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One of the legendary achievements in fantastic illustration, Lynd Ward’s Frankenstein, incredibly, out of print, but archived on the web by Nick Mullins.
I doubt any person who wasn’t alive before the days of the internet can really appreciate what a mixture of bitter and sweet is it to see these Lynd Ward illustrations available to the world at the click of a button. This book was legendary! Everyone had heard of it or seen one or two small reprinted images from the book (I had one in a drawing handbook) but few people actually owned the book, let alone had the chance to look through it in detail. OSU (my alma mater) had a copy in the graphic art library and I finally saw a copy for myself at 23. I remember telling Jim Valentino about the copy during the Spirits Of Independence/Dave Sim tour in ’95, and trying to go back to the library to find the book in order to make xeroxes of these incredible illustrations. By then, someone had stolen the book. He illustrated at least one other book in this style– can’t remember offhand which book–a French author, maybe Rabelais.
Lynd Ward was one of the great proto-comics champions– along with Franz Masreel, Goya, Daumier, Tolouse-Lautrec and Gustav Dore–which cartoonists could point to as examples of “comics-as-art”.
Portland House seems to have published an edition in 1988. As did State Street Press (0681807148) …
1994 Grammercy/Random House Value
(The last three are raw data from BN.com, available as used books. Unfortunately, the BN database is imprecise when dealing with descriptions of literary classics with multiple editions.)
Looking at his bibliiography, someone should publish an illustrated biography!
Frankenstein can also be seen here: http://paganpressbooks.com/jpl/LYNDWARD.HTM
If anyone has over $225.00 to spare they can order it from this site:
As a father, that piece is truly disturbing. As a fan, it is powerful.
I’ve never heard of Lynd Ward. That’s an astounding piece. It’s cool to see an artist exaggerate anatomy in an accomplished way.
Beautiful stuff…thanks for sharing. I’m reminded a little bit of Fritz Eichenberg’s Poe illustrations (though these are less literal).
While many may have never heard of Lynd Ward (I didn’t until Dennis O’Neil mentioned his wordless graphic novels), many have seen his work. He won one Caldecott Medal (The Biggest Bear), illustrated two Newbery Award winners (Johnny Tremain, The Cat Who Went to Heaven) and six Newbery Honor books. His most popular work is probably “The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge”, written by Hildegard H. Swift.
In 1974, Abrams published “Storyteller Without Words: The Wood Engravings of Lynd Ward”.
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