As a child of the 90’s, Goosebumps was always something that I was aware of but never really experienced. It was everywhere at one point, but I never really was able to get myself to try to read any of the books or watch the TV show when it aired on Nickelodeon. Maybe it was fear o my parents finding the books or maybe I just wasn’t all that interested in it (I did watch Are You Afraid of the Dark? around the same time these books were coming out). What I do remember quite clearly though are the covers to those old books. One in particular has stayed with me for years…
Just…just look at them. The mascot of the franchise sitting just slightly to the right of center frame, flanked by nine other dead eyed dolls, all staring at the reader. It’s eye-catching, if nothing else.
And this is even the best cover of the series! Go look the hunting as hell cover for the first Night of the Living Dummy book, or You Can’t Scare Me!, or even the utterly disturbing cover of The Horror at Camp Jellyjam. Hel, just look at the series’ best and probably most famous cover, The Haunted Mask!
Admit it, that image would’ve gotten five or seven-year old you to drop whatever allowance you had just to figure out what was going on in that book.
Look, I a firm believer that there is an artistry to even those forms of entertainment considered low and cheap. It takes real talent to do what the Goosebumps covers (thanks to artist Tim Jacobus) did by making almost everyone eye-catching. So good on you, Goosebumps books. I may never have read a single one of you, but you had some of the best covers a Catholic school book fair could offer.