Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein has been a favorite of mine since I began finding his books in our grade school library in the mid 1960s. I also read him in the science fiction digest magazines on the newsstands at the time, like “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction,” and others. Book publications of his work listed original copyrights from pulp magazines like “Astounding Science Fiction” beginning in 1939, and when I started going to art school in New York City in 1969, I was able to find some of those first publications still on the shelves of used book stores. Also in 1969 I bought “Heinlein in Dimension” by Alexei Panshin, a commentary on the man’s work which gave chronological lists of the stories and where they were published, which helped me find them. There were also pulp magazines for sale at the science fiction and comics conventions I attended beginning in the mid 1970s, including Midamericon in 1976, where I got to see Heinlein speak and acquired a book signed by him. I continued to occasionally add to my Heinlein pulp collection into the 1990s, after which the issues I wanted were either impossible to find or too pricey. I’ve decided to put this collection of 13 Heinlein pulps on eBay beginning next Sunday, April 24th, and thought I’d show them here, after having one last look through the issues. Continue reading
Images © Todd Klein
The first signed print I did was with Alan Moore, “Alphabets of Desire.” I had no idea how well it would sell. I priced it at $16, and the initial 500 copy print run sold out in about a week. I did a second printing of 500 that sold more slowly, but eventually that went, too. In the fall of 2008 I did a third printing of 500 copies, and that has sold gradually since, I’m down to about 150. Each printing was signed in different colored ink by Alan, and the second and third printings also say that in the small type on the lower right edge. As with all my prints, I made a few extra copies for myself, and I have one of my own first printing copies on eBay this week. The link is HERE. The last one I sold went for lots more than the starting price.
My fifth print in the alphabetical series was “Each Beast At The Feast” in 2010, written by me with wonderful animal art by Mark Buckingham. The print run was 500 copies on pale orange paper, and Mark signed them in orange marker. That version is HERE. I thought it would be cool to do a much shorter edition on paler paper which I could paint with watercolors when I had time. I made 50 of those, as seen above. Mark signed them in black marker and I signed in brown. Painting them was fun, but took lots of time. An article about the process is HERE. In the winter of 2010-2011 I painted 20 copies. I priced them at $50 each plus shipping, and they sold pretty quickly. Earlier this year I painted 10 more copies. I offered them first to my mailing list, and sold six that way. I’ve put one of the remaining four on ebay HERE. The starting price is $29.99. No one has bid on it yet, but I don’t expect that will last too long. Hope you’ll have a look. There’s one other print on eBay this week that’s not so rare, and not published by me, but I did the lettering and design. It’s “In Reilig Oran” by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli, printed in full color by Neverwear (Cat Mihos) in 2011. That auction is HERE.
Sorry for the commercial, back to regular blogging soon.
Paul Jacoulet was born in Paris either in 1896 or 1902 (sources vary). He moved to Japan with his parents at age 4, his father was a teacher at the Tokyo University. Young Paul was often in poor health, but developed skills in drawing, music and languages, he spoke Japanese, French and English fluently. He began painting at age 11. Jacoulet took many subjects for his prints from trips to the South Sea, Korea and Manchuria beginning in 1929, making sketches and taking photographs. He created his first woodblock print in 1934, working with professional Japanese carvers and printers. His technical requirements were very high, and he would only work with the best. Jacoulet published most of his prints himself, sold in a subscription scheme, so the amount of copies of each print was small. For his prints he used special watermarked papers from Kyoto. He used very elaborate techniques, including embossing, lacquers, micas, metal pigments, and experimented with new techniques like powdered semi-precious gems. For some prints he said he used as many as 300 color blocks, but Jacoulet had a reputation for exaggeration. One of his assistants later remembered they used up to 60 blocks, still a lot. One site says he made a total of 166 designs, another lists 178, so there’s some dispute on that. After the war his work became famous worldwide. Among his admirers was American General Douglas MacArthur, in charge of the U.S. occupation of Japan. Jacoulet continued to produce prints in Japan until his death in 1960.
These Jacoulet prints are two of five made in 1942 known as the “Bat” or “Manchurian Princesses” series, the only ones produced during World War Two. The titles are “La Confidente” and “Avant L’Audience.” Each is signed in pencil and stamped in red with the “bat” stamp, both are numbered on the back in red, “No. 143/150.”
My mom received them from her Aunt Olive Baker about ten years ago. The prints were given to Olive and Leland Baker by Mrs. Pat (Nancy) Echols in 1976. Colonel Marion Patton Echols and his wife Nancy were stationed in Japan during the occupation of Japan following World War Two. Colonel Echols was General MacArthur’s public relations officer at that time. (A memorial biography of Colonel Echols can be found on the West Point Academy website.) Aunt Olive told my mother that Nancy Echols tutored the children of Emperor Hirohito and was given these prints as a gift from the emperor’s family. We have no documents to corroborate that. I believe the prints were unframed when given to the Bakers, as they had them framed in Virginia in 1979.
If you’re interested in having a look at the auctions, where much larger images can be seen, the links are below. I enjoyed researching these beautiful works of art.
Just a quick post to thank everyone who ordered my prints in the Holiday Sale. It was the most successful one yet, largely due to Neil Gaiman sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve filled about 140 orders since Monday, and I’m exhausted, but very grateful. I should be getting back to the usual blog posts next week.
Perhaps the most fun I’ve had making prints to sell was this one with charming and hilarious big-head art by Shawn McManus. I got to skewer the comics industry in many subtle ways, and yet it still works as a game, too, if a very hard one to win. One of the prints on sale through Friday on my WEBSITE, act soon if you want up to 50% off!