Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels

Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels


By (author) David A. Berona, Introduction by Peter Kuper


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  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 165mm x 239mm x 33mm | 816g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0810994690
  • ISBN 13: 9780810994690
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: cl / bw224 / tt224, illustrations, cl / bw / tt photographs
  • Sales rank: 261,773

Product description

This is an important collection of black and white woodcut art that documents the influential precursors to the modern graphics of today."Wordless books" were stories from the early part of the twentieth century told in black and white woodcuts, imaginatively written without any text. They are the precursor to today's graphic novels. Scholar David A. Berona examines the history of these books and the art and influence of pioneers like Masereel, Lynd Ward, Otto Nuckel, William Gropper, Milt Gross and Laurence Hyde among others. The images are powerful and iconic and as relevant to the world of today as they were when they were created. Berona places these works in the context of their time and in the context of ours, creating a scholarly work of importance and significance in the burgeoning field of comics and comics history.

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Author information

David A. Berona is a member of the visiting faculty for the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT. A recognized scholar on woodcut novels and wordless comics, he is also a regular book reviewer for Library Journal, Print Quarterly and the International Journal of Comic Art. Peter Kuper is an accomplished illustrator whose work appears regularly in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and MAD. He has written and illustrated a number of books including Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Sticks and Stones, which won the 2004 Society of Illustrator's Gold Medal in the sequential arts category.