Pixel Scroll 1/3 The Man from P.I.X.E.L.

coverWARP932 Keith Braithwaite

(1) BRAITHWAITE RESTORES CLASSIC ARTWORK. Gracing the cover of Warp #93, the Montreal Science Fiction and Fantasy Association clubzine, is this superlative painting —

The Doctor and his Companion, by Claude Monet (oil on canvas, 1875), a painting dating from a most fertile phase of the renowned French Impressionist’s career, was recently discovered in the attic of a house in Argenteuil in which Monet lived in the 1870s. Little is known of the subjects depicted as the artist left no notes as to their identity or relationship to him. No particulars on the gentleman or lady are to be found, either, in the local historical records of the time and the odd structure beside which the gentleman is standing remains a puzzle. Civic records offer no indication that such a structure ever existed, as if this curious blue box simply appeared out of thin air, and then disappeared just as mysteriously. The title of the work gives us our only clue as to the two subjects, suggesting that the gentleman was, perhaps, a medical doctor travelling with a female relative, Fiancée, or mistress. MonSFFA’s own Keith Braithwaite worked on the restoration of the painting.

(2) BLUE PEOPLE BEWARE. Yahoo! Movies reports “’The Force Awakens’ Barreling Toward ‘Avatar’Record”.

The space opera sequel is moving up the all-time domestic box office charts at a record clip and now is poised to overtake those pointy eared blue aliens as the top grossing film in history. Avatar earned $760.5 million during its stateside run and Star Wars: The Force Awakens has generated $740.4 million domestically after picking up $88.3 million over New Year’s weekend. It should take the crown from Avatar early next week.

(3) AXANAR DECONSTRUCTED. (There’s that word again. I hope I know what it means…) John Seavey at Mightygodking has created a FAQ about the Paramount/CBS lawsuit against Axanar Productions:

Q: Then why are they being sued? Paramount allows lots of these things, don’t they?

A: Oh, yeah. “Star Trek Renegades”, “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men”, “Star Trek Continues”…basically, it seems like as long as nobody’s making any money, Paramount turns a blind eye to these fan films.

Q: But this one they wouldn’t? Why?

A: Well, there is the fact that, in an update on Axanar’s Indigogo campaign, they said, “EVERYTHING costs more when you are a professional production and not a fan film. All of this and more is explained, along with our budget of how we spent the money in the Axanar Annual Report.”

And in that latest annual budget report, they said, “First and foremost, it is important to remember that what started out as a glorified fan film is now a fully professional production. That means we do things like a studio would. And of course, that means things cost more. We don’t cut corners. We don’t ask people to work full time for no pay. And the results speak for themselves.”

And:

“Please note that we are a professional production and thus RUN like a professional production. That means our full time employees get paid. Not much honestly, but everyone has bills to pay and if you work full time for Axanar, you get paid.

Also, no other fan film has production insurance like we do. We pay $ 12,000 a year for that. Again, a professional production.”

Also, in their Indiegogo FAQ, they had this little gem:

“Q: What is Axanar Productions?

Axanar is not just an independent Star Trek film; it is the beginning of a whole new way that fans can get the content they want, by funding it themselves. Why dump hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on 400 cable channels, when what you really want is a few good sci-fi shows? Hollywood is changing. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other providers are redefining content delivery, and Axanar Productions/Ares Studios hopes to be part of that movement.”

Which kind of contradicts the “fan film” statement.

(4) WILL SMITH’S CHARACTER IS LATE. John King Tarpinian imagines the conversation went like this: “You want how much?  Sorry but your character just died.” In a Yahoo! News interview,  “Will Smith Says It Was Terrible When He Found Out His Independence Day Character Died”.

Will Smith found it unpleasant to learn that the fat lady had sung on Steven Hiller, the character he played in 1996’s Independence Day. “It was terrible when I found out my character died,” Smith told Yahoo.

Hiller’s death was revealed on a viral site for Independence Day: Resurgence. “While test piloting the ESD’s first alien hybrid fighter, an unknown malfunction causes the untimely death of Col. Hiller,” the site’s timeline reads. “Hiller’s valor in the War of ’96 made him a beloved global icon whose selfless assault against the alien mothership lead directly to the enemy’s defeat. He is survived by his wife Jasmine and his son Dylan.” You can see an image of Hiller’s fiery death by clicking here.

