White Noise on Paper: “Blab!” Away!

 My first encounter with “Blab!” was issue eleven. I was in some independent bookstore in So Cal looking for weird art shit as usual, this was in 2003 I’d heard of “Blab!” Before and had seen the covers but none of them snagged me until I saw the weird Mark Ryden illustrated cover. It was my first introduction to Ryden, I picked up the large book and thumbed through it, the book reached up and bitch slapped my retinas. After being beaten black and blue, my eyes sore, I bought the thing and later bought volumes sporadically as the years went by. I’ve gone through two house fires, numerous psycho ex girlfriends stealing and/or destroying my stuff and moves and I lost my original “Blabs” and forgot about them. Eventually I started trying to find artwork by Al Columbia, I’d found out he’d done a rendition of “The Book of Revelations”, nightmare Fleischertoon style, for “Blab!” Volume ten. Trying to find volume ten was like trying to find a needle in a haystack because of the Al Columbia strip but trying to find this one book rekindled the flame of my interest in “Blab!” And if I was gonna start collecting all of the “Blabs” I had to find ten so I had a complete collection. I searched high and low, almost in despair, nobody had it, that is until I saw there was a copy on Amazon Japan, so I had to contact a Japanese shipping export company to buy it for me and ship it for me. Once I got it I went about collecting all the “Blabs”.

Cover by J.D. King, Issue 1
Cover by Kim Dietch, issue 2

Issues one to seven are a smaller size, A5 format, and edited by the great Monte Beauchamp, the first issue features more text and less art and comics, it mainly focuses on the 1950’s EC horror comics that were banned and how they influenced various underground artists like Kim Deitch, Bill Griffith, Rick Griffin etc. Some of the same artists do some artwork for the issue. Issue two features still more text than art and comics, now there is a feature “Blab Dating” with artists doing different grotesque renditions of “Blab!” Dating prospects, the Mars Attacks! Card creator, Len Brown, is interviewed, Daniel Clowes does a strip on EC Censor Wertham’s  first book “The Show of Violence”, Gary Arlington and his love of EC comics is shown in a an interview and parodied by Kim Deitch in a strip, EC and early Will Elder “Mad’s” influence is explored by various underground artists. Both issues were put out by Beauchamps own imprint,  Monte Comics from 1986-1987, when Kitchen Sink Press took over the title they printed new editions of “Blab!” Volume one and two. 

Issue 3, cover by Chuck Burns.

Issue three sees Daniel Clowes doing a strip on another of the censorious Wertham’s books that led to the crack down on comics in the 1950’s, “Seduction of the Innocent”. Spain joins in with his reminisces of 1950’s Buffalo, New York in “Tex’s Bad Dream”. Richard Sala follows the life of a censor in “What the Censor Saw,” Bhob Stewart investigates Bazooka Joe and his origins in “Bubbling Over”, Joe Coleman does a piece on the infamous “Casanova Killer” in “The Final Days of Paul John Knowles”, Kim Deitch features an excerpt from a story that would be completed in “Zero Zero” (I review the whole “Zero Zero” series here get zeroed out, babe) in the strip “Wagan Island”, Richard Sala spears televangelist hypocrisy in “A Date with the Devil,” Blab’s Date Department piece continues and various underground artists talk about Robert Crumb’s influence on them, the content is starting to become more art and less text. This is when Kitchen Sink Press takes over publishing “Blab!” in 1988 from issues three to eight.

Issue 4, cover by Drew Friedman
Illustration from issue 4 by Drew Friedman.

Issue four has more comics than text, Daniel Clowes dives head first in the apocalypse in “666”, Spain dishes on his old friend in the 1950’s in “Fred Toote Rides”, Richard Sala talks subliminal advertising in “Hypnorama”, Jaxon talks underground comix in “Comics or Comix”, “Blab!” Does the “Dating Depot” thing with ugly dates, Doug Allen brings his cowboy hat wearing character Steven in “Steven Flips Out”, Skip Williamson has his recurring character Snappy Sammy Smoot go to work in the corporate world in “Death Merchant”, Monte interviews Daniel Clowes into “Behind the Eightball”, Jay Lynch and Gary Whitney brings the “Bix” in “The Best of Bix”, “The Wages of Sin” brings Joe Coleman’s criticism of religion to the pages and Mark Newgarden talks “Garbage Pail Kids” in “Garbage, Gum and Lawsuits”.

