The Portrait Series documents and portrays eccentric Americans who straddle the wobbly line between brilliance and madness. These stoop philosophers, sit-down comedians, and off-the-cuff bards, puncture the predictability of everyday life. Each volume is proportional in size to a standing human figure, with a photographic portrait of the subject on the front cover; a portrait of them from the back on the back; and inside, the guts—life stories and perspectives told in short stories, vignettes and extended soliloquies. Expressive but very readable typographic/pictorial settings attempt to capture the shape of thought and reunite voice with the printed page. The first four books in the series form a quartet of men. Together, they challenge traditional notions of madness, heroism, masculinity, and what a book can be. Each book can be purchased separately, but we recommend you get the set.

The Portrait Series: a quartet of men Written and designed by Warren Lehrer 1995, Bay Press, Seattle Gift Package! Four book suite, each 6.5” x 9.75”, total 1020 pages. Illustrated Paperbacks. Four color covers, black and white interiors.

ISBN-10: 0393324664    ISBN-13: 978-0393324662 Includes: Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue, aka Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill; Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso; Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs;  Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charles Lang Suggested Retail Price $40 [with shipping]

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Or purchase as individual volumes:

Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue, aka Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 267 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-36-4
Limited number of single books available:$10 + 3 shipping and handling

BUY NOW $10 plus shipping (limited number of single books available)

Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 253 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-35-4
Suggested Retail Price: SOLD out available with the full set shrink wrapped. $25 full set.

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Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 261 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-37-2
Suggested Retail Price: SOLD out available with the full set shrink wrapped. $25 full set.

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Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charlie Lang
Written and designed by Warren Lehrer
Paperback. 6.5” x 9.75” x 253 pages. Bay Press. 1995.
ISBN 0-941920-34-8
Suggested Retail Price: SOLD out available with the full set shrink wrapped. $25 full set.

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SAMPLE SPREADS

Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs

During his forty-plus years, Claude has lived the life of a bohemian artist, underground doctor, spy, philanthropist, homeless person, inventor, and entrepreneur. This intimate portrait of Claude Debs, an orphaned survivor of child sexual abuse turned fiercely independent citizen of the world, follows Claude’s pilgrimage from the Middle East to France, Russia and America. It offers heretical and searing observations on hyper-sexuality, marriage, lying, the art of alchemy, and hard-fought living. It also lays bare the intimate reflections and fractious soliloquies of one-side of a twenty year friendship, as seen by the other.


Nicky D. from L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas Detommaso

Based on a hard-boiled, soft-hearted, retired dock worker who expounds on the meaning of life from his four room railroad flat in Long Island City, New York, where’s he’s lived for over seventy years. Surrounded by memorabilia and seasonal icons of good cheer, Nicholas Detommaso delivers a continuous stream of barbed commentary on familial duty, work, war, money, religion—and the best way to chop garlic. Undiminished by a childhood spent in and out of hospitals, a lifetime of backbreaking work, and his share of disappointments, this irascible character reveals a tender regard for friends and family, and a stubborn inclination for life.


Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charlie Lang

Charlie Lang is a gifted musician struggling to step outside the revolving door of a mental health system that has defined and sustained him for over seventeen years. In a world that rewards strength over sensitivity, the protagonist’s exceptional intuitive powers are a blessing as well as a curse. Culled from years of friendship and conversation, this portrait book chronicles the journey of an imaginative, unconfinable spirit, in search of dignity, love, artistic expression and transcendence. Charlie’s poetic, sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious reflections bear witness to life in and out of hospitals, day treatment centers, half-way, and all-the-way housing. The text is illuminated by original drawings by Lang.


Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Brother Blue, aka Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill

This book gives voice to the stories behind the stories of Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill, a.k.a. Brother Blue, the official storyteller of Boston. The great grandson of a slave owner and his slave, Blue rises through the white dominated spheres of the military, the ministry and academia, then sheds institutional life to become a roaming town crier, street poet and raconteur — fueled by a transformative power of sacred service. Renowned for spinning parables of struggle and hope on street corners and in prisons, schools, subways, and churches — Brother Blue entrusted me with writing this portrait based on his seldom heard accounts of growing up during the depression under the spell of mythically heroic parents; serving as a black lieutenant during World War II in the segregated US Army; and riotous attempts at turning the hallowed traditions of the Ivy League and the church on its head!