How Green is your PHB?
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:34 am 
 

(Moved from the Fun Finds thread because we were already kicked frmo there back in July  :P  )
Mark,

The 1st-3rd printings definitely fade and turn green with age.  I am guessing it's caused by excessive sunlight/UV, but I don't know.  Some ink/paper combinations might be more susceptible to fading than others.

However, I thought you were referring to the original condition of the covers being greener.  It's entirely possible, even likely, that different inks were used for later printings.  None of the unfaded copies I've seen appear significantly more green than others.  It's possible there is a separate "green" printing that hasn't been clearly identified -- but in the general case of early vs. late PHBs, I can't a difference.

Comparing auction photos won't help much because there are too many varying lighting conditions to get accurate colors.  If you can take a high-res photo of the covers side-by-side, this will help.  I'll be spending the Christmas holidays staring at PHBs now...  :lol:

(If you already did so, my apologies.  I searched through the forums and couldn't find it.)

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:29 pm 
 

Just looked through my PHBs and the only green ones I have are ones that have faded. Early prints in excellent condition look the same as later prints. At least the ones I have look the same.

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:06 pm 
 

I take it you you do see the difference in the pictures, Deimos?

This green versus green observation dates back to when the books were new.

I noticed back then that the Players' Handbooks that were slightly later than the one I used were darker and more glossy.  There was also a difference in their texture and (I observed anecdotally) they seemed less durable.

About 18 years ago my brother-in-law borrowed my Players' Handbook and then returned a different copy to me.  I don't think he meant to switch the books, but he was quite annoyed when I pointed out that the one he returned was definately not the one he borrowed.  The yellow band was one indication, but I knew immediately. without looking at the band, because of the difference in the colors and textures.

If they were all the same to begin with, one would not expect to see noticeably different levels of fading between one book on a shelf and another book on the same shelf.  But, there is a difference.

It is possible that books in the same print run might have different quality of color...but the difference in texture is less likely.

I have wondered if, possibly, there were slightly different runs caused by different printing companies...or if there was a change made (even during the same printing edition) to different materials...possibly as a cost-saving measure.

It isn't unknown for a printer to have a limited amount of a certain type of stock on hand and give a discount until it is all used up.

I suspect, however, that it was either different printers or a previously undetected difference between editions.

I am a novice at taking digital pictures.  I'll see what I can find out.  But, the pictures from the two auctions I cited are excellent examples.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:30 pm 
 


** expired eBay auction **





** expired eBay auction **




Ok...here are the two pictures I was talking about on the other thread.



Note that the color is quite different.



Second, note that the finish appears quite different.





Although the binding of the newer book is un-worn, the difference in wear patterns and quality of binding can be seen on the older book.



Note how the binding tends to rumple horizontally as opposed to a vertical split.  The newer books tended to split vertically.  That is an indication of the tougher and more textured material used for the cover on the older editions.



I have wizard logo 3rd and 6th printings to compare.  The overall difference in toughness of the binding can also be felt in the thickness of the endsheets.  Open a 3rd printing and feel the thickness of the yellow endsheets compared to the white endsheets of the 6th printing.



I believe that the same quality difference can also be felt by examining older printings of the Monster Manual.



I have not detected the same difference in printings of the Dungeon Master's Guide.  This might be one of the reasons why old editions of the Dungeon Master's Guide tended to lose the backing to their spines as they wore out.



Is there anyone who has enough 3rd prints of the Players' Handbook and similar examples on hand to compare?





Mark


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:12 pm 
 

First off, those looking at other PHBs can maybe help me out :) viewtopic.php?t=4969

Now with what I have:
1st: about 1/2" thick at spine
3rd: about 9/16" thick at spine. This one seems dark, course not sure if my others are just more faded then this copy
7th: about 7/16" thick at spine. This is the Greener One of mine
8th: about 1/2" thick at spine

I measured the spines because as I checked on these it was obvious the 7th was greener and thinner then my other PHBs. Other then that I don't see much difference besides what was discussed about the spines.

