Between 2005 and 2009, Jim Westergard created a series of 40 wood engravings of curious and infamous historical personages, all with his characteristic combination of technical mastery and mischief. Lawn-chair pilot Larry Walters, Pope Joan, Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly, Gunnlaug Wormtongue, George Adamski, and cannon-fodder Hunter S. Thompson are just a few of Jim’s subjects, each portrait accompanied by a brief biographical text written with the same wry sense of humor that informs his engravings. The introduction by his friend Moser is a lively discussion of Westergard’s place among contemporary wood engravers.
The 41 wood engravings (40 oddballs plus a frontis) were printed from the original blocks by Jim on Zerkall paper, and then tipped on to recto pages in the book, with the biographical sketches on the facing versos. The text was set in Dante and printed (damp) on vintage Guarro laid paper at Heavenly Monkey. The book’s frontis is a new self-portrait engraving by Jim.
Oddballs (8 x 12.5 inches, 98 pp.) was issued in an edition of 30 copies, signed & numbered by the artist, and uniformly bound by Claudia Cohen in Japanese cloth.