Issue 5, cover by Joe Coleman.
From issue 5, comic by Richard Sala

Issue five is when “Blab!” Goes majority comics and art with some text, in this one Richard Sala does triple cross in the art world in “Big Dark Zero”, Lloyd Dangle does a strip on Deborah Harry (yes that one) and other victims escaping the clutches of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy in “Lucky to Be Alive”, Joe Coleman tells the tale of serial killer Carl Panzram in “Carl Panzram #32614”, Ray Tone talks crime comics of the 1940’s and 1950’s in “The Rise and Fall of the Crime Comic Book”, Doug Allen has his cowboy hat wearing Steven in the air in “Steven in Thin Air”, Spain tells about his youth in the 1950’s and the neighborhood bank robber “Wilcoxson Naussbaum”, Skip Williamson lands Snappy Sammy Smoot in the middle of adopting his thug nephews in “Self Titled”, Daniel Clowes draws a tale of a life owed for death in “One for the Father”, Joe Coleman is interviewed by Monte, and Dan’s brother James Russel Clowes spins a murderous yarn with illustrations by Richard Sala.

Issue 6, cover by Richard Sala.
From issue 6, story and illustration by Joe Coleman.

Issue six is an “Alcoholic” issue. To start in the inside cover Mary Feelner discusses her parents, alcoholism and herself in the strip “As American as Mom, Apple Pie and Martinis”, Joe Coleman does a write up of old west career criminal and hobo, Jack Black in “You Can’t Win”, Richard Sala does a whodunnit murder story with a bizarre twist in “Where is Christine Brooder?”, Lloyd Dangle does a strip on a real life alcohol fueled murder committed by a couple in “Mixture for Murder”, Doug Allen brings cowboy hat Steven back in a strip with a drinking competition with a talking cactus in “Steven in the Show Down”, Skip Williamson has a lush, vomiting, pink elephant watcher going down for the count in “Necropolis Keester”, Monte Beauchamp and John Pertrie do a write up on alcoholic cartoonists and its illustrated by Daniel Clowes titled “Alcoholic Cartoonists”, “The Lying Ear” has Frank Stack doing a strip about the alcohol fueled and contentious friendship between Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, the “Blab Dating Depot” goes digital with Mark Landman and Monte Beauchamp, Spain talks alcohol in his 1950’s youth in a black r and b/rock n’ roll dive called “Down at the Kitty Kat”, Skip Williamson has Snappy Sammy Smoot being targeted by the IRS in “Travail, Misery, Disillusionment and Pending Oblivion with Snappy Sammy Smoot”, pets get sloppy drunk in Gary Leib’s “Pets That Drink”, Josh Alan Friedman writes a tale of prostitutes and booze and Richard Sala illustrates in “Babes on Broadway”, and Justin Green does a one pager “Great Moments in Alcoholism, Las Vegas 1967”, on the story of his father drinking numerous shots of straight Jim Beam and telling Frank Sinatra and his crew to shut up when they were loud while his friend Clancey Hayes played on stage.

Issue 7, cover by Dan Clowes


Issue seven is the last of the A5 size format with a Daniel Clowes’ covers and Chris Ware does the inside covers and back covers with “Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Kid on Earth” strip with a mix of fantasy and brutal, creepy reality where each bleeds in Jimmy’s memories and then Jimmy can’t tell what is fantasy or reality, Joe Coleman does “Boxcar Bertha, an Autobiography” his way on the trials and tribulations of a woman hobo, Mary Fleener does a strip on how her husband and herself deal with a dysfunctional couple that are their friends (one who is into pyromania) in “Ashes of Passion”, Doug Allen’s cowboy hat wearing Steven does noir in “Bang”, Gary Leib talks about mental health in an abstract way in “My Mental Health??? Fine”, Spain digs again back into his 1950’s youth in “The Shadow of Fred Toote”, Terry Laban talks about how porn ruined a man’s life and family in “Porn”, Frank Stack goes back into the past and talks assassination of William Shakespeare in “The Bad Must Die”, the drunkard Necropolis Keester drunk stumbles his way into being a corporate spokesman for a sham product in “Necropolis Keester Careens Off the Road to Recovery up the 12 Steps to Psychobabylon”, a man experiences the emptiness of living an urban life in “Tales from the Land of Plenty” by Marc Trujillo”, and Josh Alan Friedman writes up a tale of youth in a old folks retirement home illustrated by Richard Sala in “Come to Pa Pa.” This time the comics outnumber the text with Josh Alan’s story being the only text based thing in the whole issue.

