Shock Theater ruled the airwaves, when Forrest J Ackerman was nigh-on a god and Famous Monsters of Filmland was the Word and the Light, there one day appeared on the newsstands a special edition of FM, the...
And, oh! The World changed for many a Monster Kid! Now, instead of reading about monsters and thinking about monsters and dreaming of monsters, we could BECOME MONSTERS! At least, for a little while (though our parents might have disagreed).
Halloween would never be the same. The cheesy Collegeville costumes from the local five and dime? Forget 'em. Kid stuff. Let's raid mom's make-up table for eyebrow pencils and cold cream, figure out how to get our hands on some liquid latex and mortician's wax, appropriate ping pong balls, model paints, Karo syrup, food coloring, brushes and sponges and gauze and whatever, take over the bathroom and MAKE SOME MONSTERS! Rick Baker started out this way during his freshman year of high school, as a matter of fact.
Oh, it was great, messy, sometimes disappointing and sometimes surprising fun!
The Handbook stayed in print for some years, then eventually became a collector's item. Eventually, Imagine, Inc. acquired the rights and published it as a paperbound volume through five editions. It's currently out of print, but used copies are available all over the Intarwebs.
Better still, walt74 has made the pages of the original handbook available as a flickr set. If you're looking for a good introduction to fantasy make-up, if you need a few good ideas for this year's Halloween costume, if you're thinking about doing a Zombie Walk but don't know how to zombify yourself (and, especially, if you want to learn the secret to making gallons of stage quickly and cheaply), look no further!
The blogger in his decadent Super-8 youth, make-up and fx courtesy of JSam: