Six Novels in Woodcuts

Lynd Ward

Vertigo

A box set from the Library of America which I was lucky enough to get for Christmas. Apart from collections of Little Nemo in Slumberland and Krazy Kat, I’m fairly ignorant of the history of the graphic novel, and was unaware of Lynd Ward until I saw this in the LoA’s catalogue. The six novels, published between 1929 and 1937, are wordless sequences of beautiful, dramatic woodcuts: the subject matter ranges from Faustian parable  – God’s Man –  Faulkneresque multigenerational saga in Madman’s Drum, to the last work, Vertigo, a multifaceted portrait of the crisis of capitalism in the Great Depression. They’re all good, but I think Vertigo is the best.

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