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:
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
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.