Monday, August 8, 2022

The Whitman Book Dilemma Part 3

I want to give an idea of the lengthy, involved discussions that the moderators have had about various Whitman books over the years.  I went through our moderator chat and found where we have mentioned the Whitman books.  Below, you will find comments that I have made about the Whitman books.  You're only getting my part of the conversation, but you should pick up on how difficult this has been for us.  We have needed a specific guideline that we can follow so that we do not contradict ourselves.    

October 15, 2017 

What about Whitman books?  Quite often we have had new members post Whitman books that I do not consider series books.

May 12, 2019

Yesterday I closed comments on [redacted]'s post that was almost all general Whitman books and a G.I. Joe thermos.  [redacted] contacted me since she was upset at my action.  I explained further and she deleted her post.  Her feelings were quite hurt.  She never did repost her books in the other group like I suggested.  People just want the Collecting group to be everything.

June 2, 2019

Regarding Patty O'Neal, it probably isn't a series.  However, since that kind of Whitman book tends to appeal to members, I'm inclined not to worry about it.  

June 2, 2019

I view the Whitman books of the 1940s as like a publisher set or series, so I'm okay with those showing up sometimes.

Sept. 5, 2021

Peggy Parker, Girl Inventor is part of a publisher set/series which features the Bonita Granville book among others.  The other books in the set are similar to our books (although most tend to be boring or weird).  I feel like it would be okay since the other books are okay.  Do you agree or disagree?

Sept. 13, 2021

I agree, and it is happening because of [redacted]'s Whitman post and is not unexpected.  Whitman books (aside from Trixie and other obvious series) always cause problems.

I should not have approved the post with Lassie in it.  I did because the other books were generally okay, but Lassie shouldn't have been the first book pictured.  These people don't understand group optics at all.

November 23, 2021

I declined the attached post with this reason:  "We find that the Whitman TV books cause the group to go off topic.  If you can resubmit the post without the Rin Tin Tin book, we can approve it.  Thanks!"

I just realized that Rin Tin Tin is probably one of the books in the 1958 Whitman DJ set that includes one Trixie Belden book... Like always, some posts are in the gray area making it tough to make the best decision.

January 26, 2022

I saw the post before reading this chat, and I just declined the post.  So I agree.  No Whitman television books, period.  We're done with allowing those.  They aren't our kind of series, so they don't belong.  I suggested the other group, as I always do.  People wanted the other group to exist, but they won't use it.

March 7, 2022

The Whitman books are problematic since whatever we approve leads to ones that are completely off.  See [above].  I am partly inclined to approve it since it fits with some other books that have been mentioned lately.  On the other hand, it's an authorized edition of the type we often decline.  It should be noted that we generally allow the movie star books of the 1940s.  Which way do we go?

March 7, 2022

It would be easier if we just reject all Whitman books outside of the obvious series books.  Should we just do that?  If we do reject all of them, should we also start rejecting all adaptations based on actual people like Annette and Janet Lennon?

March 8, 2022

I have read all of the female movie star books... and know that they are just like our series books.  That is why I've always approved posts about them, although I feel they are problematic due to people then thinking all Whitman books are okay.

The reason why I thought Joyce of the Secret Squadron might be okay is that it takes place during WW2, and we have recently discussed some series books set during the war.  I don't feel that those series books set during the war are strongly on topic, but we don't disallow everything that isn't precisely like Nancy Drew.

This is a real dilemma.  If we are going to continue to allow the movie star books of the 1940s and also war-themed series books, then this book seems to fit our focus.  Looking into it further, it is based on the Captain Midnight franchise, which means that we should reject it like the later Whitman TV books.

So, we could decline it because it is an authorized edition from a filmed franchise.

I don't know if Annette and Janet Lennon read that differently from Meg Duncan and Robin Kane.  I don't care to disallow Meg and Robin, but most of our group probably isn't into them.

March 8, 2022

I'm thinking this through as I continue to respond.  We need a clear guideline.  All Whitman books based on filmed versions should be declined, which means we decline the Joyce/Captain Midnight book.  Do we agree with that?

