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Elric: The return to Melnibone?

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  • Elric: The return to Melnibone?

    Umm... yes; just yesterday a good friend of mine mentioned he saw a book named like this in some internet-sale-page. Today, he sent to me some pics of this book, and it is, in fact, named like that. What is exactly this book? 8O
    Sweet moons!

  • #2
    Elric: The Return to Melnibone exists in two editions. The purple original is from 1973, rarely seen in truly good condition, and highly collectible / expensive. The excellent black & white reprint from 1997 is still to be found at reasonable prices. It was done by Jayde Design, whose contact details appear on this site. I don't know if they still have copies themselves. Anyone interested should ask.

    The Image Gallery at this site contains the front cover and a summary of the complex history of the book:

    http://www.multiverse.org/imagehive/...2_itemId=68904

    And some interior drawings

    http://www.multiverse.org/imagehive/...2_itemId=52348

    The book is a slim but over-size (40 x 28cm approx) collection of large (many full-page) drawings by French comics artist Philippe Druillet, with text by MM. Some of the drawings first appeared in a magazine in France, and then as a French portfolio, with original text by other authors. There were copyright issues which affected its publication over time.

    The Jayde Design edition includes a full history of these complexities.

    Moorcock's text for the book tells of a short episode not recounted anywhere else in the Elric saga (so far); Elric's return to the city of Imrryr after a year of travelling the Young Kingdoms. He sets off on these travels at the end of the novel Elric Of Melnibone.
    Last edited by David Mosley; 07-02-2009, 02:07 PM. Reason: Links updated by Admin

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    • #3
      I'm not adding much, as Guy covered everything. Nevertheless...

      The artwork is amazing. Druillet's vision of Elric is vastly different than any other I've seen, and the all-purple graphics add to the otherworldliness of Melnibone and Elric. The story itself is a small chapter in Elric's history, but it does flesh out a little more of his relationship with Cymoril.

      Also-- thanks for the information about the Jayde Design edition, Guy. I didn't know it retold the story of the original's many manifestations. I was lucky to find a Unicorn edition ridiculously cheap, so I never thought about getting a copy of the Jayde Design edition. It never crossed my mind that it would have more material than the original. I should have known that John would add interesting new information.

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      • #4
        Well, the first edition of course was French and was done as a loose 'portfolio'. The story was first published in rather crude colour, however, in the magazine Moi Aussi, which came out in the early 60s and I don't think lasted all that long. Maxim Jakubowski was intimately involved with the whole project and probably could help confirm all this.

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Doc
          I should have known that John would add interesting new information.
          Mais oiu.

          In addition to the utterly complete publishing history, in English, in his afterword, John got Maxim Jakubowski to translate the afterword into French!

          And M'sieu Jakubowski has another connection to the book which the afterword also explains.

          PS: well done for picking up a copy of the Unicorn edition cheap. Not easy to do these days, I'm pretty certain.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GuyLawley

            PS: well done for picking up a copy of the Unicorn edition cheap. Not easy to do these days, I'm pretty certain.
            I think I bought it for $15. There was a pencil marked price of $2.50 on the inside cover, presumably from the previous owner, so I'm sure the dealer thought he had really gotten over on me.

            After I bought it, I wanted to tell him how much some people would be willing to pay for it, but I thought it was better to let him remain thrilled about turning a profit of $12.50. That way we were both happy.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Steeplechaser
              Well, the first edition of course was French and was done as a loose 'portfolio'. The story was first published in rather crude colour, however, in the magazine Moi Aussi, which came out in the early 60s and I don't think lasted all that long. Maxim Jakubowski was intimately involved with the whole project and probably could help confirm all this.
              Mike, was your text substantailly the same as the two other versions? I've always imagined that you probably did a Magic Roundabout and created your own words around the images, rather than a translation as such.

              Decent scans of the Moi Aussi colour pages would be a real coup. Wonder if Maxim still has a copy?

              BTW when Druillet did that signing I thought he was possibly the world's coolest person. Tall, handsome, lotsa black leather and a very lovely lady-friend, also in black if I recall. Rock-star-like ambience, and in France at the time, rock-star-like status too, I'd guess.

