Twin brothers Stephen and Timothy Quay have made an illustrious career for themselves as stop-motion animators, a path prefigured in a little known series of graphite drawings they executed in the 1970s. These images become the focus of Quay Brothers: The Black Drawings 1974-1977, published by Ludion and now available on Musebooks.

The Quay Brothers began work on their earliest animations in the 1970s, and yet later that same decade they began to explore new, imaginative ideas in a series of drawings in graphite that were intended as fictive promotional movie posters. Though considered their own project, this series of drawings in many ways served as a foreshadowing of their creative work to come. Echoes of the images can be seen in some of their later animations, such as Street of Crocodiles (1986), and yet the group of illustrations on the whole have received little attention. This new edition by Ludion sheds valuable light on this series and reminds longstanding fans and newcomers to the Quay brothers’ work why their work is so celebrated.