About Stuart Ng Books
We are full-time booksellers specializing in books on twentieth-century illustration, animation & comic art. Our emphasis is on what other booksellers normally classify as art reference books. We have thousands of books on individual illustrators, animators, cartoonists, and comic book and comic strip artists. We also carry books of art instruction and technique, histories, surveys, and annuals. Our customers are professional artists, filmmakers, art students, instructors, libraries, art collectors, and fans.
We sell by mail order and in person at our showroom in Torrance, at conventions, and other events.
We are constantly buying and selling books. We buy rare book collections regularly. We also travel around the United States to find good books. We travel to France annually to attend the Bande Dessinée Festival at Angouleme and to scour the bookstores and bande dessinée stores in Paris to handpick the titles we import.
Our stock fluctuates between 4,000-8,000 catalogued items. We carry books, magazines, fanzines, original art, and ephemera. We carry many comic-related hardcovers and trade paperbacks, however we do not buy or sell individual comic books.
We also maintain a reference library of over 20,000 volumes relating to twentieth-century illustration, animation and comic art to help us serve the needs of our customers and qualified researchers. This collection was begun in the 1970s and continues to be developed.
We began selling artist's self-published sketchbooks in 1998 when we offered Glen Murakami's first two sketchbooks, Shrunk'n Head and Under Beneath.
In 2001, we offered Shane Glines' first sketchbook, Ice Cream, and hosted a sketchbook signing for Shane and Glen at San Diego Comic-Con. Since then, the offerings have exploded with hundreds of artists each year publishing their own sketchbooks and art collections.
We strive to offer the best selection of current artists sketchbooks; from aspiring students to well-established professionals.
I grew up reading comics (Carl Barks, Dennis the Menace, Marvel, DC, Warren) and looking at those early 1970s monographs on the Golden Age illustrators (Flagg, Leyendecker, Gibson, Parrish, Held). The work of The Studio artists (Jeff Jones, Mike Kaluta, Barry Smith and Berni Wrightson) encouraged my exploration of earlier artist-illustrators and art movements.
While in junior high, I got my first regular after-school job in order to pay for a subscription to Russ Cochran's Complete EC Library. I worked part-time at an industrial silkscreen printing company for six years (until I left for college) to fund my art book collecting.
In film school, I spent my last two semesters concentrating on animation and made an animated short Jellyfish that won a national film award The Cine Eagle and subsequently toured Europe winning several prizes and awards at film festivals in the Eastern Bloc. But the best part of film school was meeting Amy, the love of my life.
After graduating, while searching for a job in animation, I wandered into a bookstore in Marina Del Rey with a "help wanted" sign in the window and I ended up being hired as a manager. I spent a few years managing another store in Culver City across from the MGM Studio.
Later on, I was offered a position as Archivist for the Warner Bros. Archives. I've always been a great fan of black & white movies of the thirties and forties and I quickly accepted the opportunity to work with the most complete archives of any of the major Hollywood studios - and in my opinion the best studio of the studio era (Casablanca, King's Row, Mildred Pierce, The Adventures of Robin Hood, 42nd Street, Now Voyager, The Searchers, etc.). The WB Archives included every file from every department at the studio as well as rooms full of photographs & negatives and architectural drawings. A little-known fact was the Archives also had over 100,000 pieces of original vintage WB animation art including over 10,000 animation backgrounds (One Froggy Evening, Bully for Bugs, Duck Dodgers, What's Opera Doc?, etc.).
While working at the bookstore and later at the Archives, I bookscouted in my spare time. A bookscout is a semi-pro who buys books and sells them to bookdealers (who then sell them to the public). In that pre-internet era, I sold books to dealers locally and nationally, but the majority of my finds went straight to Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr. and Bud Plant Illustrated Books.
In 1997, I decided the time was right to turn my "second job" into my main occupation. Encouraged by friends like Jim, and my wife Amy, I began buying and selling books on illustration full-time. I exhibited at my first book fair (in Burbank), gathered names for a mailing list, and issued my first catalogue. I exhibited at the San Diego Comic-Con for the first time in 1998 and now am an annual presence with our five booth space.
The rare books I offer are the books I myself sought and collected for years. I've always loved bookstores, but I frequently found them wanting in the subjects I was seeking. Even in the stores with shelves of "Artists Monographs," I would find plenty of Degas, Michelangelo, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, but the books on illustrators were few and far between. So when I started bookselling, I focused on the books I love. And I love presenting them to those of you who get as excited about them as I do.