Posts Tagged ‘book-binding’

Noo ye kis ma boot or A strik ye wi ma whip!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Somewhat to my surprise, I was recently able to get a copy of House of Tears (creditted to Harold Kane and illustrated anonymously by Joe Shuster).

At some point, I'd like to scan the thing,[1] but I don't want to damage it in the process of scanning, and the volume is bound in a way such that it does not naturally open flat. For now, I'll offer a verbal description.

The book is 20 sheets folded into five gatherings[2] to make a total of 80 pages. The gatherings are bound together by three staples, running from front to back but near the fold. A cover of dull-yellow paper, textured like parchment, is wrapped around these pages and glued to them at the fold. The volume is about 5 3/8 in × 8 in × 3/16 in (13.7 cm × 20.3 cm × .5 cm); I'd guess that it were printed on 8½-by-11 sheets before binding and trimming.

There are 65 pages of text that were almost certainly set with an elite[3] typewriter. There are ten full-page, black-and-white interior illustrations, two more than the eight that I discovered on-line. Both are plainly also by Shuster. One of these shows a fellow in a suit standing close behind a woman in a classic French maid's outfit; the other shows three women, one upon a throne-like chair, one in a dress lifting up her skirt to expose her lingerie, and the third behind her, apparently yanking or pinching her ear and dressed in a maid's outfit.

Although I've not read the story, it is apparently about a wealthy Illinois man who hires a Scottish woman to be the governess for his 15-year-old daughter, rather hoping that the governess will turn-out to be a dominatrix, and discovering that this is, indeed, the case. I cannot help but be amused at the thought of a household of Americans trying to figure-out what the H_ll a Scottish dominatrix is demanding of them, but a cursory investigation suggests that Miss Phyllis neither speaks Scots nor has a note-worthy accent. What I do see is a lot of space given over to sound-effects.

    Whshshshshshs...craaaaaaaccccckkkk...
pfffffffff-f-f-f-f-...wha-a-a-a-a-a-cckkkk
thwaaaaaccccckkkkkk.......
I'm not sure what that was, and perhaps I'm just better-off not knowing.


[1] No copyright registration was made, as this would have identified a person or a business entity that could be traced to owners, and those involved in production of this work could have been prosecuted under anti-pornography laws. It might be a fine thing to reverse the consequences of past censorship, and allow claims that could not have been registered to be made, but I believe that this particular work would then be orphaned.

[2] A gathering is a group of sheets stacked and folded together. The term signature is frequently mis-applied to gatherings.

[3] twelve characters per inch