Davids Basement of the Bizarre

BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Pete Von Sholly’s History Of Monsters”

Monsters. Those things that as a child scared us, gave us nightmares and provided us with so many hours of fun. If you were like me you grew up on monsters. I was never into playing, or watching for that matter, sports of any kind. My Saturday afternoons were spent in front of the television trying to draw in with rabbit ears channel 56 out of Boston, Massachusetts, with their weekly Creature Double Feature show. In the safety of daylight I was thrilled week after week with giant bugs, Godzilla and all of the Universal and Hammer classics. Now all of the things I have loved are presented in the book “Pete Von Sholly’s History of Monsters.”

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For as long as I can remember monsters have been a part of my life. I have always preferred them over “monsters” such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. Though movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th have their rightful place, to me it was monsters like the Creature From The Black Lagoon and Godzilla that were most influential. Perhaps it is because serial killers are too real whereas the Creature and Godzilla help fuel your imagination to suspend disbelief.

Pete Von Sholly’s History of Monsters” is a glorious look at the phenomenon of monsters. This unprecedented illustrated pageant, presented as an accordion folded hardcover book, shows the actual history of monsters from man’s earliest fears of the darkness beyond the fire to today’s nightmares to see how these terrors found expression in myth, legend, and entertainment. But whatever the time or medium, it is always in the unknown where the monsters lurk and fester and wait. Step into “Pete Von Sholly’s History of Monsters” and experience the story as never before.

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This is not a movie guide but more of a loving tribute by an artist who obviously grew up like I did watching monster movies. Not only has he recreated some of our favorite movie monsters (including the aforementioned Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees) but he takes it a step further to include monsters from mythology and cryptozoology.

Each page, a work of art in itself, features a collage of dozens of monsters and a chart on the opposite page telling you where each monster came from and the year it originated from.  If anyone is hesitant to pay the $29.95 suggested price for a book that is only 50 pages long, don’t be. A lot of work went into this book and it is worth every penny.

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What makes this book even more fun is that each collection of monsters can be placed end-to-end with each other, creating a huge montage of monsters never before attempted (and will probably never be attempted again).

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Pete Von Sholly, like so many of us, is a monster kid. His story is very similar to each of ours and he has now shared his love with the world. He is a storyboard artist for the movies and his style is original and fresh. He captures each monster perfectly and there is so much information in each collage, that you will find yourself coming back to this book again and again. And if a book can do that, then it is totally worth it!

This unique accordian-fold book opens to 18+ feet of nightmarish images and brings a face to things that go bump in the night! Included is bonus book, Guide to the Monsters, that will help put a name to the faces of terror. Open at your own risk!

To order your own copy, visit the Clover Press Website. Don’t forget to read the other blogs in my BASEMENT BOOK SHELF series.

~David Albaugh

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