Small press publisher Picture This Press will release two-volumes of The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley next month at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. The book will be available to order on-line afterward. The German cartoonist Kley has been an especially important influence on Disney artists from the 1930s through today. In the words of animator Andreas Deja, “Kley was doing with illustration what Walt was doing with animation. Making impossible characters and situations look completely plausible and believable.”
The publisher’s description of The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley is printed below:
The Lost Art of Heinrich Kley Volumes One & Two collect over 450 drawings and paintings from a wide array of sources. Neither volume overlaps with past books on Kley, as nearly none of these drawings have been collected and reprinted since their original publication a century or more ago. Both volumes also provide groundbreaking scholarship on Kley’s life and work by German art historian Alexander Kunkel–whose recent research is presented in these volumes for the first time in English–along with incisive appreciations by contemporary artists Michael Wm. Kaluta and Jesse Hamm.
Volume One focuses on Kley’s ink drawings, and reprints for the first time a substantial selection of his illustration work for children’s books and adult genre fiction, a side of Kley’s career previously unexplored in other collections. This volume also includes a wide sampling of Kley’s cartoons and magazine work, with newly collected examples taken directly from a variety of rare sources such as Jugend, Simplicissimus, and the historic Der Orchideengarten (the world’s first fantasy fiction magazine). In all, over 300 Kley illustrations and cartoons fill this first volume.
Volume Two also breaks new ground by being the first book to present a large number of Kley’s paintings and preparatory drawings, some reproduced directly from the original art. These color works reveal a heretofore rarely glimpsed pool of talent, and expand on the subject matter traditionally associated with the artist by including examples of his landscapes and industrial paintings. This volume’s preparatory drawings are culled from the Library of Congress’ untapped Kley archive, and show the artist working out concepts for book illustrations, reworking ink drawings into color paintings, and doodling for his own amusement. Approximately 150 drawings, many in color, appear in this volume.