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Sexy illustrations by Jim Osborn
Tito Arnaudi dreams up lurid titillating scandals that he sells to the newspapers. With three demanding mistresses his life parallels the outrageous dalliances he invents. The permissive, overly detailed descriptions of sex and drugs landed the original Italian edition on a list of books forbidden by the Church.
Cocaine is provocatively illustrated by San Francisco underground artist, Jim Osborn. As Mark Estren, author of A History of Underground Comic, says about Osborn, “there is much in Osborn’s illustrations that shows his fine command of the human form, his ability to accentuate and overemphasize so as to render a character appealing, mysterious, jaded, emotionally overcome, or in the throes of a deadly drug high.” Estren continues, “ At its best—and Osborne’s work in Cocaine is some of his best—this is art that beautifully limns a character, not so much simply illustrating as actually enhancing the often-overheated prose by giving the reader something visual and highly specific to which to attach his or her perception.”
worked as an informant for Mussolini informing on
Jews in years after writing Cocaine, which was
unexpected since he was himself half Jewish. By
mid-1940, Pitigrilli was on a list of "dangerous
Jews" to be interned in the south of Italy, in
Apulia, although when he was actually held for a
time, it was in the town of Uscio. How Pitigrilli
resolved this delves into his complex character.