As with every Chester Brown book, The Playboy was ahead of its time when it was published in 1992, illustrating the fearlessness and prescience of the iconoclastic cartoonist. The Playboy is a memoir about Brown’s adolescence, sexuality, and shame that chronicles his teenage obsession with the magazine of the same name. Exploring the physical form of comics to its fullest storytelling capacity, a fifteen-year-old Chester is visited by a time-traveling adult Chester, and the latter narrates the former’s compulsion to purchase each issue of Playboy as it appears on newsstands. Even more fascinating than his obsession with the magazine is Brown’s need to keep this habit secret, and the great lengths to which he goes to avoid detection by, at first, his family, and then, later, by girlfriends.
The comics that became The Playboy first appeared in issues of Brown’s controversial, ground-breaking comic Yummy Fur over twenty years ago, and yet the frankness of the work makes it seem avant-garde even now. As in every work by this master cartoonist, The Playboy uses no extra words, no extra panels, no extra lines, conveying environment and emotion through perfectly chosen moments. Fans of his acclaimed and controversial memoir Paying For It are sure to be drawn in by this early autobiographical portrait of blazing honesty. The expanded reissue includes all-new appendices and notes from the author.
176 page black and white paperback with color covers
Drawn and Quarterly, 2013