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:37 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:This green versus green observation dates back to when the books were new.

I noticed back then that the Players' Handbooks that were slightly later than the one I used were darker and more glossy.  There was also a difference in their texture and (I observed anecdotally) they seemed less durable.

After much staring, I would tend to agree.  In comparing a reasonably unfaded 3rd and 7th, there are subtle color differences.  I would venture that they're printing specific, not variations within a given printing.

I wouldn't characterize the color effect as "greener", so much as an overall increase in color saturation.  The fire and braziers are more yellow, the demon idol is more orange -- there is simply a richer color overall.  The back cover vividly demonstrates the difference; in particular the caped fellow carrying a box on the bottom right.  In early printings, his cape and the box are closer to brown.  In the 7th they are clearly red.  The blue of his shirt is also significantly brighter in the 7th.

In short, the inks used were not identical.  This is probably to be expected if the printer/publisher changed.  The 7th copyright page states the book was distributed by Random House, while the early printings are conspicuously silent on the matter.  Anybody have info on this?

The newer covers also seem to have absorbed ink slightly better.  The picture is slightly more crisp and detailed.  (Not as much as a UK paperback, however.)

I'd like to agree on the texture as well, but I can't tell if it's caused by wear or not.  The above-noted ink variances would make one believe a different material and/or process was used.  Again, a different printer makes sense.

Regarding durability -- undoubted so.  The 1st through 3rd printings were stitched, not glued.  They're far more durable on average.  

(Of note, it appears that the "true 1st" PHB uses a unique stitching pattern.  At first I thought it was glued, but opening the book to page 8/9 shows six 1.5" wide threads.  It seems each signature is stitched in this manner.)

I don't have the intermediate printings but I'd wildly speculate the change began in the 7th, at the same time the flyleaves changed color.  After the 3rd, in any event.  Perhaps it's just the 7th.  I'd appreciate if someone else with clean copies can confirm this analysis, as I'm working with a sample size of two -- admittedly non-conclusive.

Sidenote:  Several of my older covers are so well loved that what I originally thought was a deliberate texturing turned out to be layer upon layer of writing indentations!  If you have one that appears "cracked", try holding it up to a bright light...hours of fun trying to decode the scrawling text.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:16 am 
 

Is there anyone who has enough 3rd prints of the Players' Handbook and similar examples on hand to compare?


I agree that the earlier prints are more durable without a doubt. From what I can see the vertical vs. horizontal wear at the spine changes with the 5th print.

Here are two 3rd prints and two 7th prints:

The 3rd print on the left does appear to be "greener" than the right one. I dont know enough about the book printing process to wager a guess on ink mixtures etc... but I would put this in the same lines as the small height differences of many modules. Some small adjustment at the printer possibly. A different print run possibly.

For sure, the earlier prints fade much more to a green than the later ones.


First off, those looking at other PHBs can maybe help me out  viewtopic.php?t=4969


I will try and get back on this after the holidays Shane.

Mike


Last edited by chromaticknight on Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:37 am 
 

I'm just happy that someone else sees what I'm talking about.   :P


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:21 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:I have not detected the same difference in printings of the Dungeon Master's Guide.  This might be one of the reasons why old editions of the Dungeon Master's Guide tended to lose the backing to their spines as they wore out.

I have!  I'm looking at a 2nd Beta (and a 4th) vs. an 8th, and there's an obvious change in inks.  The colors aren't even close.  The texture is different as well, but this is more evident comparing 2nd Beta/8th than 4th/8th.  The first two were both stitched (the 2nd beta then torn apart and restapled), the latter was glued.  Again, the 8th printing DMG was done by Random House.

