A to Z: M is for Monster ManualPosted: April 14, 2011
Back in 1978 or so, I first acquired the ‘Monster Manual.’ It soon became (and remains) one of my favorite books. By the standards of today, it might be considered a pretty primitive effort. No color illustrations, no online updates or errata or discussion groups, etc. The interior illustrations are black and white. Some of the drawings look pretty amateurish. Many of the monsters are downright silly. Plus the book leaves all sorts of questions unanswered. For example, it says that the touch of the tendrils of the violet fungi will rot your flesh, but fails to say what having ‘rotted flesh’ means for your character. Despite the flaws, this remains my favorite monster book. Maybe I love it because it was the first book like this that I owned (although The Glass Harmonica Lexicon is somewhat similar and I had that book as well around the same time). Maybe I love it because we had so much fun with it. Maybe I love it because I spent so much time turning the pages and reading the descriptions and wondering at these fantastic creatures. I don’t know, but I think it remains one of my favorite books.