Issue 8, cover by Chris Ware.
Issue 8, strip by Doug Allen

Issue eight goes into a bigger 10×10 format to better feature the art, to get this format kick started Walter Minus and Charles Berberian do their strip retro with a tale of jealous love, voodoo picture stabbing and a sci fi ending with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, Terry LaBan shows what happens when the sun comes out and the pants drop in “Mating Season”, Richard Sala does a strip on a man going to retrieve his father’s brain in “My Father’s Brain”, Doug Allen brings cowboy hat wearing Steven into redneckville in “Steven and the Morons”, Spain goes back in time again to his 1950’s youth and his favorite radio DJ in “Cruisin’ with the Hound”, Jeffery Steele does a text piece on haunted bars across America with illustrations by Johnathan Rosen “A Case of the Shakes”, Archie Prewitt brings on Sof Boy who gets roughed up by a metal head and his Rottweiler in “Sof’ Boy”, Gary Leib celebrates Halloween, old school, with “Halloween”, Chris Ware has Jimmy Corrigan on a island stranded in another installment of “Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth”, a robot goes through abstract adventures in Peter Hoey’s “Angry Gray Robot”, Peter Kuper talks danger on the high bridge in New York City in “The Beaten Path”, David Golden combines drawings with physical objects like matchbooks and beer bottle caps in a story of fiery lust in “Burning Love”, Monte Beauchamp explores the colorful art of the Valmor company in “Art of the Valmor Label”, Frank Stack talks Michelangelo, the painter’s sordid and criminal past in “No Hope No Fear”, Jeff Johnson illustrates a song by Jadydee Short in “Snake Doctor Blues”, Denis Kitchen, publisher of Kitchen Press does a comic on how he is more of a businessman and less of an artist, Marc Trujillo further explores the alienation of urban life with “Tales from the Land of Plenty”, and Drew Friedman talks his career with illustrations from himself and his brother Josh Alan Friedman does a prose piece about an elevator man who loses his cool with an insulting kid in “Elevator Ride”.

Issue 9, cover by Baseman.

 Issue nine Richard Sala has a man chasing a bird through a phantasmagorical crowd to get his invite to his own “Prestigious Banquet to Be Held in my Honor”, Walter Minus does obsession, retro style with “Priscilla”, Doug Allen has his cowboy hat wearing “Steven in Double for Danger” doing an amnesia noir thing, Charles Paul Freund writes and Peter Hoey illustrates a sad tale of the last days of a robot swing big band in “Valse Mechanique, The Mechanical Waltz”, Tony Fitzpatrick explores “Dirty Boulevard” with a series of dirty denizens on single page notebook paper, Baseman does philosophy his style in “Enjoy or Suffer”, Christian North East does a collage/drawing with retro ads and pictures in “Goodnight Irene”, Jeffery Steele tells the tale of a loner in the late 1940’s who shoots up his hometown with drawings by Teresa Mucha and Steve Campbell in “The Quiet Man”, Spain explores his late 1950’s youth and fights in diners in “The Fighting Poets”, Banquet has a transgender son taking revenge on his parents with a doll in “A New Version of Love”, Terry Laban does a strip on the extraterrestrial thinning of the human herd in “Park”, Marc Trujillo shows that no good deeds are left unpunished, especially in the city in another installment of “In the Land of Plenty”, “Sweet Grolo” and his invisible donkey wants to cook a dove he kills but can’t find anybody to do it by J. Bradley Johnsons, Peter Kuper talks about how watching the movie “Exorcist” as a young man has effected him into adulthood in “Exorcise”, “Sof’ Boy” by Archer Prewitt has Sof’ Boy homeless and being puked on by an alcoholic bum and being chewed on by rats, Monte Beauchamp does a piece on the cover art of the old Dell mystery books in “The Art of the Dell Mystery”, Nidlog has “Little Baby Gumba” going on a “Late Night Walk” that goes to drunken hell, Chris Ware explores a strange future in “Tales of Tomorrow”, Josh Alan Friedman spins a tale of a sad husband of a former 1960’s girl group singer trying to chase down the fame she lost via the nostalgia circuit with illustrations by Randee Ladden in “The Nostalgia Rapist”, and Boris Artzybaket’s factory based on his animal/human/mechanical hybrid art work is featured by Beauchamp in “Visual Thunder”. Starting in 1997 with this issue Fantagraphics took over publishing and kept the large format, they stopped publishing “Blab!” in 2007 with issue eighteen.