(5) ALL KNIGHT. Admiring Fred Kiesche’s Damon Knight quote in a comment here, Damien G. Walter tweeted —

(6) HE FIGURES. Camestros Felapton forays into toy design with his new “Hugo” brand “Stage Your Own Kerfuffle”  figures….

(7) JEFFRO MOVES UP. Vox Day is delegating management of the Castalia House blog to “The new sheriff in town”, Jeffro Johnson:

As Castalia House has grown, it has become increasingly difficult to balance my responsibilities as Lead Editor and as the manager of this blog. Because Castalia House shoots for excellence across the board, I have decided that it is time to step back and hand over my responsibilities for this blog to someone else.

And who is better suited to take it over than one of the very best bloggers in science fiction and gaming? I am absolutely delighted to announce that the Castalia House blogger, author of the epic Chapter N series, and 2015 Hugo nominee for Best Fan Writer, Jeffro Johnson, has agreed to accept the position of Blog Editor at Castalia House.

(8) ARISTOTLE. That leaves Vox Day more time to orchestrate his winter offensive. His first target is File 770 commenter Lis Carey.

Even I occasionally forget how fragile these psychologically decrepit specimens are. Anyhow, it’s a good reminder to ALWAYS USE RHETORIC on them. They’re vulnerable to it; they can’t take it. That’s why they resort to it even when it doesn’t make sense in the context of a discussion, because they are trying to make you feel the emotional pain that they feel whenever they are criticized.

Day is developing a Goodreads author page, and Carey mentioned yesterday she had already seen early signs of activity:

Ah, this may explain a recent comment on one of my reviews of last year’s Hugo nominees–and means maybe I can expect more.

The particular comments were on her review of Castalia House’s Riding The Red Horse.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 3, 1841 — Herman Melville ships out on the whaler Acushnet to the South Seas.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born January 3, 1892 – J.R.R. Tolkien, honored by Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor.com:

But of course, the world remembers Tolkien for changing the fantasy genre forever. By penning The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien set a framework for fantasy literature that countless authors have attempted to recapture over the years. The creation of Middle-earth, from its languages to its poetry to its rich cultural history and varied peoples, was an astounding feat of imagination that no one had managed before with such detail and ardent care.

(11) SEMIPROZINES. Camestros Felapton continues moving through the alphabet in his “Semiprozine Round-Up: Cs and Ds”.

Keeping on going in the Cs and Ds of semiprozines.

  • The Cascadia Subduction Zone
  • The Colored Lens
  • Crossed Genres Magazine
  • Daily Science Fiction
  • The Dark Magazine
  • Diabolical Plots

(12) PARTS NOT TAKEN. “Leonardo DiCaprio Reflects On Turning Down Anakin Skywalker And Two SuperHero Roles” at ScienceFiction.com:

And it’s a philosophy that has led to him turning down parts in some guaranteed smashes and lots of cha-ching.  He recently revealed that he actually met with George Lucas, but ultimately passed on playing Anakin Skywalker in the ‘Star Wars’ prequels.

“I did have a meeting with George Lucas about that, yes.  I just didn’t feel ready to take that dive. At that point.”

Around this time, DiCaprio instead chose to make ‘Gangs of New York’ and ‘Catch Me If You Can’, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

Still he must be kicking himself.  The role instead went to Hayden Christiansen and look at how his career took… oh, ahem.  Nevermind.

(13) REMEMBERING BAEN. While researching another post, I rediscovered David Drake’s 2006 tribute to the late Jim Baen, who had just recently passed. Shortly before Baen’s death the two were on the phone and Baen asked, “You seem to like me. Why?” The answer is rather touching.

And then I thought further and said that when I was sure my career was tanking–

You thought that? When was that?”

In the mid ’90s, I explained, when Military SF was going down the tubes with the downsizing of the military. But when I was at my lowest point, which was very low, I thought, “I can write two books a year. And Jim will pay me $20K apiece for them–”

“I’d have paid a lot more than that!”

