Monster Manual cover !
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:11 am 
 

Hi everyone. Long time listener, first time caller. I have what by all desciption is a first print MM in pretty good shape. My question is about the, for lack of a better term, texture of the cover. Mine is lightly rough, not smooth like later prints. Mind you it's not rough from abuse, but seems to be the original surface. Were the early prints(1st - 3rd) of the MM like this? As far as I can tell it's not a foreign edition or anything like that. Any help would be appreciated.   THANKS       :twisted:


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:15 am 
 

I want to say yes, but haven't dug it out to make certain.

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:19 am 
 

yes. good one archvile :) :)

  


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:52 am 
 

archvile wrote:Hi everyone. Long time listener, first time caller. I have what by all desciption is a first print MM in pretty good shape. My question is about the, for lack of a better term, texture of the cover. Mine is lightly rough, not smooth like later prints. Mind you it's not rough from abuse, but seems to be the original surface. Were the early prints(1st - 3rd) of the MM like this? As far as I can tell it's not a foreign edition or anything like that. Any help would be appreciated.   THANKS       :twisted:

Yes.  The 1st is distinctly more "rough" than any other cover.  The 2nd through 4th are moreso than the later "smooth" ones, less so than the 1st.

The 5th printing (the first smooth one) is consequently where we start seeing "Random House" as the distributor on the copyright page.

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:20 pm 
 

The first run of AD&D manuals were textured very much like some of the larger and sturdier high school textbooks that survived years of abuse.
The later bindings used by Random House for the AD&D 2e books was crap!  :P


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:43 pm 
 

archvile wrote:Hi everyone. Long time listener, first time caller. I have what by all desciption is a first print MM in pretty good shape. My question is about the, for lack of a better term, texture of the cover. Mine is lightly rough, not smooth like later prints. Mind you it's not rough from abuse, but seems to be the original surface. Were the early prints(1st - 3rd) of the MM like this? As far as I can tell it's not a foreign edition or anything like that. Any help would be appreciated.   THANKS       :twisted:


We discussed something like this under the thread, "How Green is Your Players Handbook?"

The earlier Monster Manuals and Players Handbooks were made of sterner stuff...rougher textures, tougher hides, different colors.

I have not been able to interest those who own a million of these books to undertake the painstaking cataloging of print runs and publisher.

But...I don't think you're imagining things.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:59 pm 
 

My first print is VF and nice and smooth.  My 2nd and rd prints are not so good (FN and VG) and their covers are more textured.  Maybe it happens as part of the aging of these books.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:18 pm 
 

gkramer wrote:My first print is VF and nice and smooth.  My 2nd and rd prints are not so good (FN and VG) and their covers are more textured.  Maybe it happens as part of the aging of these books.

Nope, it's definitely a feature of the cover itself.  You can actually tell the printings apart by sound, with a little practice.  (I'm not sure where you'd use that skill.)

The first print has a rather squarish texture, which is also quite rough.  If you run a finger over it rapidly, it makes a distinct "zip" sound.

The 2nd through 4th have a less noticable texturing, with offset rows.  The "zip" has a lower pitch.

Such texturing is complete absent in later printings, and the "zip" is still lower.

Any printing they might possess aging effects that would ripple the cover and confuse things, of course.

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Post Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:32 am 
 

Very interessting info, deimos!  I'll have to check the tuning of with my MMs later today :D


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:15 pm 
 

jasonw1239,

   The high school textbook reference is exactly what I thought too. Good point.


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:28 am 
 

Just to jump in and confirm, the true-1st MM I own is very textured - feels like it's bound in denim for goodness' sake.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:15 pm 
 

Since no one's mentioned it, I thought I should point out this quote from the Monster Manual page here on the site.  It's from Gygax directly, re: negotiating the deal to publish the hardback books:
Gary Gygax wrote:It was no problem finding a printer that could do a stitched binding and school-book cover material, as I wanted the AD&D volumes to be as nearly indestructible as could be managed.  Later on the Blumes changed that to save a nickel or two on each copy printed... as if we weren't making enough as it was.

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