Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tex Arcana

So, I finally got the complete Tex Arcana book (from Amazon).  I'm quite happy with it, I'm happy I finally got around to getting it, and I really enjoyed reading it over.  Not only is it very good, it brought back some nice memories of the times this was in HM magazine.  I guess that kind of thing happens when you are old.

The book itself is fine, while the pages are a bit smaller than the magazine pages, and the paper is not the high quality in the magazine (at least the beginning, through the years HM used a variety of paper stock, sometimes a mix, and sometimes Tex Arcana was on even lesser paper in the magazine than in this book), and there are unfortunate instances of fuzzy images in it, it's still 276 pages of John Findley awesomeness.  I was bemused by the fact of a date at the back of the book, indicating it was printed a day before it was shipped to me.  It appears to be produced on demand rather than from stock.  Apparently that can be done these days.

I really enjoy Mr. Findley's work, the high quality of his line drawing, and the convoluted imagination of his storytelling.  When this was in HM magazine, it seemed to go on forever (it was in six years of the mag) which was fine with me.  It was one of the stories that kept me buying the magazine as its focus and quality varied during those years after the 1981 movie came out.

The book has the revisions Mr. Findley made and are posted on his website, less the few bits of color he tried (if you have not seen it, go to the links page right now for the link to his website, it's all there for free).  Mostly the ending of the "Tex Arcana Meets the Toast of Europe" is extended and expanded, which is good.  As I mentioned in my review of December 1985, "the Last Monthly" the ending of the magazine story seemed rushed compared to the meticulous telling of the rest of it.  The ending in this book doesn't quite tie up every loose end but it does add more detail and makes for a more enjoyable finish.

(Mr. Findley has also started a fourth book, available on his website also, which continues a story with some of the same characters, but it remains unfinished.  He's indicated he may or may not restart work on it.  While I wish he would, I won't complain if not, he's given so much he doesn't owe me a thing.)

At $24 plus shipping, it was rather expensive, but it was worth it to me.  I really enjoy reading on the printed page more than a screen, it's more fun to flip through pages and usually the image reproduction is better and I can see more detail, which is one of the things I like about Mr. Findley's work and HM in general.  I feel fortunate that this is available and that I can afford such an extravagance.  If you are able and interested, I certainly recommend it to everyone who is actually reading this.