I don't really know why, but this year my hefty purchases at the con were older, out of print books. I found two more of the 6 Virgil Finlay Hard Cover books (I need 2,4 and 5). The first book is limited to 1050(1975)and the 3rd is 1300(1979). I wonder if there is a reason for those numbers? The work in these books comes from the collection of Gerry de la Ree who is also the publisher. While I was reading the forward to the first book, my jaw dropped when I read how he created his stipple technique. He would dip a 290 lithographic pen in India Ink and do every individual dot by only letting the liquid touch the paper. The pen tip never made contact. After each point, the pen would be wiped clean. It's very interesting to read words written by a patron who genuinely believed in a talent like Finlay.
The 3rd out of print book I found was Ian Miller's 'Green Dog Trumpet and other Stories'. A paperback from 1978. I had to buy this when I saw it. When I was just starting out as an Illustrator I did some work for FASA, a RPG company from Chicago. I would travel into the city, often with Mark A. Nelson to drop off an assignment. Since we lived in the burbs, why waste money on FedEx? Plus, we got to hang out with the FASA dudes like Jim Nelson. I remember being introduced to Ian Miller's work when all of a sudden these amazing black and white sketches started pouring out of the office fax machine (this was like 10 years ago). Despite the low quality fax, I was blown away. Later, I was able to see some finished ink drawings. Really amazing detailed work. The 'Green Dog' book is much earlier in his career so it's really cool to see his evolution.
Missed out on a few books I'm trying to track down now: Bruce Timm 08' Sketchbook and Travis Charest's 'Spacegirl'.