Friday, November 9, 2007

First Post and Introduction

I've been working for some time to catalog the various books I have in my collection. Basically I look for a few different categories of books: Science Fiction First Editions (including interesting cover or interior art), Illustrated books, and Comic Book Graphic Novels. Also included are ancillary books that "sort of" fit the above categories but defy normal categorization (I'll also include a portfolio from time to time or images from my sketchbooks). This blog will mostly focus on the Illustrated books including Graphic Novels. As my collection is rather large, the blog will allow me to put together the foundations of a hosted website cataloging my collection. I'll post book information, lists, photos and interior art as I have time to take photos or create scans. Most of the work involved is in manipulating images and writing text.

I hope to entertain, inform and preserve the characteristics of my collection and collecting information (that I've worked hard to gather over a period of many years). As I literally have thousands of books in my collection, this will take some time. The blog will offer more of a stream-of-consciousness format so I can provide impressions and loosely categorize items in regards to author, subject matter and related references - blogging labels are perfect for that. Once I feel I've got enough together for a more permanent offering, I'll put everything up on a hosted website.

I started thinking about doing this blog in conversation with a friend - we were talking about a specific author and I mentioned I owned a signed, limited edition, with a sketch by the artist on the front end-paper. This is something I really like to do - have or find illustrations that are custom to the book, performed by the book illustrator. My friend was really "wowed" by the book and illustration and wondered why I hadn't posted images anywhere - good question and what led to this blog and the eventual site. As a secondary outcome, posting this information will allow me to better access what I have with descriptions and images, for both insurance purposes and to differentiate editions when considering new purchases. Many of my books have stories around them as well, either in where I obtained them or "attached" in some way due to the source.

The image at the top is one done for me by Raphael Kayanan who at the time was finishing up work on Hawkmoon for First Comics (he went on to do an extremely good run of Conan for Marvel). Turns out Raph was a childhood friend of one of my old friends (Trish who I worked with at Criminal Records) - Raphael had a bad experience coming into town for DragonCon - the RV caught on fire, destroying much of Raph's clothing and quite a bit of his artwork. To try to help out, I engaged him to do renderings of a trio of Michael Moorcock's characters: Hawkmoon, Elric and Corum. I've posted images of the three (including the one above) in the Multiverse Fora (Michael Moorcock's official site):

I've also got a dedicated Elric sketchbook that I'll be posting images from, when I get the chance. If you haven't read any MM, you should try it, especially if you like untypical heroic fantasy (Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon, Erekose) or avant-garde fiction.

-- John

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