Ed Edmunds. Ben Cooper. Don Post. If these names mean something to you, you’re going to love today’s Halloween Thing.
When I was growing up, choosing a Halloween costume was accomplished by visiting a local store—in my case, the TG&Y—and picking something off the shelves. Back in the day, the costumes, usually vinyl suits with vacuform masks, came in boxes, with the eerily eyeless mask staring up through a cellophane-covered hole in the lid. This was a pretty easy process for me, as I always had a good idea of what I wanted to be (Bugs Bunny, once, and later the Six Million Dollar Man) and we usually went costume shopping before everything got picked over.
My parents (and their bank accounts) had better be thankful that I wasn’t aware of the existence of monster mask catalogs.
“The Yellow Phantom,” the creator and proprietor of The Monster Mask Catalog Archive, was certainly aware of their existence and, lucky for us, has built an impressive digital shrine to preserve as many of them as he can for us to enjoy. We get clickable, enlargeable images of as many pages of each catalog as the Phantom could find. From Don Post Studio’s unintentionally terrifying 1948 Santa Claus to the hyper-detailed 2015 Walking Dead zombies from Trick or Treat Studios, this is a great place to trace the artistry of the rubber mask—and to maybe get a few costume ideas of your own.
Blu Gilliand is the managing editor of Cemetery Dance Magazine and Cemetery Dance Online. His favorite Halloween mask as a kid was a melting purple monster with wild silver hair. He hasn’t found it in any of the catalogs in The Monster Mask Catalog Archive…yet.