I have been a fan of Marilyn Monroe since 1953/1954 when my Mother took me to see "How To Marry A Millionaire" at Radio City Music Hall (thanks, Mom). But I became an avid collector in the summer of 1959 when Marilyn blasted me away as Sugar in "Some Like It Hot". From that time I have been on a quest to acquire everything about her. I have amassed a formidable collection of magazine articles and whenever possible complete magazines featuring Marilyn on the cover. It had always been a goal of mine to have some kind of checklist of every magazine cover she appeared on and it wasn't until 1994 that Clark Kidder came to the rescue to provide the possibility of such a checklist.
His book "Marilyn Monroe Uncovers" by Quon Editions out of Canada (ISBN 0-9695539-7-8) packed 160 pages with hundreds of photos of magazine covers. This book was like bread to a starving man. It was by no means the complete record of Marilyn Monroe magazine covers but it did provide the avid collector with the means to identify a great many that might be missing from his/her collection. This book satisfied. But now, five years later, Mr. Kidder has outdone his first effort. With the release by Krause Publications of "Cover To Cover" we have a great deal more to thank Clark Kidder for. He has put together a 159 page book to rival his first book. While there are several covers that are repeated again in this book, there are a great many
others that appear for the first time making this a Volume 2 of a 2 volume reference set.
The advantage of "Cover To Cover" over "Marilyn Monroe Uncovers" is that it presents the evolution of the girl Norma Jean posing early in her modeling career through the glamorous Marilyn Monroe modeling phase into the Marilyn Monroe screen goddess phase and ending with the sad and troubled Marilyn in her last days. A time line of the most fabulous face ever to grace the camera. The chronological presentation guides the casual reader through the stages of Marilyn's life and career. And for the hard-core collector, Mr. Kidder has provided pricing ranges for complete magazines with each cover portrayed. His prices come from his personal knowledge in acquiring the magazines that are featured in his books. I have seen his ads running in collector publications seeking any magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover.
Comparing the two books one finds several differences in styles. "Marilyn Monroe Uncovers" provided the prices in the 3 page - 2 column index at the back of the book. It also covered more of the American movie magazines with a sprinkling of foreign publications. The book was oversize with dimensions of 9" by 12". "Cover To Cover" provides the prices along with the cover and the index has been reduced to a single 4 column page. There are many more foreign publications even from the beginning of the book, which measures 8 1/4" by 10 3/4".
Remarkably, both books show a strikingly limited display of Life, LOOK, Time and Newsweek covers although she had appeared on these publications many times. Corresponding with the author, I discovered that the Time/Life giant wanted substantial fees for permission to reprint their covers.
Clark Kidder's breathtaking projects prove that the loving devotion to a superstar can result in an admirable tribute to her. These are books he has every right to feel proud of. Whether he attempts to continue his quest to complete the record or not, he has provided us all with a glorious set of one-of-a-kind books.