In the last month or so bidding on items of Arkham House ephemera on eBay has been hot and heavy. The other day I popped a note to my ephemera collecting bud John D. Haefele and reported: “To my surprise the Item on the block today — no. 82 — roped in $127.50 (we’re rich!).”
The item number refers to my list of Classic Arkham ephemera in Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine back in October 2002. No. 82 is a one page announcement for the then new little magazine The Arkham Collector (but at least it features printing on both sides).
I didn’t jump in with a bid, because I have it — and in better condition than the one offered. (Though truth to tell, I’m not that picky about condition — with the ephemera, you take what you can find, and I actually kind of like the ones marked up by Derleth at Arkham or even annotated by the individual collectors of yesteryear. I say as much in Firsts.)
Haefele responded to the news: “That’s amazing — ridiculous actually — thankfully I have one that came with my subscription to the Arkham Collector that began with the first issue. If my notes are correct, this insert first appeared as part of the Collector bundle beginning with the second issue — sent then to everybody — after that only to new purchasers that were starting with a later issue.”
Another Item just went on the block (No. 83 if you want to check) — blurbed as “uncommon,” but I don’t know. I’ve got FIVE copies. I wonder how many Haefele has?
All the action prompted a prowl through my holdings again, where I surprised myself discovering I have two of Item 68 (the 25th anniversary booklet) and three of Item 74. I knew I had one each, somehow had never marked down the dupes.
I even got up enough steam to reread Haefele’s recent Firsts article on the Modern Ephemera and look through that stuff, too.
I’d half-forgotten the page plugging Frank Belknap Long’s biography of Lovecraft, which I got from Harry O. Morris Jr. of Nyctalops fame. The Classic Era stuff that came from HOM is especially appealing, because he kept the various Items inside the original envelopes that Derleth sent them in. Very cool.
I thought some of you might like a look at the Long Item. You won’t find it on Haefele’s checklist of the Modern Ephemera, because it is not a piece of official in-house Arkham publicity. Looks to be something Long threw together himself to promote the book for the release in 1975. Haefele covers the saga of that title’s delays and problems in his article.
I guess — if you’re ambitious, or merely crazy — you could begin a collection of such things, side-promos from Arkham authors. I know Donald Sidney-Fryer did a bookmark to celebrate the release of his 1971 volume Songs and Sonnets Atlantean.
How many more?