McSweeney’s book distributor filed for bankruptcy six months ago, and the indie-cooler-than-thou publisher has now realized it’s out some $130,000, which it kind of needs. So Eggers & Co. are selling their heirlooms to make ends meet, some on their own site and some at eBay. What’s on offer? Some of the inventory is deservedly bargain-basement, but there are some real gems among the literary detritus. Forget the good cause; just think of the potential resale value. After the jump, a quick review of the highlights.
• Early issues of McSweeney’s Quarterly, now out of print and taken straight from editor Sean Wilsey’s closet. Some of these are nearly impossible to find elsewhere, and frankly, the magazine was at its best in the beginning, pre–Eggers’s celebritydom. Totally worth it.
• Nick Hornby’s Songbook — a collection of essays about his favorite songs, illustrated by art star Marcel Dzama and accompanied by a CD with twelve of Hornby’s top tunes — sold out fast in 2002. Now the gang has unearthed one more box, and Hornby has created a new mix of his favorite current jams, in a limited edition of twenty discs “burnt and hand-Sharpied by the man himself,” according to the McSweeney’s site. The coolness factor is high, but the $200 price tag makes us skeptical of profitable flipping potential.
• An “Eggers Bundle”: All of the guru’s fiction to date, signed, and with an original sketch tossed in, also for $200. Signed books? Original sketch? We see definite money-making potential.
• “The Berlin Years” is a box of 32 colored prints by Dzama, plus an interview with him by Sarah Vowell. The first edition quickly sold out a few years ago, but McSweeney’s is bringing it back and sweetening the pot: Dzama has hand-drawn on a few of the reissued sets. This may be the most valuable item in the sale, since Dzama is a god in the art market these days. His drawings once sold for a few hundred dollars but now sell for around $2,000 each, with his paintings going for thousands more — and there’s a waiting list for new work. Price tag will be high; flipping potential is higher.
• Then there’s the eBay auction, launched June 12, where you can snap up Tony Millionaire’s original drawing of emo star Ben Gibbard (from Death Cab for Cutie), kinda lame, but not if you’re a fan; an original David Byrne pencil sketch, and apparently the guy can draw; or Eggers’s oil on canvas of Dubya as a double amputee, the priciest item currently in the auction, with bids going for around $4,000. We think that last one’s worth it for the concept alone. —Carmela Ciuraru