Perceval Press, founded in 2002 as a direct-mail publisher by Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen, has announced a new distribution deal with PGW and signed an acclaimed author for its first list.

Perceval ( has signed Mike Davis, best known for books on Los Angeles, to do a trilogy of young adult novels. The first two, Land of the Lost Mammoths and Pirates, Bats and Dragons are on the fall list.

The press has had some success selling most of its 20 titles online (several of the books are by Mortensen) and via direct mail. The press was founded by the actor/artist/poet Mortensen (most recognized as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings) along with Pilar Perez, a former curator and editor at L.A.—based Smart Art Press. The distribution deal with PGW will allow the press to relaunch some of its earlier titles.

Perceval has a small staff and relies on an ad-hoc committee of artists for many of its projects. Michelle Perez (Pilar's sister) designs the books, which are all printed in Spain.

"I'm not interested in becoming some huge company," Mortensen told PW. "When you do that, you delegate too much and you end up not having the hands-on approach."

Sarah Rosenberg, PGW's director of marketing, said the company is thrilled to add Perceval to its catalogue.

Perceval is working on an anthology of Cuban art in both English and Spanish. In the spring of 2005, Perceval will publish books on the art of Dennis Hopper and New York painter Eric White.

"Having a press allows us to publish people who may not otherwise get a chance to be published or might not have been read about," said Mortensen. "Who else does Cuban art and kids' books?" asked Davis.