Palace of the Vampire Queen print sequence
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:25 pm 
 

Hi everyone,

The Bella package has arrived. Everything carefully packed and in great condition. The Jade Hare was especially nice.

My wife and I spent about an hour last night trying to count the PoVQ pages through the ziplock and make out what's on them. I'd be grateful for any help anyone can offer in determining the authenticity and printing, and in posting scans.

Here's what we have so far:

The pages are 8.5 x 11", the first sheet paler yellow than had appeared in Bella's pics.

We were able to count 14 pages; could be more but I doubt it. The first two sheets are yellow.

The following appears on the back of the first white sheet:

"Dungeon Masters Kit #1 - Palace of the Vampre Queen
Produced by Pete & Judy Kerestan
Printing & layout by Gerry We[can't make out the rest]
Artwork by Brad Sch[can't make out the rest]
Cover by Judy Kerestan
1st printing June 1976
Copyright 1976
Distributed exclusively by TSR Hobbies Inc."

Any suggestions/ideas?

Thanks,
Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:29 pm 
 

Well, here is the scan from the acaeum:

Image

My major concern about its legitimacy lay in the color of the cover page in the picture I received.  I personally do not own one so sorry I can't be much more help than that.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:34 pm 
 

Thanks.  How did you post the pic?

  


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:40 pm 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:Thanks. How did you post the pic?
If you go to the scans of the PotVQ in the rares section, you right click on the scan to get its "real" address. From there you just cut and paste the address in between the html (img) links. Voila, picture.  :D


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:50 pm 
 

Afoolandhis$,

First, Congrats on a cool acquisition. Second, you're asking about the legitimacy of your purchase. Slide out one of those map pages, and look closely at the ink. There should be two distinct tones; a Lighter-Black (almost gray) on the grid and Dark-Black (like printed ink) on the border and the walls, doors, etc. of the maze. This is only achievable on a press with a filter on the actual printing plate.

I hope this helps 8)


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:08 am 
 

invincibleoverlord wrote:Afoolandhis$,

First, Congrats on a cool acquisition. Second, you're asking about the legitimacy of your purchase. Slide out one of those map pages, and look closely at the ink. There should be two distinct tones; a Lighter-Black (almost gray) on the grid and Dark-Black (like printed ink) on the border and the walls, doors, etc. of the maze. This is only achievable on a press with a filter on the actual printing plate.

I hope this helps 8)

I don't think PoVQ was press printed, IO. The ink on my 1st Edition print is uniform in colour. The only variation on the light table also shows up as a blocky fill in the large black expanse of the scroll work.
I think the the master was coloured in large black areas with a magic marker type pen and the final paste ups (maps stuck onto blank scrolls) were photocopied to produce the module.

I doubt they went to the expense of having a plates for the scrollwork cut, when the 'new technology' of the time provided them with a faster and cheaper printing process.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:03 pm 
 

Many thanks for the input. I don't want to pull out any sheets because the ziplock is stapled shut and doesn't appear to have ever been opened. I'll try to post a couple of scans here, but am not sure how to do it, so they might not show up. If it works, I hope this will help determine the authenticity...

Another question: does anyone know if "1st printing June 1976" appeared in any of the other yellow-sheet printings listed here?

Image
Image

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:54 pm 
 

Well, it looks like a gem to me, but I am definitly not the most qualified person to make the full assesment myself.  I think that you may have a winner there though. :D


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:28 pm 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:...and here is the front.

It's certainly a far healther colour of yellow in your scan than in the auction photo. My first edition is a different colour of yellow, bit then if it were scanned I suspect it would turn out the same as the one on Acaeum too. It must just be something the scanner does when reading the page.

My first edition says Copyrighted 1976. I suspect they all do.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:18 pm 
 

what you end up giving that guy for the stuff?  I was thinking about making an "offer" but it just smeleld to fishy for me I wasn't gonna take the risk.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:34 am 
 

draco76 wrote:what you end up giving that guy for the stuff?

*gives <draco> a hard stare on behalf of John and myself* ;)


(...the answer (£300 all-in) is on the other thread, btw).

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:03 pm 
 

Do I get a saving throw vs death rays?:D

Yes, the deal was $600, including shipping.  

I'm sure all of the early printings state Copyright 1976, but I was wondering whether they all also state "First Printing June 1976".  

Now, where did I leave that key to the safe deposit box...

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:22 pm 
 

Mbassoc2003 wrote:

I don't think PoVQ was press printed, IO. The ink on my 1st Edition print is uniform in color. The only variation on the light table also shows up as a blocky fill in the large black expanse of the scroll work.
I think the master was colored in large black areas with a magic marker type pen and the final paste ups (maps stuck onto blank scrolls) were photocopied to produce the module.

I doubt they went to the expense of having a plates for the scrollwork cut, when the 'new technology' of the time provided them with a faster and cheaper printing process.


