howtheduck (howtheduck) wrote in binky_betsy,

Treasures from the Treasury: The Foreword

I thought I might reproduce some of the articles from Treasury #4 It’s One Thing After Another! so we could discuss them. This is the Foreword:

This fourth treasury is actually the second half of the third treasury: Making Ends Meet. Yes, we had to cut the treasuries in half. This was a good thing in that we had this fourth book read to go well before our deadline, but not so good in that we’ve had to explain to our readers that we can no longer afford to produce the larger hardcover books. It’s a new era. When it comes to publication, the Internet has put a huge question mark over us all! Will the bookshelf become obsolete? Will we look for all our literature online? Will the printed page disappear forever? Are we that crazy?

As one who is “on the way out,” I get no enjoyment from reading transmitted text on an illuminated screen, which can change instantly to anything from GPS to game board. I like books. I like the weight, the texture, the smell, and the shape of them. I like opening a book, turning the pages, positioning a bookmark, seeing how far I’ve gone, and how much is left to read. I like giving books as gifts. I like owning them. My books are tangible evidence of the journeys I’ve taken with authors whose stories have captured my imagination; whose talent leaves me breathless and aware. In short, I dread the loss of literature in a form I can feel.

Yes, these next treasuries will be thinner, but they will nonetheless exist! They will be real books (and ebooks most likely). For this I am grateful to my editor, Dorothy O’Brien, her staff, and to my publisher, Andrews and McMeel. For over 30 years, I’ve had the great good fortune to be syndicated and published by people who believe that things worth doing are worth doing well. I hope you enjoy this fourth collection of cartoons and commentary.

Lynn Johnston (signed)

My notes:

First, I noticed the tone of this foreword is much closer in content to her News & Notes in May following the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) than they were in her News & Notes following the announcement of the treasury in March.

This line came from her TCAF write-up:

All agreed that the hard copy book was not going to disappear; that once a good book was consumed online, the real deal was worth having.

While the News & Notes that came out at the publication date seemed more to me to be an explanation as to why she made the treasuries the way she did:

I used to collect cartoon books by artists I admired, and was always miffed to find that a book I had just purchased was really previously published work in a different format and under a different title. It was material I already owned, and I thought it unfair to ask readers to pay for the same thing twice. With this in mind, I wanted these FBorFW treasuries to be full of new material — I wanted to really answer the question most asked: “Where do the ideas come from?”

Second, it really is a terrible foreword for a treasury book you hope to have on your shelf for years to come. If Lynn managed to publish all these things and you had 27 on your shelves, are you going to care what problems Lynn had in meeting her deadlines or getting her book published 23 years ago back in 2014? The Foreword should be introducing and addressing the material of the book. It should be timeless.

Third, a discussion about why the book is smaller than the first 2 would have been appropriate for the 3rd treasury, and redundant with the 4th treasury. I am not sure why she brought it up again.

Fourth, the comment about being well ahead of the deadline tells me making the deadline was an issue for the prior treasuries.

Fifth, while the last paragraph says there will be more treasuries, it has an air of finality to it which tells us that Lynn already knew this was going to be the last treasury when she was writing the foreword.


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