• Steven Heller

The Author And The Illustrator

Acres and Pains: A Guide to Country Loafing by S.J. Perelman (1904 – 1979) was one of America’s great humorists. He was editor of the college humor magazine, The Brown Jug, his senior year. He left Brown without graduating, having failed the math requirement, and moved to Greenwich Village in 1924. There he joined the staff of Judge, a weekly humor magazine, and the captions for his drawings began to grow into the singular style that characterized his life’s work. Perelman also contributed to College Humor. He worked with the Marx Brothers but was upstaged by the boys. He wrote dozens of books, including the favorite around my house The Road to Miltown or Under the Spreading Atrophy (1957). His covers and jackets were illustrated and designed by some of the best.

Acres and Pains was generously illustrated by Robert Osborn (1904-1994), who was a master of some of the most expressively biting, witty satire. I had the pleasure to know and write about him, include him in my books, and collect his remarkable work. When I found this S.J. Perelman tome about his trials and travails as a country squire, I felt its time to revive his work for those young’ins who may not know him. Behold . . .

#DailyHeller #RobertOsborn #SJPerelman #StevenHeller


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →