Ahead of the upcoming theatrical release of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the beloved children's (?) books that share its title will get a movie-themed re-release with new covers. The fan-favorite series of spooky short stories, coupled with images that were haunting and grotesque, especially relative to the book's target audience ages, have been persistent sellers since 1981. The trilogy was written by Alvin Schwartz and featured striking, memorable art by Stephen Gammell. For the movie tie-in books, at least the cover and perhaps some of the interior art will feature imagery from the upcoming film, which is set to hit theaters a month from today.
Movie editions are a frequent complaint from book purists for any series, but in the case of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, it's likely that a lot of fans will shy away from the new editions if only because some or all of Gammell's illustrations will be missing. That said, this is not the first time Harper & Row has chaged up the iconic look of the books; in 2011, the publisher celebrated the 30th anniversary of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by releasing a new edition that replaced Gammell's art with images from Brett Helquist, the illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Helquist's art was generally thought to "tone down" Gammell's ideas somewhat to make it more palatable both to younger audiences and to the parent groups and others who have frequently sought to censor Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark since its publication. In two separate periods -- from 1990-1999 and 2000-2009 -- the volume was listed as one of the morst frequently challenged books in school libraries. The new editions, though, will likely go the other way, as the inclusion of live-action horror images (even if PG-13) is likely to be considered scarier and more offensive than line art.
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You can see the covers in the above instragram post from actress Natalie Ganzhorn, and buy a copy of a box set that includes all three of the books -- Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones -- in paperback, at Amazon.
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