New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York Comic Con 2013: R.L. Stine talks nostalgia, ‘Goosebumps’ series

Junior Gonzales for WSN


Nostalgia for the ‘90s was high at New York Comic Con on Sunday, when children’s horror story author R.L. Stine — creator of the iconic “Goosebumps” series — spooked the stage and reflected on his career.

As a testament to the lure of Stine, the room was filled with readers and fans of all ages — adults in their late 20s and early 30s who grew up with his work, as well as children who only recently discovered Stine’s books. At age 70, Stine is strong as ever and is continuing to write “Goosebumps” stories for a new generation. He also serves as the namesake for The Hub’s popular, “Goosebumps”-esque series, “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour.”

“I’ll tell you why I’m especially glad to be here today,” Stine said to the crowd. “I mean, especially glad. I did a book signing a couple of weeks ago here in New York, and a librarian came up to the table, and she said, ‘Can I have my picture taken with you? The kids all think you’re dead.’”

Stine went on to discuss his love of horror comics as a child — particularly “Tales from the Crypt” and “The Vault of Horror” — and how he used to go to the barbershop every Saturday morning to read comics out of sight of his mother.

Since his first horror novel in 1986, “Blind Date,” Stine has hardly looked back on the genre. He also talked about his wildly popular “Fear Street” series — a more mature series than “Goosebumps,” which focused on teenagers and young adults that lived on a deadly, cursed street.

“On Twitter, more people ask me about ‘Fear Street’ than about anything else … I haven’t [written any] in about 10 years,” Stine said. “I hope to have a big announcement about ‘Fear Street’ soon.”

But of course, Stine is still best-known for “Goosebumps,” a series that has continued to publish new stories on and off over the past 21 years and is one of the most popular children’s series of all time.

“There is a ‘Goosebumps’ movie in the works,” Stine said to his crowd of ecstatic fans, and revealed that Jack Black is “90 percent signed” onto the role of playing a fictitious version of Stine in the film. Still, Stine was cautiously optimistic about the movie’s chances.

“We’ve been trying to have a ‘Goosebumps’ movie for 20 years,” Stine said. “Tim Burton was originally the producer on the film, but he didn’t do anything … he’s not one of my favorite guys.”

Whether the movie happens or not, Stine’s name is one that, no matter the decade, will send chills down readers’ spines.

“The surprising thing to me, I’m really being honest here,” Stine said. “I was doing book signings, and I would have 7-year-olds and 10-year-olds, and then I would have 20-year-olds and 25-year-olds and 30-year-olds, and I would say to them, ‘What are you doing here? Why are you here?’ And they all said, ‘We loved you when we were kids.’”

“That was a shock to me,” he said. “[For me] to be nostalgia.”

Jeremy Grossman is arts editor. Email him at [email protected].

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