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Do you hear what I hear, brother?!

Heyas all!
Time for the first not 100% gremliny post that some of you have been excited about, while the rest of you are busy finding ways to ban me from the internet for not posting gremlins stuffs 24/7.

Gremlins has always been my number one passion throughout my life, and when I was young, back before the interwebs were what they are today, I wanted one book more than any.novel

The Gremlins Novelization by George Gipe.
To me, this was the bible of all Gremlins knowledge. With it, the secrets of the creatures that occupied a huge portion of my   mind at all times would be unlocked.  I feverishly searched the book out, as feverishly a 5 or 6 year old could. This is where  the back story comes in.

My parents would make semi-regular trips up to North Fon Du Lac, Wisconsin to see my Uncle Richie his family. This was always exciting for me, since my cousins, Richie and Tony, were older than me by about 6-7 years. This meant one thing, and one thing only.

They had the cool toys & I could play with them.
(more after the jump)

Sure enough, every time we would go visit, I would be given access to  treasure trove of toys and music that I never thought I would ever have for myself.
My dad would sit and argue with my uncle (typical Italian family where a polite discussion and heated argument were interchangeable) , while my mom sat and listened or else she would go in the kitchen and visit with Aunt Joyce.

Meanwhile, I would play in the living room, with a huge old toy barn and whatever toys were found within. Usually there were heavy die-cast trucks and cars, along with a few action figures likely from some early 80s cartoon I didn’t know about.  Eventually I would get bored, and wander into the dining room, where the boys’ bookshelves were. Lots of the usual suspects from the 80’s. Hardy Boys, The Boxcar Children, some Mad Magazine, Cracked, Lots of Wrestling mags and other things teens of the 80s lived and died for. Suddenly I saw something that astounded me. No, not a sports illustrated swimsuit edition, but the legendary novelization of Gremlins. Sitting there on the shelf.  I remember the excitement of finding it, and every time I visited from then on, I would sit and read it, picking up where I left off, or just starting over, absorbing every nuance that a 6 year old could.

Now remember, this is the late 80s and wrestling was HUGE. Specifically Hulk Hogan was huge.  Anyone who didn’t like the hulkster was obviously not human or a commie. I didn’t really get “into” wrestling, though I loved watching what I saw. Hulk ripping off his shirt, eyes ravenous like a maniac who just kicked a kitten through a field goal into a puppy farm, but somehow being a hero to all with that insane demeanor. Eventually I was permitted to play in the garage during the summer, and this meant even more toys.

I found a couple milk crates full of wrestling figures that became my obsession for at least a summer’s worth of visits. I didn’t know too many of the names, beyond Hulk Hogan, Andre, and The Ultimate Warrior. That didn’t stop me from playing with the rest and having epic battles where the guy with the snake fought alongside the farmer in blue overalls that worked for the the evil policeman with a goatee to attempt to destroy the universe from their impenetrable wrestling ring fortress on the porch steps.

Each time, the good guys would get together and climb the steps to battle the ultimate evil forces, where inevitably the good guys would be overpowered at the end by some kind of force field, and they would be saved JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME by Giant Squeaky Gizmo! Giant Squeaky Gizmo would somehow stop any altercation that occurred. You know, now that I think about it, this might be the reason my Uncle Richie used to tease me about carrying around “that doll” everywhere. a 12″ Gizmo was pretty unstoppable vs 6″ rubber non-posable wrestlers. Sometimes the Ghostbusters would join in, but typically that was reserved for more “spiritual” encounters when the villains would summon other creatures from other toy lines for whom I would have to create names and back stories.

Somehow I was always excited to visit my family in North Fondy (as it is known), even when the wrestling figures were no longer in the garage, and the old barn in the living room was empty. That was when I was allowed to play with the neat toys like The Nintendo, and was allowed into Tony’s or Richie’s room.
I always was amazed by the “scary” posters on the walls, from some kind of zombie named Iron Maiden, and electric chairs with lightning around them proclaiming their metallic origins. Dragons fighting scantily clad women, as well as creatures my parents would never let me have in my room in my wildest dreams! Richie and Tony were always willing to play with me when they had time, though I remember them coming in and out all the time, stopping in to say hi and grab a soda, then go hang out with their friends. I thought they were the coolest obviously since they had the stuff I wasn’t allowed to have yet, (the fact that they were older didn’t quite click until much later)  plus they never treated me like I was some random kid. That was awesome.

One time we were about to leave to head back to Milwaukee, I think it was Tony that gave me something to take home. It was the Gremlins Novel. I thought they were letting me borrow it, but it had a note inside the front cover that said “To JohnPaul, from your cousins Richie & Tony.” To me, this was not just an awesome book, but a huge honor, similar to passing a legendary sword down to the next generation of warriors to slay the evil demons that have plagued the land for eons.

Twenty years later, I still have this copy of Gremlins. It has since been read hundreds of times, and it shows. The cover has a small missing corner, and the book itself is split in two along the spine. right where the “full color pictures from the hit movie” are featured. Of course now I have more than one copy of the novelization, including one in Japanese, but this one holds the most sentimental value for me.

The funny part is only in the last 5 years have I developed an appreciation for the entertainment within professional wrestling, and actually have begun collecting the newer figures. Who knows? Maybe Gizmo will need to save the day again in 2009. Here is hoping that I get the Raw Arena or Elimination chamber or something neato for Christmas…Maybe the Santa Gremlin (or maybe Dave Morris, he does Santa every year.) will bring a sack full of goodies this year!

Wow. that turned out a bit more gremliny than I thought it would. Guess it just goes to show that they find their way into just about everything!

Anyways, everyone have a great christmas and/or holiday, and maybe, just maybe, I will bore you all with more updates like this if you were good little boys and girls this year!

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9 responses to “Do you hear what I hear, brother?!

  1. M Conrad III January 27, 2009 at 2:44 am

    I actually never read the novel, and because of this post I had a used book shipped to me since our local store didn’t carry it. Aside from the whole Mogturmen prologue, I didn’t find it to be a wealth of information o_0

  2. R.G gizmo January 18, 2009 at 10:12 am

    i got a gremlins poster for christmas im only ten and first saw gremlins at the age of seven i saw gremlins two when i was nine its my second favourite film

    awesome website the bio background is very interesting

    bye or should i say gizmo KA KA

  3. Cliff January 11, 2009 at 6:22 am

    That was an awesome story, man! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!
    Happy 2009!

    Cliff

  4. Jason January 3, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    i have a tip for you,JP:there’s a new LIMITED EDITION shirt at the Fright Rags website that features Gremlin STRIPE holding a chainsaw,with the effect created that he is ripping through the shirt. as of this writing,the only sizes left are LARGE and up.

  5. SteVin89 December 31, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Hey Gremlins Online,

    Just found a cool little article with pictures of an old magazine. It’s from 1990 when ‘Gremlins 2’ came out. Here’s a link: http://johnpannozzi.blogspot.com/

    It would be great for your site!

    Sincerely,
    SteVin89

  6. Luis P December 25, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    veeery good job! i make a draw for gremlins christmas too. my present to the web:

    http://whispersonthewind.deviantart.com/art/Gizmo-s-Christmas-107314144

    and pleeeease, here it’s imposible to find the novelization because i live veeery far, can somebody up it to the web? that could be a good Christmas gift.

    merry christmas!

  7. Nino December 22, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Hey ya!

    Just a quick note.

    I saw a screening of Gremlins yesterday in Los Angeles. Joe Dante and Zach Galligan were there and spoke about the film. I thought you might be interested in the two video clips of I took from the screening.

    View them here:

    Joe:

    Zach:

    Feel free to post the videos on your site, if you so desire.

    Enjoy.

    -Nino

  8. Aelia December 21, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    That was a joy to read! Reminds me of the first time I read the novelization, I was thrilled with all of the little tidbits of information that it contained! The Gremlins Bible for sure ;P

    I’m hoping to find some Gremlins beneath my Christmas tree as well, although seeing as I own just about every last piece of merchandise available… that’s probably not going to happen lol

    Merry Christmas to you as well! Here’s my Christmas card for this year:
    http://chaotica-i.deviantart.com/art/Have-a-Gremlin-Kinda-Christmas-105105131

  9. John December 19, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Great to see a new Gremlins post..keep em coming !

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