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Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil
Wernig, Phil

Wernig, Phil

The Hitchhikers

A sepia-toned photo-documentary of the robust American hitchhiking scene at the height of the hippie era.  According to a recent post on Wernig’s blog, The Hitchhikers was originally intended as a coffee table book, with “cool photos” accompanied by quotes from the hitchhikers who used to gather at a series of stoplights in Santa Barbara, California. Celestial Arts, however, pushed Wernig and his creative partner Marty Neumeier to expand the book into a full-fledged hitchhiking manual, a task the pair undertook with a sense of gleeful irony, given their relative lack of experience:

“If there was an art to hitchhiking more subtle than hanging one’s thumb out over a curb, we would have to invent it. So we did. Cackling like a pair of roosters, we cobbled together some suggestions about the use of signs, road courtesies, and general appearance, including a completely fictional Order of Ride Proabablility, [sic] based on the number, gender, and pet quotient of fellow travelers.”

Though Wernig’s reassessment of the book is ultimately dismissive, both creatively and financially (he deems it a “commercial failure”), it nonetheless stands as a unique and appealing document of its time.

Millbrae, CA: Celestial Arts, 1973. With photographs by Marty Neumeier and Ric Tomar. Second printing. Perfect-bound in printed wraps; 8.5 x 5.5 in.; 126pp. Printed in brown ink. Sticker ghost at base of front cover; light soiling to spine and rear cover. Else a strong near fine, with supple, uncreased spine. Unaccountably scarce, with no other copies in the marketplace at time of cataloging.
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