Rediscovered: Arcane Arkham Arch-Collectors Corner No. 3

A few weeks ago I mentioned a couple of ephemera pieces done by Arkham House authors to promote their Arkham House books. Since the publishing firm had nothing to do with them, we experts on Arkham House ephemera don’t number them on the official lists. That post showed off one by Frank Belknap Long, but I also mentioned the bookmark Donald Sidney-Fryer had made up to plug his new book Songs and Sonnets Atlantean in 1971.

I had DSF sign the back of the bookmark I keep with my main copy of S&SA — I think DSF collectors kind of need it, Arkham ephemera collectors can toss a coin.

And that’s what I told bookseller Paul Dobish when he asked where the bookmark might appear in the list of Classic Arkham Ephemera. Dobish, of course, consulted on the list of the Classic Era I did for Firsts: The Book Collectors Magazine in October 2002 and he consulted on the list of the Modern Era ephemera John D. Haefele did for the November/December 2019 issue of Firsts. He’s a lion in the ephemera jungle.

I’d bet on Arkham authors Nelson Bond and Joseph Payne Brennan being prime candidates also to have manufactured their own personal ephemera items — a brochure, a broadside — since Bond released dealers catalogs and Brennan did little magazines.

Stuff Is Out There. I know it is.

And Dobish mentioned a related area of possible interest to Arkham collectors.

I suppose if you have a Complete Arkham House then you may need new worlds to conquer — or if you realize assembling a Complete Arkham is an impossible dream, you could do a sub-collection of the select by-product.

Paul pulled info on a few signed “author editions” of some books, side ventures a few Arkham authors produced to promote their titles at the time to an elite collecting class.

“I know,” Dobish writes, “that John D. Harvey did a 14 page — seven 8.5″ x 11” leaves stapled together at one upper corner — ‘Novel excerpt by John D. Harvey’ from The Cleansing — front ‘cover’ reproducing the front panel and spine of the dustwrapper plus the foregoing text, all leaves printed on both sides, save that the rear ‘cover’ only is blank.

“I have a copy inscribed to me.

“Something associational to potentially add to one’s collection.

“For Greg Bear’s signed run on The Wind from a Burning Woman there were apparently also lettered copies done. I have both 250/250 and Z/250.

“There was also a 10 copy traycased edition of The Black Book of Clark Ashton Smith, each with a piece of the original art used in the book, plus an illustrated limitation/signature leaf.

“The text on the limitation/signature leaf includes:

THE BLACK BOOK OF CLARK ASHTON SMITH / ARTIST’S EDITION / Is limited to 10 copies signed and / numbered by the artist and includes / an original drawing from the book

“Arkham House was not involved, as far as I know. Terence McVicker was.

“An ‘artist’ edition rather than an ‘author’ edition.”

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