10 October 2011

Alpha, Beta, Dada

Where to begin? Why not with Tutis Classics? In the two years since I was first introduced to this print on demand publisher, it has held fast as the producer of the most inept and entertaining cover art.

That said, I do fear for Tutis. It's been some time since new titles have appeared on what should be an endless list. I mean, if Miss Laut's The Canadian Commonwealth is a "Great Classic", what isn't?

A recent post by the ever informative Bookride has my rolling eyes turning to Alphascript Publishing, its bastard brother Betascript and the numerous other imprints being spewed forth by VDM Publishing of Saarbrücken, Germany. While other POD publishers prey on works that have become public domain, Alpha and Beta target Wikipedia articles. They're not alone. Books LLC, for example, offers things like Canadian Alliance Mps [sic]: Preston Manning, Vic Toews, Maurice Vellacott, Stockwell Day, Dick Harris, Jason Kenney, Diane Ablonczy, Rahim Jaffer, an ugly 56 pages of material written by such authorities as Snickerdo, Headbomb and Duffy 2032.

Those familiar with Wikipedia will recognize Canadian Alliance Mps as a "category". Alpha and Beta's books don't follow this money-making model, rather they centre on the articles themselves, adding linked articles to the mix. "Some of the connections found in these books are almost Dadaist", notes Bookride. The example provided is the Betascript tome bearing the name of Swiss skier Vreni Schneider, subtitled: Annemarie Moser-Pröll, FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Winter Olympic Games, Slalom Skiing, Giant Slalom Skiing, Half Man Half Biscuit.

While I've yet to find a Canadian title quite so groundbreaking, I see several Alpha and Beta covers that might have appealed to Tristan Tzara.

Is it any wonder that we won that war?

Canadian units [sic] of the War of 1812, 120 pages, sells for $48.62.

As for Tutis, whose employees do visit this blog on occasion, I extend a helping hand and point to the great number of L.M. Montgomery titles in the public domain.

Related post:


  1. Ha ha, wonderful! I'd never realised what those Books LLC things were until now. And I must investigate some of these Alphascript covers...

  2. I advise caution; it's just too easy to get sucked into this alternate universe.

    I didn't post my two favourites (images too small):

    Lower Canada Rebellion, in which the Patriote's of 1837 anticipate Lenin's birth, and October Crisis, with an image of a disgruntled man looking at his wristwatch. "Will this damn thing never end."

  3. Are those Alphascript covers for real? They look like the sort of books we used to display in the staff room at Book Warehouse.

    Thanks for the laugh!