Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie
I received the following email from Joe Mason. Instead of summarizing it, I'll just cut-and-paste the whole thing:
Amazon has a listing for "Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie". The book also has a homepage at http://www.hamsterhueypress.com/, and it's listed as being written by "renowned story teller" Mabel S. Barr.
Hamster Huey is, of course, the fictional book written by "Mabel Syrup" in Calvin and Hobbes. It looks like somebody with a vanity press has ripped off the title (I don't think titles are copyrightable, so this may even be legal). This version of "Hamster Huey" certainly isn't a "classic and much-beloved tale" as the publisher claims, so it's a hoax in that sense. I suspect it may go even deeper, and there is no actual book: "At Ms. Barr.s request, only a limited number of copies of this first edition are being printed, and Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie is sure to sell out soon." That's an easy excuse for not shipping a single copy.
So - is this a vanity press trying to pass off its book as a famous title? Or is someone having a chuckle by tricking Amazon into printing a fake book listing?
I guess the easiest thing to do would be to order the book and see what arrives, but since I don't want to spend the money my hunch would be that it's a real book that's a homage to (or inspired by) the fictional book from Calvin and Hobbes. Though I think there would be some intellectual property issues involved if the author of the book being sold on Amazon hadn't got the permission of the Calvin and Hobbes author. As for the issue about the 'limited number of copies', I think they're referring to copies of the first
edition. Presumably they could print further editions if the first one sold out. But the real ripoff is that they're charging $7 for an 8-page paperback.
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"Due to [C&H Creator Bill] Watterson's strong anti-merchandising sentiments and his reluctance to return to the spotlight, almost no legitimate Calvin and Hobbes material exists outside of the published collections of newspaper strips."
Other net resources refer to his tendency to litigate any trademark violations, so if this is a hoax, it could prove to be a very costly one.
There. I'm learnin.
I'd like it if Hamster Huey was real, but I kinda doubt it. I'll look around and see what I can see..
hamster huey is dead. it's sad, really.
he was a nice fellow.
i did a search on the isbn listed for the book and found nothing. i google'd it and also checked it at http://www.gettextbooks.com as i have had good luck finding many books with them.
imo this is very definitely a vanity press.
Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie: The Renowned Hero's Most Famous Adventure
by Barr, Mabel price: $6.90
Ships within 2 to 3 days
Edition: First edition. Binding: Trade paperback Publisher: Hamster Huey Press, Gig Harbor, WA Date Published: 2004 ISBN: 0974909009 Description: Nick Goettling illustrations. New. No dust jacket. 8 p. Includes illustrations. Full color illustrations on most pages. Story title is well known but this is first time in print.
Name: Carwibble's Closet, WA, USA
he was a nice fellow." - thephrog
Hamster Huey's gone
It's sad, really, very sad
He was a nice guy
There. My first Haiku since grade 9.
I'm thinking that Watterson has some claim possible. He can claim damages on the basis that the phrase appears in his works, and will be assosciated with his cartoon. Therefore, people will think it has been created either by him, or with his consent..
Trust me, Intellectual Property is one of those fields where it only needs to have feathers to be called a duck.
"Having read as much of this title as possible, I have reached the conclusion that said tome is a fine addition to any Hamster Huey fan's collection of Hamster Huey speculative post-modern children's literature. The intrepid and probably morbidly of obese author has brought forth a book not as hotly anticipated as the soon-to-be-latest Harry Potter saga but in every line of crayon illustration oozes forth with brevid turgidity a vision only marred by the barren landscape of its inspiration. When Alfred Steckler proposed his theory of memelepsy, he prefigured the adjunct symbolizer meme (the omicron-signifier here) ratiocinating a similar paralimpsest that the Kablooie ensteuchifies not unlike the de Vragt neohomoiousion controversy. This does not imply anything to the contrary, however. We find in this an incontrovertible assertion to the opposite effect, namely that Steckler's extension to the deconstructionist ethos does NOT render invalid the Gooey Kablooie's primal importance vis a vis the travails of Huey's porcine ocularism. In summation, I conclude with these final words."
