This hardcover edition designed by Michael Evans, collecting The Birth Caul and Snakes and Ladders (7 x 10.5 inches or 18 x 27 cm, 160 pages), was co-published in 2005 (issued January 2006) by Knockabout and Palmano Bennett (ISBN: 978-0861661534, cover price $19.99/£12.99). My edition, which is sadly not a near mint copy, features a signed and numbered Eddie Campbell bookplate (mine is #43). Note that this bookplate limited to 250 copies was glued in the regular book (seamlessly with the second of cover illustration). This edition also features the Snakes and Ladders CD inserted in a sleeve glued on the third of cover, CD which is not advertised for the regular hardcover edition on the Knockabout site, thus it is most likely that this CD is exclusive to this limited signed edition.
|signed and numbered bookplate on the second of cover|
|Snake and Ladders CD|
Knockabout has published a paperback version with flaps of this book in 2010 (ISBN: 978-0861661718). Notice that the publishers' name are not written on the cover for this reprint.
The hardcover edition has been printed in B&W and bound (nice quality binding) in china. Below is a picture for size comparison with the original regular size Snakes and Ladders comics.
|the sewn binding|
Both The Birth Caul and Snakes and Ladders were originally live performances respectively staged on 18 November 1995, and 10th April 1999, with Alan Moore reading to music written especially for the events by David J (The Birth Caul) and Tim Perkins (The Birth Caul and Snakes and Ladders). These performances have then given birth to illustrated editions drawn and published by Eddie Campbell (with Top shelf) in 1999 (The Birth Caul) and 2001 (Snakes and Ladders).
A Disease of Language collects these two illustrated editions, alongside an Alan Moore interview by Eddie Campbell previously published in 2002 in Egomania #2. The book is completed by drawings sketched by Eddie Campbell. The later has written a one page introduction for this book.
Here is some excerpts from The Birth Caul section (52 pages).
I don't own the original solo edition therefore I cannot pinpoint any differences between the two editions. But at least I know that the cover is not reprinted in the collected edition:
|original comics cover|
Let's take a look now to the Snakes and Ladders section (52 pages). Except the cover that is not reprinted (see a picture above), the content is identical to the original comics. Only second and third of covers are slightly different as the cover, second, third and fourth of cover of the original comics were printed in color.
|up this hardcover edition, down the original comics second of cover|
|left this hardcover edition, right the original comics third of cover|
The next section of this book (32 pages) reprints "Alan Moore Interviewed by Eddie Campbell" from 2002, and is illustrated by pictures, a few From Hell sketches and other illustrations. This section ends with a list of Alan Moore recordings.
This edition ends with 20 pages of Eddie Campbell preliminary drawings for Snakes and Ladders.
The Snakes and Ladders CD and CD booklet enclosed with the book are strictly identical to the RE:PCD05 listed in the list of recording (see the end of this article).
|fold out booklet verso|
|fold out booklet recto|
To finish this article here are the two original CD recordings distributed by Charrm (The Birth Caul, CHARRMCD22, 1995) and RE: (Snakes and Ladders, PCD05, 2002), from my personal collection.
|The Birth Caul|
|Snakes and Ladders|
|the fol out booklet of this recording is identical to the one inserted in the hardcover book|