You CAN judge a book by its cover!
A wild celebration of the world of publication, LIBRARY is a semi-moveable feast of bibliomania. Within these covers lurk thousands of books, magazines and pamphlets printed over the last century. Salvaged and archived by Glenn Bray, the contents of LIBRARY celebrate a vast array of high and low art - from a first-edition Hemingway to off-brand adult magazines of the 1960s, with everything sacred and profane in-between.
Reproduced in shocking color, LIBRARY is a cracked kaleidoscope of the world of print, where the cover is king and the stuff inside is just an afterthought.
800 pages of heavy-duty brutal beauty, curated by one of the world's foremost collectors and publishers of the odd, overlooked, and fantastic in comic illustration and art.
supported of $25,000
LIBRARY Hardcover book
9x12" hardcover, 800 pages. To all printed media & pop culture fanatics: THIS IS IT - YOUR ONLY CHAN...
LIBRARY Signed by Glenn Bray
9x12" hardcover, 800 pages. Bookplate signed by Glenn to be attached into the book. To all printed m...
LIBRARY Retailer/Museum/Library Bundle
5 copies of LIBRARY at 50% discount. THIS IS IT - YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO OBTAIN COPIES of this historic...
This book project was undertaken partially due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. Since we were hunkered down in our bunker (home), I thought it’d be a good time to revisit my library upstairs and eyeball some of the books & magazines that I hadn’t looked at for quite a while.
In doing so, I started seeing visual threads of connections between oddly paired covers. What ended up in book form was the result of an almost year-long pursuit of connecting the dots, visually. Some pairings “make sense” more than others, but some don’t even try. That’s the way it should be, no?
I started sharing review copies with some peers, and will let them take it from here:
"Glenn Bray has a once-in-a-generation eye for the shocking sicko alien beauty/ ugliness that lies at the far edges of 20th century American culture. His LIBRARY will make you feel like you’ve been lied to your whole life, like you’ve seen only what they wanted you to see."
- Dan Clowes
“Glenn Bray puts the ‘F’ in ephemera!”
- Matt Groening
"In my town, growing up, was a scary hole in the wall that was a newsstand. I peeked in a few times. Someone was sitting behind a tattered curtain listening to a ‘learn french’ record with copies of the Midnight News pinned to a clothesline. Little boys and girls went in the door and traded their lunch money for grotesqueries. Glenn must’ve gone in there a bunch."
- Gary Panter
“Glenn Bray—America’s great collector of the 20th century’s Ephemeral Arts—has spent his life (and most of his discretionary income) putting together this Grand Library of Babble. It’s a Library where you’ve gotta judge all the books by their covers, cuz it’s ALL eyeball kicks—an obsessively curated junkyard of book covers, pamphlets and other oddball paper detritus that escaped the recycling bin.
Bray takes you on a totally unguided tour of the inside of his head, and it’s a wild ride down Maim Street! You’ll travel from the perverse underbelly of High Culture to the heights of the Lowbrow-Degenerate-Sleaze Arts. And if you survive the end of our civilization, this giant brick of a book offers all the clues you’ll need to figure out what made it worthwhile and why it crumbled.”
- Art Spiegelman
"There are many different sorts of collectors. Freud attributed the condition to bad toilet training, but he was often something of a kill-joy. Of course, at one end of the spectrum there are The Hoarders, those who turn their homes into dangerous obstacle courses, with treasures and trash combustibly mixed together. Anyone who ever walked through Bill Blackbeard's large Victorian home, The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, a three-story house with only narrow paths between the stacked-high bound volumes of newspapers absolutely everywhere but the bathroom (for fear of water-damage), might have diagnosed him with that pathology. Though discerning and prescient (Bill knew the difference between trash and treasure better than most everyone) he tried to collect it All... and it has served my art form well.
• Frank Young and I worked on the book for a better part of a year and he produced the first layout.
• Blue Trimarchi went over his layout & made it more regimented.
• Scott Dunbier mainly forced us to stop trying to print the book on demand and approach Zoop instead.
Obviously, I know that much of this material is controversial, but please don’t come crying to me about how racist, sexist, pro-this or anti-that some of the images are. They were produced at a time in history when they were acceptable. I’m not condoning the fact that they were published, but we must acknowledge the fact that they WERE, and rather than hiding these images forever, I feel it’s of the utmost importance that current and future generations get to see them, so they won’t inadvertently repeat history.
This book is complete and will be going to the printer within a month after the end of the campaign. From there, expected delivery time to our fulfillment center is roughly four months from approve-to-print date, but with the current state of international shipping there may be delays. We're aiming for an end-of-2022 delivery date and Zoop will keep supporters updated throughout this process.
A few short answers to how this works.