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The Buk Shop

Perdido Press Broadside Inscribed by Gypsy Lou Webb (1994)

Perdido Press Broadside Inscribed by Gypsy Lou Webb (1994)

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I’ve seen a few of these over the years, but it’s definitely uncommon. There’s no stated number of copies on the print.

Broadsides from Ed Blaire’s Perdido Press seem hard to come by. He does limited runs and I think his many friends and fans of the press snap them up quickly and tend to hold onto them.

I’m pretty certain that all the broadsides were signed by Gypsy Lou Webb, but this one is inscribed.

It was published in 1994, the same year as Bukowski’s passing Proceeds were to benefit “The Tennessee Willimas Festival 1994”. The festival is an annual event in New Orleans. Tennessee Willams and Gypsy Lou were also acquaintances.

The image is from an inscription from a copy of Crucifix In A Deathhand. I can’t recall if it was Blair’s copy of Gypsy’s Lou’s – I think Blair’s. I’ve definitely seen it before.

The broadside is printed on heavy paper and measures approximately 17” x 11”.

Unfortunately there is a large visible crease on this one (see pic), but the rest of the broadside is in Fine condition with sharp corners.

Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb and her husband Jon Edgar Webb were the founders of the famous LouJon Press. The press was responsible for transforming Bukowski into an established writer, even if fame wouldn’t occur until years later. They published Bukowski’s first true books, “It Catches My Heart In Its Hands” (1963) and “Crucifix in a Deathhand” (1965). These books are true works of art in and of themselves. The detail, the printing methods, the craftsmanship, and the pure insanity it took to undertake these endeavors was as unparalleled then and as it is today.

LouJon also published Outsider magazine, which became the standard for poetry journals at the time. No other publication attracted nearly the talent that appeared in its pages and the production value of the magazine itself was unrivaled. Bukowski appeared in all four issues, with a large collection of poems in Outsider 1 (1961) and as the named “Outside of the Year” in Outsider 3 (1963), featuring Bukowski on the cover and a large center section.

Ed Blair was an early supporter (financial and otherwise) of Jon and Louise Webb’s legendary LouJon Press. For example, he provided funds for the exquisite paper used in Charles Bukowski’s  first true book, “It Catches My Heart In Its Hands”.

He was also an early Bukowski collector and remained close friends with the Webbs their entire lives.

In 1991, Louise Webb (or Gypsy Lou as she was affectionally known in the French Quarter), found herself destitute. Her husband Jon had passed 20 years before and she no longer was able to scrape by selling paintings to French Quarter tourists.

As only a true friend would do, in 1991 Blaire decided to sell his entire Bukowski collection to raise funds for Gypsy Lou’s remaining years. He also helped arrange the sale of Gypsy Lou’s remaining LouJon Press collection, so she would get top dollar.

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