And I explained that this wasn’t about reality: this was me in the irrational depths of real depression. And even when I was most depressed and most irrational, I knew in my heart that Jim Baen would pay me enough to keep me alive, because he was that sort of person. He’d done that for Keith Laumer whom he disliked, because Laumer had been an author Jim looked for when he was starting to read SF.

I could not get so crazy and depressed that I didn’t trust Jim Baen to stand by me if I needed him. I don’t know a better statement than that to sum up what was important about Jim, as a man and as a friend.

(14) PEACE IN OUR TIME. In “The Stormbunnies and Crybullies”, John C. Wright devotes over 2,000 words to making his closing offer irresistible in that special way only he knows how.

But I am a forgiving man, jovial and magnanimous. I make the following peace offer: Go your way. Cease to interfere with me and my livelihood, do your work, cease to libel me and meddle with my affairs, withhold your tongue from venom and your works from wickedness, and we shall all get along famously.

Otherwise, it is against my self interest to seek peace with you. Peace is a two sided affair: both parties must agree. So far only Mr. Martin has even expressed a desire for it.

(15) WHAT KEEPS YOU FROM WRITING? Nandini Balial at Pacific Standard helps writers name their fears — “Gremlins and Satyrs of Rejection: A Taxonomy of Writers’ Foes”

THE SATYRS OF MOUNT OUTLET: Like its cousin Olympus, Mount Outlet stretches far beyond human sight into luxurious billowy clouds. The work its satyrs produce is sharp and daring. Vast networks of bloggers, freelancers, and even reporters churn out viral but self-aware listicles, personal essays that make me cry more than they should, and short stories so good I’m inclined to simply put my pen away. On Twitter, their satyrs (editors) trade barbs and witticisms with the speed of a Gatling gun. A poor peasant like me may approach the foot of the mountain, but my tattered, unworthy scrolls and I will soon turn around and head home.

(16) PUBLISHING STINKS. Kristen Lamb, in “The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers”, says don’t bother reviewing her books on Goodreads, because that’s where the trolls are:

Tweet a picture of our book. Put it on Facebook. People in your network ARE noticing. Peer review and approval is paramount in the digital age. And don’t support your favorite author on Goodreads as a first choice (AMAZON reviews are better). The only people hanging out on Goodreads for the most part are other writers and book trolls.

Support us on your regular Facebook page or Instagram or Twitter. Because when you post a great new book you LOVED your regular friends see that. When they get stranded in an Urgent Care or an airport? What will they remember? THAT BOOK. They won’t be on Goodreads. Trust me.

(17) DISSONANCE. After reading Kristen Lamb’s discouraging words, I encountered M. L. Brennan calling for everyone to get up and dance because Generation V earned out and what that means”. That’s not the next post I’d have expected to see, straight from leaving Lamb’s black-crepe-draped explanation of the publishing industry.

One thing to bear in mind, because it’s easy to lose sight of it when you look at that last paragraph — if I hadn’t received an advance, I wouldn’t have made more money on this book. I would still have earned $7615.78 on the series — except earning that first $7500 would have taken me two years, rather than being entirely in my pocket on the day that Generation V hit the bookstores. And that $7500 paid my mortgage, my electric bill, and other bills, which made it substantially easier for me to write. Without that advance, it would’ve taken me longer to write Iron Night, Tainted Blood, and even Dark Ascension, because I would’ve been having to hustle other work elsewhere and spend less time writing.

(18) NONE DARE CALL IT SF. Whether Joshua Adam Anderson styles himself an sf fan I couldn’t say (though he did take a course from Professor James Gunn), but his LA Review of Books article “Toward a New Fantastic: Stop Calling It Science Fiction” is a deep dive into the abyss of genre. His attempt to define (redefine?) science fiction is precisely what fans love.

LAST JULY, Pakistani science fiction writer Usman Malik published a clarion call for his home country. In it, he made the claim that “[e]ncouraging science fiction, fantasy, and horror readership has the potential to alleviate or fix many of Pakistan’s problems.” While it would be difficult to disagree with the idea that science fiction is a positive force in the world, many of Malik’s reasons for championing the genre are problematic. To begin with, Malik — along with just about everyone else — still, for some reason, calls “science fiction” science fiction. His essay actually contains a handful of reasons why we should stop calling it “science fiction,” and it also inadvertently addresses how and why we need to liberate ourselves from genre itself — and how “science fiction” can help us do just that.

