In 1992, R.L. Stine introduced Goosebumps, a line of short horror/humor books with preteen protagonists facing any number of monsters, ghouls, and creatures. Part of what made the kid horror classics so popular was the striking cover art by Tim Jacobus.
The Art of Goosebumps by Sarah Rodriguez, Rachel Deering, and Mark McNabb goes deep into the series and that cover art. It starts with an introduction by R.L. Stine in which he lists some of his favorite covers, then an interview with Stine where he talks about what influences his writing, how to craft a horror story, and his writing routine. In Jacobus’ interview, he talks about how he got involved in Goosebumps, which covers were most challenging, his influences, and more.
The meat of the book is a retrospective on the Goosebumps series and cover art. Finalized covers are featured alongside sketches, color mockups, unused designs, and photos used for the art. It has details on the process of crafting the covers, and provides context on the books and factoids about each publication.
This is a great book for members of the Goosebumps target audience. Those of us who read these books with rapt attention as children can read this comprehensive publication with an adult’s appreciation. The books were meant to scare and entertain us as kids and through The Art of Goosebumps, we get to learn about the processes that went into Stine and Jacobus’ work.