Item of the Week: The Undead

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From Library Assistant, Derek Quezada:

As part of the Heritage Book Shop donation, the Clark received quite a few boxes of dealer catalogues. Most of these catalogues were quite simple, useful more as bibliographic reference than as collectible objects. However buried within a few of the boxes were some exceptionally extravagant items that merit at least a nod to their peculiarity. ‘The Undead’, the 16th anniversary catalogue for The Book Sail is exactly such an item. A product of the rare book dealer John Kevin McLaughlin, The Undead is the culmination of his years selling vintage comics, pulp fiction and rare Science Fiction/Fantasy titles from his (now closed) museum-like store, ‘The Book Sail’ in Orange, California.

Described as “most unusual rare book catalogue ever presented, pulling out all the stops for maximum creepiness” ‘The Undead’ catalogue is  “[…] bound in full decorated cloth with a 3-D insert on the front cover showing horror film hostess Elvira – Mistress of the Dark, reaching out and showing lots of cleavage. Signed by the authors Ray Bradbury (the foreword), Robert Bloch (printing a specially commissioned horror short story “The Undead” about the original manuscript of ‘Dracula), William F. Nolan (in a separate first printing of his work ‘The Dandelion Chronicles tucked into a special pocket at the rear pastedown), and fantasy artist Rowena”.

The particular edition the Clark now owns is one of only fifty specially bound copies reserved for contributors that contains an original Hannes Bok drawing as well as an edition number signed in ink mixed with human blood.

Although the book is arguably outside the range of the Clark collection it is perhaps a delightfully strange example of the extremes that the book dealer’s catalogue can be taken, and the diversity of material collected.

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One Response to “Item of the Week: The Undead”

  1. Item of the Week: Witchy Recap « The Clog Says:

    […] The Undead A product of the rare book dealer John Kevin McLaughlin, The Undead is the culmination of his years selling vintage comics, pulp fiction and rare Science Fiction/Fantasy titles from his (now closed) museum-like store, ‘The Book Sail’ in Orange, California. An image from Sibley's Treatise on Witchcraft […]

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