Oakland, CA: Prototype Press, 2017. Hardcover. Number 21 of 52 copies. A finely printed edition of Bukowski's semi-autobiographical work about coming of age in Los Angeles during the Great Depression. Huge fans of Bukowski's work, printers David Johnston and Mark Sarigianis, aspired to print this modern classic in their early days of working together at the Arion Press. Years later, after forming The Prototype Press in 2014, they began the process of acquiring the printing rights, and Johnston digitally keyboarded the novel in preparation to begin typecasting. Unfortunately, he tragically passed on within a week of completing it. Over the next few years his partner Sarigianis completed the book, which necessitated a two-part casting of type and printing - with the first half of type melted down in order to cast the second.
Illustrated by Sean StarWars, a woodcut artist living in Laurel, Mississippi with his wife and five children. He is also a proud member of the Outlaw Printmakers. Following is a note about this project from the artist: "Nobody really gets a Charles Bukowski quote right, so I’m just gonna paraphrase him: 'You’re only a writer when you’re writing’. I have taken that to heart as an artist, specifically as a printmaker. 'You’re only an artist when you’re making art, not when you’re talking about it…' With that in mind I have spent the last 25 years with my nose to the grindstone blasting out print after print after print. Being invited to illustrate Ham on Rye has been one of the most personally gratifying projects I have ever worked on. It has also been one of the most challenging. This project has forced me to do a number of things I don’t do well or easily, such as working small and working detailed. But there’s one other thing I learned from my years of devouring Bukowski and that’s to trust your gut, and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at doing that. I hope you see my woodcuts as Inspirations by Bukowski and not simply illustrations of his words.’’
Bound in handmade black paper from St. Armand over white pigskin with black title to spine. Light rubbing to boards, else fine. Letterpress printed in Goudy Powell with heads in Headline Bold. The chapter numbers and title page are printed with Condensed Gothic Bold woodtype. Printed on custom handmade paper from St. Armand with the watermarks of "CB" (the author's initials) and "HC" (the author's alter-ego, Henry Chinaski). The illustrations are printed from the original hand carved wood blocks over tinted blocks of cyan, magenta, and yellow. The type was cast and the book was printed and bound by the Prototype Press. Housed in a black paper covered slipcase titled in gilt to spine panel. 364 pages. PRI/051923. Fine. More