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Another Vincent Starrett Signature

28 Feb

When I met with Bob Weinberg last week in Chicago prior to my visit to Arkham House in Sauk City Wisconsin we talked of many things; 1) the list of future publications 2) the The Arkham House Mission Statement 3) the Arkham Brotherhood and Sisterhood — past and future authors who have published with Arkhma House 4) The Arkham House contract which August Derleth designed and used consistly right from the foundation of the firm.

When I arrived at “The Place of Hawks” April showed me the relevant contract filing cabinet drawers in the bookhouse and invited me to have a look. He had to carefully move a stack of vintage unfolded vintage Dustjackets to have a look. The contract that Vincent Starrett signed for his collection of The Quick and the Dead back in 1964 was neatly filed under V and I perused it carefully. It was printed  on two double sided No. 14 inches pages, and I reproduce Clause I of XVI clauses belowm, along with the signature block and the face. The title story for the collection first appeared in Weird Tales, and I also append the illustration header for the first appearance.

Both AWD’s and VS’s signatures are witnessed by Roberic Meng who worked at Arkham House, fulfilling orders and serving as Augie’s chauffeur, because Derleth didn’t drive a car. Because of the same witness for both signatures, Starrett undoubtedly travelled from Chicago to visit August for the signing, and the signature is therefore undoubtedly genuine. I would speculate that Starrett came bearing gifts, perhaps his inscrobed copy of The Private Life? which he presented to Augie; unfortunately no DJ, but great inscription!

Clause I. RIGHTS GRANTED TO PUBLISHER : The Author hereby grants to the Publisher the following exclusive rights and privileges in, to, and in connection with the work now entitled THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “the Work”, the title to which may be changed only by mutual consent of the parties

1. The sole and exclusive book publication rights in the United States, its territories and dependencies, the Philippine Islands, and the Dominion of Canada; and the right to sell copies of the Work in the open market throughout the world.

2. Second and third serial rights, abridgment, condensation, selection, and other serial and publication rights following book publication, in the United States, its territories and dependencies and in the Dominion of Canada.

3. The right to lease or to sell plates of the Work to others for reprint publication or otherwise to license reprint publication.

4. The right to license others to publish the Work or any portions thereof in the English language outside of the United States and Canada or to translate into and/or publish the work in foreign languages, and the right to license others to exercise in any foreign country any of the rights granted to the Publisher under this Article I.

5. All rights relating to the work of dramatization, motion picture rights, rights of mechanical recording, transmission or reproduction by radio, telephone, television or other means of recording, transmission or projection, or other medium now existing or which hereafter may be developed, in the United States, its territories and dependencies and in all foreign countries.

The remaining fifteen clauses are also interesting to read, but I don’t want to bore the reader with technicalities, nor do I want to provide the read with a model template for a contract that favo(u)rs the publisher and not the author.

It is also interesting to note that Frank Utpatel designed the cover for “The Quick and the Dead.” I purchased this original art in 2001 from Bob Weinberg acting as April Derleth’s agent. I introduced the two of them in 2000. I plan to reccyle this Utpatel art as the cover for Volume XIV of the Vincent Starrett Memorial Library entitled “The Fugitive, Other Stories and The Caboose.” This title was changed because I wanted to include additional Starrett writings which would better have been included in previously published volumes, namely “Gallant Meals” which was first published in Gourmet Magazine and uncovered by Karen Murdock, some additional Memoriable Morsels, also uncovered by Karen and a number of quotes which would have ideally been included in “A Little Anthology” — Volume IX and “Memorable Meals” — Volume II in the series.

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One response to “Another Vincent Starrett Signature

  1. Wilum Pugmire

    March 13, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    The Utpatel cover art is simply amazing. I bought, last year, Thomas Ligotti’s copy of the AH edition of Lovecraft’s poems, and one of the real charms of that book is the artwork. I am so excited about the idea of Arkham House returning full force, and with such a wonderful editor as Robert Weinberg at ye helm. I hope that they will consider keeping all of the SELECTED LETTERS in print. I’ve been slowly rebuilding my Arkham House collection over the past few years, & those books still have a certain charm — an aura — that has never been replicated by any other publisher. Long live Arkham House!

     

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