the same old printings

Classic finds

I just paid full cover price for copies of two books that I myself had written, just trying to find out whether Hallmark had, as they sometimes do, gotten their own printings of the books with a Hallmark gold crown logo on them. And it would’ve been worth it had the answer been “yes”, because I’d want all the variants of the books that I wrote… but the answer is no, these are the standard printings. In fact, both the Be More Charlie Brown and the Be More Snoopy that Hallmark shipped me are still first printings, which is a little bit of a surprise in the case of the Snoopy book, now more than two years old.

For those who are unused to determining the printing of a book, there’s a trick to it. In the old days, on the copyright page (which is traditionally in the first few pages of a book, but in the case of these Be More books, is in the back), you’d see a simple listing like “Third printing…. December, 1959”, and that would be clear information. These days, you are more likely to see something like this:

That line that counts down from 20 and then counts down from 10? That’s the printing information. The number at the far right is which printing this is; at the far left, there year it was printed. So this book is a first printing from 2020. Why do they do it like that? Because its easier to remove text from printing plates or even electronic files than to add to them. So when the next printing came out, they could just erase that 1 and erase all the numbers before the current year, and thus they could do up to 10 printings over 5 years without having to add any text.

Classic finds
TV Guide revelation

The latest addition to the reference library is a TV Guide from February, 1980, which features an article about Peanuts, written by Schulz himself. In it, he discusses why some things work in the strip that don’t work in the animated specials, and he manages to do so in a …

Classic finds
Review: Christmas Gift Certificates for You

When I ordered a copy of the 1981 Hallmark Peanuts product Christmas Gift Certificates for You, I reckoned it would be one of those novelty coupon books, each page removable and offering the recipient a walk in the snow, help taking down the tree, or some Peanuts-y equivalent thereof. I …

Classic finds

 I just picked up the July 1964 issue of Drag Cartoons, a black and white comics magazine focused not on performative gender-bending as the youth must suspect, but on souped-up autos, including not just drag racers but hot rods as well. Did I pick it up because it had a …