The Playboy is a graphic novel by Canadian cartoonist Chester Brown. It was serialized in 1990 in Brown’s comic book Yummy Fur and collected in different revised book editions in 1992 and 2013. It deals with Brown’s guilt and anxiety over his obsessive masturbation to Playboy Playmate models.
About The Playboy in brief
The Playboy is a graphic novel by Canadian cartoonist Chester Brown. It was serialized in 1990 in Brown’s comic book Yummy Fur and collected in different revised book editions in 1992 and 2013. It deals with Brown’s guilt and anxiety over his obsessive masturbation to Playboy Playmate models. The story has attracted praise for its revealing honesty and criticism from those who saw it as glorifying pornography. Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner wrote Brown to express concern over Brown’s sexual anxieties in a post-sexual revolution world. The Playboy forms part of Brown’s early-1990s autobiographical period, and was the first book-length work he planned as a complete story. Brown’s character obsessively masturbates in secret, terrified of being found out, but unable to resist the urge. As an adult, he sometimes repurchases copies of issues he had discarded. The free, organic arrangement of odd-shaped panels of simple, expressive artwork contrasts with Brown’s more detailed grid-like pages in his 1980s work, such as Ed the Happy Clown. Brown describes himself as a ‘nerdy teenager’ attracted to comic books from a young age. He sought a career drawing superhero comics, but was unsuccessful in finding work with Marvel or DC after graduating from high school. He moved to Toronto and discovered underground comix and the small-press community.
Brown turned to autobiography after reading such work by Julie Doucet and Joe Matt. The work of his friend and fellow Toronto cartoonist Seth inspired Brown to pare down his drawing style during the early 1990s. He tentatively began his autobiographicalperiod with a pair of short tales, and gradually became freer with his panel layouts and simpler in his artwork. The autobiographical story takes place in Chester \”Chet\” Brown’s hometown of Châteauguay in 1975, when Brown was 15. It details his obsession with the Playmates in Playboy magazine. The narrator talks about Brown in the third person in the adolescent parts of the story, but in the first person in his adult years. The book finishes with Brown drawing the story in progress in progress, though he still feels uncomfortable discussing it with his friends shortly after it had been published. Brown says he preferred masturbation to having sex with his girlfriend, and could only maintain an erection for her by fantasizing about his favourite Playmates, and that he preferred that he had sex with her in bed. He uses a bat-winged figure with his own face to narrate the story and goad Chet in a way like the trope of the angel and devil on the shoulders.