Gods' Man: A Novel in Woodcuts - Lynd Ward

Gods' Man: A Novel in Woodcuts

By Lynd Ward

  • Publication Date: 2017-03-03
  • Genre: Art & Architecture

Book Overview

Gods' Man is a wordless novel by American artist Lynd Ward (1905–1985) published in 1929. In 139 captionless woodblock prints it tells the Faustian story of an artist who signs away his soul for a magic paintbrush. Gods' Man was the first American wordless novel, and is seen as a precursor of, and influence on, the development of the graphic novel.
Ward first encountered the wordless novel with Frans Masereel's The Sun (1919) while studying art in Germany in 1926. He returned to the United States in 1927 and established a career for himself as an illustrator. He found Otto Nückel's wordless novel Destiny (1926) in New York City in 1929, and it inspired him to create such a work of his own. Gods' Man appeared a week before the Wall Street Crash of 1929; it nevertheless enjoyed strong sales and remains the best-selling American wordless novel. Its success inspired other Americans to experiment with the medium, including cartoonist Milt Gross, who parodied Gods' Man in He Done Her Wrong (1930). In the 1970s Ward's example inspired cartoonists Art Spiegelman and Will Eisner to create their first graphic novels.

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