Displaying the wit and marvelous drawings that made Silverstein one of the most beloved artists of the century, this collection reproduces the 23 travel pieces he created for Playboy between 1957 and 1968.
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Shel Silverstein is best known as a children's-book author who wrote and illustrated a number of bestselling books that have charmed millions of readers of all ages. Crossing many artistic boundaries, he was also a noted songwriter and an accomplshed playwright. Silverstein first came to prominence in the 1950s as a cartoonist for Playboy, where he assumed the role of roving ambassador for the up-and-coming magazine. This esteemed assignment -- due in no small part to his friendship with Hugh M. Hefner -- was the auspicious beginning of a most amazing career. Shel Silverstein died in 1999.From Booklist:
Best known as a children's author but also a successful songwriter ("A Boy Named Sue") and playwright, Silverstein started out as a cartoonist. In the 1950s and 1960s, Playboy sent him around the world to draw a travel journal. His 23 dispatches hailed from such far-flung locales as Japan, Moscow, London, Paris, and Africa, as well as such closer-to-home precincts as Greenwich Village, Haight-Ashbury, White Sox training camp, and a nudist colony. Most of the cartoons' gags play against cultural stereotypes, with a befuddled Silverstein as the butt of the joke: in a gorgeously limned Swiss village, he complains, "I'll give them 15 more minutes and if nobody yodels, I'm going back to the hotel." Befitting their provenance, many depict Silverstein's efforts to score with the local damsels. They feature the same deceptively casual line work that makes his children's books so visually compelling, and since far too little of Silverstein's work for adults is currently available, this engaging document of the countries he visited and of its era is a welcome delight. Gordon Flagg
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