The Complete Uncle by J.P Martin and Quentin Blake Coming Soon!

Set-Of-Uncle-Books

The Kickstarter campaign started by Marcus Gipps to fund The Complete Uncle Omnibus by J.P Martin and Quentin Blake smashed it’s target of £7000, with 540 backers raising £29,177.

UncleSo who is Uncle? Uncle is an elephant. He is immensely rich, and he’s a B.A. He dresses well, generally in a purple dressing gown, and often rides about on a traction engine, which he prefers to a car. read more

The series of Uncle books by J.P Martin were published from 1964 to 1973. Six books were written in the series, and while the first two books, Uncle and Uncle Cleans up have been reprinted at various times in paperback, Uncle and his Detective had one other printing in paperback in 1971 and the last three books were never reprinted. Any book collector knows what that means for your wallet.

So the cost of getting yourself a set of Uncle books? Considering the last four books are only available in the original hardcover printing and every serious book collector needs a proper matching set, these are the current prices for copies available online-

Uncle (1964) $56.29 – $225.00
Uncle Clean Up $78.18 – $250.16
Uncle and His Detective (1966)  $85.99 – $496.06
Uncle and the Treacle Trouble (1967) $394.01 to $859.40
Uncle and Claudius the Camel (1970) $844 – $1328.99
Uncle and the Battle for Badgertown (1974)  $244 – $1020

A minimum of $1702.77 USD. Well book collectors also know life is not fair. Uncle fans, however, are going to get a break thanks to Marcus Gipps. In an interview with The Guardian he said

“Having spent eight years as a bookseller trying to convince Random House that the books should be reprinted, I’ve decided to do it myself … I loved them as a kid and I thought that if no one else was going to do it, then I should.”

Courtesy of Judith Longstreth
Courtesy of Judith Longstreth

The Complete Uncle will feature all six books reproduced from the first editions with the original artwork by Sir Quentin Blake, who has given the project his blessing. 170 illustrations from the original books remain in the Quentin Blake archive, which is about two-thirds of the total illustrations. The remainder will be reproduced from the first editions.

Marcus is hoping to include as much bonus material as possible, including scans of original reviews, copies or typescripts of various articles written about Uncle, material from the Jonathan Cape archive, black and white reproductions of the original covers and endpapers and transcriptions of original interviews. Authors on board to contribute new pieces about J.P Martin include Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Justin Pollard, Kate Summerscale and Will Self. J.P Martin’s grandson James Currey is contributing a new piece on the history of Uncle, and his great-niece and nephew Judith Longstreth and Matthew Oates will contribute a piece each on their memories of J.P Martin.

Courtesy of Judith Longstreth
Courtesy of Judith Longstreth

Along with all of these fantastic extras, the production quality will be top-notch. In the latest update Marcus has confirmed the book will be printed on 115gsm silk white paper with an 8 page colour plate section on gloss paper,  fully bound in cloth with foil stamping, round backed, section sewn with head and tail bands, a silk bookmark and (probably) printed endpapers.

And all of this for only £37.00 (plus £8.00 shipping outside the UK).

You can still pre-order The Complete Uncle at the campaign price directly from Marcus Gipps. Click here to order. The price will increase when the book is made available in retail stores. The book will be ready at the end of September 2013.

Tony Bannister’s fantastic Uncle website has been updated, you can check it out here

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