Issue 10 cover by Gary Baseman
Al Columbia’s (in)famous “The Trumpets They Play” strip from issue 10, that makes this issue so rare, pg 1
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Pg. 7


Issue ten is the volume that brought my interest of “Blab!” Back into my consciousness because I wanted to see Al Columbia’s whacky interpretation of the Book of Revelations. While the stand out is Al Columbia’s piece, the rest of the book is no slouch by a long stretch. Walter Minus brings back the retro with Agnes Muckensturm writing a day by day take down of men a woman ate in “Sunday is Not Necessarily the Best Day of the Week”, Banquet spins a tale of a twisted game show host in “The Bitter Happiness”, Greg Cwiklik brings the text and Randee Ladden the art in a story of pioneering black boxer Jack Johnson in “Black Jack, The Legend of Jack Johnson”, Peter Kuper does a strip on how porn corrupted him through the years in “Porn”, Al Columbia brings the high light of the volume, one collectors look for in “The Trumpets They Play” with his cartoonish take on the Book of Revelations with his recurring characters Seymour Sunshine and Knishkebibble the Monkey Boy, the combination of drawings and photo realistic background is eye popping, Peter Hoey does collage and retro artwork in “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden”, Spain does his 1950’s youth thing, this time him and his friends hop the fence to a carnival in “Carney”, Jeffrey Steele writes up on Jackie Wilson and Drew Friedman illustrates in “Mr. Excitement”, Doug Allen does a strip on the everyday existence of a junkyard owner in “Dumpy by Pant”, Pamela Butler drives Little Red Riding Hood hard into adult territory in “Little Red Riding Hood and Me”, Richard Sala does the weird crowd thing with a super sleuth tracking down a psycho in “Stranger Street”, urban every man wants to be a victim to get attention in another installment of “Tales from the Land of Plenty”, by Marc Trujillo, Mark Landman has Elvis as a fetus rockin’ n’ rollin’ and downing copious amounts of drugs in “Fetal Elvis”, Chris Ware spins a yarn about a man alone and his robot in “Rocket Sam”, Charise Mericle does a collage/drawing piece on how her parents immigrated to Canada in “Immigration”, Christian Northeast brings his retro style in “Convention”, Gary Panter paints grass in “Brooklyn”, David Goldin has Little Baby Gumba descending into hell by chasing a rat in “Wonderland”, Sof’ Boy mocks a rottweiler who wants to tear his head off without knowing it in “Sof’ Boy”, Hagelberg brings on the Four Repairman of the Apocalypse in “Baby Universes of the Apocalypse”, J. Bradley Johnson has Dr. Stefanopoulos giving out obvious and “rewarding” medical advice in “Severe Stomach Pains”, David Goldin opens up his sketchbook of drawings and collage, and Josh Alan Friedman writes an essay on working at “Regent Sound Studios”.

Issue 11, cover by Mark Ryden.
From issue 11, Richard Sala splash page.

