Sunday, March 5, 2017

Retro Foreign: Lebanese Beyond the Universe Album #2 1st and 2nd Printing

I was able to acquire a 2nd copy of the Lebanese Beyond the Universe Album #2 from publisher Flying Carpet, this time with the different back copy.  It is noticeably more beat up than my other copy and has reinforcement tape on the inside cover.  Additionally, some of the pages have pen marks and several pages are missing from the last bound comic, issue #16, although all the Star Wars #4 story pages from the issue are intact.  The front of the album cover is identical to the other edition and includes the same bound issues, Beyond the Universe #11 - 16.

Beyond the Universe Album #2a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
1st print?
Beyond the Universe Album #2b - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
2nd print?
Side-by-side comparison of front covers
The back cover is where the difference is seen.  The beat up copy has Grendizer with 4 insets showing the covers of later Beyond the Universe single issues.  Grendizer first appeared in issue #29, but the artwork shown is from issue #78.  The nice copy shows the Enterprise from Star Trek and also has 4 insets showing the covers for Beyond the Universe Album #1 - 4.

Beyond the Universe Album #2a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
back cover
1st print?
Beyond the Universe Album #2b - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
back cover
2nd print?
Side-by-side comparison of back covers
The spine for the two editions are also different.  The beat up copy has additional Arabic below the Beyond the Universe title.

Beyond the Universe Album #2a - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
spine
1st print?
Beyond the Universe Album #2b - Flying Carpet, Lebanon (1980s)
spine
2nd print?
Side-by-side comparison of spines
There is a dispute on which copy is the 1st print and which is the 2nd print.  I believe the beat up copy is the 1st print for several reasons:
  • Copies of the black Grendizer back cover always seem to be in beat up condition whereas copies of the yellow back cover always seems to be much nicer.
  • Covers of the interior issues are flat on the black backs, but they are glossy on the yellow backs.
  • The black backs shows Grendizer and pictures of covers for single issues, but the yellow backs shows pictures of other albums in the series.
It is possible the yellow backs are 1st prints and they sat in a warehouse untouched, which accounts for their better condition.  Judging the relative age of books based on condition is a rookie collector mistake, so I'm fully aware of the possibility I am completely wrong here.  If you know definitively which is the 1st print and which is the 2nd print, I would like to hear from you.

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