March 2023 Fantagraphics Solicitations

With publishers leaving Diamond for Penguin Random House (PRH), the days of a single neat and tidy solicitation for all publishers are gone. Individual publishers’ listings will be posted on a monthly basis as I discover them, either from their websites or catalogues.

Bill Ward The Fantagraphics Studio Edition cover prelim

Bill Ward: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition

Vintage glamour girl artist extraordinaire Bill Ward gets the full Fantagraphics Studio Edition treatment featuring Ward’s most polished, fully-realized pinups from the 1950s and 1960s.

Bill Ward’s glamour girls were the staples of countless men’s and humour magazines, where they shared the pages with cult models like Bettie Page, Tina Louise, and Julie Newmar, and cartoons by fellow “good girl” artists such as Archie’s Dan Decarlo and Playboy’s Jack Cole. Imagine if you will, an innocent but stunning young woman boasting wildly exaggeratedly Barbie-like proportions poured into a wisp of lingerie or clingy cocktail dress and adorned in diamond necklaces and opera-length gloves, all perched on top of a pair of dangerously high stiletto heels, and you’ve got the recipe for the quintessential Bill Ward glamour girl.

What set Ward apart—and above—his talented contemporaries in terms of sheer image-making was his use of the conte crayon. When drawn on simple newsprint stock, this potent combination created Ward’s trademark gossamer sheen on his women’s thigh-high stockings.

This Fantagraphics Studio edition showcases the best of Ward’s Humorama work and includes a healthy number of what became known as his “telephone girls.” Tame by today’s standards, Ward’s telephone girls were always caught in candid moments when they just happened to be talking on the phone dressed in gossamer lingerie in innocently provocative poses. And did they ever talk on the phone when they weren’t in bed? The majority of the images in this volume were drawn between 1955 and 1965 when Ward was at the height of his skill. They have been scanned in super high-solution from original art and reproduced to highlight every sheen and accentuate every curve to its fullest. The book not only reproduces more than 150 of Ward’s most beautifully rendered illustrations, but also serves as a time capsule to a more innocent moment in pop culture when these images were shocking. The Fantagraphics Studio Edition also features an introduction by fashion/style icon and burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese. An original pinup art collector herself, Dita was most recently featured in Taylor Swift’s music video “Bejeweled.” Bill Ward: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition is part of the Fantagraphics Studio Editions series.

Bill Ward The Fantagraphics Studio Edition catalogue solicit