(19) PLANNING BEGINS: Paul Johnson’s early word is that the event to honor his father, the late George Clayton Johnson, might be in February at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

P Johnson snip Egyptian

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., Paul Weimer, Brian Z., and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

413 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/3 The Man from P.I.X.E.L.

  1. I liked Sweet a bit, but his main weakness to me was that his characters always looked very stiffly posed, as though they had stopped whatever they were doing long enough for someone to paint them posed like that.

    His cover of James P. Hogan’s Inherit the Stars remains a sentimental favorite of mine to this day.

  2. Re: Discworld covers.

    I really like Josh Kirby’s covers; they were quite distinctive* & cartoony. To be fair, they worked better for the earlier books & not so well with the more serious tone of the later books.

    *I guess like the Baen covers, they stood out on bookshelves.

  3. Emma:

    Not that he was actually legally expelled (as in, actually, literally kicked out from the SFWA in 2013). That the Board voted to expel him. That’s not necessarily describing the same thing.

    I don’t really think that argument flies.

    The hypothetical court case we’re discussing is to get a judge to rule whether the SFWA Board’s expulsion of Beale was legally valid — whether SFWA’s action satisfied the requirements of Massachusetts law for that kind of corporation. If a court said the action did not, then it can be paid no regard.

    I suppose that if Beale happened to win in Massachusetts, it would still be possible to force him to sue in a California court to get the result enforced against the reincorporated SFWA. If he won again, SFWA would have to start over using the procedure in its California bylaws in order to expel him.

    The operational meaning of a term like “good standing” is first its definition under state law (if there is one), or else the corporation’s bylaws. Obviously the SFWA’s Massachusetts corporation bylaws did define “good standing” — you quoted the definition. Having paid life dues, Beale could not have failed to be in good standing under the old bylaws up until he was expelled. Whether his expulsion was legal or illegal is what our hypothetical judge would decide. If illegal, it would be given no further weight, and if the SFWA then tried to do as you suggest, prejudice his membership because they voted to kick him out under the old Massachusetts rules, there’s no reason to think a California court would rule in their favor.

  4. @RedWombat: Interesting comments, especially to me as a non-artist, thanks.

    @Shambles: In fairness, part of that gets back to the art direction, methinks. But I do like that The Wounded Land is a very specific scene, plus anyone who read the first trilogy would recognize the artifact floating there. I like that it also (IMHO) works well as a cover!

    (clicking on random Foss art links in search engine)

    Ah! I recognize the art but didn’t know his name. Foss’s stuff is very cool and very colorful, and has a smooth texture I like, but the covers I clicked on seemed like part of a series of paintinings, not specific scenes (but I’m not sure how many were covers, actually).

    @Tasha Turner: I don’t have much luck when trying to give away books to friends (maybe they all have too many books, too? 😉 ). Maybe I’ll have more luck if I do a really big thinning of the herd, so I have a lot more to offer.

    Donating: Folks occasionally “donate” books to our local GLBT SF club, which means they sell them dirt cheap (50 cents for mass markets & a buck for hardbacks) and give the proceeds to the club. At those prices, I’m more interested in donating to a thrift store that’s a 501(c)(3), so I should look for one, next time I go through our books. Or try selling or giving away at work. Then there’s eBay or Amazon, but that’s too much work for me these days.

  5. @Ray Radlein: That’s a nice cover! I should wander through our collection and look at examples to see this stiffness (which I’ll probably understand better seeing it first hand; a lot of my online image searches seem to return tiny pictures).

  6. @Kendall – I give to friends kids. Same in my family I’m passing books on to the Kids ages 1-mid-20s. I’ve also cultivated friends of all ages. The ones in their 20s haven’t reached the Out of bookshelf and floor space issues yet.

  7. Drift stores are those odd little shops where you find something weird – like a sentient Luggage – but which isn’t there next time you go looking for it.

    When I went to the 1995 Worldcon in Glasgow, I was told by my British co-workers that I absolutely must bring back every Pratchett that had been published since the last time any of them were there. So the first thing I did was hit the dealers room in search of books. As it happened, I met Pterry in the dealers room on the way *to* the books, or I’d have been lucky enough to get them signed.

