Palace of the Vampire Queen print sequence
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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 8:29 pm 
 

I took the palace over to the print shop I used to work at. It's changed hands but one of the old printers I worked with is still there.

Here's how the offset pages were made…It's a little bit of an explanation but bare with me.
a. All of the border-art and the halftone graphs are identical, except the level # boxes below the title at the bottom of the page, hold two together near a light and these line up except those boxes.
b. Obviously there was a mistake, or "level one…" was part of Brad's original border-art (seems to be). The rest of the level boxes are different and they look pasted onto the "level 1…" or cut out of the negative photo each time and replaced before making the printing plates as Scott's explanation above…one for each level (thanks that saved me a lot of typing). These were run off in five different runs (border-art/halftone grid/level #). Then in 10 additional runs (5 DM's and 5 players (all maps noted different) … each levels architectural lines, hatch-work, and room#' on DM's maps were printed onto these templates, if you will. Hold an offset printed map up against a light and you can see a difference in black-tone where the border meets the map. A light table really shows it.

The Title/Distribution sheet is offset printed in one shot (ours is yellow). Look below the "ir" in Vampire and…see how the line is broken. This is most likely from when someone used a printers-razor to remove the "level # box" from an original "template negative (border/halftone)" before burning. You can also see where they slipped with the razor to the left of "This kit contains". The text negative was added and a new plate made for this page.

The remainders of the single-sided text pages were made with paper plates or the like. He said no way in 76 was copying this good. I showed him our 76 employees handbook, and he said that's more like copying of the era.
I also showed him the comparison of our copied map and the handbook and after looking under magnification he'd bet the shop that these were run off on the same machine.

As far as Stephen's Bella, we went online and I had him take a peek at the photos. It's a photocopy that lost the grid in reproduction. It was to light for a copier machine to see when on a "lighter-setting". The graph you're seeing in the hatch-work is where the two offset printings on the same page (explained above) made a darker spot where these intersected (halftone graph/hatch-work). Therefore leaving an illusion of a graph.

He really flipped when I showed him the Black-Folder. He said do you know how much this would cost? You worked here…


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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 9:07 pm 
 

OK, do we now have enough info to try and tie it all together into a new sequence, that will explain all the copies we've seen so far?  I haven't followed it closely enough to make sure I'm accounting for the different versions people are reporting.  Invincible?

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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 2:33 am 
 

FoulFoot wrote:OK, do we now have enough info to try and tie it all together into a new sequence, that will explain all the copies we've seen so far? I haven't followed it closely enough to make sure I'm accounting for the different versions people are reporting. Invincible?

Foul

I think we still have only 2 large format printings. We have the 1st printing with and without black folder (with the unexplained phenomenon that some are 17 and others 24 pages), and then we have the yellow toer copy. The indication would be that the yellow tower copy was produced by TSR inhouse on their photocopier.


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 5:44 am 
 

If you're talking theories…

Both the bagged offset version and the Black-folder were done at the same time. I don't think someone would have done this twice. Paul could you cross check one of your Folder maps with a bagged one. Hold the two up against a light and my guess is their identical. Do the same with a double sided text page and a single...the same text's should line up as well, ones just printed on the other side.

As far as why the difference in some single and some double sided text pages.

This job was done in three phases. Any order.

1.        All the offset pages including the intro page.
2.        The text pages.
3.        The Folder.

If I'm correct there were most likely more maps than folders made. Paper runs through the press in the hundreds. We use to say it's not the cost paper once it's running, it's the set up. Now the folder is another story…heavy stock paper folders made in house, then foil-stamped. That foil is not cheep and this thing would have been going through it and wasting lots to boot.

So some got folders and some didn't, and far as the single and double sided text pages these could have been made at different times indicating a printing order, but so many crossed variants between the two would indicate they were assembled in close proximity.

The copied Yellow-Covered version was either made Pete at a later date and sold through Zocchi, or made by Zocchi. My guess is Pete printed a new cover from Judy's original artwork and xeroxed these for whatever reason they couldn't re-press them, most likely it was just to time consuming and costly. Pete was moving and opening a shop.

TSR appears to have been picking up the slack on the Black-Folder and replacing missing pages from an offset version with their Xerox machine.

I discovered Zocchi was the first distributor of D&D so there's the connection to TSR and Gary and him go way back. So when TSR obviously saw $ and wanted to make their own modules they passed the distribution over to Lou, our after being dropped, Lou who knew Pete from California started distributing for them until Pete had the shop up and running and the Digest size versions made at the A1 print shop in Morro Bay…which are produced and distributed by Wee Warriors.

I have an e-mail into Lou Zocchi to see if he can shed some light on this.


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 7:22 am 
 

Howdy,


invincibleoverlord wrote:Both the bagged offset version and the Black-folder were done at the same time. I don't think someone would have done this twice. Paul could you cross check one of your Folder maps with a bagged one. Hold the two up against a light and my guess is their identical. Do the same with a double sided text page and a single...the same text's should line up as well, ones just printed on the other side.


They are identical. However (I can just hear the groans), the grey grid lines on the black-foldered-version maps are uniform. Under a magnifying glass the dots are a perfect half-tone pattern. To the naked eye, they appear as smooth gray lines.

The grey grid on the yellow-cover-sheet-bagged-version is splotchy. Under a magnifying glass many of the dots of the half-tone lines bleed together or don't appear at all. When viewed with the naked eye the lines look splotchy and fade out altogether in a few spots.

