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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WORDLESS! The Library of America’s Lynd Ward collection inspires new Art Speigelman show

A few years back (in the summer of 2010, to be precise) Art Spiegelman edited Six Novels in Woodcuts, The Library of America’s two-volume collection of Lynd Ward’s wordless novels. This past weekend he sent an e-mail message to LOA staff members: “Look what kinda ‘trouble’ you guys caused recruiting me into the Lynd Ward project and re-igniting my interest in Wordless books!”

The “trouble” we caused is WORDLESS!, Spiegelman’s self-described “odd hybrid”: a multimedia extravaganza featuring slides, talk, movies, and musical performance created in collaboration with acclaimed jazz composer Phillip Johnston. In his introduction to Six Novels in Woodcuts, Spiegelman wrote that Ward is “one of only a small handful of artists anywhere who ever made a ‘graphic novel’ until the day before yesterday.” WORDLESS! brings together that handful of illustrators—Frans Masereel, Milt Gross, Otto Nückel, and Si Lewen, in addition to Ward. The innovative performance also showcases new original work by Spiegelman.

In celebration of the show, Speigelman has set up a special Tumblr page, featuring a brief trailer, images, and reviews of the acclaimed worldwide premiere in Australia. The 90-minute program will make its American debut in Brooklyn this weekend before going on tour for two performances in Chicago and Colorado Springs:
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