Issue eleven is really the first “Blab!” that caught my attention before I didn’t really get roped in until Mark Ryden’s bizarre cover. Blanquet starts his shadow puppet art style in “The Oak Sorrow” in a dark fantasy tale of the oaks who get revenge on the doll makers that use the wood of the oak trees to make their dolls, Matti Hagelberg has Walt Disney, Albert Speer and Practical Pig searching for happiness in “Alvar Aalto the Furious”, Drew Friedman does a one pager with “Come Fly with Me”, Greg Clarke has an anamorphic dog snob snobbing it up in “The Peculiar Milieu of Precival C. Wolcott”, Baseman shits on philosophy in “Enjoy or Suffer”, a twisted turn of events between a dame and a gentleman by Walter Minus in “Virginia Blondes Can Be Harmful to Your Health”, Lou Brooks illustrated and writes a story of killer mutant buttocks in “Attack of the Giant Buttocks People!”, Christian Northeast does a page by page retro art style story in “Easy’s Getting Harder Everyday”, Peter Kuper does a strip on living in Israel as a young kid, faking sick and getting a spinal tap in “Spine”, Stonehouse collages retro ads and pictures with retro drawings in “Can You Live in Happiness on Earth”, David Goldin introduces the sketchbooks of Waterman Moses that look suspiciously like Goldin’s own artwork in “Waterman Moses”, Peter and Maria Hoey do a piece on a truck driver who ascends a strange ladder to his destiny in “50 Times Brighter than the Brightest Star”, in “Good Boy!” Rob and Christian Clayton spin the tale of a boy who wants to borrow God’s dog, Beauchamp shows the postcard art of Krampus in “Gruss Vom Krampus!” Jethro Kamberoes painting pastiche is on display in “I Don’t Live Today”, Steven Guarraceia does shifting paintings in an art gallery in “In the Picture Gallery”, Laura Levine does paintings of UFO sightings throughout the years in “The Flying Saucer Review”, Baseman does abstract insanity in “Lucky Charms” and “More Lucky Charms”, Jeffery Steele does the words on the Salem Witch Trials and Teresa Mucha does the art in “The Old Haunts”, David Goldin has Little Baby Gumba drunkenly chasing a rat onto a ship and becoming a part of the ship’s crew as rat boy in “The Seven Seas”, Richard Sala has the story of a man who goes to claim an inheritance that isn’t his and all hell breaks loose in “The Story of the Inventor of the Paroximus Elixir”, Lloyd Dangle emails a manifesto that might change the world in “e.manifesto!@lloyd.dangle”, Spain does the 1950’s thing in regards to his Catholic upbringing and questioning it in “Confessions”, Johnathan Rosen opens up his sketchbooks in “Obsessive Compulsive”, Dumpy fights dog punk drug addicts squatting in his junkyard in “Dumpy and the Punk Animals” by Doug Allen, and Pamela Butler turns the tale of three little pigs on its head on “The Three Little Pigs”.

Issue 12, cover by the Clayton Brothers.
From issue 12, by the Clayton Brothers and Tim House.


In issue twelve Blanquet lets fly the “Curse of the Fortune Cookie” where a couple walks out of a Chinese restaurant with more than they bargained for, Charles Paul Freund writes and Peter Hoey draws a missing “Arabian Nights Tale” called “The Binary Dreams of Wahid Al-Sifr”, Walter Minus spins another tale of wicked women in his retro style in “Serial Lover (Seven Lives in Paradise)”, Friedman does another one of his caricatures in simply “One”, Douglas Fresser tells the tale of a car in pieces in “Jesus and Poote”, Greg Clarke captures the musings of various people, various professions and different walks of life in “Private Musings”, Peter Kuper does his own play on Winsor McKay’s “Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend”, Monte Beauchamp has more postcard art of everybody’s favorite evil Santa, Krampus in “Return of Krampus!” Julian Mandel mixes 1920’s nude photography with drawn backgrounds to illustrate a fantastical story in “Nus Fantastiques” translated by Kim Thompson, the Clayton Brothers literally paint a house full of insanity page by beautiful page in “Ding Don! Welcome to Tim’s House”, Christian Northeast does face portraits of a fictional 1970’s rock band, more adventures of “Fetal Elvis” this time he meets Nixon by Mark Landman, Baseman explores his weird and abstract world in “Suffer” and “Enjoy”, Johnathan Rosen makes a “New Zodiac for Sentient Machines”, Tim Biskup spins a story of a coin operated robot that goes awry in “Freddy Seymour”, Greg Clarke does a portrait of “Profligate Pork”, Mark Mothersbaugh, member of an awesome band, Devo, integrates strange photos and weird drawings in “Toilet Train”, a robot waxes poetic in “Theres Just One Thought I Get” by Hoey and Freund, wooden idols duke it out for the chance to be number one in “18 Wooden Statuettes” by Michael Barelos, Laura Levine tells the tale of two shut in hoarder brothers in “The Collyer Brothers”, David Goldin combines fire cracker labels with drawn limbs and heads to spin a fiery tale of how fire works started, strange items sold retro art style in “One Day Only Year Long Sale” by Lou Brooks, Death takes a man in a black humor poem illustrated in “Obituary” by Max Adeler, “The Great I Am” discusses the weird esoteric religious cult that was started in my hometown of Mt.Shasta, the “I Am’ers” I went to school with were regular kids, didn’t even seem to be cult like, article by Jim Heimann, Spain and his crew get into a mock battle on the streets of 1950’s Buffalo, New York that gets out of control in “Sons of Hercules”, Johnathan Rosen opens up his sketch books in “Son of Obsessive Compulsive”, Baseman’s at it again with “Enjoy or Suffer”, Doug Allen does a strip on a 1952 Hudson Hornet and its history of bumps and scraps in “Car Cancer”, Baby Gumba becomes a Bollywood star by killing rats in Calcutta in David Goldin’s “Fistful of Curry”, and Ghost of Finnish president Kekkonen appears to champion skiier Matti Nykaren to encourage him to complete the ski jump in “That Splendid Matti Nykanen”.

