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The Buk Shop

The Captain is Out to Lunch Book with Extra Print From the Book: Published by Black Sparrow Graphic Arts (#99/175)

The Captain is Out to Lunch Book with Extra Print From the Book: Published by Black Sparrow Graphic Arts (#99/175)

Regular price $1,200.00 USD
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Charles Bukowski and Robert Crumb would do four collaborations together. The Captain is Out to Lunch and The Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship was their last and was published three years after Bukowski’s death.

There are two versions of the book with the same title. This version was published by Black Sparrow Graphic Arts in 1997. This was a vanity imprint of Black Sparrow Press that published several beautiful books, including “Heat Wave”, a collaboration between Bukowski and artist Ken Price.

This copy comes with an unsigned serigraph from the book, which is an overrun. The print shows an older Bukowski having a dust up with a younger, much larger man at a bar. Printed on heavy stock, the serigraph is very vibrant and measures approximately 11.75” x 14.5”.

The book itself is hand-numbered 99/175 on the colophon. It is housed in a beautiful red cloth slipcase with a paper paste down with title information and a printed label on the spine as well.

This is a large book, measuring approximately 14.5” x 11.5” and features five full-page colored serigraphs, each signed by Crumb in pencil. There are also an additional five unsigned black and white printed illustrations.

The content for the book comes from a series of Bukowski journal entries that appeared in ONTHEBUS in the early 1990s. The magazine was published by Bukowski’s long-time friend Jack Grapes. Grapes encouraged Bukowski to take up writing journals as a way to cope with his declining health.

Both the book and slipcase are in Fine condition.

Bukowski first met Crumb in 1972 at a party hosted by Liza Williams, who was Bukowski’s girlfriend at the time. Bukowski and Crumb appeared in several magazines and weeklies together prior to them meeting, so he was familiar with Crumb’s work.

"You know, your stuff is good, kid,” Bukowski told him at the party. “It's the real thing. Just keep away from the cocktail parties.”

Three years later their first collaboration was published in Arcade 3. Published by Art Spiegelman and Bill Griffith, Arcade was a last-ditch attempt to keep the underground comix movement relevant by creating an adult-focused magazine that appealed to the mainstream. Issues were published from 1975 to 1976 and featured well-known artists such as Crumb, Kim Deitch, Spain Rodriguez, and S. Clay Wilson. For content, they tapped writers such as Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Paul Krassner and J. Hoberman.

Arcade 3 featured a Crumb front cover of a bohemian-looking character walking through a city landscape on a windy fall day with a balloon caption reading, “This, to me, is sheer poetry!!” Inside, Crumb illustrated the Bukowski short story, “Bop Bop Against That Curtain”, a humorous coming of age story where a young Bukowski spends his afternoon with friends who eventually end up at a cheap burlesque theater.

Bukowski and Crumb’s next two projects were both published by Black Sparrow Press. Bring Me Your Love (1983) was about a man visiting his wife in an insane asylum and There's No Business (1984) featured an aging MC who just doesn’t have it anymore. Both were given the usual Black Sparrow treatment with hardcover deluxe editions.

Crate 1 and Crate 3

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