yes, that is almost the silliest thing that I have ever seen. At $10-$15 a piece, plus slightly more for the "Cunts" issue, plus the (2) Buk letters at $500-$800 each (which I still think is high), they are about $2000 over what these are worth.
Still, a Tabletop Chandler & Price press sold for $4500 last week (was $575 new in 1977), so there seem to be some people out there with far more money than sense.
I just e-mailed the seller in these waning hours of his auction,
Asking him if he'd be willing to separate the lot
(I'd just like those 2 Buk letters)
and I received a quick, very interesting response ->
Thank you for your inquiry. I think I would like to keep the Buk letters and the complete edition NYQ together, as the letters are tied to the mag and are part of the history. When I checked, even short, original Buk letters go for $350 - $800 online. The 1-pager is directly tied to an article in one of the NYQ issues, with an original off-the-cuff poem, and the other is a lengthier 2-pager that backs up the mag's editorial stance of not "pampering" the poets against the insinuation by Poets And Writers that NYQ was not warm and fuzzy enough. I was Sr. Editor of NYQ for almost 20 years and a good friend of Bill Packard, and I have what is probably the only extant complete set -- everything else is either broken up, incomplete, or cobbled together from reprints of the originals. I would be happy to consider a Best Offer from you for the set, the 2 Buk letters, the issues with the signed Updike poem, the signed Packard editorial and presentations, and the signed Pincus article. If the set ends up going to you, I will even throw in the signed Packard original typescript of the speech that was given at the 1994 NYQ Award Ceremony for Bukowski, the Pincus signed original typescript of the acceptance speech given on behalf of Bukowski (who was too ill at the time to accept the award in person) -- Sean Penn was supposed to deliver the acceptance speech on Buk's behalf, but could not make it due to a production schedule change -- and a signed postcard from Bill Packard thanking Pincus for delivering a "brilliant acceptance of the Bukowski award, especially on behalf of Sean Penn, John the Baptist, Christ, and cats everywhere -- I'm sending it off to Bukowski & know he will be delighted with it -- thanks, I think you may have made a great poet glad during a dark time." -- Manticore
It is a nice set, but Willliam Packard signed postcards do not make it valuable. They just don't increase the value by $2000. Also, there may not be that many full runs out there, but I bet that at least 10 universities have them. I bet there are at least a dozen collectors that also have them. Anyone wanting to get a set can buy them one at a time on abe or ebay and in a few years you will have a set. It seems to me that the fact that there are not many full sets out there speaks more of the demand of these with collectors than scarcity.
Also, how many magazines did second printings? That is odd, unless they did them for people to buy as back issues, but that seems odd. Is this normal in the magazine world to reprint back issues? Maybe it is. I just wonder how anyone can tell if they did not mark them. If there are later issues, I wonder how many of those are on abe....
Still, for me, having a full set of NYQ is not really a priority. I have a full set of Wormwood Review. Now that is something that is tough to compile and is quite scarce.
Some of the original NYQ issues are hard to find, hence the reprints. I bought a large batch of originals a while ago from the current editor at a very reasonable price (way cheaper than on Abebooks or eBay). But he told me that he didn't have quite a few issues from the first run and offered me the reprints, which I didn't buy.
I don't think many collectors have a complete first set. Whether that should increase the value of the items on eBay or not is a debatable issue for sure.