Blab Issue 13, cover by George Eisner

In issue thirteen Matti Hagelberg has Finnish president Kekkonen getting swallowed by a whale in “Kekkonen in the Belly of the Whale”, Walter Minus does the bad girl retro thing in “My Sweetheart”, Doug Fraser lets loose the dogs of war in “Job’s War”, Charles Paul Freund, Peter and Maria Hoey talk prison in “Song of the Panopticon”, Tim Biskup tells a woodland tale in abstract retro style with “The Helper”, Blanquet spins a tale of He’s and She’s in “Rancid Love”, the Clayton Brothers paint a tale of a boy who lied to the tooth fairy and got what he deserved in “Will All My Teeth Fall Out?”, Monte Beauchamp talks about how “Old Man Tooke” made art out of the old novelty “Johnson and Smith” catalogue pages which inspired him to do the same, Sue Cole delves into man’s inhumanity to animals on shipping barges in “Ghost Sheep”, Henrik Drescher mixes ribbon and drawn art in “The Mechanics of Nashville”, Johnathan Rosen further explores his world of weird mechanics in “The Seamy River”, Christian Northeast makes his strange retro portraits in “Beans and Bacon”, while Haley Johnson goes the same route in pink on “Dirty Girl”, Michael Bartalos tells the story of a brain swapped for the brain of a genius with disastrous results in “8-2-4”, “3 Number 1 and 2” Baseman takes you into his strange, abstract world of skeletons, devil balloon heads and nude women, Drew Friedman does a barbecue party with Robin Williams, Sammy Davis Jr. and Sigmund Freud, Peter Kuper tells the story of how him and his friends almost drowned in a ocean undertow in “Deep Blue”, Camille Rose Garcia has a bedtime story for grown up children with “A Spy in the House of Madness”, Daniel Goldin does his mix of real paraphernalia and drawing, this time with joker cards and the history of the joker card in “The Joker”, Marc Rosenthal goes 1920’s cartooning style in “Une Crise De Style”, Fred Stonehouse mixes his drawings, retro comic strips and bits of found notebook in “Ten Commandments”, Greg Clarke tells the tale of Pierre Chevalier an anamorphic cat and his weird life in Paris in “An Elegy on the Death of a Hirsute Poet”, Spain talks his 1950’s youth and the strange old man in the house full of newspapers in “The House on Wakefield Street”, Johnathan Rosen does more abstract, mechanical art in “Parasitic and Polymorphous Perversity”, a hippie buys a bass in 1968 to play in a band, gets rid of it and maps the road of the bass back to himself in “First Bass”, Juan Soto tells the twisted tale of Mrs. Payne who beat her husband to death at the behest of her “talking” dog and declared insane in “The Pacemaker”, and Blanquet goes deep into dark territory in “Obsessional Hints”.

Cover of issue 14, cover by Camille Rose Garcia.
From Issue 14 by Fred Stonehouse.


