June 3, 2014

The Death Of Print, Or Buy All 177 Mr. Men And Little Miss Books Today!


Now that the only books he reads anymore are kids' books, he Guardian's Charlie Brooker has an awesomely cranky paean to Roger Hargreave's capitalistic masterpiece, the Mister Men & Little Miss series, which he [Englishly] grew up on, and which he fears might be the only physical books his 2yo son will ever know:

Out of selfish nostalgia I bought a complete box set of Mr Men stories, which turned out to be the most satisfying purchase I've made in about a decade. The stories themselves aren't especially remarkable. They follow a fairly rigid template. In each story Mr Titular wakes up, has breakfast (usually eggs, consumed in a manner that vividly illustrates his character), goes for a walk, encounters a worm or a wizard or a shopkeeper, learns a harsh moral lesson and then crawls home, a changed man, hopelessly broken by experience.

The Mr Men inhabit a godless universe. They chiefly fall into two camps - those with character defects (eg Mr Greedy) and those with afflictions (eg Mr Skinny). They all suffer in some way, except those too mad (Mr Silly) or too stupid (Mr Dizzy) to comprehend what suffering is.

Holy smokes, the Mr. Men: My Complete Collection 47-volume box set is not a joke, it's a real thing. Which was apparently published a year earlier in a 50-volume "Complete Collection"?


And there's a 34-volume Little Miss My Complete Collectionbox set to go along with it. Which is not the 36-volume Little Miss "Complete Collection".

Yeah, hm. Beyond the pure private equity merchandising flood aspect of it all, I imagine there's some father/son, Roger/Adam Hargreaves, original/spinoff confusion going on in there, just like with de Brunhoff & fils and The Endlessly Licensable Brand Extending Adventures of Babar, but without the nuance. Unless you're Mr. Compleatist or Little Miss Compulsive Shopper, maybe just go with the Mr. Men 40th Anniversary Box Set, which has ten books, but only costs like $15, for hardcover.

The Mr Men inhabit a godless universe. It's a brutal existence [guardian]
Previously, the history of: Mr. Private Equity & Little Miss Licensing [

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