Gods’ Man is a wordless novel by American artist Lynd Ward (1905–1985)
published in 1929. In 139 captionless woodblock prints it tells the
Faustian story of an artist who signs away his soul for a magic
paintbrush. It was the first American wordless novel, and is seen as a
precursor of, and influence on, the graphic novel. Ward first
encountered the wordless novel with Frans Masereel’s The Sun (1919)
while studying art in Germany in 1926. He returned to the United States
in 1927 and established a career for himself as an illustrator. He found
Otto Nückel’s wordless novel Destiny (1926) in New York City, and it
inspired him to create a similar work. Gods’ Man appeared a week before
the Wall Street Crash of 1929; it nevertheless enjoyed strong sales and
remains the best-selling American wordless novel. Its success inspired
other Americans to experiment with the medium, including cartoonist Milt
Gross, who parodied it in He Done Her Wrong (1930). In the 1970s Ward’s
example inspired cartoonists Art Spiegelman and Will Eisner to create
their first graphic novels.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Having been exiled to labor in the mines of Sardinia by Roman
emperor Maximinus Thrax, Pope Pontian resigned to make the election of a
new pope possible.
The Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire from
Spain was drafted in the National Palace in Mexico City.
Over 470,000 people from Ulster, Ireland, signed the Ulster
Covenant in protest against the Third Home Rule Bill (Edward Carson
Against the backdrop of the Cold War, the Canadian ice hockey
team defeated the Soviet team in the Summit Series.
War in Somalia: Somali National Army forces and their AMISOM
and Raskamboni allies launched an offensive against Al-Shabaab in the
latter’s last major stronghold of Kismayo.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
(dated, now chiefly literary) A quack doctor; someone who pretends to
have medical knowledge.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Things have their root and their branches. Affairs have their end
and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead
near to what is taught in the Great Learning.
–Confucius (孔子 · Kongzi)
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