In issue fourteen Tom Huck does “Vintage Junk ’04: Fair-y Tales from the Mississippi Expo” complete with dominatrices, boxers and native Americans in smiling, wide eyed insanity, “Meinhut” by Bob Starke shows through minimal, abstract art how artists are stiffed by businessmen, Greg Clarke documents the adventures of a white truffle named Herve in “The Forlorn Fungus”, Spain documents his 1950’s youth experience with porn in “The Birth of Porn”, in the “Second Slap”by Juan Soto and Marcelo Rodriguez they tell the tale of a woman whose abusive husband is scared straight by her psycho police captain father, Willem Rosenthal dives fish first into “Saltines”, Reumann and Robel draw the rabble (like myself) who reads “Blab World”, Camille Rose Garcia tells you to drown your troubles in “Pharmaceuticools”, David Sandlin spears suburbia in “Slumburbia”, the Clayton Brothers fuck with your motor skills in “Coping with my Motor Skills”, a black splotch causes havoc in “What’s Dat?!” By Marc Rosenthal, Monte Beauchamp shares early matchbook cover art in “Striking Images”, robots commit suicide in “I Built You First” by Peter and Maria Hoey, in a series of small fires Doug Allen spins the tale of a lawyer who insures his cigars against fire when he smokes them, he files a claim and wins the money but his plan goes “Up in Smoke”, Blanquet paints another one of his hellish landscapes in “Enfer De”, Baseman paints a watery world in “Wet Dream”, Johnathan Rosen talks and illustrates modern sun worship in “The Solution”, just a day in the life of humanoid birds in “Birdville” by Larry Day, in “Love and Peace”, Noah Woods drawing and collages it, David Goldin mixes found items and drawing in “Thirty Third and Third”, Mark Landman has “Fetal Elvis” come back and get drafted in the war against nasal cells by colonel Placenta, Walter Minus has his retro femme fatales in his noir poetry in “Locker Broadway Stash”, Peter Kuper talks about his time in the cave at the Red Sea where thinks he might’ve found the lost dead sea scrolls in “Dead Sea Stroll”, Sue Coe does her political poetry with illustration in “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, Fred Stonehouse has weepy figures on retro sign backgrounds in “Will He Can’t”, Laura Levine tells the story of the vaudeville “Piccolo Midgets”, and Matti Helberg documents the further exploits of former Iceland president Tamminiemi Kekkonen in “Hard Boiled Kekkonen”.

Cover of issue 15 by Lou Brooks.

In issue fifteen Camille Rose Garcia illustrates her poem “Subterranean Creatures”, Matti Helberg brings back president Kekkonen from the dead, literally, in “The Shoes Say “Ukk”, Bob Staake illustrates various ridiculous lyrics from various songs in “They Got the Shapely Bodies. They Got the Steely Dan T shirts”, Nicolas Debon documents various fanatical sects of the desert in “The Holy Saints of the Desert”, Peter Kuper talks the American Dream in “Dream Machine”, Marc Rosenthal has two undercover cops in the city in “Convergence”, Monte Beauchamp documents the “Kilroy Was Here” art from back in the day during World War Two, Christian Northeast wants to know where the smell is coming from in “Mr. McGillicutty in Whats that Stink?”, in “Astrida” Walter Minus brings his femme fatales back into action, Baseman does the “Garden of Unearthly Delights”, David Sandlin does his abstract suburban couple thing in “I Dream of Joni”, Don Colley rolls it up in a carpet in “My Burdened Heart”, Owen Smith does a painting of a boxer forlorn and his dame in “Cornered”, Tom Huck does “The Race of the Wheelbarrow Brides”, Tim Biskup features art from his miniature books in “Tiny Bubbles”, David Goldin combines found junk and drawings, primarily a Yoohoo can in “Yoo-Hoo”, Blanquet does another hellscape in “Dream of the Great Lake”, the Clayton Brothers do “Home Take Them Out”, knuckles get bandaged in Doug Fraser’s “A Pugilist’s Alchemy or Pulp”, Gary Taxali plays around with his lunch in “Lunchbox”, Laura Levine tells the story of the world’s most famous headless chicken in “Miracle Mike the Headless Chicken”, man about to have a literal blast in “Hope Your Holy Daze are a Blast” by Don Colley, Peter and Maria Hoey draw and C.P. Freund writes an old school ode to “Tin Tin” in “Major Sands in Shadow of the Mirage”, Sue Coe and Judith Brody do the bird flu in “Fowl Plague”, Vinnie does a comic on why your a loser for reading comix in “Comix are for Losers!”, Teresa James illustrates and Jeffery Steele writes about the Black Dahlia in “The Unkindest Cut”, Grey Claude explores the career of a pissed off actor in “The Blithe Spirit of Tinseltown”, Reumann and Robel illustrate their insane and absurd cityscapes in “Four Horsemen”, Spain talks about his artistic evolution in “The Education of an Underground Cartoonist”, Geoffrey Grahn talks taxi dancers in “Dime a Dance Girls”, and Drew Friedman does real life like portraits in “Wonderful Land”.