This suggests to me that either, the black-foldered version was printed using a virgin printing plate and the yellow-bagged version was printed using the same, worn/dirty printing plate at a later time OR the black-foldered version was printed using a virgin printing plate and the yellow-bagged version was printed using a different, inferior printing plate (poor exposure or paper as opposed to aluminum plates).


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 7:34 am 
 

stormber wrote:Howdy,
They are identical. However (I can just hear the groans), the grey grid lines on the black-foldered-version maps are uniform. Under a magnifying glass the dots are a perfect half-tone pattern. To the naked eye, they appear as smooth gray lines.

The grey grid on the yellow-cover-sheet-bagged-version is splotchy. Under a magnifying glass many of the dots of the half-tone lines bleed together or don't appear at all. When viewed with the naked eye the lines look splotchy and fade out altogether in a few spots.

This suggests to me that either, the black-foldered version was printed using a virgin printing plate and the yellow-bagged version was printed using the same, worn/dirty printing plate at a later time OR the black-foldered version was printed using a virgin printing plate and the yellow-bagged version was printed using a different, inferior printing plate (poor exposure or paper as opposed to aluminum plates).
Paul


Agreeing with Paul. If it is so, they come from two different print runs.

You seem to spot any kind of differences in the black areas also?


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 9:45 am 
 

stormber wrote:The grey grid on the yellow-cover-sheet-bagged-version is splotchy.

Are you talking about a yellow cover bagged first print, or a yellow tower covered third print?


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 9:52 am 
 

invincibleoverlord wrote:The graph you're seeing in the hatch-work is where the two offset printings on the same page (explained above) made a darker spot where these intersected (halftone graph/hatch-work). Therefore leaving an illusion of a graph.


Yes, I can see that now, taking a closer look.  

Does anyone have any thoughts on the presence/absence of the border "scrollwork" in the foldered versions?  The only scrollwork on my foldered verion is on the map pages.

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 10:41 am 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts on the presence/absence of the border "scrollwork" in the foldered versions? The only scrollwork on my foldered verion is on the map pages.


well my copy with the yellow front sheet, has the border "scrollwork" on it, as well as the maps....


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 11:41 am 
 

killjoy32 wrote:
afoolandhis$ wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts on the presence/absence of the border "scrollwork" in the foldered versions? The only scrollwork on my foldered verion is on the map pages.


well my copy with the yellow front sheet, has the border "scrollwork" on it, as well as the maps....

I think it would be helpful for people to distinguish between a yellow cover first print and a yellow cover version with the tower on the front. I know Alan is talking about a yellow cover ziplocked first (no black folder). What yellow covers are the others being discussed? Which ones are folderless firsts and which are yellow tower covers?


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 11:54 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
killjoy32 wrote:
well my copy with the yellow front sheet, has the border "scrollwork" on it, as well as the maps....

I think it would be helpful for people to distinguish between a yellow cover first print and a yellow cover version with the tower on the front. I know Alan is talking about a yellow cover ziplocked first (no black folder). What yellow covers are the others being discussed? Which ones are folderless firsts and which are yellow tower covers?


The Bella copy is a yellow tower cover.  My other one is a black-foldered version, no yellow sheets.

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:01 pm 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:My other one is a black-foldered version, no yellow sheets.

This is the one I'm interested in. I had always assumed, maybe wrongly, that the scrollwork would have appeared on the Title/Background sheet as it does in the unfoldered version.


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:10 pm 
 

Howdy All,


Here are the two versions I'm talking about

Black Folder (24 sheets all white; offset printing w/ grid, no streaks):

01 Black Folder
01 Title page/use sheet, single-sided
01 Background sheet, single-sided
10 Map sheets, single-sided
10 Dungeon key sheets, single-sided
01 Copyright sheet, single-sided w/ single strip of glue along top of page


Yellow Cover Sheet Version (17 sheets; offset printing w/ grid, no streaks):

01 Title page/Copyright sheet, yellow, double-sided
01 Background/Use sheet, white, double-sided
10 Map sheets, white, single-sided
05 Dungeon key sheets, white, double-sided

The last is NOT the yellow-cover-tower version.


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 12:21 pm 
 

The 'splotchy' aspect to the grey grid that you mentioned may be the result of dirty plates at the end of the print run, and this would support the theory that the ziploc bags were used once the batch of black folders had been used up.


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 1:52 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
afoolandhis$ wrote:My other one is a black-foldered version, no yellow sheets.

This is the one I'm interested in. I had always assumed, maybe wrongly, that the scrollwork would have appeared on the Title/Background sheet as it does in the unfoldered version.


I'll see if I can get some info from Rick Bauer on where/when he got it.

  


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 3:08 pm 
 

*is still watching*

(Apologies; got diverted researching the 6th & 7th print OD&D sets ;))

Still more than a few questions here.
(Not at all certain as to whether that Zocchi copy had to come via TSR and worried as to whether there's any further knock-on with regards other copies that may have "original" pages plus photocopies; e.g. that they may have overprinted/underprinted the map pages for technical reasons or otherwise, per the other contributor's black folder version as noted by Scott).

Will hold back on these crimp marks, then, in case we need another cross-check indicator... :?

  


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 3:14 pm 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:I'll see if I can get some info from Rick Bauer on where/when he got it.

I'm still betting on that GenCon auction, as listed. :)
(Would be good, if so!).

  


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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 3:17 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:
afoolandhis$ wrote:I'll see if I can get some info from Rick Bauer on where/when he got it.

I'm still betting on that GenCon auction, as listed. :)
(Would be good, if so!).


Well, I certainly hope your instincts are right, David, as they often are.   :D

  
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