by Captain Hollywood
When I was about ten, comic books called to me. I was a big reader of comics and I absorbed every single word of comic scripture; every superhero, every arch-villain, every explosion, every battle between good and evil. I even read that descriptive microscopic print on the ad pages that was so small and so incredibly detailed that only kids ever took the time to read it. And I’d read it over and over. X-Ray Spex, 150 Roman Soldiers. Joy Buzzer of Laffs. Fake dog poo. Snapping Gum. Bag Full of Laffs. Itching Powder. Giant Frankenstein. Surprise Package. Oh, the humanity!
You’d save your allowance for a month, and you’d carefully fill out that tiny order form, then cut it out. You’d tape a few quarters to a piece of cardboard, scrawl an address, lick a stamp, mail it in. And then you’d wait. And wait. And dream of the magic to come. Build your own monster. Throw Your Voice. Fool your friends. Ventrillo the ventriloquist dummy. Build huge muscles. Sneeze powder. Fool your friends. Snakes in a glass. Fake Arm Cast. Sea Monkeys. You’d choose what you wanted to buy (a heinously painful decision.) Coins accumulated slowly and your imagination expanded exponentially. You’d wait on pins and needles. And wait some more. The postman comes and you check the mailbox, day after day. Nope. Not yet. Why so long? 4 to 6 weeks? Why so long? God, it was killing me. Killing me. Why so long?
And then, one day, it finally came. In this case, it was my very own Shockmonster Mask. I learned that Topstone was the maker of this spectacular piece. The masks were cheap painted rubber with that wiry hair, but they were cool because they fit your whole head and you could sort of manipulate the features by moving your face. The Shockmonster was the coolest. He had buggy eyes, heinous green skin, this grotesque green hair. His mouth was all crooked with jagged teeth. And when you put one on, you were instantly transformed into a kind of kid coolness that was unsurpassed in the kingdom of little geeks. You became the Shockmonster. And no one could stop you. How cool was that?