This still leaves us with the movie star books of the 1940s as well as Annette, Janet, etc.  They aren't based on filmed media, so they are different.  They are exactly like the movie star books of the 1940s.  Whatever we do on the movie star books, then we should do the same on Annette, Janet, etc.  They are no different.

March 8, 2022

The only ones I'm struggling with are the movie star books, Janet Lennon, and Annette.  They are a problem because people then think that the authorized editions are okay.

We can decline the pending post [Joyce of the Secret Squadron]...  All books from franchises that originated in filmed media should be declined...

But do we continue to approve the books where real people were used as the characters in completely fictional stories?  Maybe we should since they aren't actually an authorized edition from a franchise.

March 8, 2022

[in response to a suggestion to allow movie star and Annette/Janet Lennon]

That sounds fine.  I feel that the same decision should apply to the movie star books and Annette/Janet Lennon.  

May 22, 2022

I approved a post that includes Peggy Parker, a Whitman book in the gray area.  We previously discussed Peggy Parker here, and a post by [redacted] was allowed in the group in September.  For that reason, I went ahead and approved the post after I refreshed my memory on the situation.

July 4, 2022

Approve or disapprove?  I'm struggling, which often happens with these books.  I've searched our conversation here to see what we've said before.  Generally, we decline books where the franchise originated in filmed media.  I think these would fall under that.  

July 4, 2022

That's where my problem is; I thought of the Lone Ranger.  I was definitely a "no," but then I started thinking about it.  I'll wait for at least one more opinion before I do anything.  I can be convinced either way.

July 5, 2022

The problem is that we have accepted Jane Withers and similar before.  We have also accepted Annette and the Lennon sisters...  We are contradicting ourselves, which is why I don't know what to do.  We allow some and then not others.  We haven't been consistent.

It would be easier if we quit allowing all books that feature real people's names in the titles.  Our inconsistency makes it hard to make a decision.

July 5, 2022

I don't know that we have had complaints about off-topic books.  The problem is that we are boxed in somewhat more than we should be.  This, of course, was caused by [redacted].  

I know that [redacted] feels like we shouldn't be quite so strict.  However, I don't know how to ease up.  It would very quickly go too far towards general children's books.

Also, we do approve Troy Nesbit books.  The Gene Autry books are probably a lot like them even though an actual person's name is on the books.

To me, this is a mess.  Whitman has been a big problem all along.  I don't know where to draw the line.

I was going to decline the Gene Autry post, but I can't say that we don't allow books with real people in the titles.  We do allow some of them.  What do we say?

July 5, 2022

I see the Gene Autry books as similar to Lone Ranger and Troy Nesbit.  They are all westerns, and they are series.

July 5, 2022

It sounds like we've switched to approving them.  I will do so and will also approve the other post about the Walton Boys series.  Obviously, we will need to continue to discuss Whitman books in the future as the need arises.

This should give you an idea of our indecision concerning the Whitman books.  We want to be fair and consistent.  That is very hard to do without having a clear guideline.  I see the books published by Whitman as being all over the place.  The books are series, authorized editions, general children's books, reprints of classics, and compilations of short stories.  People tend to lump all Whitman books in together, but we cannot accept all of them.  

Two weeks ago, I presented to the other moderators what I thought we should do.  At first, they agreed with me until I remembered that I had forgotten to mention certain books.  That was when we began to disagree.  We found it impossible to come to a consensus regarding all of the Whitman books in the 2300 set.  

Finally, I suggested that we disallow discussion of the Whitman movie star books from the 1940s.  Allowing those books has caused the conflict and inconsistency.  If we were to continue to allow those books, then we would need to begin allowing certain other books in order to be consistent.  I do not feel that the other books belong in the group, so we must disallow the movie star books.

We will not approve posts with Whitman books that are the movie star books, books based on comic strips, standalone books, reprints of classics, general children's books, or the television tie-in books.

My final post on this subject will contain lists of which Whitman books we will accept in the group.

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