Andrew Loomis Books...
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    Andrew Loomis Books...

    Hello all.

    I'm not sure if I did the right thing here but I felt this board would be the most likely of places to find answers to my questions. Basically, before I did any real homework on Andrew Loomis and look into the whys as to why his incredible books such as "Figure Drawing For All It's Worth" are out-of-print, I wrote a letter to Dover Publications. Now I'm sure you all own one of Dover's books as they've published about fifty or so fantastic books at very affordable prices. The reason I chose Dover is because they publish old books and they publish them to be sold cheaply: what I think we're all looking for in a publisher.

    Anyways, here is the letter. I put it in the mail today. If you know why Andrew Loomis' books haven't been republished, be sure to let me know so I can feel like a big dumb ass.

    Dear Sir or Madame,

    I would like to begin this letter with what seems to be a common axiom amongst the art community: Dover Publications is the greatest publisher of art books in existence. Dover has given me and my fellow artists so much art instruction at such affordable prices that I felt compelled to write this letter to thank you, the company, for your diligent endeavors in preserving historic writings and offering them at inexpensive rates. In this light I feel Dover Publications would be the most appropriate and likely candidate for the second reason of this letter.

    I have a new suggestion to expand your already superior library of art instruction books to one more genius in the field: Andrew Loomis. Never before have I seen a book’s knowledge so craved for by people that they would be willing to spend a hundred or more dollars on a sole book. Andrew Loomis books are an extremely rare breed of mid-20th century art instruction selling in the hundreds of dollars. People pay these extraordinary amounts to obtain Loomis’ genius even in the poor, aged condition of the books that exist today. Ever since discovering “Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth,” I have been scouring the internet and my local bookstores for a copy. In my searching I have found not to be alone. Many consumers just like me are having extreme difficulty finding a copy of any of Loomis’ books. It seems to be a common belief that Loomis was and still is the best for instruction but is being forgotten due to the inaccessibility of his books. The only books to be published as of lately are “Figures In Action” and “Drawing the Head,” by Walter Foster Publishing in 1998. “Drawing the Head” is now out-of- print and “Figures In Action” is a mere thirty-two pages.

    Regrettably, the only luck I have found in obtaining Loomis’ aging books were scanned copies on a website called http://www.saveloomis.org. This organization, who, in their sole efforts, is trying to keep Andrew Loomis’ brilliance alive with their backwater website. To obtain any actual copy of Loomis’ books would be to resort to eBay and hope for a copy to arise that someone is willing to sell (in an affordable price range). Frustrating and expensive, this method normally ends in bitter disappointment as the person with the most funds wins the relic. Books should not be this way and I think Dover Publications knows this. I say this because I know I would still be looking for a copy of the 1939 classic “Perspective Made Easy” by Ernest R. Norling if Dover Publications did not understand the difficulty of obtaining aging books. I thank you for that.

    Though I wholly understand the concept and enjoyment behind establishing a collection of rare items, I don’t believe this concept should apply for an art instruction book that was written in the 20th century. I also don’t believe that there are collectors of art books and those who are purchasing his books for $200+ are purchasing in the desire to read the book. A book that was written for the masses and craved by the masses should not be in short supply. I don’t feel that when Andrew Loomis wrote his books that he ever thought that his books would be selling on an online auction service for hundreds of dollars or being copied and distributed because no one cared enough to carry on and continue to publish his work. I think if he had known that, he would have put down his pencil and stopped writing. Loomis wanted his instruction and field to be known, he states this in his dedication of “Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth,”:


    “To the young men and women
    of the United States
    who have turned
    to the drawing of the human figure
    as a means of livelihood.
    This volume is respectably dedicated.”

    -Andrew Loomis

    If Dover Publications has not already considered republishing Andrew Loomis’ talent, I urge you to indeed consider. I honestly believe that if there are organizations posting websites to preserve a man’s work because no publisher has and that his books are selling in beat up, used conditions for extraordinary amounts of money, that there may be a considerable wealth of money and respect to be found in the republishing of this man’s work. I do realize that it’s not a simple matter to republish a book that has been out of print for such a long time at the drop of a hat. Indeed there are technicalities such as rights and permissions to be considered but I am confident it would be in the best interest of Dover’s market to seriously look into the matter.

