Oct 15, 2021

Hallowen Web - Author Jason Young

  Let's give a warm welcome to our friendly neighbor Jason Young, author of An Old School Halloween.

Thanks for joining us. Can you tell folks about your new book?

'An Old School Halloween' is my second book. My first book "The Wonderful Artwork of Wax Wrappers" enjoyed 4 print runs, all selling out. This is a 200 page full color look back at those old Ben Cooper costumes we all remember and love. For the book, I was lucky enough to interview Frank Romano, the original Art Director for Ben Cooper. The book has been featured in magazines like Toy Ventures and HorrorHound as well as an upcoming issue of RetroFan. It's also been featured on some great websites like 13th Dimension, some blogs, and I appeared on a podcast titled Fire & Water. I'm currently working on my 3rd book, which I'm not ready to share quite yet - but stay tuned at my Facebook Page "Oldtimes Digest".

What made you decided to do 'An Old School Halloween'?

I wrote this book for my love of Halloween and those old costumes. I also wanted to shine a light on Frank Romano, who is the unsung hero of those old costumes. He's not as much a household name as he deserves. The costume images were sourced from collectors who were kind enough to share images. The photo album chapter includes submissions from many folks who dug through their parents old albums and scanned them for the book. (Ed.: I also sent in a childhood photo that made it into the book!)

Aside from your books, is there anything else people may know you from?

Some folks might also know me from my work with Mego Toys. I'm a life long collector of Mego and I've designed packaging for several of their figures such as Willy Wonka, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Stan Lee, Hammer Dracula and many others.

What was Halloween like for you as a kid?

It was a huge deal. My Dad would take us to a neighborhood called "Hydrostone" which are rows of houses up and down short streets. It was the popular spot for trick or treaters, and still is today. Folks who live there actually factor Halloween candy cost into their mortgage. I live in Nova Scotia (Atlantic Canada) so it's cold in October. My Mom would always make us wear a jacket and often a hat, so some kids costumes could only be seen from the knees down.

Do you have any particularly favorite costumes?
My favorite old costume is probably Spider-Man, though my brother went as him. I recall going as Darth Vader and my oldest brother went as Bugs Bunny and King Kong. 
What about special Halloween memories?
My oldest brother hung on to his King Kong mask for years and would sit by our beds when we were sleeping, then scare the heck out of us. We used to listen to a scary LP every year too, which I still have. 

How do you celebrate Halloween these days?

Every year since I bought my house in 2005, we host a family Halloween Party. It's mine and my wife's parents, siblings, nieces, nephew, etc and EVERYONE has to dress up. We give prizes and play games. It's become part of everyone's Halloween tradition. Over the last few years my kids even started turning our basement into a haunted house and had fun with that. Last year I went as Mister Rogers. Behind you can see my four foot tall haunted house on the mantle with Mego Monsters, working lights and sound effects.

Inside the Spookster's Studio

The worst thing to get when Trick or Treating was plain potato chips. They always seemed like a cop out to me. Took up way too much space and was never a fan of plain chips. I wanted chocolate bars!
My favorite thing to get was Smarties. I'd trade any candy for more Smarties.

My favorite monster cereal was none, we only bought Raisin Bran as kids.

A huge thanks to Jason for doing our interview and talking about his book. You can find Oldtimes Digest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can get a copy of An Old School Halloween from the Oldtimes Blue Ribbon Digest site. And I'm not just promoting it because I have a photo in the book, it's packed with costume photos and a great piece on Frank Romano who designed many of the classic Ben Cooper costume graphics. Also, check out Frank's Etsy shop where you can get a signed print. I already ordered The Creature!

Click below to hit the Countdown site with a list of all the participants this year!


  1. I purchased this book when I saw it on facebook or instagram. It's awesome. I have a Ben Cooper Six Million Dollar Man costume which I had as a kid. So awesome. Old school.

    1. I wish I still had my Star Wars costumes.

  2. great interview with my baby brother.

  3. Fun interview, and that book looks amazing!

    1. I say it’s a must for anyone that grew up in the age of classic Halloween costumes!