Pickles. Gherkins, to be exact.
"Don't cry for me, for I am already dead." - B. Gumble
They're crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside....
"...in every line of crayon illustration oozes forth with brevid turgidity..."
It's funny. Although the word 'turgidity' is slightly repulsive.
Yes, it does rather.
Although it doesn't involve any quarreling with himself...
It is registered through http://www.domainsbyproxy.com so you can't tell who REALLY registered it.
To sell a book on amazon, you need an ISBN number.
ISBN info and search tools can be found here.
A search of the database shows that the ISBN number listed with the book both on ebay and on the hamsterhuey website DOES NOT EXIST.
Therefore, the book does not, either. (Unless, of course, their database is not up to date)
I kept looking, and found this...
These guys have this book listed by isbn number.
However, you don't actually need a book to get this number. Only about a hundred bucks (which would make things even more expensive than just the website...).
These guys have an online ISBM order form here.
Also, the guy has a bunch of quotes from people on his website. They check out to real people, all except for the author and the illustrator. But did these people really say these things?
Paul Spadoni is also real. His phone number and other info check out.
My question NOW is... if this guy has no problem putting all of his contact info on his webpage, why the hell did he pay extra to hide it from a 'whois' search?
I don't think I'll make up my mind now until I see an actual copy of the book.
Anybody wanna gamble that the 2 copies Amazon has listed are real, and order one? I'd love one, if it was real, but hey, I just spent my book budget for the month.
On a side note, I read about a "Solar Death Ray" that a guy invented. You know what the first thing into my mind was... (besides the beer).
It actually works. Seriously.
Well, there is but not if you're the one doing it
I read the What Others are Saying About... section and the first review is by the webmaster of calvinandhobbesfanclub.com, which is a real website. She has a link on her site announcing the new book. However, it's a very simplistic site; the whole purpose appears to be to download a card that says you are a member of the Calvin and Hobbes fan club. It could very well have been created to flesh out the hoax.
If it is a hoax, it's a pretty dull one, but I love the Amazon review. That was hilarious.
Reminds me of this essay.
Bill Watterson is going to be furious when he finds out about this.
And I was referring to the "former fat guy" caias' offer to snort pepper. He said it was worth $3.75, so I figured doing it twice would be worth twice as much...
As for having previously snorted pepper, no.
But some jerk did stick habanero sauce on his finger and wipe it under my nose. Burned for days, dried my nose out, etc. Imagine getting dipped head-first into a drum of mace...
But habanero peppers ARE the strongest on the planet... You can't describe how hot they are to someone who has not tried them.
No one here has considered the possibility that Mr. Watterson is not the original inventor of Hamster Huey. He may have borrowed the idea from someone else (perhaps a storyteller friend?). In that case, the original author would be entitled to publish the work without needing to worry about copyright infringement.
What is now the firt (earliest) review on Amazon.com is written by a "Randall Spadoni" (hmm, think maybe he's related to Paul Spadoni?), in which he writes "FOR A STORY WRITTEN AROUND A TITLE, this one's pretty good." [my emphasis]. There you have it, folks!
The intention of intellectual property law is to reserve the right of commercial exploitation of a fictional invention to the person who can validly assert a unique right over such invention. Mr Waterson both invented the title "Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooey" and has asserted his rights by claiming copyright over the Calvin and Hobbes comics in which the references to Hamster Huey appear. The only limitation on such protections (aside from the parody/satire reference) is the extent to which the invented name is in fact generic and consequently not an "invention" at all. To avoid risks of the former most new products adopt an entirely invented name. While the words "hamster" and "huey" on their own are generic the entire made up book title is most certainly not. Consequently that title is as susceptible to protection as are the graphical representations of Calvin and Hobbes themselves.