“Reader beware, you’re in for a scare”
The scare is that we’re old! Yes, Goosebumps is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary!
All my life I’ve been an avid reader, books, comics, newspapers. I always just loved reading. I live in a market town and there was a small book shop, it may have been small but every bit of space was filled with books of every kind. For me though, I spotted some books with amazing covers.
There’s no doubting that the Goosebumps book covers are iconic in their own right and for a kid who was obsessed with anything that had to do with monsters, I was just the audience they were looking for. I can’t tell you the first one I read, but I can tell you I was instantly hooked.
It was an older woman who run the book place and she had a great deal for kids books, once I’d read the book I could take it back to her and swap it for a different one to read and only pay £1. I was ecstatic about this and every 2 weeks I’d be in her shop trying to pick what to read next.
It’s a memory from my childhood that still makes me smile when I think about it, I burned through those books so quick and would read them over and over until I could afford to change it. I’m also happy to say the book shop is still there today and is run by the same woman.
I’ve often thought that this was one of the things that hugely contributed to my love of the Horror genre, it was certainly a starting point, not just for me but also millions and millions of kids around the world. Goosebumps truly was a global sensation, one that continues to this day.
To this day the Goosebumps franchise has sold over 400 million books worldwide in thirty-two languages, it’s the second-best-selling book series in history, only the “Harry Potter” books have sold more. That is quite an achievement for a series of Horror books aimed at kids.
We also can’t forget about the amazing television series, yet another big part of my childhood. I actually revisited it during lockdown and I have to say it was great to see some of those old stories again and rediscover ones that I had forgot about, that intro still manages to send a shiver down my spine.
Goosebumps was basically my generations version of EC horror comics: “Tales From The Crypt” and “The Vault Of Horror”. As I got older and discovered these stories I saw how big of an influence they had actually had on Stine’s work, something that he himself has admitted to.
R.L. Stine often gets described as “Stephen King for young readers” and if you ever read any of his books you can certainly see why that is. Thinking about it I wonder if this is why I enjoy reading Stephen King books, he was the author recommended to me as I got older and wanted something more mature.
There have been many popular villains in the Goosebumps books, from a scarecrow to haunted masks to a cursed camera. But there’s no denying that the most popular and well known character is ‘Slappy’ the ventriloquist dummy, he even became a sort of unofficial mascot for the franchise.
As I said at the start of this post, the Goosebumps covers are truly iconic and I really do mean that. Artist Tim Jacobus really hit the nail on the head with those amazing covers, as much as I loved them when I was younger I didn’t appreciate how good they actually were until I got older.
To show just how popular that Goosebumps still is the streaming service Disney+ is rebooting the television series for a whole new generation to enjoy, plus the fact that the two Goosebumps films were box office hits that grossed over $250 million. There’s also a comic book series coming out too.
It brings me great joy to know that Goosebumps is still going strong after all these years and is scaring a whole new new audience over and over again, and on that note I’d like to wish Goosebumps a very happy 30th anniversary! Now tell me, what was your favourite Goosebumps story?