Monday, January 26, 2009


Comments from frustrated Same Hat readers that bought the disappointing reprint of the infamous Suehiro Maruo & Kazuichi Hanawa art book, titled here as NEW ATROCITIES IN BLOOD, are continuing to come in... As posted previously, the book was sold by Creation Books for $69 + shipping (as much as $125 AUD for friends in Australia) and turned out to be a tiny, pixelated, and poorly-made book. The frustrated comments on that post are up to 24 responses, and you can read the details by clicking the link above.

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: (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!


Anonymous said...

From my own experience with Creation Books, it seems as though these issues either stem from willful ignorance or gross incompetence (although one certainly doesn't preclude the other). I would advise that anyone who chooses to request a refund be civil yet firm.

Late last year, I was trying to track down a replacement copy of Ultra Gash Inferno. Creation, via a third party, offered to furnish the book at the market price for a first edition.

When the book finally arrived, both the cover and interior art seemed to have been printed from low-res PDFs, with artifacting on the cover's display type and unsaturated blacks appearing throughout the interior. Furthermore, uncoated stock and a shoddily glued spine (that also showed fold lines) hinted that the book may have been a print-on-demand job from old files rather than the coated stock, perfect-bound original printing for which I had agreed to pay a premium.

Creation's response follows; I'm only posting it because it seems to echo the "we're not aware of the specs on books that we publish or distribute, and we don't see how quality control is a real issue" sentiment on the New Atrocities in Blood "debacle."

"There were two editions of the book, one in the UK in around 2000, the other in the US. We've never had copies of both to compare, but it's possible one edition was different to the other. Both were sold throughout the world without complaint though - this just seems to be a case of "comparisons are odious". So not sure what we can do about it."

madame yoshino said...

This is the answer I got from Creation Books:


Really sorry to hear that. We were told by the publisher, Yubari Books,
that it would be a quality full-colour edition. We haven't actually seen
a copy ourselves yet but will check it out as soon as possible."


zytroop said...

How can you sell something made by someone you haven't worked with before without doing any sort of quality check? They don't handle this very good...

myrto said...

This is the answer I got:

"We are not the publishers of this book, only vendors.

If the copy you received is below standard, you can return it to us
and we will refunds the purchase money.

Sorry to hear of this problem."

So yeah...refunding. I still feel sad though, this could have been great.

Ryan S said...

@myrto: That is certainly interesting... From what folks are saying, I would get the specifics and timing of the refund worked out in writing before you send the book back... just to make sure it's all clear with them.

Sorry again to everyone who is dealing with this :(

Le Lezard Noir said...

This is crap, i advertised it myself on my blog. I own the japanese edition of course and in second hand shop in Japan it cost about 60 bucks
now this publisher advertise some other book...

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me. I advise all readers of this to avoid buying any books from Creation and if they have to, to order the titles from a bookshop where they can at least return their purchase.
I run a small distro and have been innundated with messages from buyers describing the shoddy service they have received from 'The Rabbit' who handles Creation's mail order. the guy appears to have no understanding of 'customer service' and I have even heard reports of him refusing to issue refunds when books have arrived damaged, not atall , or in one instance, the wrong order!
This latest saga does not surprise me. Creation used to be a great publishing house so it is a shame they now appear to have cretins and bullshitters working for them.

Ryan S said...

@anonymous: Yeah, this is not surprising and confirms everything I've heard. I can't really imagine doing business with them, and I would never order anything from them after this.

The fact that they don't even give a full name and phone # is just one of a LOOOOOONG list of problems. I hope folks google them and see this post and know these details before making their decision to buy anything from them.

Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Several former Creation Books authors have publicly alleged that the company has committed fraud: