We love inventive communities, and you’ll be hard pressed to find one more creative than the Monster Scouts, a “real-life Scouting community of oddballs who love Halloween, Monsters, Making and playing games.” The Monster Scouts is the brainchild of husband and wife team Daniel and Dawna Davis. They recently ran a membership drive and used the Monster Scout Handbook as a backer reward. We couldn’t let this project off our desks without learning more about the Monster Scouts, so we asked Daniel, the designer of the books, a few questions.
Can you tell us a bit about the Monster Scouts?
Monster Scouts is this oddball 1903 community of kind, monster-loving folks. We pledge to “Believe, Study, and Protect Our Monster Friends!” We all love Halloween, old-time monster culture, collecting badges, going camping, and making art and arts & crafts. It was created (on accident) when our company Steam Crow wanted to create a special little fan club for our best supporters. What happened instead is that Steam Crow fans jumped in, and started recruiting other new Monster Scouts.
How did you first find Scout Books and how did you use the Monster Scout Handbook in your Kickstarter?
Finding Scout Books was the hard part. I was looking for exactly what you guys are… a quality, US printer, who specialized in these little pocketbooks. I searched the web, and then my pal Bobby handed me one of yours… and THIS IS IT! As a creator, I really LIKE that they’re limited in pages. That 32 page limit ensures that I can tackle (and finish) the project.
As far as the Kickstarter goes, it is always great to tell folks what you’re offering them. For me, I was writing and designing the book during the Kickstarter, so I wasn’t able to share very much… just a mockup of the cover.
Were the books helpful in establishing the fiction of the Monster Scouts?
We’ve only just started to share them with the Scouts, since this hasn’t yet shipped. However, it’s going to be a core foundational piece of the Scouts, since it deals with Monster Scouts lore, monsters, the organization, Obscuria, Holidays, and other new stuff. You can stuff a lot of information into 32 tiny pages… just use a small font!
I was able to share them with the Scouts that attended our Summer Monster Camps, and it was a blast seeing them dig their way through the book. They all seemed pretty excited to finally have Handbook Volume 1.
What was it like writing and designing the handbook?
Well, I started with your templates, which really helped out. I started it in Illustrator (because I don’t do all that much page layout), and ended up finishing it in Pixel’s Affinity Designer.
I was a bit nervous about the spread in the middle of the book, but that turned out perfect. Everything else was really just about following the margins and safety zones that you provided in the template. The toughest part was just writing and illustrating everything.
Do you have a favorite Spirit Badge?
Favorite Spirit Badge? That’s a tough one, as I design all of them. I’d say that my favorite ones are “Danny Beard”, “Dawna” and “Goblin” badges, as they are our personal ones… we give them as gifts to Monster Scouts who deserve one. (You can never ask for these… they are only intended as personal gifts.) Second Favorites: Brewmaster (bring us our coffee order to an event) and Surf Host (for hosting us on our many travels).
How does one join the Monster Scouts?
It’s pretty easy. First up, you’ve gotta believe in monsters. Second, you need to be a little odd and definitely a quality person. Third, you go to MonsterScouts.com, and join up. Fourth, you join our Facebook Page.
Thanks so much to Daniel for sharing the story of the Monster Scout Handbook with us!