Finally got my hands on this bad boy, and just have to say, Wow. This book is big (in every sense of the word), jam packed with pictures of Baseman's art and designed incredibly well. Coffee table books watch out, there's a new kid on the block.
Paging through this massive tome you become fully immersed in Baseman's World; a world full of amputee Bunnies, drooling ice cream cones, masochistic snowmen, doggie Dunces, feline pinatas, plus unattainable beauty and human desire. Though many aspects of Baseman's career are on display (advertising, animation, editorial, packaging and product art), it is his paintings that truly shine. This is where Baseman can let go, and let go he does with a torrent of cute and fuzzy creatures mired in the most horribly painful human experiences. The humor is oftentimes juvenile and sadistic, but somehow it manages to engender a smile from the viewer, maybe because we're glad it's the Snowman who is getting his heart broken (by a mermaid no-less) and not us. There is something else, that elusive "indefinable" quality, that gives Baseman's work it's mass(ive) appeal. His characterizations harken back to old Warner Bros. cartoons (who hasn't grown up on those?), which tickle the child inside, but the emotions and situations are purely human, which grabs the attention of our grown-up self. Baseman's greatest trick, however, is creating what appear to be very simple paintings. As with most great art repeated viewings are required to be able to peel back all the layers, and really see what's going on. And believe me, there is a lot going on.
I doubt that many people unfamiliar with Baseman's work would get this book, but anyone who has been exposed (a very appropriate term actually) to his paintings, magazine/book covers or toys should jump on it. Highest rating possible from me.