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.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Currently listening to:
"1970s Algerian Folk and Pop" (Sublime Frequencies)