Friday, September 11, 2015

The Munsters by William Johnston

Do you recall Mockingbird Lane? Of course you do. There’s a strange family living in a time warp on Mockingbird Lane. It’s always 1966 and Herman has a bad case of green skin. His wife, Lily, is as pale a funeral flower. Their son, Eddie, is a hairy little monster, and grandpa is...well...always thirsty. Their daughter, Marilyn, however, is a lovely blonde. Just lovely, although Lily and Herman are disappointed that she’s not as attractive as other family members, namely themselves. Trouble starts for the famous Munsters when a Hollywood agent comes calling requesting to use their Mockingbird Lane residence as a movie location. The full title of this Whitman mid-60s juvenile is The Munsters and the Great Camera Caper. It holds up better than some of the other Whitman authorized TV books and manages to capture the tongue-in-cheek humor from the television series. All of the Whitman Books from this period are collectable, but The Munsters is special and I’ve known collectors to pay over $25.00 for a really fine copy. The endpapers of the Mockingbird Lane house, which still stands on the Universal lot, are fantastic. The interior illustrations are by Arnie Kohn. Published in 1965 to capitalize on the TV series, The Munsters and the Great Camera Caper originally sold for a whopping 65 cents. I was told recently that there is an ongoing interest in collecting any Munsters material, and a pristine copy of this book are among those highly sought-after items. A second book, The Munsters: The Last Resort by William Johnston followed a year later. Whitman also published a coloring book.

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