventure at the Haunted Mansion PDF

Gemstones Dice Game

As a kid I purchased a set of multicolored polyhedral dice to use with my beautiful new D&D box set. These “Gemstones” dice came with rules for several games which were based on well-known card games. Unfortunately my ex gave away my small but cherished D&D collection, but I recently found the rule sheet in a box and thought it might be good to share them on the Board Game Geek website.

I checked the BGG site and saw there was only one low-quality photo of a condensed version of the rules, so I scanned them and cleaned them up. I uploaded them to BGG, but then I noticed that they no longer allows rule book scans. So just in case they disappear from the BGG site, here they are again:

 

GEMSTONES rules, page 1 of 2 (click to enlarge):

GEMSTONES rules, page 2 of 2 (click to enlarge):

Crestwood House Monsters – Creepy 80s Goodness!

If you bookmarked this page and you’re looking for an older post, everything is still here! Click here and scroll down (keep scrolling!) and they can be found below!

Dracula Cover

Crestwood House Monsters Series – Dracula Cassette

80s kids will fondly recall a great series of books from Crestwood House called the Monster Series. The series was written by Julian May using her pen name of Ian Thorne, and each book was dedicated to a different movie monster. There were a few different incarnations and similar series throughout the late 70s and 80s, with day-glo colors, as well as two posters, a bookmark, and six read-along cassette tapes. The series began with six titles and grew to at least 15 before disappearing into nostalgia.

bookmark1

Bookmark,
Front & Back

I was lucky enough to have the Dracula cassette as a kid, and I’ve never seen these cassette tapes in the wild, so I imported it to my computer to share below!

These cassettes are exceptionally difficult to find; if you have one and would be willing share (or alow me to digitally preserve it for you) please let me know in the comments! Comments are moderated and emails won’t be published.

Dracula Cassette-sm

Click here for -> Crestwood House Dracula Cassette

Please feel free to include any of these items on your site; they are here to share.

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Check my About page for Requests and to visit our other sites!

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Snooper Troops Paper Model

snoop.jpg

Snooper Troops – SnoopMobile Paper Model

Here’s a very simple cut-and-assemble paper model I threw together for fun. It’s the SnoopMobile from the classic Snooper Troops games. I used actual screen shots for the sides, and invented the top/front/back views myself. (The overhead view shown in the game wasn’t compatible with the side view.)

Click here for -> SnoopMobile Paper Model

Please feel free to include any of these items on your site. They are here to share because I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else.

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Check my About page for Requests and to visit our other sites!

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Star Wars Audio Oddities

Years ago the Star Wars fan club put out a fanzine called Bantha Tracks. Issue 34 came as a small glossy folder containing a little clear plastic record. Remember those small square records that came in magazines, books, and cereal boxes, and you had to put pennies on them to keep them from slipping? It’s one of those, and surprisingly I kept it in pretty good shape.

This record is like a short tour of Sprocket Systems, which I believe became Skywalker Sound or THX, or both. There are brief interviews with key people at Sprocket, including sound designer Ben Burtt (the voice of R2D2 and Wall-E.) My favorite segment is when they explain how the lightsaber sound was created. The record is only six minutes long, but it’s a fun, odd bit of Star Wars history many people don’t know about. Enjoy!

Click here for -> Sprocket Systems – Distinctive By Design

 

(Photo from starwars.wikia.com)

Star Wars – Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell

This wonderful LP has Mark Hamill reprising his role as Luke. The rest of the cast are really enjoyable, and the sound design is great. I believe this audio play was put together by the same people who did the excellent Star Wars radio adaptations. And it contains some really great background music (which was also used other story-tapes like Gummi Bears.) This recording is from a record, so it has the ticks inherent in records, but no scratches that I recall.

Click here for -> Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell

Please feel free to include any of these items on your site. They are here to share because I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else.

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Check my About page for Requests and to visit our other sites!

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Jingle Disk – An 80s Digital Christmas on the Commodore 64

 

trainmouse.jpg

Jingle Disk:

Just a guilty pleasure! It plays Christmas music and has animation. It can also create printed greeting cards on a real Commodore. To run it, LOAD”JINGLE”,8,1 The disk requires that your printer must be off when booting the disk. (If using an emulated Commodore, virtually turn off or disconnect the emulated printer, don’t worry about your PC or Mac’s real printer.) It also sometimes freezes at the end of the ‘Tunes,’ so it may need re-booting.

Click here for -> Jingle Disk for the Commodore 64

Please feel free to include any of these items on your site. They are here to share because I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else.

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Check my About page for Requests and to visit our other sites!

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ComputerEyes – Image Scanning with the Commodore 64

nan-computereyes - Sample image included with system software. Very nice, but I doubt the device can actually approach this quality.

 ComputerEyes sample image

androidsnrobots.jpg        meeshelle.jpg

Click  above to see larger scan image

ComputerEyes by Digital Solutions:

I’ve never found these disks anywhere online, and this could be useful to someone who has the ComputerEyes unit but no software. Here are the disks of various drivers in D64 format. In my opinion, the GEOS CE Driver results in the best quality image, but it’s really not very intuitive to use and requires much tweaking before a good result is found. For quick and easy scans, just use the master disk. Once you’ve figured out how to get these disk images onto a real floppy, it’s easy to transfer your scanned image back to a .D64 image and open it on your PC or Mac. Included are: CE System Software, Source Code, Drivers for Print Shop and GEOS, as well as the complete text of the manual. (My ComputerEyes Doodle driver disk is damaged; if anyone has a working copy, please contact me!)

Click Here for-> ComputerEyes Manual and System Software for Commodore 64

The first image above is a sample images that came with the ComputerEyes software. It’s very nice, but I sort of doubt the CE device can really approach this quality. The other two images were made with ComputerEyes, GEOS and a video camera, see if you can recognize the droids and robots! They are action figures sitting behind my Commodore 128. The photo of the girl was scanned from a photo, but you should be able to get a good scan if your subject is still for maybe 60 seconds.

Please feel free to include any of these items on your site. They are here to share because I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else.

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Check my About page for Requests and to visit our other sites!

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Exploring Odell Lake and Odell Woods with the Commodore 64

Decisions, decisions…


Into the woods, then out of the woods, and home before lunch!

Odell Lake and Odell Woods

Another couple of games I loved on the Apple were the classic Odell Lake and the lesser known Odell Woods. Again, I always wished I had them for the Commodore, and now I found them on one disk on an auction site! Here is the disk in D64 format. At this moment I don’t really have time to scan or type the manuals, but the Odell Lake/Odell Woods: Outdoor Biology software is pretty straightforward. Someday I’ll get around to it and add the manuals.

Click here for -> Odell Lake and Odell Woods for the Commodore 64

Please feel free to include any of these items on your site. They are here to share because I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else.

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Check my About page for Requests and to visit our other sites!

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