New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, (1930). 3rd Printing. Hardcover. Octavo size, 150 pp., signed by Lynd Ward. Very good +. Item #19101209
American artist Lynd Ward (1905-1985) demonstrates his masterful storytelling in "God's Man", a wordless novel made with wood engravings which depicts a man's pact with the devil in exchange for a magical paintbrush which enabled him to gain fame as an artist; it progresses through 139 engraved woodblocks to show his downfall, temporary redemption, and ultimate payment of the price for the deal he made.
Ward's wood engravings are rich in detail and emotion, and the story has a rhythm as the reader follows the character through interactions with dark, forbidding characters and uncaring urban streets; "God's Man" was the first American wordless novel, and Ward's work is often seen as a precursor to the modern graphic novel in its ability to convey character and feeling through the use of image alone.
___DESCRIPTION: Decorated paper over boards with a black cloth shelfback, the front and back with an inset illustration by Ward, paper spine label with the publisher's device, top edge stained black, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, black endpapers, signed by Lynd Ward on the half-title page in black ink, small vignette and decorations on the title page, stated third printing on the copyright page of January, 1930 (two months following the first printing), Ward's wood engravings on the recto only of each page telling the story; octavo size (8.25" by 6"), unpaginated, [i-vi] being the preliminary pages followed by 144 leaves of wood engravings.
___CONDITION: A bit better than very good overall, the text block strong and square with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; overall wear to the paper boards, spine label sunned and slightly worn, the final illustration with a shallow vertical crease (only visible on the verso, not affecting the illustration), and residue from an older label (bookseller's ticket?) at the bottom left corner of the rear pastedown; near fine internally with a somewhat worn binding, nicely signed by Lynd Ward.
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