John Axe was an artist, doll collector and an authority on children's series books. When I first became interested in collecting, I found both of Mr. Axe's guides in a local book store. I quickly snatched them up, and I can tell you how invaluable they have been to me as I have collected various series over the last ten years.
Both guides are lavishly illustrated with color photos of book covers and dust jackets. Mr. Axe lets you see each cover for every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book published. In addition, he helps you understand the various formats available for each series and even gives author information if possible. Each series that has its own chapter gets a brief history in regards to its creation as well as insider information on the books. You even get a synopsis for the books in the major series. As a new comer, this information was incredible. I remember when I first bought a Hal Keen book. I went to Mr. Axe's Boys Series book and there it was.
Book series included in Axe's works include Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, Judy Bolton, Cherry Ames, Tom Swift, Jr., Chip Hilton, Penny Parker, Kay Tracey, Ted Scott, Mark Tidd, Connie Blair, Vicki Barr, Tom Slade, Dana Girls... just about every series you can imagine!
The books are officially out of print, but you can still find both on Amazon. I put in the words "All About Collecting" and found both! If you don't have these, grab them. You'll be sorry later!
Sadly, John Axe died late last year, and the Series Book world continues to mourn his loss. This October, I believe there will be some sort of rememberance for Mr. Axe at the Couldersport, Pennsylvania Judy Bolton days. Judy Bolton was his favorite series, so it seems appropriate for these folks to honor their friend John. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet him. From all I have read about him, he was an amazing man.