Dime Novels

Before comics, pulp magazines, and television shows, 19th-century working-class America relied on dime novels to break the monotony of daily life. Spurred by accelerated printing processes, efficient rail shipping, and growing literacy rates, dime novels catering to fans of urban outlaws, detectives, working-girl heroines and romantic heroes were sold at newsstands and dry goods stores across the country.


Relive the late 1800’s with our classic dime novels. Each book, designed to fit in your back pocket as you ride from town to town, is a reprint of a historic dime novel from the archives. Each edition will include essays from authors and historians with contemporary cover illustrations inspired by the wood engraved wrappers of the 19th-century.


1888 is a publisher of classic dime novels, contemporary novellas, and The Cost of Paper, an annual anthology of international short stories. Click here to visit our complete catalogue.

Cover Artwork

1888 Dime Novel covers are designed and painted by James F. Lorigan.


James F. Lorigan arrived in Southern California from the mid west in 1966.  He enrolled at Fullerton College in 1968 before joining the U. S. Navy the following year. He returned to Fullerton College in 1973 where he met artist and professor Nixon Borah. Borah introduced him to fine art printmaking and to what would eventually become a career as a Master Printmaker. He graduated from Cal State University Fullerton three times; receiving a B.A. in the spring of 1978, followed by a M.A. in 1993 and eventually graduating with a MFA in drawing, painting and printmaking in 1994.


After leaving the Navy and while attending college Lorigan began working as a freelance artist whenever the opportunities presented themselves. Significant art related employment  included a brief stint as an art restorer of 16th and 17th Dutch art and antiques followed by a position as an apprentice printer at Spectrum press in Orange California. It was at Spectrum Press that he saw the potential for starting his own printmaking atelier. Lorigan has participated in over 90 exhibitions featuring his paintings and prints. He has produced fine art intaglio, relief prints, lithographs and digital prints in limited editions with artist of merit since 1974. He owned and operated Watermark Printmaking Workshop in Southern California for over 30 years. A full-time teacher since 1990, James is also the Chair of the Art Department at College Of The Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, where he teaches Drawing, Painting and Printmaking. He can also be found teaching printmaking part-time at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California.