RARA-AVIS: Ross Macdonald short story collection

From: jeffwong_ny ( jeffwong_ny@yahoo.com)
Date: 06 Jan 2008

Hi - My name is Jeff Wong. I am a longtime Ken Millar/Ross Macdonald fan and collector. My name may ring a bell for some of you: I "designed"* and illustrated the cover for Crippen & Landru's definitive collection of Lew Archer short stories, THE ARCHER FILES, which came out last year (it was a dream come true).

I'll be happy to discuss Millar's writing here, but, I was hoping to reach out to the list to solve a book collecting mystery that has been plaguing me for over 20 years; I suspect a good many of the readers and participants here also happen to be book collectors, so, I am appealing to that contingent. I hope my post is not out of line.

I'm desperately trying to find the 1955 2nd printing of THE NAME IS ARCHER from Bantam Books. In Matthew J. Bruccoli's excellent bibliography from Pittsburgh University Press, he noted the existence of this book, but, had not examined a copy (I've been in touch with him, but, he can't recall at this late date the circumstances of his noting this entry). He may have assumed its existence based on Bantam's printed history in the 1966 edition of THE NAME IS ARCHER, which is listed as the 3rd printing. A paperback dealer friend thinks he may have seen or handled a 2nd printing, but, isn't 100% positive. The literary executor of the Millar estate has never seen a copy.

Has anyone here ever come across a 2nd printing of Bantam 1295? If it exists, it's possible it was a Canadian printing, but, research suggests it would more likely have been an American printing. I may in fact be chasing a ghost. Any help or leads would be much appreciated.

*I use the term "designed" loosely, as I mainly aped the original Bantam paperback's design with a tip of the hat to the original cover artist, Mitchell Hooks. If anyone is interested in the genesis of the cover design, my website has an entire section devoted to its creation: http://www.jeffwong.com

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