Yes, A NEW, UPDATED I SPY BOOK by Marc Cushman In the Works ...

Yes, A NEW, UPDATED I SPY BOOK by Marc Cushman In the Works ...

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 10th, 2018, 7:17 pm #1

 

Hi Karen (and everyone),

I started my reply to you as a new topic, so I could title it appropriately ... (adding different titles is probably the one thing I miss about Network54).
 
I was going to wait for Marc to give us the "official go ahead," but it will be fine to mention it now.
 
Yes, your information is correct. Marc recently wrote with the good news that he is working on a new updated I SPY book. 
 
He wrote that, "I have a publisher interested in putting out a revised, expanded, cleaned up, better illustrated version, with our preferred title and cover. And it will be a hardback! ... Tentative publishing date will be early next year -- and the estimated page count of the new book will be 750. It's going to be a mighty tome!"
 
As you have gathered from past postings, this book is pure wonderfulness - our I SPY bible. The information included in it is extensive and amazing, and we were so lucky that "our" book was in such skilled and talented hands. But it was not without some problems ...
 
Marc and Linda were never happy with the way the publisher McFarland handled the book. First they kept postponing the original print date, and then rushed it through with little warning. Marc and Linda were not able to add final edits - and MacFarland didn't either. They were unhappy with many things, including the lack of proofing, and charging a hardback price for a paperback, never putting it on sale, and never doing any promotion, among a long list of other things ... 

He also wrote, "I've already done weeks of additional research, collected dozens of pictures -- actually, more like hundreds -- and have started the rewriting ... What I did not have back in 2004 and '05 when I did all my research for the original book was the great online newspaper archives that we now have. I spent a couple of weeks on those, searching for announcements, reports, and articles -- on Culp, Cosby, Leonard, and then, beginning in 1964, I SPY. I've come up with hundreds of items, concerning their early careers and time together doing the series. I've conducted additional interviews over the last 12 years ... and just have more to say about the subject now that I've become better educated as to all that was going on in television (and the world) in the 1960s. That is one reason why this version of the book will be bigger, because of all the additional materials now available to me ... and I'm seeing it through fresh eyes.
 
I'll keep you updated. And I'll be visiting your website a lot! The pages where you posted pictures of your travels, showing then and now info on the locations, as well as identifying many of the locations, is proving very helpful. I'm expecting there is lots of other stuff there which will prove helpful!"
 
I know both Lisa (Our Consummate Culp) and I have already been in contact with him about additional photos, especially of NBC promotional materials. And Bulwer-Lytton and I had sent him numerous edits about the original book.
 
How very, very nice to be able to have a second chance to do something - and - to make it even better! 
 
Marc has been a good friend to the FORUM, and he's a very nice person. His newest book is about the "Moody Blues," and since his I SPY book, he's done a very successful trilogy on STAR TREK. These are available on Amazon.
 
OK ... the biggest caveat to this all is I have no idea what the impact of Mr. Cosby will have on all of this. We can expect there will be challenges, and further court proceedings, and appeals, etc. Who knows the time frame for all this. And who knows if the atmosphere will be receptive to putting out this book when Marc expects to release it.
 
Also Karen, I have no idea what the cost will be for this larger, expanded hardback book when it comes out. I also looked around for you at some second-hand book sellers, and they were no less expensive. But there were some used ones "in good condition" from "other sellers" on Amazon in the $30 range.
 
Good luck, it is really a great book to have!!
 
All my best,
Tatia :-)
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Joined: March 26th, 2018, 7:14 pm

May 10th, 2018, 9:57 pm #2

This is great news--thanks for sharing. But I have a few caveats: "a publisher interested" could be a long way from a contract commitment. Does he have a contract? And even then the publisher could reject the manuscript for various reasons. I would be concerned about marketing a hardcover 750-page tome on a single TV series. (And then there's the whole Cosby thing.) Would libraries buy it? That's the biggest market. 

Bulwer-Lytton: did you copyedit Cushman's new manuscript, or did you mark up the pages of the printed version? It sounds like there will be a lot of new material. I find that many publishers these days aren't even doing copyediting, and books below the best-seller level are printed full of errors because no one at the publisher is reading the text. The best way to safeguard against errors is to make sure the author's manuscript goes to the publisher already clean and error-free. Cushman probably can't afford a professional copyeditor to help him submit a really clean manuscript. And there are still things like photo captions that can get messed up no matter how nicely you submit them. 

This is basically me reminding myself not to hope for a quick publication. And you all may know the realities of the publishing industry--or not.  In case you're wondering--I do copyediting for a living. 
Regards,
Karen
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Joined: June 3rd, 2003, 7:41 pm

May 11th, 2018, 12:18 am #3

I think we may have hit on a weird subgenre: I Spy-loving copy editors.
What I marked up was the print version of the first book. I haven't seen the new manuscript. However, Marc says, "My current publisher has a very good editor and proofreaders, unlike McFarland." So let's hope they do a good job for him. It's a huge amount of work, and although I was happy to do it  pro bono the first time, it would be difficult for me financially to do the same again.
Regards—
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Joined: March 26th, 2018, 7:14 pm

