As many of you know, I've been planning for a number of years to start my own publishing company devoted to the artists who worked in illustration, comic art, and graphic design in the first half of the 20th century. Well, that day has arrived. Ellen and I have started PICTURE THIS PRESS, and we are about to launch its first imprint, LOST ART BOOKS. The first book is at the printer, the second book goes to the printer early next week, and a third is over halfway through production.
The first book, THE LOST ART OF ZIM: CARTOONS AND CARICATURES, brings back to print for the first time in a century Eugene Zimmerman's wonderful coursebook for aspiring comic artists. Zim was a founding father of American cartooning, drawing tens of thousands of gags for America's early humor magazines. In addition to the original coursebook, this new edition features an introduction by Zim scholar Walter Brasch, a biography, and rare photos and illustrations from Zim's other work.
The second book, THE LOST ART OF E.T. REED: PREHISTORIC PEEPS, is the first book on this British cartoonist in over 50 years, and the first devoted to his seminal "Prehistoric Peeps" cartoons in more than a century. The wonderful introduction by comic artist and teacher Stephen Bissette grounds Reed's work in the time in which it was created and then traces its influence through the decades all the way to "The Flintstones" and beyond. The book is fleshed out by a biography of Reed and many examples of his other cartoon work. To top it off, wonderful comic artist and friend Jerry Carr created a new color cover for this Lost Art volume.
The third book, THE LOST ART OF FREDERICK RICHARDSON, pulls together an exceedingly rare collection of this Detroit newspaper artist's wonderful illustrations and cartoons from the 1890s, a time when Richardson was first feeling the influence of the Art Nouveau movement in Europe. The introduction was contributed by scholars Martin Gardner and Ruth Berman, providing a biography and overview of his work from this period.
I will be exhibiting at this year's Small Press Expo on September 11-12 in Bethesda, Maryland. If you aren't familiar with SPX, you can learn more at their site (www.spxpo.com). SPX is a great event that plays host to the best of the sequential art world's coolest self-publishers and small publishing houses. It's kinda like the indie rock scene of the comic book world, with a real DIY attitude. I've attended every Expo since 1999, and I always leave with a bag full of treasures I would have never known about otherwise. It was no accident that I chose SPX as the place to make the debut of Lost Art Books. I'll have the first two books on sale at my booth as well as a limited edition (100 copies) "Pocket Cartoon Course" (free with any purchase). I really hope you can make it out...I think you'll have a cool time.
Hopefully we'll have a great new Web site in the next few weeks, but for now you can visit (and JOIN!) the Lost Art Books FACEBOOK group at:
The Facebook group is where I'll post progress reports for the next few weeks; go there now to see the front and back cover for the Zim book!
Lost Art Books, the flagship series from Picture This Press, collects and preserves the works of illustrators and cartoonists from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries. Too many of these artists have gone under appreciated for too long, with much of their work uncollected or unexamined for decades, if at all. The Lost Art series of books aims to preserve this cultural heritage by re-introducing these artists to new generations of working illustrators, cultural historians, and admirers of things beautiful.