I've admired the illustration work of William Stout for decades. He did a few underground comics stories in the '70s and the quality of his work was stunning. He's also illustrated a number of dinosaur books that are beautiful. I think he mainly does concept work for movies now. I could go on an on about how much I love Stout's detailed pen-and-ink work and pleasing watercolors, but I'd rather let you see it for yourself.
Abrams ComicArts has just released Legends of the Blues, a book that contains 100 portraits of blues artists, much in the vein of Robert Crumb's Heroes of the Blues series of books and cards. The book also includes a 14-track CD with recordings by Blind Willie McTell, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bukka White, and others.
In selecting the artists to illustrate, Stout chose musicians that shared three things in common:
1. I love and am passionate about their music.
2. Except for Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson, two bluesman I just couldn't bear to leave out, none of the artists appear in R. Crumb's Heroes of the Blues series.
3. All the performers in this book were born before 1930.
Each portrait includes an entertaining biographical sketch, written by Stout. Below, nine portraits from Legends of the Blues
. (Click for enlargement.)
Legends of the Blues
To call Shopsin’s “a Greenwich Village institution” was to understate something profound and important and weird and funny: Shopsin’s (first a grocery store, later a restaurant) was a kind of secret reservoir of the odd and wonderful and informal world that New York City once represented, in the pre-Trumpian days of Sesame Street and Times Square sleaze: Tamara Shopsin grew up in Shopsin’s, and Arbitrary Stupid Goal is her new, “no-muss memoir,” is at once charming and sorrowing, a magnificent time-capsule containing the soul of a drowned city.
There are three more stops on my tour for Walkaway: tomorrow at San Diego Comic-Con, next weekend at Defcon 25 in Las Vegas, and August 10th at the Burbank Public Library.
I’m teaching the Clarion Science Fiction writing workshop at UCSD in La Jolla this week, and tomorrow night at 7PM, I’ll be reading from my novel Walkaway at Comickaze Liberty Station, 2750 Historic Decatur Rd #101, San Diego, CA 92106. Hope to see you!
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