BOOK REVIEW: The Illustrated History Of Don Post Studios Deluxe Edition by Lee Lambert

A year ago I did a review of this massive book (seen HERE), a loving tribute to perhaps the greatest Halloween mask company of all time. I couldn’t say enough good things about that book and now, with the release of the Deluxe Edition, I am back to say “Buy this book!”

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Advertisement used for the 800 line of masks. Picture provided by Lee Lambert and used with permission.

Author Lee Lambert is a monster kid like all of us. He grew up watching monster movies and reading Famous Monsters Magazine, just like I did and fell in love with Don Post Studios masks thanks to the ads in the back of said magazine. He took his lifelong love and ran with it and the results are this amazing book.

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Unfortunately, some people expressed disappointment that after buying the original book that it was announced that a larger, deluxe edition was in the works. When asked as to the reason of a second edition, author Lee Lambert had this to say:

The necessity for a second edition really arose out of something that had happened last August. As I was nearing completion of the writing of the book, the publisher had made the arrangements to have copies printed in both hardcover and softcover versions to appeal to different budgets.

We had also committed to have the book launch at Mask Fest, and in exchange the promoter of Mask Fest gave us some valuable assistance in promoting the book. Everything was on track until 5 weeks to the day before the launch of the book. That was when the printer contacted my publisher to say they underestimated the size of the book and they would not be able to print it.

DP03Production copy of the 1960’s Wolf Man with hands. Picture provided by Lee Lambert and used with permission.

We were left with three options:

1. We could have split the book into two volumes, which would have doubled the cover price.

2. We could have broken our agreement and cancelled Mask Fest, taken our time to find another printer, and launched the book elsewhere at a later date.

3. We could have frantically scrambled to find an alternate printing source to make sure we could keep our commitment to Mask Fest.

While the second option would have made the most economic sense, my publisher and I discussed it at length and we both felt that honoring our commitment to Mask Fest was more important than profit, so we went with the third option and were able to find someone who could print the books for us. The downside was that we had to trim some content, we could only have the book done in softcover, they would only be able to have 50 copies for Mask Fest, and our cost per book was substantially higher which limited us to 500 copies.

DP02Emperor Palpatine, Quasimodo and Timberwolf masks. Picture provided by Lee Lambert and used with permission.

Fortunately, nobody seemed to mind as the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The only criticisms we heard repeatedly were that people had wanted it in hardcover and that we sold out so quickly. Well now you know why.

The big question facing us in doing a second run of books was whether to reprint the first edition or do something different. Since the release of the first edition, a lot of people have come forward offering additional material if we chose to do a second edition. We were grateful for the support and wanted to expand the book with this new material, yet we were also cognizant of the fact that there were people who spent their hard earned money on the first edition and that they might feel slighted if we were to release what was essentially a better book a year later. It wasn’t a decision we made lightly (or quickly), but we ultimately decided that we should release the best version of the book that we could produce. If that meant upsetting some of the customers who bought the first edition, it would be unfortunate and regrettable, but we were willing to accept that.

The way I look at it is that many people missed out on the original book because it sold out very quickly so this allows them the chance to own an updated copy. If you did buy the original it is worth keeping as some pictures in the original release have been updated with better quality photos, many offered by private collectors. Also updated is the 1967 letter from Verne Gagne to Universal about supplying the walk around masks. The original showed up for sale on eBay and a collector allowed Lee to use it in place of the black and white photocopy.
DP01Gargoyle, one of this author’s favorite masks. Picture provided by Lee Lambert and used with permission.

The text remains unchanged in this edition and the additional photos are just short of amazing. This edition is also available in a limited version featuring a special collector’s latex mask relief slipcase, reproducing the original cover in 3-D. This was produced by Greg Duffy of Creature Revenge Studios! Click HERE to order and don’t hesitate as this edition will sell out quickly just like the original one!

This is the book that everyone wanted written but nobody wanted to do. We should all thank Lee for his tireless efforts and on a job well done!

~David Albaugh
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2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Illustrated History Of Don Post Studios Deluxe Edition by Lee Lambert

    • Lee Lambert explains why this book was re-released and personally I am fine with it. I bought both copies and though I understand that not everyone can afford to buy the new one, if you never bought the original than it is more than worth it to buy the deluxe edition. There is a link at the end of the article where I bought mine from (and it is now available on Amazon as well).

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