The Seattle Times’ book blog has a good article about Fantagraphics new series of reprints of the Rosebud archives, which contains many early American works that helped define the genre. The drawings are beautiful and have an attention to detail that seemed to disappear during the golden age of comics. There is a reason I don’t go to the Fantagraphics shop too often, which is just down the road from me. I’d end up buying too many books. But a trip to their site is worth while.
Now Marschall’s company, Rosebud Archives, and Fantagraphics have formed a joint publishing enterprise that will draw from Marschall’s immense collection, reclaiming the work of the great 20th-century magazine and newspaper artists for the 21st-century public.
The Fantagraphics website is already a portal to Rosebud’s collection of prints, posters, framed art, books, and stationery. Later this year Fantagraphics will issue the first book in a new imprint, Marschall Books — forthcoming volumes include a compendium of cartoon advertising, a book devoted to Johnny Gruelle’s lost masterpiece Mr. Twee Deedle, a book on Krazy Kat and a volume devoted to Sherlock Holmes illustrations and art.
Michigan resident Marschall and his partner, preservation expert Jon Barli, have complete runs of newspapers and magazines to draw from (some rescued from the trash bin). An entire run of Vanity Fair magazine from 1913 to 1936; Harper’s Weeklies from the Civil War years; New York Herald Sunday Color comics 1894-1911; a mostly complete collection of Puck Magazine from 1877 to 1918.
I have always had a hard time getting rid of old books, even ones I’m not going to read. It seems one step removed from book burning, which is the devil’s playground. I do fool myself into thinking they will all go to good homes when I give them to the library sale, but I’m sure some don’t find a home. Well now if you want to be kind to books and save them you can buy those ubiquitous 1¢ books you see on Amazon and the like by the pound. All you have to do is go to the warehouse of Once Sold Tales. I know that books aren’t forever, but perhaps a little scarcity might be in order some day.
“Used books are now completely commoditized,” Eric says. “You have to price your books below all competitors, constantly, or they won’t sell.”
But the reason I’m here is that there was a strange twist on the way to the Web revolution. The books somehow got left behind.
It turns out that in the ruthlessly efficient, instantly updateable Web market, countless books are no longer worth selling, because it costs far more to ship them than the market judges they are worth.
“Book prices are so low they’re becoming a disposable product,” Eric says.
Take “The Trumpet of the Swan,” E.B. White’s classic about a voiceless swan who learns to speak by playing a stolen trumpet. What’s it worth, used, on the Web right now?
Only one cent, believe it or not. Plus $3.99 to mail it to you.
via the Seattle Times.
It looks like Elliott Bay Books is in financial trouble. The Seattle Times is reporting they many need to move or close. This is a great bookstore and it would be a shame if it went out of business, if for no other reason than the number of author readings it hosts just could not be duplicated anywhere else. Hopefully, they can weather the storm and maybe move somewhere else.