  8. Every time VD goes into one of his I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL WIZARD schticks, the main result is to simply move the curtain further back to reveal a humbug desperately pulling levers and bellowing into a speaking tube..

    – – – – –

    Darryl Sweet was a GoH at a locally-held con about a year before he died. I’d never been a big fan of his paperback covers, so I was really surprised when I saw some of the originals he displayed. Those original paintings were HUGE, at least five to six times the size of a paperback cover. Shrinking them to publication size not only lost a lot of detail, but seemed to have a flattening effect; the originals showed much more depth and sense of three-dimensionality. MUCH more impressive in their original size.

    He also had some of his personal paintings on display, unhampered by marketing constrictions. Even more impressive.

  9. Reading the wrong book first can kill a series, and it’s a trap for those of us who wish to do things in order. It reminds me of Drawn & Quarterly’s series, The John Stanley Library, which had he entirely commendable intention of bringing works by one of the great masters of non-superhero comics out to be appreciated. They started on one of my favorite of his, THIRTEEN Going on Eighteen (a title that would certainly send the wrong message in this day and age, alas), but made the mistake of beginning with Volume 1. It took the comic a few issues to find its stride. The first ones were drawn by, I believe, Win Mortimer, in a style totally unlike what Stanley ended up doing, and I think the fact that a third to a half of the issue is not completely baked may be the reason that D&Q never managed to put out another volume that would probably have finished up the series and presented the truly hilarious and profound stories that my sisters and I bought at the newsstand. The ones I still have, and which I was in the process of scanning before a squirrel ran by the window.

    It’s unfortunate, as the adventures of Val and Judy and Billy and Wilbur are an enduring delight. Should they have started with Volume 2 and risked offending those who rush out to buy the first issue of anything? Probably! I think that the majority reading the second volume would have followed up by buying the first. We may never know. I was lucky enough to find three more issues I didn’t have at the same comic shop that sold me the reprint volume for a substantial discount (after they had it on their shelves forever), and—bonus!—they don’t have decades of my apparently greasy thumprints tinting the middle of the outside margins.

    @NelC
    You may be thinking of the Nielsen-Hyphen conspiracy. I’ve already forgotten whether it was a conspiracy to add hyphens to everything, or to take them away and hoard them for future nefarious purposes. It’s the difference between BWAH-HAH-HAH-HA! and BWAHAHAHA!

  10. Cassy B. on January 5, 2016 at 6:06 am said:

    Jamoche, so, the Weapon Shop of Isher is a drift store?

    Also the shop in Soul Music where Buddy bought his guitar.

  11. It’s the difference between BWAH-HAH-HAH-HA! and BWAHAHAHA!

    Which reminds me, I think it was someone here recommended “Don’t tell my parents I’m a Super Villain” a while back.
    Finished it a couple of days ago. Ta.

  12. Emma on January 4, 2016 at 7:26 pm said:

    @Kevin Standlee:

    I can find nothing else in Section 180 that requires a vote of the membership to expel a member, and therefore the Bylaws (old, Massachusetts) appear to apply per (e) above.

    He’s apparently been citing Section 180, Chapter 18…

    Ah, I missed that when I was looking through the relevant law. (I’m only relatively conversant with the non-profit corporate laws of California and Alberta, those being where I’ve been a founding director of non-profit corporations.) Good catch. Hm, that’s trickier, then, and gives him a likely better case for the original corporation. However, California’s non-profit corporation law doesn’t have a corresponding provision of which I’m aware, and therefore at the very most, a lawsuit brought in MA forcing the (now defunct) SFWA (MA) to reinstate him under 180.18 and thus to roll his membership into SFWA (CA) would merely put him under a new state’s rules, and thus SFWA (CA) could still vote to expel him, as Mike said. The section of the California Corporation Code in question appears to be Section 5341, which doesn’t require vote of the membership to expel a member, so as far as I can tell, SFWA (CA) could expel a member under their current bylaws. (Whether they would is a political question, not a legal one.)

