Lynd Ward’s Wordless Novels

Boing Boing brings word that the Library of America is offering a slip-cased, two-volume set of Lynd Ward’s Depression-era woodcut novels, edited by Art Spiegelman. The whole set is $70, but is a total steal at Amazon for over $30 as of now (for pre-orders).

I have a couple of the books collected in this series, and I can attest that they are stunning and excellent. I have been waiting for years for a collection like this, to see the images on fine paper and in a lovingly curated collection. Perhaps there’s something more “authentic” about seeing Depression-era stories told on the cheap, used, newsprinty-paper copies I have, but honestly, Ward’s work deserves the premium treatment.

These works were really influential for a lot of comic book artists (including Spiegelman, I’m guessing), and to me while I was first getting into my studies of visual storytelling and design. I had been counting the years until this material goes into the public domain (in a good long time), hoping that I’d be able to put together my own collection sometime, but I’m very happy that much more qualified people beat me to it years in advance.