Ignited by an intersection of chance and opportunity, filmmaker James Mansfield was present at the discovery in 1999 of a long-forgotten cache of material belonging to Carl Denham, an obscure but remarkable adventure filmmaker active in the 1920s and early ‘30s.
In addition to files, photos, folders, posters, and other mementos, the vast majority of the find - 30 sealed crates - consisted of rusted film cans containing thousands of feet of footage in various stages of decay. Upon on-site inspection of some of the better-preserved frames, Mansfield sensed that he had stumbled upon something astounding: Carl Denham’s long-presumed-lost visual record of his “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the factual basis for RKO’s classic motion picture, KING KONG.
THE GI JOE MASTERPIECE EDITION(Chronicle Books)
Much less a book than a product, I conceived the Masterpiece Edition as a way to legitimize for adult consumers the purchase of a pop culture hero they treasured as kids - - in this case, the original GI Joe action figure. I described my concept to former Hasbro VP Don Levine, and he got involved. I ghostwrote the "enclosed book by Don Levine," and we were able to sell about 250,000 copies in army, navy, air force, marine and astronaut variations. You can read a little about the making of this book and product here.
Once forgotten, the original-style GI Joe action figure is now resurrected as a brand asset, available in Hasbro's Timeless Collection product segment.
Also, my Masterpiece Edition concept has been expanded to include Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
GI JOE: THE COMPLETE STORY OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE MAN OF ACTION(Chronicle Books)
While the small book included with the GI Joe Masterpiece Edition is an oral history, this coffee-table format volume is a traditional third-person narrative that tracks the history of Hasbro, Inc. and the Hassenfeld family as much as it does that of the GI Joe product.
Something I learned about the book-selling business: The large chain stores like Barnes and Noble tend to shelve your book based on a superficial assessment of its subject matter. So, unfortunately, my book languishes in the "Hobby and Collectibles" ghetto rather than the more appropriate "Business History" or "Marketing" sections.
IT CAME FROM BOB'S BASEMENT
Known to give up precious living space to display a rubber corpse or pair of Frankenstein's clod-hoppers, Bob Burns is the patron saint of special effects for B movies. His storied
It Came From Bob's Basement is a colorful journey through the vivid and campy world of fantastic cinema and a true tribute to a man who has dedicated his life to the preservation of incredible movie artifacts-from the original King Kong's metallic skeleton to the life-size Alien Queen.
Including insider stories from the sets of favorites like The She Creature, It Conquered the World, and Plan Nine from Outer Space, Bob Burns brings fellow fantasy buffs up-close with props and artwork from the greatest (and most outrageous) sci-fi films of all time. A story told with genuinely irresistible enthusiasm, Bob's Basement honors the beloved cult classics that have shaped movie history.
ACTION MAN FILES
I was taken aback when I visited the Watson-Guptill Publishing booth at the Book Expo and saw a huge poster of the book cover as well as the same image spread across the entire back cover of their catalog. You can still find copies on Amazon.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG "LOOK LOOK" BOOKS(Golden Book Entertainment)
These books were initially available through Scholastic book clubs, and, according to Golden Entertainment, combined for sales of well over 500,000. They are still available at Amazon.com and change hands regularly on eBay.
The art for all three books is by Art Mawhinney, who was able to visualize exactly what I had in mind on each and every page even though we had no contact during production of the books. Truly an amazing talent.