    I think the re-incorporation makes the original case effectively moot even if it’s not technically so. This probably explains why VD doesn’t actually hire a lawyer to pursue the case. It’s a waste of resources and even if he won the battle, he’d probably lose the war. In short, politically he’s better off claiming he was wronged (which may be technically correct under Massachusetts corporate law) than ever trying to attempt legal redress of his grievance.

    (There’s also perhaps some possibility that a Massachusetts court might order him to show up in person, which appears to be problematic for him.)

  13. Presumably if a court did hold that Beale was still a member of SFWA, the board could then proceed to expel him again. I take it that, as they are no longer under Massachusetts law, this would no longer require a vote of the membership; but if it did, such a vote could be held.

  14. Vasha:

    This hasn’t a hope of getting on the Hugo ballot, being a children’s book; nonetheless it will be at the top of my nomination list, no matter how few others join me.

    Well, children’s books have got on the ballot before.

    So, does Cuckoo Song have a US publication date of 2015? It was published in the UK in 2014, enabling it to get the BFA Best Fantasy Novel award (yes, the real one, without age restrictions) in 2015.

  15. Jamoche, so, the Weapon Shop of Isher is a drift store?

    Yes, and I was going to say Padgett’s “What You Need” predates “Needful Things”, but that store apparently stays put.

  16. RDF on January 4, 2016 at 4:51 pm said:
    Mark : Goodness, I missed a visitation from VD.
    It was essentially this:


    When life gives you demons, make demonade.

  17. Kip W on January 5, 2016 at 5:53 am said:
    Reading the wrong book first can kill a series, and it’s a trap for those of us who wish to do things in order.

    Not only books, I watched the pilot of “Babylon 5” & wasn’t interested enough to keep watching that first season. It was only accidentally catching the fifth(!) episode “The Parliament of Dreams” that changed my mind.

    I only started reading Sandman with the “The Doll’s House” TPB, the one with Death, and it was the right place to start; the previous issues are quite rough in comparison. Also Gaiman’s introduction to the TPB about coming into the middle of a story was pitch perfect.

    Another series I didn’t start at the beginning was Kage Baker’s Company novels. Mine was volume four, “The Graveyard Game” borrowed from the library. After reading it, I *had* to find the earlier books, and *needed* to know what happened next. I don’t think I’d have had the same response if I had started from the beginning.

    I prefer to do things in order too, but sometimes reading from the beginning is the wrong order.

  18. Pingback: since gaming the hugo awards failed, let’s try goodreads | Crime and the Blog of Evil

  19. @Soon Lee
    Yeah, I didn’t read Sandman for years, because somebody enthusiastically loaned me the first three or so issues. A list of things I wrote off forever on the basis of a small sample would be no small sample. Probably.

  20. In other words, he deliberately scammed and cheated the system, and he personally robbed me personally of my due, thanks to his dishonestly cast vote; and he advises that there can be peace between us if I, who have been in the field my whole life, join him as a true fan, and to cease committing the wrongs that he has done me but not me him.

    I reject this advice with supercilious umbrage, thank you.

    Whoa. The educational system, am I right? He deliberately scammed and cheated and personally robbed me personally, dishonestly! Cue the supercilious umbrage, thank you!

    I have a theory that, like Chatterton, he first writes things in understandable English, and then he goes to a thesaurus of some kind and substitutes words that he thinks mean the same thing as what he thinks he means. Every paragraph contains a new inadvertent delight.

    I’ll leave it up to you right clever readers to rightly guess the right name of the writer.

  21. They started on one of my favorite of his, THIRTEEN Going on Eighteen (a title that would certainly send the wrong message in this day and age, alas), but made the mistake of beginning with Volume 1. It took the comic a few issues to find its stride. The first ones were drawn by, I believe, Win Mortimer, in a style totally unlike what Stanley ended up doing,

    Tony Tallarico. I think it was the first two issues he did.

