Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

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Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby DrBiggles » 23 Aug 2017, 00:20

I have purchased a copy of the second edition of BIGGLES GETS HIS MEN and noticed that the illustrations are different to those in the first .......

You can find a comparison here:-

http://www.biggles.info/Details/37/Illustrations2/
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Kismet » 23 Aug 2017, 00:33

How strange. Is this the only time it has happened or have you not investigated yet?
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Fairblue » 23 Aug 2017, 00:37

It is weird. I much prefer the second set, though. Much lighter.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Tommy Smith » 23 Aug 2017, 04:33

Might be the sketches were the originals and the coloured versions the work ups, there is additional detail in the 'Not a soul' plate.

As for expense one colour print would be the same for both I would have thought. Lost the original artwork/plates? Be interesting to find out the reason.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 23 Aug 2017, 04:53

Most intriguing. Like FB, I tend to prefer the lighter versions. It would be interesting to discover the reason.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Frecks » 23 Aug 2017, 08:08

I too prefer the lighter versions. All the illustrations are very good though and relevant to the story.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Tracer » 23 Aug 2017, 08:21

I like the lighter versions better as well. Thank you for laying them out so well for easy comparison.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby kylie_koyote » 23 Aug 2017, 11:27

How interesting! I like the lighter ones as well. The only reason I can think of for this change would be cost.

My book has the darker ones, I think.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Fairblue » 23 Aug 2017, 11:38

I was trying to work out how providing new illustrations would be cheaper than using existing ones. I thought at first that it might be copyright. But the second lot of illustrations are so like the first that surely copyright would also be an issue with the first artist?
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Kismet » 23 Aug 2017, 11:41

I wonder if there was a technical problem reproducing the darker images which led to the change?

The pictures weren't changed to update old, tired images, and I think the similarity of the old and new images show there wasn't a copywriter problem. It's a bit of a mystery.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby DrBiggles » 23 Aug 2017, 12:30

I thought that it must be because the process of reproducing the illustrations was cheaper when it came to printing ......
It would use less ink for a start - and considering the reprint would be in the region of 10,000 copies, maybe more, that's a lot of ink!
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Tommy Smith » 23 Aug 2017, 12:35

I'm still going for the pencil sketches pre dating the inked versions, even if they were printed after.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Tommy Smith » 23 Aug 2017, 15:07

Were these books printed by two different companies? If so the original plates and inked artwork may have 'disappeared' and the original sketches resorted to.

Just guessing, from experience.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Kismet » 23 Aug 2017, 15:19

Tommy Smith wrote:I'm still going for the pencil sketches pre dating the inked versions, even if they were printed after.

You think the second edition version is the original sketches submitted to the publisher for approval before the more complex version was produced and they have reverted to using these rather than commissioning new artwork, which would involve another fee and a time period in which to produce them?
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Tommy Smith » 23 Aug 2017, 15:39

I think it is a possibility to consider. That the inked artwork was lost or mislaid. I can't think of another Biggles book that uses pencil artwork?
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Kismet » 23 Aug 2017, 15:52

Tommy Smith wrote:I think it is a possibility to consider. That the inked artwork was lost or mislaid. I can't think of another Biggles book that uses pencil artwork?


Good point. I hadn't thought through the implications of the second edition artwork being in pencil and the first edition in ink.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 24 Aug 2017, 06:44

I've just checked both my editions and sure enough - the first edition has the darker illustrations with the later edition having the lighter ones. I wonder if I would have ever noticed if you hadn't drawn our attention to it, DrB?
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Foolscap » 26 Aug 2017, 16:12

I do like the pencil sketches, too. Less formal and more "alive" somehow. Interesting comparison. Would that type of sketch be sent for approval before embarking on the final version?
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Tracer » 27 Aug 2017, 08:26

Yes. Maybe the ink ones were lost and they approached the illustrator for the originals.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby DrBiggles » 29 Aug 2017, 00:07

This letter would appear to answer the point about why the illustrations were changed. Johns didn't like the production process and H&S agreed to change it!
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Kismet » 29 Aug 2017, 00:44

Well found.

I suppose you could say that was a technical problem. *Blows own trumpet loudly with no regard to tune or rhythm.*
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Tracer » 29 Aug 2017, 08:45

Well done, Kismet!


And thank you Dr.B. for the explanatory letter.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby kylie_koyote » 29 Aug 2017, 11:20

I do love all of this behind-the-scenes gossip & drama that we are learning about! *rubs hands gleefully*
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Kismet » 29 Aug 2017, 11:33

kylie_koyote wrote:I do love all of this behind-the-scenes gossip & drama that we are learning about! *rubs hands gleefully*


I do too. I'm endlessly fascinated by why things are done this way rather than that way, and the unseen reasoning behind decisions.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 29 Aug 2017, 15:33

As Mr. Spock would say: "Faaascinating Dr. Biggles". Who would of thought that book publishers would apologise to famous authors, lol.
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Re: Biggles Gets His Men - different illustrations

Postby Foolscap » 29 Aug 2017, 20:13

It's great to see "behind the scenes" a little:-)
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