01 September 2009

It's Tutis Time!

Three weeks have passed since I was introduced to the POD house known as Titus Digital, yet I've made little progress in solving its mysteries. Not to say that there haven't been minor victories. One case in point is the above, which is not a previously unknown title by historian N.-E. Dionne, but Champlain, first published in the early years of the last century as part of Morang's 21-volume Makers of Canada series. Students of history may take issue with the implication that the Father of New France built the colony using the currency of the Cinquième République... as seen in a mirror.
Again, a minor victory. Far greater mysteries are being solved by JRSM and the readers of his Caustic Cover Critic.
I present four more Tutis titles, accompanied by their respective first editions, as proof that technological advancement does not equal progress.

Of all our authors, Tutis appears to have a particular problem with Ralph Connor. Their cover for The Man from Glengarry (1901), the story of a lumberman working the Ottawa River, features a futuristic warrior floating above an arid landscape. Here they move Connor's novel of the Great War, The Sky Pilot in No Man's Land (1919), from the battlefields of France to the waters off 21st century Manhattan.

In Tutis Universe, the soldiers of The Bastonnais (1877), John Lesperance's 'Tale of the American Invasion of Canada in 1775-76', are deprived of their firearms and must fight with swords and daggers. On the other hand, one side – the Americans, I'm guessing – has been given lovely lavender blouses as part of its uniform.

The first edition of Charles Mair's Through the Mackenzie Basin: A Narrative of the Athabaska and Peace River Expedition of 1899 (1908) may not feature a distinctive cover, but it does reflect the time. Mair isn't much read these days. Will the image of a large truck travelling through a landscape that is clearly not the Athabaska spur sales? I have my doubts.

What POD publisher wouldn't be exploiting our own public domain darling Lucy Maud Montgomery. Curiously, Tutis offers only one title, Kilmeny of the Orchard, the 1910 romance about a troubled young lass who has been abandonned by her Scottish father. I don't see much of Kilmeny Gordon in the cover – and that can't be her dog, because she doesn't have one. Though an inapropriate image, were it any other publisher, I'd at the very least pass on grudging credit for recognizing Montgomery's popularity in Japan. However, this being Tutis, I'm certain the use of this particular picture is nothing but a coincidence.

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  1. Re that Lesperance cover--they really love using cod-Medieval fantasy paintings on everthing, don't they?

    I had no idea Montgomery was so huge in Japan! My wife was one of those girls exposed to the TV series at an impressionable age.

  2. I took a look at the collection. I find the covers are quite attractive. They may be off-track in terms of depiction, at times, but I personally don't think it makes that big a difference.