FINALLY, all pre-ordered books are on their way to their new homes. And we are pleased to finally be able to release some of the last few leather for sale. Because the rest of this limited edition are currently still in transit, we are releasing only TEN this Bank Holiday weekend, just in case there are any further disasters. We'll put any we do have left on sale just as soon as we know the others have all safely landed.
The price is higher than it was because the costs of the project have exploded thanks to all the wreckage we've had inflicted on us. Can't be avoided. It's either keep going at a price that pays the bills, or turn our toes up. There will be more cloth books on sale at some point, hopefully not too far into the future, but we can't make any promises because… who knows if we'll wake up alive tomorrow morning?
First, a bit about the books themselves. Our printer and binder is FJ Blissett & Co, with ninety years’ experience - and the holders of a royal warrant, no less, from Her Majesty the Queen. No word of a lie. They're bloody slow buggers though, eh?
Inside, each book is made of 504 silky pages, 496 of which are content. All 443 published cartoons are in there, bigger than they ever appeared in the magazines, on pages which measure a whopping 324 by 355 millimetres. The strips themselves have been collected from all over the place, and painstakingly restored where necessary - though 102 examples are, incredibly, taken direct from original artworks which turned up just as we were finishing the first draft of the book. (muffled wails). Also featured are numbers 443/49 and 444/50, which Paul produced back in 2013, but which never made it to a magazine page.
On the cover is a pressed-on colour plate (matt laminated to prevent scuffing as it slides in and out of the handmade slipcases), and foil-blocked lettering in antique gold to reflect the fact that - purely by accident - this ridiculously ambitious project was printed in Ogri’s 50th anniversary year. Each leather book comes complete with a reinforced slipcase. Yes, actually reinforced. When your book arrives you'll see why.
UNTIL OCTOBER 15TH this was a SUBSCRIBER’S FIRST EDITION, which means that everyone who bought a book before that is a subscriber to the publication, enabling us to actually get them made. You'll find the subscribers' names and messages printed in the back of the book. Books bought after October 15th are just normal books, but numbered as part of the limited edition.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 21ST: The printers are now struggling so badly with levels of demand that any orders placed after this date are highly unlikely to be delivered in time for Christmas. Each book is individually stitched and hand-bound by a team of just two blokes, so it's not really surprising that they're struggling with the sheer numbers you beautiful people have ordered! We will be shipping all orders strictly in the order they were received, and anyone whose book isn't ready in time for the big day gets a posh card to hand over instead, telling the recipient that their present is being made and is on the way. We never expected so many orders, and even at full pelt, we're falling behind!
UPDATE FEBRUARY 6TH 2018: Buckram orders from September 28th 2017 have now shipped, including those ordered to UK addresses with slipcase, and the cases will follow in a couple more weeks. Overseas orders with slipcase, and all orders in leather, remain unshipped. We're finally on the move though!
UPDATE FEBRUARY 28TH 2018: All buckram books ordered online without cases have now shipped, and buckram orders placed at the NEC *would have* shipped this week only now we're unable to do anything because of the snow! Slipcases are due in to us next week, and leather are now in production. Online sales of buckram and buckram with case are now projected to reopen on St Malcolm's Day. (That's April 1st if you didn't instantly work that out.)
UPDATE MAY 4TH 2018: Leather books are now completed and just waiting for their slipcases before we start to ship advance orders, currently projected to start May 14th onwards. The long-awaited stock of buckram books were all destroyed in transit in to us just before Easter, when they should have gone on sale. For this reason we are currently engaged in the killing spree mentioned above, and while replacement stock is expected, we can't say when until we have killed the parties involved and used their skins in the same way the monks of Worcester dealt with Vikings. Your patience is very much appreciated. And any nails you might have spare.
UPDATE MAY 26TH 2018: All the books sold in 2017 are finally on their way to their new homes, and we are now working on getting you some more…
BLACK BUCKRAM, NUMBERED An unlimited number of copies bound in black buckram book cloth, with foil blocked title on spine and face, with full-colour jumping Ogri plate applied to the front. Given that we had to stop selling before the end of last year, these will now be numbered to the end of the current run (that's 400 books).
BLACK BUCKRAM WITH CASE, NUMBERED An unlimited number of copies bound in black buckram book cloth, foil blocked and with the full-colour jumping Ogri, presented in a very nifty handmade slipcase. Given that we had to stop selling before the end of last year, these will now be numbered to the end of the current run (that's 400 books).
LEATHER WITH CASE, NUMBERED AND SIGNED A limited edition of one hundred copies bound in Wildman and Bugby black leather, each one individually signed and doodled by Paul, and presented in a fancy slipcase. These will be numbered 1-100.