Lynd Ward is known as a graphic innovator. A prolific artist, he has illustrated more than 200 books for children and adults.
In 2010, the Library of America published a two volume collection of six wordless woodcut novels by Lynd Ward. The first novel God's Man was originally published the week of the 1929 stock market crash and was considered the first woodcut novel published in the United States.
Art Spiegelman's introduction to the wordless collection provides an overview of the importance of Ward's work and his influence on the evolving nature of comics and graphic novels. The Paris Review excerpted Spiegelman's introduction and may provide the extra push (if needed) to check out Ward's work.
Ward was part of a revival of woodcut art in the 1920s. Dodge the heat and check out these two amazing multivolume collections at the Library: German Engravings, Etchings, and Woodcuts, CA. 1400-1700 and The Picture Book of the Graphic Arts, 1500-1800. Favorite artists include Albrecht Dürer and Käthe Kollwitz.
Looking for more contemporary examples of woodcut art? I adore Catherine L. Stevens engaging collection entitled Companion Animals currently on exhibit at Racines.