Lynd Ward, 1905–1985 God’s Man, A Novel in Woodcuts, 1929
Gods’ Man is a graphic or wordless novel with a Faustian allegorical narrative about a poor young artist who meets a masked stranger and barters his soul for a magic paintbrush. He achieves worldly success but is disillusioned by the moral corruption of money. God’s Man consists of 139 black and white woodblock prints and was important influence in the production of artists’ books, selling 20,000 copies in the first four years of publication. While in Germany during 1927, Ward discovered the graphic novels of Frans Masereel, The Sun, 1919, and Otto Nückel, Destiny, 1926 and was influenced by the European printmaking of Hogarth, Calot, Daumier, Goya, Kollwitz and Dürer.