Posted on 11 Comments

Legends of the Blues

I just received an advance copy of my new book, Legends of the Blues. It’s published by Abrams ComicArts and contains 100 full color portraits of my favorite blues musicians born prior to 1930. I also wrote bios for each entry with recommended songs for introductory listening and notes of interesting cover versions. The book also includes a blue CD with selections I personally chose and sequenced.

This was a real labor of love for me, a very personal project.

Although the blues is (are?) my favorite genre of music, the initial inspiration for the project came from Robert Crumb’s Heroes of the Blues trading card set. None of whom Robert drew for his card set (with the exception of Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson) are in my book. For the most part, I covered a much more recent generation of blues musicians and singers, including Robert Johnson and the legendary Chess Records recording artists, such as Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon, Little Walter, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

After getting Robert’s blessing on the project, my enthusiasm quickly carried me through to the end. The book is the same size and roughly in the same format as Crumb’s Abrams ComicArts book Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country.

My pal, writer Ed Leimbacher (Ed was the first person to purchase original art from me at a convention — it was at the first E. C. Convention in 1972), wrote the most perfect introduction for my book.

I see that it’s already available as a pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I believe the official street date is May 7, but I have a hunch it will be available much earlier than that.

If you get a copy, I’d love to know what you think.

11 thoughts on “Legends of the Blues

  1. Cool!

  2. Looks awesome Bill!!

  3. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time. Am excited to finally see it. And the cd sounds cool too!

  4. Make sure you save some to bring to Dragon Con Bill. I always like to “buy direct” !!

  5. Bill, will you have copies for sale in your website store? I already pre-ordered from Amazon but a personal signed copy would be killer.
    Anyway, glad to see it coming out.

  6. I could buy it from Amazon…but I would prefer to buy it through your site. Do you plan to sell any signed copies? I might have to move the book self around. I have you wedged between Frazetta, and Mignola. But now Crumb’s Blues book can bridge the gap.

  7. Fantastic! Very much looking forward to seeing this one.

  8. @ Benno: I’ll be bringing copies to all of my convention appearances.

    @ Rick: I will indeed be selling the book (signed, of course) on my website shop.

    @ Jake: I really appreciate that! I try to buy directly from my favorite artists and writers whenever I can, too. My book is the exact same size (and similar in format) to the Crumb book, so they will look great on your shelf together…with more to come, I hope (I’ve already inked half of my proposed second volume).

  9. Bill,

    Thanks, man!
    I’ll keep checking back until I see it.


  10. Hi William, The interview we had last night was epic! Thanks so much for coming on “Bluesland” KCSB 91.9 FM. I have just podcast the interview on my Facebook-Leo Schumaker and my website Hope to see you soon, spin some records, and share an adult liquid libation. Leo

  11. This book looks very exciting. I’ve recently got the crumb blues card set.
    Would you ever consider releasing this as a card set? That would be even better.

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