For the past few years, I’ve subscribed to Girasol Collectables’ “Spider Pulp Doubles” series reprinting the classic adventures of one of pulp’s greatest heroes, The Spider. Four times a year, I’d receive a nicely produced magazine-sized trade paperback containing two of these apocalyptic wonders which were originally published back in the thirties, and I’ve enjoyed reading them and watching my shelves sag with my growing pulp collection.
The latest, pictured above, arrived today, but with it came a dire note:
This issue concludes the 2012 subscription, and we regret to announce that it will be the last book in the Spider Pulp Doubles series from Girasol…Sales have dropped to the point where we’re unable to continue, but we’d like to thank all of you for your support over the years…
Now, normally this news would have bummed me out, because I really love this series and would like to complete my set someday without having to resort to scavenging the universe for fragile originals. But earlier today, I happened to see Will Murray (pulp scholar and latter-day Doc Savage writer) post this image on Facebook:
Further investigation led me to the news that Sanctum Books had their own Spider reprints starting in January. Not knowing that Girasol was discontinuing, I assumed the companies were going to be in competition (Girasol is in Canada, so I thought they might have the license up there while Sanctum had it here). But with the news from Girasol, it became clear that, for whatever reasons, the license has changed hands.
This is actually very good news. Along with my subscription to Girasol’s Spider books, I’ve been getting reprints of Doc Savage, The Shadow, and The Avenger published by Sanctum. And as good as the books from Girasol have been, those from Sanctum have been better. Like the Girasol books, they each reprint two of the original pulp novels, but unlike the Girasols, they also include some really great supplemental material in each book, like historical essays by Will. They also publish more frequently than four times a year, so if that remains the case for their Spider books, my collection will grow even quicker. Plus, their covers use full-cover art, which is nicer than the framed art design on the Girasols.
So, good news overall. I only hope that, in deciding which Spider adventures to publish when, Sanctum is kind to the devoted Spider fans who already have the Girasol books. I publicly ask that they choose to print adventures that haven’t been released yet, and please don’t stick novels already reprinted by Girasol into books with new reprints, thereby forcing us to re-buy adventures we already own in the interests of completion. (As the books appear, I’ll be sure to post if any such replications start to occur to alert other fans).
That said, I’m looking forward to adding Sanctum’s Spider books to my library.