    The titles that I believe should be considered to be republished are: “Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth,” “Drawing the Head and Hands,” “Creative Illustration,” “Successful Drawing,” and “Fun With a Pencil.” These books hold knowledge forgotten by the modern generation and should most certainly be recalled. I realize that what I ask of is not at all a small task but what I ask of is not a sole request for I feel I speak for all the artists in need of this man’s instruction. The prices of the books on eBay prove it. But if printing each book separately would prove to be too costly, one large tome perhaps entitled “The Andrew Loomis Collection,” which would encompass most if not all of Loomis’ instruction would be tremendous to the art community. This deed would not only sell extremely well and make many artists happy but it would also do the late Andrew Loomis justice by preserving his insightful instruction for generations to come. These are not books read for a mere amusing thrill. These are books about the beautiful art of drawing and how to achieve new heights in it with the help of this master’s instruction.

    In conclusion, I am appreciative for Dover Publications’ successes in the already preserved classics. I am also thankful for the modest prices and willingness to read and consider my opinion and suggestion. I hope to have given a consideration that may someday become a reality to satisfy both customer and distributor.

    Sincerely,
    Kamron W. Rudisill


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  2. #2
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    Hey, it's worth a shot. Unfortunately the problem is not that there isn't any interest in publishing the books; I know of at least two attempts to get the rights. But the books are still under copyright (unlike a lot of Dover's catalog) and Loomis' heirs seem to have no interest in having them reprinted. Fortunately they seem equally disinterested in keeping the pirated versions off the net, so that will probably have to do for now.

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    This is a very good idea. I often wondered why they never reprinted his books...

    Have you considered putting together an online petition to show the publishers how many people are interested in the reprints? I'm sure almost everyone here would sign up. Not to mention people from other sites as well.

    Well, anyway. Good luck on your endeavor, Keep up updated!

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    I would sign that petition... and everyone I know in the game industry would sign too.

    the Loomis books are amazing and definetly should still be in print.

    Cause if my baby dont love me, I know her sister will...

    SketchBook
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    or we just go and bag all of his heirs..... we shall see. How long does a copywright last anyways?

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    the loomis quote got me choked up well ths whole post does .. the loomis books a are prbably in the top 5 of the must haves for any artest and contain more info then any of the others :/ how do we send letters to the heirs ? that would probly be the way .. een though im shure thay get letters all the time for the last 40 years ;.. also i thought walter forester publishing owned the rights not the family ?maby theres a warehose with 100000 copys some place that are being bled into the market via ebay at 300 to 500 a pop ?> doesne tmake any sense why thay wouldent be still in print :/

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    Reply...

    After about two months now, I've been blessed with a response from Dover. Though not promising, I'm glad they at least acknowledged my letter and will be considering my suggestion. All we can do is hope this president realizes our needs here.



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    hey that's awesome! Now we wait another 2 months for the Pres to respond. But seriously, thank you for doing this ohGr. If Dover actually goes through with this, let me shine your shoes anyday!

    Now, why would Loomi's heirs have no interest in having them reprinted. It doesn't take much effort to hand over the rights to Loomis's works and you get some money in the process. And dont they want their Andrew to live on??



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    If Amazon Japan is anything to go by, Loomis' manuals are still being published in Japan and are still very popular. Don't know if this holds any clues as to who owns the international publishing rights currently... As an interesting note, I was looking through Terada's Rakugaking the other day (as I do pretty much every day) and one page of heads at different angles looked particularly Loomis in style... It's encouraging to think Loomis influenced/helped one of my favourite artists...

    Ta, Nick.


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    There's an e-mail addy in the letter...

    why not ask anybody reading this to send a mail to dover?!

    Jester

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