Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Night In Five Dials

Some Bellairsian inspired ephemera found around web:

BiblioFile: Puffin Publishes Barnavelt (Part 1)

You can credit Brad Strickland for many things – continuing the sagas of Lewis Barnavelt and Johnny Dixon, extending John’s literary life, sparking fans to band together on the Internet, and so on – including the push of paperbacks.

When Strickland’s The Ghost in the Mirror was nearing its initial publication in April 1993, the powers-that-be, knowing it would eventually hit paperback, seemingly decided to start fresh with the series. John’s original Lewis Barnavelt trilogy was first released in paperback during the mid-to-late 1970s through Dell’s Yearling imprint and, with at least two new books in the series due out in 1993, there would have to be some changes when those covers went soft. Those Yearlings were approaching being two decades old by this point, for goodness sakes!  What better way to connect the original books with the new adventures than with a new round of paperbacks? What eventually surfaced was published through Puffin with contemporary layouts and artwork by illustrator Brad Goldman.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Raising Up Spirits From Underground

I’ll come clean and admit that there’s always been something about The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt that’s enchanted me. Part of it is that I think it’s the first book of John’s I remember reading (and you always remember your first, right?) but I think a lot of it has to do with Bellairs’ ability to tie together some interesting historical anecdotes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Goreyana: The Trolley to Yesterday

Notes from Goreyana about The Trolley to Yesterday:
  • Gorey's wrap-around dust jacket art is not up to par with most of the other color covers in this series. The front cover portion of the dust jacket art looks undecided and rushed. I do like the painting on the back cover illustration, which has delicately placed clouds.
  • [The frontis illustration with] heavily crosshatched drawing is remarkable for the deep black shadows which were created by line work and not in-painting. This is a drawing that is diminished when printed in the book because all the crosshatching blurs into solid black on the printed page. This drawing is signed in ink.
  • The map is a fantastic example of Mr. Gorey's deft skills at cartography. Mr. Gorey misspelled several words on this map and had to correct the art for publication. This is also a rare instance in which Mr. Gorey drew an illustration larger than it was intended to be printed because of the amount of lettering involved.
  • At one time, I also owned two small drawings that appear as interior spot illustrations for this book, but I sold them some years ago to another collector. The two illustrations were drawn on a single piece of illustration paper. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Top 10 Fictional Books

As we prepare for the tenth anniversary of Bellairsia, we’re using our modestly shared Twitter feed to share some memorable moments and commentary in the form of Top Ten lists.

#JohnBellairs