A Book to Read Forward and Backward
Seymour Chwast | The Viking Press 1983
If Tall City, Wide Country just appeared in my local bookstore, I would snatch it up in a New York minute—for two reasons—brilliant concept, brilliant illustrations. It has every quality of the books I like that are occasionally being produced today. Only thing is it was produced in 1983! It happens to have been created by the renowned Seymour Chwast and Push Pin Studios. Why it isn’t in print today is another example of what’s confounds me about publishing, (probably Seymour as well).
This book has it all. Scale, perspective, color, wild animals, dogs, buildings, nature, streets, cars, airplanes, farmers, upper east-siders, clowns and two curious kids. Every spread is full of out-of-whack juxtaposed elements in a way that is classic Chwast—and resoundingly playful. I’m pretty sure these illustrations were created laboriously with green ink line drawings colored with hand-cut Cello-Tac (colored film). They feel every bit as graphic and contemporary as anything done today. No mistake that they came from the mind and hand of a man that loves to draw.
As this book is hard to find new today, I am posting it in its entirety in hopes that Seymour doesn’t mind. I want to share it with creators and consumers as a book to aspire to. Reprint, reprint!