Quality Control - How these facsimiles are made
From an original:
I don't make perfect reproduction dust jackets. I'm not even sure that can be done, although Phil Normand at recoverings.com comes close. I generally start with an original dust
jacket that is almost always damaged in some way - discolored, faded, ripped, chipped, etc. I make as good a scan as possible, always looking for color and intensity problems.
After that it's up to my skill with photoshop, photoimpression, Windows Paint, and other image manipulation programs to repair the original scan to as close to an original state as
possible. Sometimes portions are missing from the DJ, and I simply have to make an educated guess as to what should appear in the missing area. See an example of this
process immediately below.
Original scans, followed by the final versions of the corrected facsimile dust jackets.
As you can see, sometimes I have a lot of material to work with. Sometimes the original is very beat up indeed, as in The Pirates of Venus above.
No original available:
Many companies often published reprints in relatively uniform editions. Therefore, sometimes even if I have no original from which to work, I can construct a facsimile that very
closely resembles an original by starting with a front cover scan and then using bits and pieces of other dust jackets in the uniform reprint series to complete the facsimile.
This technique is most useful for the Grosset & Dunlap and the ERB Inc. 1948 editions which used uniform back covers and back flaps for individual print runs. (NOTE: This
method doesn't work for first edition jackets, because each is unique.) See an example of this process immediately below.
Image 1 - A friend emailed this partial
DJ to me from his own collection. He
was missing the rest of the dust jacket
Image 2 - From Zeuschner I learned that the
first G&D reprint had twelve titles listed on
the back cover of the DJ. This image came
from a G&D Tarzan book.
Image 3 - From a poor eBay
image, I retyped and imaged
the front flap from scratch. I
couldn't get an exact match on
the font, but I came close.
Image 4 - The back flap was taken from a
file of examples of flaps that I keep on
hand for just this sort of problem. This
particular back flap came from a G&D
edition of The Eternal Lover.
Image 5 - The finished facsimile. . . I was never going to get a "white" background" from the faded and aged original I started from.
So I decided to reproduce as accurately as possible all the information in the dj as published, but keep the aged, antique look of the
cover-and-spine scan I was originally sent. To do this I deliberately "aged" the entire dj by inserting digital scratches and scuffs. I
then began to adjust the color balances throughout the image. I wanted an appearance of cohesion, i. e. a color fade/hue/tone match
from one part of the dj to another. When I finally had achieved what I believed to be cohesion of all elements, I stopped, then ran it
off to ensure the fit on my own book. After three false starts, each requiring slight manipulations of the dimensions of the DJ, the
fit was finally right.
Images 8 and 9 - The facsimile mounted on my copy.
Image 6 - I thought I was finished, but was never really happy with the
facsimile. As soon as I located another, brighter image, I enhanced it,
and corrected some areas, but not many.
Image 7 - After some corrections in the sky area, then balancing and enhancing the image. I put all the parts together
again and the end result is to the above jacket as it currently exists.
Jackets that closely resemble the original --- i.e. faded, discolored, but still attractive, like this one --- I call "antiqued."
The only things missing in this particular jacket are the chips at the edges normally found in an original of this title. To
compare it to a version that has been cleaned up to look newer go here.
FINAL ASSEMBLY of an customer’s order
I won't make or sell a facsimile that I have not personally fitted on an edition in my own collection. Too
many things can go wrong. It's just too hard to be sure that it fits otherwise. Once I know that the facsimile
fits my own copy of the book, then I am ready to sell it. As an order is made, either on eBay or through this
web site, I cut the blank paper from a roll of professional grade bond paper. Next, I print the desired
facsimile at the highest possible grade that I can on my home computer system. Then I allow it to dry
completely. Then I fit each facsimile on my copy of the book to ensure that it is fitted correctly. I then mount
it in a mylar book wrapper, library grade. I then fit it on the book again just to make sure that the customer
will have no problems with it. Last, I pack the pre-fit facsimile DJ between two full size pieces of cardboard
and seal the entire package with plastic packing tape to ensure that it is moisture proof.
My guarantee to you is that you will receive a quality facsimile produced at the highest level of craft
possible using the equipment and techniques that I employ. In the ten years that I have been doing this
hobby, I've never had a complaint from any customer. However, anything is possible; so, if you run into
any difficulty with your DJ or if you are dissatisfied in any way, call or email me immediately. Your money
will be cheerfully refunded upon your request. See the "About Charlie" section of this web site for contact
Disadvantages of this Hobby: Any hobby can be expensive. The largest expense is your equipment,
followed immediately by the ink required. There are often many false starts and stops when creating and
fitting a facsimile or variant DJ, and every start and stop requires ink, very expensive ink. My wife
constantly accuses me of losing money, and she is probably right. But I tell her what I told my closest friend
when he recently asked about my pricing. Darnit!!! It’s a hobby. I’d do things a whole lot differently if it
were a business.
Advantages of this hobby: My facsimile hobby keeps me relatively busy doing the work of research and
development of the jackets, and then packaging and shipping. But not too busy,after all, I’m retired. Plus, I
come into contact with people from all over the world. I’ve sold dust jackets to a Chinese bureaucrat who
lives in northern Manchuria and must have sent twenty or so emails just wanting to talk to another
Burroughs collector (I guess they are few and far between in the Taiga region near Russia); to an
Englishman living in a nursing home surrounded by his books (his daughter uses the computer for him to
buy from my web page and to type the emails that he dictated); and I’ve become email friends with people
all over the United States and Canada. I’m consistently astonished by the diversity in age and nationality of
the people around the world who love these immortal works.
The facsimiles that I sell are not perfect, but they come as close as I can get using the equipment I have.
Others do them much better. If you have an expensive first edition that needs a high quality DJ, pay Phil
Normand’s price, because you won’t do better anywhere in the world of ERB. When I finally obtained a
very good first edition of A Princess of Mars, I ordered the facsimile from Phil. However, if your just looking
for a serviceable dust jacket, I can help you there at what I believe is a reasonable cost.
Even if I lost even more money than I do, I’d still do this. Too me this is a hobby that gives me endless
hours of interesting fun, a sense of fulfillment, and a push to do more and more research into the wonderful
world of Burroughs minutia.