Tim Jacobus (born April 21, 1959) is an artist who was the main illustrator of the Goosebumps books from 1992 - 2000. He is best known for his work on the original series, where he painted sixty of the sixty-two original covers.
Many of his Goosebumps covers were created using traditional painting techniques. In recent years, Jacobus has begun using computers to create digital art.
Jacobus was born on April 21, 1959 in New Jersey. Jacobus and his wife, Laura, have one son, who was born in 1998. Jacobus currently resides in Budd Lake, New Jersey. He has two sisters, named Karen and Patti.
History with Goosebumps
Scholastic had two artists in mind to do the Goosebumps covers: Tim Jacobus and Jim Thiesen. Jacobus created the art for the first Goosebumps book Welcome to Dead House, and Thiesen created the cover art for Stay Out of the Basement. Scholastic chose Jacobus to do the art for the Goosebumps series because they liked his use of saturated colors.
- Let's Get Invisible!: After Jacobus turned in the artwork for Let's Get Invisible!, Scholastic art directors wanted to send it back to him, telling him to make it "scarier" by adding in cobwebs and spiders. However, things were going a little behind schedule, so an unknown artist from Scholastic added in the additional elements themselves. Jacobus has gone on record saying "That's the one thing that bugged me about that piece, is that somebody drew on my painting."
- A Night in Terror Tower: Jacobus claims it took 30 hours to complete a Goosebumps cover. He would have a 1 month deadline to complete a cover. This caused complications at one point, specifically with A Night in Terror Tower. He had 24 hours to turn in the painting, but it wasn't finished yet. So he worked on it in the morning, and finished it late at night. The next day he turned it in to Scholastic on time.
- Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes: Jacobus originally had the gnome on the left picking its nose. Despite the art directors at Scholastic finding it to be funny, they also found it "gross". So they asked Jacobus to repaint it to where it was no longer picking its nose. The final cover has the left gnome scratching its head instead.
- The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader: Despite the fact that the book was never released, Jacobus did create cover art for it. The artwork features a tiny sized kid holding a pencil, warding off a white rat on a desk in a classroom. After he finished the art, a Scholastic representative contacted Jacobus and told him not to turn it in, and it would be his final Goosebumps artwork. The artwork was revealed for the first time on March 9th, 2017, as Jacobus sent one of admins of the Goosebumps Wiki an image of the original artwork.
- Many of Jacobus' Goosebumps covers feature Converse sneakers. Here are the books that have them on the cover:
- Say Cheese and Die!: The kid sitting on the bench is wearing them.
- The Ghost Next Door: The ghostly figure is wearing them.
- Monster Blood III: Evan Ross is wearing them.
- The Haunted Mask II: Steve Boswell is wearing them.
- How I Got My Shrunken Head: They are next to the dresser.
- Say Cheese and Die — Again!: The kid skeleton on the left is wearing them.
- Ghost Camp: All the camp members are wearing them.
- Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns: All the kids are wearing them
- How I Learned to Fly: Jack Johnson is wearing them.
- The Haunted School: They are falling out of the locker.
- Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Part 2: The kid on the right is wearing them.
- Ghost in the Mirror: One sneaker is leaning on its side near the base of the mirror.
- The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader: The kid warding off the rat is wearing them.
- Goosebumps film: After a long hiatus from Goosebumps, Jacobus was brought back for the Goosebumps film. He did the artwork for the "The Invisible Boy's Revenge" book cover that was shown near the end of the movie. He had no involvement with the animated Goosebumps covers during the credits, however. In fact, he was completely unaware about it. He missed it at the first screening, due to him having to sign material and meet with the cast of the film. It wasn't until he saw the film in theaters for a second time is when he saw the animated credits. Jacobus has gone on record saying the movie is a "10/10", but he says that's mostly due to the film including his artwork, and the end credits homage to his art. Jacobus also did the artwork for the Goosebumps Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. During the film, the character Will Blake can be seen wearing Converse sneakers, which is likely a reference to Tim Jacobus' artwork.
- Tales to Give You Goosebumps
- Goosebumps Monster Edition
- Give Yourself Goosebumps
- Goosebumps Series 2000
- Goosebumps Triple Header
- It Came from Ohio!
- It Came from New Jersey!
- Goosebumps (film)
- The Invisible Boy's Revenge cover, a vinyl record cover for the soundtrack, and extended artwork featured in the vinyl record.
Tales to Give You Goosebumps
Give Yourself Goosebumps
It Came from... series
Curly the Skeleton
Goosebumps (original series)
These sketches are available for purchase on Jacobus' online store.