Starred Review. Few cartoonists ever had as lavish a tribute as a three-volume-slipcased collection, but few are as deserving as Wilson. Collecting 50 years worth of his monthly single page gag cartoons from Playboy, it's a definitive overview of a remarkable talent and viewpoint. Considering the timeframe, Wilson's fabled black humor and art style remain remarkably consistent—as time passes, the drawing renders into slightly blobbier shapes that retain all of their wit just the same—but the source and degree of the humor is a constant. Although best known for his slightly lugubrious subjects—monsters, witches, corpses, vampires and skeletons are frequent visitors to these pages—Wilson also targets consumerism, materialism, and other basic human foibles. As publisher Gary Groth writes in a biography in the third volume, He has...constructed a world that is eerily family, unsettlingly recognizable and lethally consistent. Beautifully designed and printed, the books contain cut-out pages, and the slipcase itself becomes a window for a trapped photo of Wilson. Text extras include Wilson's prose short stories and an appreciation by Neil Gaiman. If these three volumes are a bit much for one sitting, periodic dipping in will always satisfy. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Along with the centerfolds and the interviews, Playboy is famous for Gahan Wilson’s cartoons, 50 years’ worth of which are aptly mounted on Playboy-size pages in this boxed set. Glowing introductions by Playboy proprietor Hugh M. Hefner and Wilson’s latter-day friend and writing partner Neil Gaiman, the five Wilson short stories Playboy has also published over the years, and a sterling profile of and interview with the artist by Comics Journal editor Gary Groth accompany the cartoons. Seldom mentioned in any of those supplements is the fact that Wilson’s presence in Playboy is quite anomalous, for Wilson nearly never touches upon sex. The sole exposure in these volumes of bare-breasted women, ubiquitous in other Playboy cartoons, is in an image of witches relaxing in their simmering cauldron, and while their breasts are pneumatic enough, they’re irrelevant to the cartoon’s point. But, a failed cartoonist himself, Hefner knew great cartooning when he saw it, and the satirical undercurrent coursing through Wilson’s work amused him as much as Wilson’s eldritch comic irony, which is wilder than but otherwise of a piece, especially in quality, with that of Wilson’s greatest peer, Charles Addams. And doubtless Hefner admired, along with the rest of Wilson’s ardent following, the flamboyant, wiggly line with which Wilson limns the hideous figures that people his panels. --Ray OlsonSee all Editorial Reviews
Worth every cent to see all of Gahan's fantastic art and humor.Published 2 days ago by David H. Greve
What's not to love about one of the greatest cartoonists of all time! Nice paper, layout, die cuts,… great price to boot!Published 2 months ago by David Glenn Pascal
Great collection of Wilson's Playboy cartoons; 2 solid hardback books printed with quality binding contained within a sturdy slip-case, bought on sale at an excellent price. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is truly a beautiful set of books, I don't know if I've seen this quality for at least 30 years. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Bob C
What a gem. To have 50 years of Gahan Wilson cartoons all at my fingertips is magical.
Whenever I need to see one of his often whimsical cartoons from the "dark... Read more