    The only thing he did well was that he drew the 13 year olds to look younger than the 18 year olds, so there’s an actual wistfulness to Val’s dreams of being like her older sister. In the later, better issues, it comes off more as wacky scheming — but beautifully-paced wacky scheming.

    and I think the fact that a third to a half of the issue is not completely baked may be the reason that D&Q never managed to put out another volume

    About a quarter, I think. But that might be the case. Or it might be that it was a hardcover collection of an obscure book by someone who’s famous for other things, so it really only sold to hardcore Stanley fans. In which case, the audience is dumb, because that’s my favorite Stanley material ever. But, well, audiences are dumb.

    that would probably have finished up the series

    There are 29 issues on THIRTEEN; the last 4 of them are reprints. The first volume had eight issues (#1-9, skipping #8 for some reason), so it’d have taken two more. Wo knows, if they ever sell through the first volume, maybe they’ll get to the second.

    It’s unfortunate, as the adventures of Val and Judy and Billy and Wilbur are an enduring delight.

    This is true.

    Should they have started with Volume 2 and risked offending those who rush out to buy the first issue of anything?

    I feel the same way about Marvel’s VENUS Masterworks, where they did a first volume with all of the junky crap that very few readers have any interest in, and now we’re waiting in patient hope that they’ll eventually do a Volume 2, which would be cover-to-cover beautifully-drawn Bill Everett hyperimaginative dementia…

  22. I only started reading Sandman with the “The Doll’s House” TPB, the one with Death, and it was the right place to start

    I don’t think they even collected the first issues for a few years after A Doll’s House came out.

    I don’t think I’d have had the same response if I had started from the beginning.

    I ordered Garden of Iden from the library. I received this gorgeously painted impressionistic purple hardback done in the style of Audrey Howard, a romance writer. You could not possibly tell it was science fiction just by looking at it. And yet it was not an inappropriate cover, given the romance at the heart of the book. I loved it. I hope lots of romance fans picked it up and took it in their stride without skipping a beat.

  23. I don’t think they even collected the first issues for a few years after A Doll’s House came out.

    A DOLL’S HOUSE was collected (originally just titled THE SANDMAN) in 1990. PRELUDES & NOCTURNES (the first arc) got collected in 1991.

  24. @Kurt Busiek
    Thanks for Tallarico’s name there. I believe I read Mortimer somewhere, and now I’ve read Tallarico somewhere, and the two names can fight it out in my head. I’m rooting for Tallarico.

    Agreed that THIRTEEN is obscure, but I do think starting with stronger material would have helped. I didn’t know about VENUS. Being out of it probably saves me some money sometimes. My last substantial purchase came when I happened into a comic store in Toronto that had their DC treasury editions marked down 40%, and the owner was willing to include the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. books I didn’t have in the discount.

  25. Agreed that THIRTEEN is obscure, but I do think starting with stronger material would have helped.

    I honestly don’t know. I don’t know that we’re dealing with an audience that bought it and was dissatisfied with what they bought so much as a retail community that barely ordered it and an audience that never picked it up at all. Those fans who knew about it and grabbed it might very well all buy a second volume, but there just aren’t many.

    But we don’t know. Stronger material would be better, yeah, because if you’re only going to get one book (always a possibility) it should be as good as it can be. As an individual reader, though, I’ll admit that I’m glad to have those early issues because they’re the ones that were hardest for me to find. But I hope we get more eventually.

    Marvel’s doing a thing now where they break up a series into numbered volumes and then publish the volumes out of order, so they might do AVENGERS EPIC COLLECTION 13 before doing the earlier volumes. This allows them to (a) release stronger stuff up front, and (b) experiment with releasing volumes from the 60s, 70s or whenever and see what the reaction is. If it’s successful, they’ll eventually get around to releasing the whole run, but if it founders it’s not because the least impressive stuff was published first.

    I hope it works for them; they’re nice-looking editions, and it’s a way to get around the problem that most of the archival reprints have of starting with the beginning and then taking a while to get to the stuff that would sell the best…

  26. A DOLL’S HOUSE was collected (originally just titled THE SANDMAN) in 1990. PRELUDES & NOCTURNES (the first arc) got collected in 1991.

    It probably just felt like years, then.

  27. @Kurt Busiek
    I’d even be happy to have virtual copies, but I guess the expense of scanning and preparation is a large part of the cost anyway. Talked to a friend I haven’t seen in a few years, and he says he has no actual comics any more, just scans from torrents and files bought from whoever the online arm of the major publishers is.

    On another note, I wonder why D&Q didn’t include the covers. These better not be stripped copies!

