Chicago artist/dj/dad Tony Fitzpatrick was quizzing his 4yo kid to come up with things that begin with each letter of the alphabet, and he decided to make an illustration project out of it.
Two+ years later, in 2001, Max and Gaby's Alphabet debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Fitzpatrick's portfolio of intricate, 4-color etchings, were at the center of a larger public education campaign that taught elementary school drawing workshops and raised money for public school art supplies.
The Museum included a parental warning on the show which is hilarious. But I surfed through the limited edition portfolio that was put up for sale at Phillips last month, and except for the general Fitzpatrick-ian weirdness, it looks fine to me. Maybe 2013 parents aren't as uptight as 2001 parents after all.
BTW, that Alphabet portfolio, one of 50, did not reach its $12-18,000 estimate. So if you're looking for the real deal, you may still have a chance to haggle. Or you can buy the life-sized facsimile catalogue from the MCA, which is considerably less expensive.
Buy Tony Fitzpatrick: Max And Gaby's Alphabet, the catalogue, out of print, starting at like $27 [amazon]
Apr 29, 2013, LOT 27 TONY FITZPATRICK Max and Gaby's Alphabet portfolio, 2000, est. $12-18k, didn't sell [phillips]