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              • #8
                Well Druillet went through a number of different images -- gaunt and loony in his early garret days (Moi Aussi period) all the way through to big and cuddly in overalls in his later period. I last saw him a few years ago in St Malo and he was sort of plump and sleek in a suit, like a radical politician who has moved a bit to the right. For a while he was the darling of the Socialist intelligentsia and almost a government minister. He was so fashionable that there were even Druillet waste paper baskets and other such stuff being sold. I think he's levelled out to a more normal career, though still very much admired, as he deserves to be. Bill Butler did that first English version. I'd told him to contact Druillet to get permission and the idiot didn't do it. Next thing I know he's showing me about five hundred pages of a typical French legal document in which Philip was sueing him. This meant an Expedition to France in my old -- I mean my old -- white Nash. A Saga I ought to write about some time. Trux did the lion's share of the driving and I did my best to keep calm the babbling Bill Butler. Also aboard were Sophie and Katie (my girls), my freshly born son Max, Hilary and Fiona (at the time Trux's girl friend) and me all setting out to try to sort the matter out. I suggested that I take Philip and a friend with us to dinner to talk the matter over and try for an amicable settlement. I also had one or two of my close French friends along. As it turned out a lot of others decided to come to the dinner and I wound up paying more than Bill would have had to pay PD in the first place. I learned later that certain unfriendly souls, including Michel Demuth, who had written, I believe the French text and who had seemed happy enough to dine that night, were accusing me of 'vulgarity' for paying for the meal. Given that they hadn't offered to chip in and hadn't been invited, I found this somewhat uncool. As it happened, they reported their views to Hilary (then my estranged wife) presumably thinking to endear themselves better to her. She remembered the evening well and laid into them in a way they hadn't expected. I believe the word 'freeloaders' passed her lips. Anyway, it was an insane evening and Bill, who was flakey at the best of times, didn't help by dismissing Philip's righteous anger and suggesting that he publish some MORE of his work. I was eventually able to affect a compromise in which we both agreed not to publish the story in any form, Philip for a reasonable time, Bill never again. Philip and I were on reasonable terms thereafter and poor Bill, of course, died in his sleep after overdosing, having pulled out all stops to write his last book The Hero. I suspect the use of a certain South American powder informed much of the dealings, as well as the gaunt, cool appearance of most of the parties involved at the time... A lesson to all Young People. Demuth subsequently called his magnificent black Briard 'Moorcock' in order to get the pleasure of kicking Moorcock from time to time. Later, I heard he was on his uppers and desperate for money. I said I'd give him five thousand francs for the dog...
                The nightmare trip home from Paris will be detailed in my forthcoming book An Old Fart Remembers...

                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                Comment


                • #9
                  8O :lol: What a great read that was! Very interesting, Mike.

                  And every story is better when there's a dog in it. For those who have never seen one, a black Briard looks like this:


                  http://www.champdogs.co.uk/images/k13d1.jpg
                  "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                  --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                    The nightmare trip home from Paris will be detailed in my forthcoming book An Old Fart Remembers...
                    LOL !

                    Though the bare bones of the Druillet/Elric story have been known over the years, that account has to be far and away the classic version to date.

                    PS: great dog pic, PWV. My vote for the new avatar.

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                    • #12
                      Wow!
                      Well, had I known all that, I'd bought that book while it was available, it was a quite reasonable price...
                      Now I'm wondering how many books of Elric are there?
                      Sweet moons!

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Alexa, if you check out the "Few Quick Questions about Elric..." thread here:

                        http://www.multiverse.org/fora/showthread.php?t=2294

                        You will find a full and frank discussion about the Elric books and even a handy list.

                        In fact more than one list, showing diffrent ways you might approach reading the books.

                        (As usual, The Return To Melnibone isn't included!)
                        Last edited by David Mosley; 05-24-2007, 12:24 AM. Reason: Link updated

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                        • #14
                          Elric: The Return to Melnibone

                          I was wondering you might be able to recall just how many copies of the Unicorn Books' edition of Elric: The Return to Melnibone saw their way to print. I'd be happy with an estimate, if not an exact number.

                          Best Wishes,
                          Victor

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