  28. On another note, I wonder why D&Q didn’t include the covers.

    I think that was a serious lack, too. Plus, I think the book has a nice design, but it’s, again, aimed at the cognoscenti.

    Shouldn’t the John Stanley Library have John Stanley art on the covers?

  29. Well, I’d have preferred to see his art over what they had, however nice it was, and respectful. Still, I’m glad to have it, and as I say, at a discount. I’d rather have had more books, but the discount helped me decide to go for it when I already had a fair amount of what was inside.

    (Huh. I went to Gravatar and uploaded a photo, but I’m still Mr. Nobody. Two eggs seen at an angle.)

  30. Kip: Gravatar appears to be a cranky platform. I have a WordPress account, but whenever I try to sign into Gravatar using it, it throws me into a recursive loop where it continually asks me to sign in with the account again. If I try to make a new account, it tells me I’m already registered and have to use the account that ends up in an infinite loop.

  31. That’s funny, I created a Gravatar account just today, using a WordPress identity I already had, and it worked perfectly. I was following the instructions on this page.

  32. @Vasha: Well, I broke out of the recursive loop and managed to put in an image, but apparently it hasn’t percolated through the system yet.

  33. @Vasha I really like your new image. I’ve been admiring it all day.

    @Aaron software never works the same for any two people. This is why I’m not ready to let AI take over any time soon. 😉

  34. @Aaron: Sorry Gravatar has decided not to cooperate with you. Software can unfortunately not be given the old engineers corrective, a swft kick.

    @Tasha: That woman resembles me only in being immersed in a book, ’cause I’ll never be that natty in my wildest dreams.

  35. I read “Moving Pictures” when I was in the Oort Cloud of Hollywood. There’s a footnote on one of the early pages that made me laugh so hard I literally fell off the couch I was on. Yes, I was ROTFL. In a hotel lobby! When I caught my breath, I read it to my fellow Oort Cloud object, who also promptly began whooping. Luckily, we were at a con, so when people looked over, they saw me holding a Pratchett book and all was explained. Other than that, I like Sam Vimes and the newspaper gang. I started reading at about the… I dunno, 5th book? so was spared the early years.

    There’s so little supervision over at Goodreads that I’m amazed they ever ban anyone. Well, let’s hope throwing out Widdle Teddy and His Band of Elk proves they’ve got a soul over there and will start keeping an eye out for more bad behavior. Like that author who clonked the girl over the head with a wine bottle for giving him one star, and the other one who went all stalker on someone but thankfully stayed away.

    If Teddy knows who the pedophiles are and has not reported them to the police/FBI/etc., he’s an accessory after the fact. Legally as guilty as the child molesters, and certainly as reprehensible by allowing future incidents to happen. He’s deliberately holding back information that would save children.

    So either put up or shut up, Teddy. Either tell the cops what you know, or stop lying about what you don’t. I know his family doesn’t have… a good record with the criminal justice system, but Think Of The Children.

    @Kip W: Old pulps sound perfect for gym drudgery. Much better for you than watching TV or just staring and thinking how much your legs hurt. Good idea.

    Too many books: Yes. Can’t give ’em to friends, they also have Too Many. So they go to the Friends of the Library booksale, which raises money for my local public library to buy shiny new books in many different languages.

    “Shottle Bop” is also a drift store, then!

    @Aaron: You appear to be some statues and a dude holding a glowy thing.

  36. I went back and talked to Gravatar some more, and tickled its buttons, and had it send me a confirmation, and I’m still a snowman facing away. I wouldn’t worry about it, except how can I convey just how handsome I am? Words fail me!

    ETA: I’m also jovial, saturnine, and mercurial, in an earthy way.

  37. @Kip W

    Double-check that you have the email address typed exactly the same for here and for Gravatar – that’s the most typical cause.

  38. The Goodreads moderation culture seems to be pretty laissez-faire, but I suspect even so there is little tolerance if one goes in cackling like a cartoon villain.

  39. @Vasha: It is a picture of a lich. At one point on Twitter, people were riffing on Social Justice Warrior with things like Social Justice Druid and Social Justice Wizard. I picked Social Justice Lich, because even a soulless undead abomination can see the wisdom in social justice.

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