On to the MMs, the color and texture difference is rather apparent and occurs between the 4th/5th printings.  I'll give you one guess who published the 5th, but apparently not the 4th.   :wink:

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:46 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:I have!  I'm looking at a 2nd Beta (and a 4th) vs. an 8th, and there's an obvious change in inks.  The colors aren't even close.  The texture is different as well, but this is more evident comparing 2nd Beta/8th than 4th/8th.  The first two were both stitched (the 2nd beta then torn apart and restapled), the latter was glued.  Again, the 8th printing DMG was done by Random House.

On to the MMs, the color and texture difference is rather apparent and occurs between the 4th/5th printings.  I'll give you one guess who published the 5th, but apparently not the 4th.   :wink:


This is quite interesting..
Is the PHB 6th the first instance of being from Random House? (Its Product list matches the MM 5th) And is the 6th or 7th print DMG from Random House? If so then it would put the shift of printers at the start of 1980. Was the screw up with the DMGs and MM 3rd+ what caused the shift you wonder?

Deimos, could you get me a scan/photo of your MM 4th product list?

Thanks,
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:26 pm 
 

chromaticknight wrote:
.....I will try and get back on this after the holidays Shane.

Mike


And people thought I was crazy to have about five copies of the PH, DMG, and MM.... :lol:

  


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:56 pm 
 

Plaag wrote:Is the PHB 6th the first instance of being from Random House?
Don't know.  That would be my guess, though.

And is the 6th or 7th print DMG from Random House?
The 7th is, I'm not certain about the 6th.  I don't have one.

If so then it would put the shift of printers at the start of 1980. Was the screw up with the DMGs and MM 3rd+ what caused the shift you wonder?

I agree on the timeline, but I have no idea the reason.  To speculate, perhaps it was simply an issue of volume.  Random House is a rather large publisher.

Deimos, could you get me a scan/photo of your MM 4th product list?

No problem:
http://deimos3428.acaeum.com/images/4thproductlist.jpg

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:09 pm 
 

And people thought I was crazy to have about five copies of the PH, DMG, and MM....


Thats what chasing print runs does for ya  :lol:  8O  :lol:

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:06 pm 
 

Mike, that is frickin' awesome...and a little sick.   :D


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:11 am 
 

I keep coming back to this thread because I'm interested, but also because I like looking at chromatic knight's Players' Handbook collection.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:54 pm 
 

Thanks guys!

Having my collection accessable now makes it much easier to help with print runs and such.

And YES it is an illness  :lol:  8O  :lol:

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:23 pm 
 

How Green is your PHB?


...as opposed to my mutant? :D  (Sorry, couldn't resist!).


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:21 pm 
 

grodog wrote:
...as opposed to my mutant? :D  (Sorry, couldn't resist!).


Wow! You collect mutants too, grodog?  How green are yours?


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:14 pm 
 

OK...a complication:

I just bought a set of books (including an old lizard logo Monster Manual) for one cent (yes, one cent).

There is a book that claims to be a wizard logo 6th print, January 1980 Players' Handbook in the lot.  

I swear, this book looks totally different from my other wizard logo 6th print:

1)  Lighter green
2)  Tougher, textured cover material.
3)  The same color and quality of end papers.
4)  Horizontal wear patter (as opposed to vertical).
5)  The new PH 6th print is also a solid 1/4 inch taller than the other.
6)  The colors on the new PH are even richer than the colors on the previous 6th printing.

I also have a man-in-the-moon logo Players' Handbook that also claims to be the 6th printing, January 1980.  It is intermediate in height between the two other books.

It seems obvious to me that there are different printers involved in these editions.

Anyone?[/i]


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:23 am 
 

I hadnt noticed it, but if you look at the spines picture above, the third book from the right is about 1/4" taller than the rest.
I have it marked as a 7th print.  My numbering may no longer match up with the current Acaeum printings though. I will have to check and get back to you.

Edit: That book has the 6th print info on the title page. I may have sent this to Scott already and it just hasnt made it in an update yet. I will have to look through my old emails.

Odd, I only have one man-in-the-moon PHB  8O

Mike

  
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