Sunday, September 14, 2014

Charles Bukowski, "The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship" with signed screenprint by R. Crumb

Never intentional, but it seems I've taken another summer off. It's been a life-changing four months; since my last update on Gravity's Rainbow, my wife and I have bought a one bedroom apartment in the gloriously suburban Ditmas Park, an oasis of a Brooklyn neighborhood full of Victorian homes, driveways, trees and cicadas. We also constructed some dreamy built-in bookshelves in our home which I may feature in a future post.

I received this gorgeous Black Sparrow Press edition from my wife for my thirtieth birthday last week. Published in 1998, The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship is a collection of texts from Bukowski's journals from the early 90s. In traditional Black Sparrow Press manner, they've offered the book in a range of collectible formats, but this one is especially interesting considering it was published posthumously. Typically, a lettered edition would have a holograph poem or an original painting or drawing, but since Bukowski died in 1994 something from his hand wasn't an option. The 'special edition' credits instead go to the great R. Crumb, who did illustrations for the book (he also did a few other collaborations while Buk was alive). 426 copies of The Captain include a beautiful screenprint by R. Crumb, bound into the book, and signed below.

Very nice, and interesting to compare this R. Crumb print with the few others that are circulating around from the likes of publishers like TASCHEN. They're currently in the process of a massive reprint of Crumb's sketchbooks; two sets cost $1000 each and come with a signed lithograph each limited to 1,000 copies. Having seen those prints first-hand, I think this Bukowski print is on par, or even nicer.

Curiously, there is another edition of this out there from Black Sparrow that I believe has a portfolio of loose Crumb prints. Would be very nice to see one of those in the flesh!

Despite some IRL distractions, there's plenty more on deck from The Oxen of the Sun this year. If you're reading, please say hi.

Currently reading:
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Currently listening to:
"1970s Algerian Folk and Pop" (Sublime Frequencies)

1 comment:

  1. First time reader, glad you will try to maintain