Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

A blog dedicated to the making of the first animated Christmas special, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The 50th Anniversary Edition is here!

It's finally here!  Pictured above is the 50th anniversary collector's edition of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, The Making of the First Animated Christmas Special.  For those wondering if they should order this edition, I've decided to answer a few questions on how and why this book came about. 

 Why a 50th anniversary edition of a book that's been out for several years? 

When I first published the book in 2009, I had proposed doing a special edition for the 50th anniversary in 2012 figuring it was several years away.  The first book did better than anyone expected and sold out quickly.  It wasn't in my plans but due to demand, I decided to do a second run with corrections inserted wherever I could.  That edition is on the verge of selling out now. 

In October of last year, a good friend asked me if I was still going to do a 50th book.  I told him it was time to move on but he made it clear he felt something needed to be done to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the special and this might be the only thing to happen.  Not only that, he was willing to put his money where his mouth was.  Although touched, I still wasn't completely convinced.  It was only after I mentioned it to several other interested parties who were also willing to support the project that I agreed to do it.

Isn't this just a ploy to sell the same book three times over?

I'm not that smart.  This is not a money-making venture.  If it weren't for the 'angel investors' mentioned above, this book wouldn't exist.  Those 'angels' have to be paid back from the proceeds of book sales, not an easy task when the print run is so low.  Also, as I mentioned above, there was never supposed to be a second printing and although this edition uses the same format as the previous ones, it has been thoroughly revised and expanded.  It is no easy job to tear apart a book, insert hundreds of images and add text without destroying the narrative and then stitch it all back together. 

Then what's different about this edition as opposed to the previous printings?

 As I mentioned in a previous post, the book has been expanded to 176 pages from the original 128.  There are close to twice as many illustrations now, 435 vs. the original 232, which include: photos which were eliminated from the previous editions due to space restrictions, frames from the re-mastered film when no art could be found to reflect the text, discarded art from deleted sequences which give a glimpse into the production process and a large amount of new production art, most of which was discovered since the last printing.  I had hoped to include some images from Ronald Searle’s illustrations of "A Christmas Carol", showing the influence he had on this production, but the Searle attorneys were dismissive.  Fortunately, Timex was far more cooperative and there are some frames from the original opening credits.  

The book features heavier board and paper stock, printed endpapers, cloth binding in a cloth bound slipcase with gold foil stamping and limited to 250 numbered copies.  

Can I buy this at my local bookstore or on Amazon?

Yes and no.  Book retailers have an unfortunate habit of damaging books somewhere along the supply line; the publisher has to bear the cost of shipping the book to the distributor, having it become damaged and therefore no longer sell-able, and then paying to have the book shipped back.  It makes no sense on a premium book like this to risk that kind of damage and expense.  Although I may make the book available on Amazon, regardless of where you buy it, here or there, it will be coming from me.  It will not be available at your local bookstore.

If you want to order the book, you can get it here.  It's the definitive edition and when it's gone, it's gone.


Joe R. Frinzi said...

The book looks amazing! Great information, Darrell, and it appears your benefactors have a bit of the reformed Scrooge in them for financing the project. God bless them, everyone, for allowing this book to happen. And a Merry Christmas to you, too, Darrell.

Anthony D. said...

I'll be buying this on Amazon Marketplace once it pops up! If this edition is limited to 250 copies I better save my cash. ;)

Anthony D. said...

Never mind, I ordered the book tonight. I didn't want to lose the opportunity to own this new awesome edition and I'll be looking forward to it once it arrives. Thanks Darrell. :)

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rudy Agresta said...

Hi Darrell, I just placed my order for this fantastic 50th anniversary book! I can't wait to get it. By the way, any more news on your next project featuring Jay Ward Studios? I'm looking forward to that one as well.
All the best to you, and happy holidays!

Rudy Agresta

Darrell said...

Rudy, thanks, I hope you enjoy it! Yes, work is progressing on the Jay Ward book at a rapid pace. Still much to do on it but it will be jam packed with amazing art and more is coming in every week. I anticipate it will be much thicker than even this edition of the Magoo book.