Master of the Comicabre
Playboy magazine offered a bounty of exotic things, but the one I savored more than the interviews (well, maybe not the only one) were the comically macabre (comicabre) cartoons by Gahan Wilson—even the name tickled the cracked funny bone. His zanily horrific cartoons predate the farcical “Scary Movie I, II, III, etc,” and all the other attempts to mix humor and horror (humorror). For those who got the same joy from his signature witticisms, there is now Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, a 3-volume, 1000+ page slipcased hardcover set, published by Fantagraphics.
This boxed set amasses half a century’s work by Mr. Wilson. And if you’d like to see some of it, go here and click the page for larger, higher-res versions. Or go straight here to order. And look below for a couple of my favorites (commenting on the medical profession) along with a photo of Gahan and his pet Howitzer (photo by Rick Meyerowitz).
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 →