Some thoughts on the POTVQ and Wee Warriors items in general;

A little background; I worked at a print shop for years, including all aspects from print-ready cut and paste layout work (showing my age :oops: ) to running a two-color Heidelberg Press. So these deductions are coming from that school of thought, as well as making my own gaming items at the shop, also being in bands and making our own flyers, album covers, press kits, etc.

1. First all of the Wee Warriors stuff screams Do-It-Yourself print shop employees. Just from the rawness of the products. So if this is true they had excess to presses, folding machines, etc.
2. The heavy-stock paper on the Black-Folder version, Dwarven Glory 2nd + print, Misty Isles, and the Character Archaic, be it different colors is exactly of the same stock. Most likely overstock at the shop. These covers also had to be run on a press do to one, the darkness of the ink, and two that weight of paper would not feed through a copier. With the exception of the Black Folder Version which had to run through a machine set for foil stamping. (explained below)
3. All of the Wee Warriors stuff I've looked at texts was typed on the same Type Writer. Noted from things like double offset "ee" like in the word "Free".

Now back to the POTVQ;

1. I've closely examined the interior pages of our POTVQ; ours is the Black-Folder version. The pages were definitely printed; noted from the even tones in the ink. They were most likely made from "Paper Plates" a quick and inexpensive process of the era, the two draw backs being one, not as nice of a reproduction and two, paper plates are useless once they are used or on occasion they'd rip while over printing with them. As apposed to the costly metal ones that could be cleaned and used again. Copiers of the era were fair at best. No copier of the era "76" could have produced the clean two-tone blacks in the pages of our copy.
2. The Acaeum quoted "red ink" on the cover of the Black Folder version, is not red ink at all, its Red Foil Stamp. EXPENSIVE! Especially the size of the die required and most important the "waste" of red foil after stamping each one. Foil comes on a roll and each punch leaves waste. In this case everything that's black on the folder would be wasted foil after each punch. Also each folder would have to be hand loaded; loaders work with suction and the folder would just open and jam the machine, again rising the cost. I've personally made this type of presentation folder, and it reminds me of Business Presentations we'd prepare for clients. (No one would go to the expense of "truly paying" to have these made it would just be too costly for an upstart publishing co., let alone anyone try to make a buck).  
3. Now let's take a look at that folder again. The tower looks off, the letters are slightly crooked, and red on black is just a bad color choice. I know they must have been going for the vampire feel, but it's just hard to read. This all says one thing "amateur" No one dropping the coins on this, picking the colors or not would except the work quality.
4. The cover art from the Black-Folder version which had to be made into a die before stamping is derived from the Acaeum quoted Third print. How? Look at the art on the third print, first on the balcony of the tower that's supposed to be "The Vampire Queen", and notice the Hand drawn letters "Palace of the Vampire Queen". On the Black-Folder version notice an absence of the "Queen" (impossible to reproduce in foil-stamp) and the letters are now "standard and old-English font" Readily available pre-made die letters for foil-stamping at a print shop.

So wants does all this mean? This is just my opinion, but let me run a scenario by you guys.

A few friends from the early days of gaming with all the necessary skills (writer, artist, printer, or combinations) decide to put together a "module". Well first we have our adventure written, and our art, but what should it look like? No one has ever made a "module before". Hmmmm…..Let's go with what we know, we'll make it like a Business Presentation Folder! So and So could even make a die from this "Cover Art (Third Print)" on a Black Folder with Vampire-Red Foil. Then all the pages could be held on the inside pockets of the folder. I bet you our boss (or maybe one of them was the boss) wouldn't mind us doing this on our own time, plus we could use the shops surplus stock at cost or even free.

Time passes; Hay, we sold out of the Black-Folders! Man those things are costly and hard to make. (Notice there's no folder for the Dwarven Glory first print or beyond, or any subsequent Wee Warrior items.) Let's just use that original cover art drawing (or not) and just stick it in a bag like the "Tosjconth" so and so just picked up at the con. We could also save a few bucks or "being yelled at by the boss" by double siding some of the pages. (These could have been done on a copier from the originals? I haven't closely examined this version.)


Well if you've read all of this you're as crazy as I :lol: , and again this is just my OPINION deducted from years in the printing field. If you've got a better idea about these items, or the actual truth behind the story please post it.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:27 pm 
 

ah very nice deal for you :P

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:49 pm 
 

invincibleoverlord wrote:Well if you've read all of this you're as crazy as I :lol:


agreed!

invincibleoverlord wrote:...this is just my OPINION deducted from years in the printing field. If you've got a better idea about these items, or the actual truth behind the story please post it.


One thing that certainly rings true is that you would expect the quality of the presentation (typeface, cover illustration, or whatever) to evolve from a rough-drafty looking cover as the printings proceed.  I wonder if the so-called third print was a resurrection of the first or prototype print as a hold-over until a more professional-looking product could be produced?

  


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:10 pm 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:I wonder if the so-called third print was a resurrection of the first or prototype print as a hold-over until a more professional-looking product could be produced?

I'd give odds of 25-1 or more against the "3rd print" actually being a "prototype type".
The apparent logic in that printing history, above (& 2nd/1st/3rd hypothesis elsewhere), mention in UK and US publications, "find" locations in the UK and US, etc., are all stacked heavily against that, IMHO.

Mike, did your black folder come in a poly bag, or not?
This one has-- it looks old enough to be correct-- and also has a partial price sticker.
Does anyone know if any price was quoted in the "TSR literature" mentioned on Page Not Found ?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:19 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:Mike, did your black folder come in a poly bag, or not?
This one has-- it looks old enough to be correct-- and also has a partial price sticker.
Does anyone know if any price was quoted in the "TSR literature" mentioned on Page Not Found ?

As regards print order, I tend to agree with deadlord on that. To 8.5" x 11" printings, black folder (some without the folder in ziplock instead) and then yellow cover above. Yellow cover above was followed closely by the folded booklet release, so it was probably just a cheap way of testing the market.

As regards price, the 1st edition folderless copy I have was priced at $3.50 (presumably in 1976). Was there a stated price on the booklet type PoVQ book or in any of Wee Warrior's later publications.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:22 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:As regards price, the 1st edition folderless copy I have was priced at $3.50 (presumably in 1976). Was there a stated price on the booklet type PoVQ book or in any of Wee Warrior's later publications.

*yay*. Well that strikes one possibility that the folderless version might have been sold cheaper, locally.

=

The partial label on the poly bag (not ziploc) for the "black folder" version here has $3.___ (back half of the "3" is missing).
However, the back of the poly also has 350 written in biro (not when the module was inside, I hasten to add!).

*snap* :D

Bella's copy had a price tag of $5.

I think that's conclusive enough, no? (And also perhaps further indication of how finances went on the black folder version, as noted on the board before: perhaps could even explain why so few 3rd prints were sold?? Certainly more competition in the marketplace if the date for that slipped far enough into 1977).

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:24 pm 
 

The last printing, digest version, says $4.50 each for PoVQ and Dwarven, and $5 for Misty on the back interior cover.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:36 pm 
 

Harami wrote:

Mike, did your black folder come in a poly bag, or not?


No it did not, yours did? Wow it must be a large one. The only protection I've found for our copy was the "Life Magazine" size ones; the regular magazine-size ones are just a bit too small. I even had to buy a bag of 100 of these in a pack, because of the odd size, they don't sell these individually. But it was to be expected the folder was made to hold 8.5" x 11" pages comfortably for easy sliding in and out, as well as protecting those pages by a margin on all sides. It's a Standard Presentation Folder, these we're most likely (If I'm correct about the Print Shop Theory) made in house as well. We had a die in-house for punching out folders at our shop much cheaper than buying them, and what shop with a die cutter would anyway. Oh, how many of these I made :x .  

Here's that two-tone ink on our copy. Notice the light gray-tone graph under the dark-black maze. Again no copier of the era could differentiate these tones this evenly.    

Image

One other thing, I'm sure everyone with a any 1st print copy realized nowhere in the module does it mention Wee Warriors? The same can be said of the Character Archaic with a copyright of 75. Company in the making? I wonder if the Dwarven Glory 1st print can be said the same? I've never seen one. But what I can say is once you get to the Dwarven Glory 2nd print the name Wee Warriors in established and there's a much more developed product list.

Take a look at the credits of the POTVQ

Image

Produced by Pete & Judy Kerestan -- Produced means paid-for by or in this case written-by? Or both?

Printing and layout Jerry Wellfonder -- When does a printer himself get credit? Friend? Shop owner? I'd bet all of the above.

Art Work by Brad Schenck -- Where? The only art in the thing except the cover credited to Judy is the repeated border on the 8.5" X 11" pages and its signed Morno. The same can be said about the Character Archaic cover art and interior art of Magic-Users, Fighters, etc. all signed Morno, but art work again credited to Brad Schenck? Could Morno be Brad, sort of a tag name? BTW once you get to the Dwarven Glory 2nd print Art Work is credited to Morno. Puzzling!

Cover by Judy Kerestan -- Obviously this is credit for the Acaeum quoted third print cover art. "Jerry" gets credit for the printing and the layout, and he had to make changes (or with the help of her) to make it able to be foil-stamped i.e. the removal of the "Vampire Queen" from the tower, and the change from the hand drawn letters to the standard and old-english shop ones.

Just for clarity for those who don't know what I'm talking about when I'm speaking about Foil-Stamping, it's an expensive process. First you have to have some kind of original art or text (standards are readily available as for the text on the Black-Folder) Then you have to make a reverse-raised of the image on a metal plate hand-carved. This is why the "Vampire Queen" is absent form the Folder. "Jerry" must have to her For-Get-It; all those small detailed lines will never work. Plus one mistake trying to do something that detailed and it's ruined; you'd have to start over. Once you have your reverse image it's put on a plate much like what you'd think of on an old block-letter press, with screws to tighten the plate from the side. It's then heated by electric means and set up to coincide with a roll of foil. Burning the Foil onto the paper each time it stamps. It's very time consuming.

That's it I'm done for the day  :lol:


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