May 11th, 2018, 12:35 am #4

BulwerLytton wrote: I think we may have hit on a weird subgenre: I Spy-loving copy editors.
What I marked up was the print version of the first book. I haven't seen the new manuscript. However, Marc says, "My current publisher has a very good editor and proofreaders, unlike McFarland." So let's hope they do a good job for him. It's a huge amount of work, and although I was happy to do it  pro bono the first time, it would be difficult for me financially to do the same again.
Maybe even a sub-subgenre. 😄 So he does have a contract then? "Current publisher" sounds more definite. I was thinking how much fun it would be (although chasing down the spelling of all those proper names can be maddening), but yikes, all those hours! I couldn't do it pro bono either.
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Joined: June 3rd, 2003, 7:41 pm

May 11th, 2018, 12:51 am #5

It was definitely a labor of love.
I don't know if Marc has a signed contract, but he has published a number of similar books in recent years, so his track record is solid. Getting a publisher interested the first time around is much more difficult.
Regards—
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 11th, 2018, 1:22 am #6

Hi, 

(I wrote his before stopping for dinner, planning to post it now. My comments are very similar to what you've both added. As in "great minds ... " :-) )
 
Marc is working with Jacobs-Brown who has published his STAR TREK and Moody Blues books. He has a strong relationship with them. So that is not the concern. 
 
He included this in his correspondence ...
 
"Jacobs/Brown has a wonderful editor and a equally wonderful proofreader, something McFarland clearly is without. So they will be going through the material before it ever goes to print."
 
The Cosby Question, though, IS a real concern.
 
And in most cases I agree with you Karen, and that's the reason there are so many freelance proofreaders and copy editors out there these days.
 
As I've mentioned earlier (and B-L added just now) - for some reason the I SPY FORUM has always attracted lots of editors ...
 
Kelly-Maxwell writing DUO.jpg

and college professors and instructors (many in English Depts.) over the years. 

Operation 3Rs-4 set.jpg
 
I'm not sure what the affinity and attraction is to I SPY ... but it is apparently magnetic for our species. :-)
 
All my best,

Tatia :-)
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Joined: June 3rd, 2003, 7:41 pm

May 11th, 2018, 2:26 am #7

It makes sense that the "verbal jazz" practiced by Kelly and Scotty would appeal to those of us who make a living working with words.
Regards—
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Joined: March 10th, 2013, 6:21 pm

May 24th, 2018, 3:50 am #8

Greetings all:

I realize I am a little late to the party but I wanted to share an answer to the Cosby Question that I have found.  It is by no means a definitive one.
This term in my Introduction to Literature class (academics being another subset of this forum) I focused the readings on those written by and for Persons of Color, concluding with a reading of Book Three of MARCH by John Lewis.   Human Rights (with Civil Rights falling under that umbrella, as Malcolm X taught us) were very much a part of every class discussion. 

Because of the snow we had this term, I had to give an assignment over Spring Break, and I asked the students to watch a few episodes of I SPY and to unpack Robert Culp’s very famous quote, “Our statement is a non-statement.”  At the end of the term as part of their group work, students had to present on a TV Series or Film that revolved around Human Rights, and one group continued to explore the series.
In both assignments, Cosby was addressed, and the students did a very good job of separating his historical importance and his art from the man.  I think this was possible for them because we had previously had to do that with other writers and poets – gifted artists but dysfunctional persons.

In the end, they realized that talking about race is messy; that talking about race when it involves individuals who were leaders and sinners is even messier but still necessary if we are finally going to rip the bandage off and expose the boil to air.

Hopefully the audience for Cushman’s book will be those who can separate the art and the artist from the person, or at least put each part in its proper perspective.

And if anyone wants to see my lesson plans, please ask.

Love…Xen
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Joined: July 14th, 2003, 2:38 pm

June 1st, 2018, 5:17 pm #9

My one particular note for Marc (and, one hopes, Linda) is that I think it's really important that they try to dig into the pre-production work and decision making for "Turkish Delight." It seems -- and in many ways is -- a very slight little episode with a droll Victor Buono and lots of jokes and giggles...

But it's also the first time Scotty gets to be a romantic lead, having love scenes with a beautiful black woman. Given that, as the series began, it was so considered a foregone conclusion that a black man could never be seen in a romantic clinch on American TV that Culp wrote "The Loser" just to give Cosby an equivalent in compassion rather than passion, it seems important to television history to learn what changed in those few months that allowed this breakthrough story to occur.
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Joined: March 26th, 2018, 7:14 pm

June 3rd, 2018, 1:53 pm #10

That’s an interesting point. Plus, in the previous episode, “Court of the Lion,” in the first scene it’s clearly implied that Scotty had feelings for a Japanese woman that were more than compassion. Funny how the censors were only concerned about interracial relationships when the races in question were black and white.
 
It seems that several concerns about having a black lead went out the window pretty quickly--e.g., Scotty carrying a gun and participating in fights (thus hitting white men). It would be helpful, in the new edition, to have an indication of when episodes were filmed as well as when the scripts were written and approved. The current edition, with all the back-and-forth of discussion between specific episodes and more general history, is vague and confusing on the sequence and timing of events. (I like my history nice and orderly.)
 
Yes, Tatia, you no doubt used some subtle secret agent mind-influencing techniques on me, and I bought the book. You’re right, it’s worth it! And the error rate is much lower than I expected. (There’s a book about Wild Wild West, which is, alas, a very amateurish effort. Though it’s full of good information, reading it makes my copyeditor brain hurt.)
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