A brand new John Willie volume is on the way from legendary New York publisher Bélier Press, famous for reprinting the work of vintage fetish and bondage artists. (Story updated October 14)
Willie (real name John Alexander Scott Coutts) used many of his photographs as references for his bondage illustrations and cartoon strips, such as those featuring his famous heroine Gwendoline.
Many of these were featured in the 26 issues of his pocket-sized magazine Bizarre published between 1948 and 1959.
Belier Press owner JB Rund has dedicated much of his life to keeping the memory of Willie alive and keeping his pioneering work accessible to new generations of fetish and bondage enthusiasts.
Previous Bélier books devoted to Willie’s work include The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, first published in 1974.
A much-expanded hardcover version, The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, 2nd Edition, was published in 1999 in standard and deluxe collector’s editions.
Rund tells us the upcoming Possibilities will offer many never-before-seen, privately circulated images and other rarities from the collection of the Kinsey Institute and other private sources.
The book will carry informative text, including “additional biographical information about the photographer, copious notes, and valuable advice for serious collectors”.
Running to 472 pages in hard covers, measuring 206 x 235mm (9.25 x 11.125in) and weighing in at 2.4kg (5.5lb), the standard Trade edition of Possibilities will cost $70 (approx £52/€62 at time of writing).
There is also a Deluxe edition of the book, limited to 150 numbered copies, in a custom-made cloth slipcase.
Each case will contain an original print of a photograph taken by John Willie in Los Angeles circa 1958–61. Each print will be an image unique to that individual numbered copy.
Last but not least, this limited edition, priced at $150 (approx £113/€133), comes with a 48-minute audio CD entitled John Willie Speaks — John Willie Sings!?!.
It contains a monologue from Within a Story, his only known speaking part in a movie (1954).
There are also excerpts from the only known audio interview with the artist (1961/62), and excerpts from A Bawdy Recital — Poems, Songs and Stories performed by John Willie in 1962.
Trade edition customers in the United States will be able to get the book sent to them by insured (surface) media mail for an additional $10 shipping charge.
But the publisher has apologised for the fact that he will be forced to pass on the US Postal Service’s “obscene” International Priority Mail postal rates (applicable because of the book’s weight) to overseas customers.
For the Trade edition, these shipping charges add $50 for orders from Canada and $80 for all other countries.
For the heavier Deluxe edition, shipping will cost $12.50 within the US, $55 to Canada and $85 to all other countries.
It’s also worth noting, adds Rund, that USPS raises its rates every year, usually in January, so unfortunately shipping costs next year are likely to be even higher.
STOP PRESS: Reconstruction of the Bélier Press website through which Possibilities will be sold is now complete, so it is now possible to order the book online from the link below. Shipping will begin in mid-November.
Sales of the Limited Edition will be limited to one copy per customer, and the publisher adds that no reorders will be accepted.
BELOW: Two examples of the unmistakable bondage style of John Willie from the forthcoming book
Updated October 14, 2016