Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bye Bye Bradford

This morning, I cancelled my subscription to the Bradford Exchange's reprint series of Oz books. After spending over $120 on three books, I decided the print quality was not good enough to justify $50 plus shipping per book.

You might remember an enthusiastic entry I wrote about their Ozma of Oz. Upon closer examination, I had to remove it and say, no, we're still badly off-register with the color, especially in the plates. Ozma was the first Oz book since Wonderful Wizard to use color on the actual text pages (though it was reserved for the chapter headings.) The rest of the interior is nice, but if I wanted a nice reproduction of that, there's Dover and Books of Wonder. Considering Books of Wonder and even the publishers of the original edition of The Annotated Wizard of Oz could reproduce the colors so well, it's baffling why a specialty publisher like Charles Winthrope & Sons is finding it "difficult."

I already have a suitable and lower priced set from Books of Wonder and if I want something better, I can hope something else comes along (the books are public domain, so anyone could do a reprint series themselves and Bradford couldn't do a thing), or scheme to get actual Reilly & Britton (or Lee) editions. I already have rebound versions of three of Thompson's Oz books in Reilly & Lee editions (one with a new cover and some reproduced pages, one with a new spine, and another with a new back cover and spine), and one Thompson book and two of Neill's published by them.

I really had high hopes for the Bradford Exchange series and hoped to support them, but after three books with weird color plate errors, it's no longer worth my investment. I'm getting much more satisfaction from collecting Baum Bugles and Ozianas!

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