One reader got in touch with Creation Books, and received a reply over the weekend. That email reads,
Sorry to hear this. We'll pass your comments on to the publisher, Yubari Books, and await their reply. We haven't actually seen the book ourselves yet but were actually told by our order fulfilment agency that it looked "gorgeous". So that's strange.
Checking over the blurb that Yubari sent us, and looking at our web page, it does say that the 1886 images are only included as a "mini-gallery", but we didn't know what size the book would be (at A5 it would be the same size as the original, which seems reasonable). It should also be noted that not every book includes blurb or author details on the cover - particularly hardbacks, so this is certainly not a fault. Does the front cover match the image provided, which we included on our page?
If the reproduction of the images by Maruo and Hanawa are actually very bad, this would be a problem, however. We will ask the publisher to send us sample copy and check this ourselves.
Thank you for informing us of this."
So, it sounds like they are saying that:
+ They didn't even see the books before accepting money and orders?
+ They didn't realize all the Yoshitoshi images from the original would be squashed on one spread?
+ They are stating the original book was A5 (5.875" x 8.25") when folks who have copies say it is A4 (8.5" x 11.25") or bigger?
+ It would be a problem to them if the images are bad. So um... are they folks?
I encourage anyone who got the book and was disappointed to send their thoughts and questions to Creation Books at: firstname.lastname@example.org (from their Contact Us page). I encourage anyone who writes to be polite and direct about their frustration with the book. I'm also curious to hear official word that Yubari Books or whoever initiated the project licensed all the images and work from the original publisher and/or Maruo and Hanawa.
If you get any news back, feel free to share them in the comments!