Sunday, June 26, 2005

Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children

There's a good post from last year at The Comic Treadmill about the old series "Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children," which, along with the comments on it, does a decent job of giving an idea what the story was like.

To repeat here (as I did on the Fables board) my own comment from there, I had one issue of this series when I was about 15--"I Am Paul's Dog." I lived in a small town half an hour from any comic shop, though, and three hours from the one where I bought that issue and never got my hands on another issue of the series, and yet it struck me as being so cool back then that it's haunted me since. Whenever I've been in comics shops--in CA,TX,SC,FL--I ask if they've got any Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children. Usually they've never heard of it. I'm left with a combination of nostalgia and regret.

Now, via this whole worldwide "web," comes a marvelous new alternative to the need to hunt down and pay a two or three hundred dollars for the complete run of BSfUC. It's an official Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children web site, with--get this--indexed scans of the complete series. The site is still under construction, but the issues are in there up through number 12 of 30. I prefer holding the printed paper copy in my hands, but this way is cheap and convenient. It'll do nicely for now. I highly recommend checking it out.

[Long] Update (23 Nov 05):
I've been getting in the past few weeks a decent number of hits from searches for "beautiful stories for ugly children," so it seems that a. there's definitely a fan base out there for the Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children series and b. to at least some of those people, I'm a conduit for information about it.

In the original paragraphs of this post, I had celebrated the availability online of the scanned versions of the issues. Not long after that those scans became unavailable (though the covers are still available online). Series author Dave Louapre explained it this way:
We posted the book scans in an attempt to placate all you little BSFUCers who couldn't find some of the books, but have been informed that it may be hurting our chances of getting them republished in a collected works form, which is one of the main goals of this site....
And added this on the "Talk to Dan and Dave" bulletin board:
Publishers, we've learned, just seem to have a problemo with putting money into work that is readily available online. Sorry. When we can, we'll put them back up, but probably not anytime soon.
Naturally, I am once again aggrieved by the lack of either online scans or conveniently bought published form of the series. I expressed this to Dave on the message board:
After I noticed the site back in June, I was thrilled to have the scans available but then promptly and stupidly took them for granted. Read a couple of issues and then figured I'd get to the others eventually. Inexcusably, "eventually" never arrived for me, as I failed to return to the site until Dave left a comment on my blog. Now that I see the scans have been removed in order to further the effort to have the works published in a collected form, I'm left with the all-too-familiar sting of regret. Now, after I've still only read three or four issues altogether when I could have read them all for free, I'm eagerly awaiting the opportunity to shell out the cash for the published collection.

Dave, how long am I going to have to wait? What's the progress look like here? Can you give us a timeframe? Should I even hold out hope?
To which he replied,
I'll let you now the second Dan and I know anything. There are several things brewing, and hopefully all of them will see the light of day. The "collected works" idea is among them. Please be patient. And thanks again for your support and loyalty.
He later added, in response to another fan,
BSFUC may well be reappearing in a collected works form very soon. Don't want to jinx anything, but we are in negotiations. Thanks for the interest and support.
So I have two points here. 1. There's the updated situation. No scans available online, sorry, but there is the prospect of the series being republished soon in collected form. So we're all clear on that. 2. There is now, unlike, I believe, in June, when I first posted on BSFUC, a message board, whereupon all of you who are interested can express to Dave your eagerness to buy the republished collection. I think he likes to know, and it could only encourage the publisher. 3. Damn, I'll use commas every chance I get, won't I? [See first sentence of point 2.] 4. No one expects the Spanish inquisition.

Good News! (5 Jan 06) Anthology to be published this spring. See here and here.

4 Comments:

Blogger La Bona said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Just out of curiosity, what exactly did thie La Bona post about my BSFUC series? I checked on him, and it says he's 65 years old and somehting of a religious fanatic. That always makes for entertaining comments, pro or con. Especially con. If you remember or still have it, feel free to post it on my BSFUC site at beautifulstoriesforuglychildren.com

Thanks. Dave

9:26 PM  
Blogger Steve Ely said...

I wish I could tell you what the aforementioned La Bona said about your series, Dave. That's just the problem. Not a damn thing, which is precisely why I deleted his BS comment. If he would have said anything about your book or about my post at all, no matter how disagreeable, stupid, illiterate, or whatever, I definitely wouldn't have touched it.

He almost certainly clicked onto my blog from the Blogger "Next Blog" button and then used the comments to plug his own completely unrelated stuff with no reference to anything I'd written. I resented his treating my post like it's nothing more than convenient advertising for his.

It was some kind of thing pasted in about abortion in the developing world and God's view of contraceptives. Nothing to indicate he'd ever actually read any post I'd ever written.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Spamela said...

There's nothing wrong with a little spam every once in a while! Gosh, Steve! What a grump!

9:47 AM  

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