30 Comments

  1. Just looked up the book on the Amazon link in the story. It’s not 14.95 anymore….$237 used, $443 new…I was going to buy it but not at that price.

  2. Barnes & Noble says they will sell a copy for $14.95, but they are out of stock. If you really want one, I’ll sell you my copy for a mere $99.99. …Just kidding, I’m holding onto it to cover my retirement.

  3. Barnes and Noble lists it for $14.95, but out of stock. Worldcat shows it to be reasonably well stocked in libraries. If one really wanted to read it, inter-library loan might work. I did find a place with a free e-book, but I think that’s a pirate version and wouldn’t try that.

  4. A friend’s husband invested an insane amount of money on Beanie Babies when they were at their hottest.

    It… didn’t end well.

  5. Brian, I’d be especially suspicious of somebody offering an e-book of something not all that popular: there’s never been a Kindle version, and who’s going to scan a whole book manually?

  6. @ Bill – Scanning a whole book isn’t that difficult (and can be automated)*, at least if one is willing to saw off the binding. I remember that after the fifth or sixth Harry Potter book appeared, a pirate PDF version turned up within a few days. The OCR quality was quite low, but a brief review was enough to prove that the writing wasn’t that good, either, so that I didn’t need to bother reading it.
    P.S. (*) – In “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress“, Heinlein gave Mycroft (the computer) a scanner with “suction cup waldoes” so that he could read “everything”.

  7. @Kilby
    1. I said “not so popular.”
    2. Would you destroy a book that’s worth its weight in gold?
    3. If you’re going to use the file to transmit malware, why bother sending a genuine e-book?

    THAT SAID, THOUGH… I don’t think it’s been perfected, but somebody’s working on a scanner that can read the pages of a closed book, for use with books that are so old, they can’t be safely opened.

  8. Yes, a friend of mine did the same, for her daughters’ college fund. The daughters are waaaay out of college, married and have kids of their own, and the Beanie Babies are still stored away under my friend’s bed.

    Our library system has a program that twins a BB with a book; for example, a manatee BB [which I have, but for the manatee aspect, not the BB aspect] with a children’s book about . . . manatees. I’m still trying to convince my friend to send me her BBs so I can donate ’em to the library. I think she’s still hoping they’ll be ‘worth something someday’.

    As with anything else – stamps, coins, etc. – something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, which is why I collect a few things ’cause I like ’em, not ’cause they’ll be ‘worth something someday’.

    Besides, if I like something enough to buy it, why would I sell it?

  9. Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas did “Sam’s Strip”, a 1960s gag strip about guys who knew they were comic strip characters. In one, Some of the gags are generic or mildly topical, but the emphasis is on the comics themselves: Silo has to fetch various balloons and symbols from a prop closet. A real estate agent shows Sam a gag desert island, last owned by an Esquire cartoonist. Charlie Brown zips by in a big Ford (the Peanuts gang was doing car commercials). Characters from other strips drop in, including some who’d been largely forgotten by then (Happy Hooligan, Yellow Kid, and Old Man Prohibition).

    In fairly short order the strip morphed in “Sam and Silo” and abandoned the inside-comics gimmick, but the original “Sam’s Strip” was reprinted in 2009 by Fantagraphics.

  10. Well,@!#%&*!

    Now, to re-focus an earlier question I had, do jurns, quimps and nittles exist in a computer typeface for comic artists who no longer hand-draw/write to use?

    Do comic artists use Comic Book Sans font?

  11. Of all the things I have bought, very few have grown in value, but I never really expected them to. A few of my LP’s could sell for a few dollars more than I paid for them. For a year or so I bought one 1-oz gold coin a month at $400. Years later, when I needed money, I was selling them at $1,500. Then the price went down for a while and now it’s back at $1,500. Maybe the next time I need to sell it will be back at $400. But to the point, anything marketed as a “collectible” is not going to gain value.Who knew that Pez dispensers would appreciate more than Beanie Babies?

  12. Did anyone but Mort Walker (and possibly his colleagues in the Walker and Browne families) ever actually use terms such as “plewds” and “grawlixes” to refer to the various comic strip symbols described in this article? I was under the impression that Walker had made up all of those terms with humorous intent, not that they were actually in use in the comic strip business.

  13. Joshua, perhaps some do. According to Wikipedia, that font of inerrant wisdom:

    Walker had written an article called “Let’s Get Down to Grawlixes”, a satirical piece for the National Cartoonists Society. He used terms such as grawlixes for his own amusement, but they soon began to catch on and acquired an unexpected validity. The Lexicon was written in response to this.

    The names he invented for them sometimes appear in dictionaries, and serve as convenient terminology occasionally used by cartoonists and critics. A 2001 gallery showing of comic- and street-influenced art in San Francisco, for example, was called “Plewds! Squeans! and Spurls!”

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lexicon_of_Comicana

  14. My font choices include wingbats, wingdings, zapfdinbats and various other nonsensical (to me) fonts (but not, strangely enough, comic sans). I’ve never tried these, but perhaps they could be used.

    BTW, my purchase of Sam’s Strips was just reduced to half the price because of a ‘stain’ on the back cover. Heck, so long as all the pages are there, I don’t care about the covers.

  15. @ Andréa – I looked into buying the book from here, but both Amazon UK and DE are unclear about what edition they are selling. The the “look inside” feature produces Fantagraphic’s original English-language edition, but the cover shows a French edition (which is probably only the second year).

  16. @Andrea et al. The changes-to-blank-page FastCompany problem had to do with the full page ad mechanism.

  17. We bought a few (and only a few) Beanie babies also – knew that they would last as a collectible. We bought some bears (what else) which caught our attention – all of them at list or below and they still live happily in the teddy bear’s room with their many, many, many friends.

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