Growing up, a word that came up quite often around me was “imagination”. I was always conjuring up my own little universes, inspired by the staples of the time: Godzilla, Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Spider-man, the Super-Friends, and so on. If my creativity was the wood, and these inspirations the fuel, the spark undeniably came from the desire to learn more.
I constantly raided the public library, as well as the one at my school, R.O. Nelson Elementary (and, later, Saunders Middle), scouring every shelf for any shred of information about these characters. I wanted to know their back stories, how the films were created, and, ultimately, where these ideas came from in the first place. It doesn’t take much to see the seeds that were planted in my mind at the time. Over the years, my interest in science, psychology, art, theology (and even a lack thereof), and technology can trace its roots straight to the so-coveted orange Movie Monster books I grew up with.
Also, a few unsung writers that poured their hearts, souls, and a ridiculous amount of research into anthology-style books on Sci-Fi meant a great deal to me. These books delved more into the psychology of these character, which were simply misunderstood, more often than not. I learned a great deal about the value of compassion from knowing the stories of Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf-Man, and, yes, even Godzilla beyond the visceral imagery that had hooked me in the first place.
Long live the archivists, print and otherwise. You’re preserving more than history – you’re keeping the fire burning for the next wide-eyed kid that comes along.