Cover of issue 16 by Tim Biskup.

In issue sixteen Andrea Dezso does a topsy turvy evil version of the Teletubbies in “Names in a Book in Random Order”, Geoffrey Grahn tells about how the world almost ended in the early 1960’s between Russia and the US in “The Man Who Saved the World”, a weird pet gets pawned off in “Destroy Accident City” by Paco Alcazar, the “Swamp  Preacher” drinks deep of sin by David Sandlin, Sergio Ruzzier does a children’s bed time story for adults in “The Nice Devil”, in “Lost Liner Notes” Hoey and Freund shed a spot light on various unknown jazz musicians, Spain draws an attempted pick up in “Blab Cartoon #1”, the abstract gets crazy in “Humanimals” by Mats!? Ronnie and Pal talk “Jesus” by Christian Northeast, Esther Pearl Watson paints various houses and the purported “Legends, Rumours and Hearsay” about them, Greg Clarke wants you to wipe away your problems in “Blab Cartoon #2”, Bob Staake tells you how to “Live Like An Artist”, Mark Todd does a single page ass joke in “Blab Cartoon #3”, Henrik Drescher tells you “How to Dance”, Peter Kuper puts a explosion and everyday life side by side in “Explosion”, Walter Minus does his femme fatale thing in “Blab Cartoon #4”, Monte Beauchamp shares his collection of 1950’s and 1960’s “Impko Decals”, Gary Taxali does his retro sketches on found paper in “Notty”, Owen Smith does a retro “Dragon Lady” painting, Brain Cronin shows them legs in “Nadia”, David Sandlin does the “Angel of Redemption in a Web of Sinsation”, J. Bradly Johnson piles on the “Image Surplus”, Fred Stonehouse weeps over “Nino”, Lou Brooks does sweaty burlesque in “Take It Please-y on Me, Girl”, Laura Levine does “Veronica Lake”, Christian Northeast has “Doctor Wells” give a kid pills for a tummy ache brought on by ice cream, Baseman draws a one pager showing when love between a girl and her teddy bear goes way too far in “Blab Cartoon #5”, Rubel and Reumann got pink in “Four Pages”, Marc Rosenthal does his own ode to Tin Tin’s style in “Flotsam and Jetsam”, Christian Northeast does  “Blab Cartoon #6” with stores of literal shit, “Fetal Elvis” looks for amphetamines in the pancreas, Sue Coe and Judith Brody “Run” with the hunters and the hunted, J. Bradley Johnson talks about loss of will power in “Pepin and Joe Go to Work”, the Clayton Brothers do a rare pen and paper story in “We Miss You”, Spain does a story on his jive talking friend James in 1950’s Buffalo New York in “Return of James”, and Drew Friedman proclaims “Live and Cookies”.

Cover of issue 17 by Jonathan Rosen.


In issue seventeen Sergio Ruzzier shows the sadness “While You Sleep”, Matti Hagelberg puts a modern spin on Hansel and Gretel in “Ernst Starvo Blofeld” in Christmas in Shacktown”, Geoffrey Grahn shows the oldest trend mania in “Dutch Tulip”, Steven Guarnaccia does a miniature artist in “Max Vesta Matchbook Artist”, Peter and Maria Hoey talk jazz with Coleman Hawkins and Django Reinhardt in Paris in “Out of Nowhere”, Greg Clarke does the anamorphic animal thing via a French mouse in “The Pungent Gaul”, next up “Vintage Rolling Skating Labels” by Anonymous says it all, Sue Coe and Judith Brody do one on the hurricane and its effects on humans and animals, Walter Minus wants an ex in “Blab Cartoon #1”, eyes paint a “Stone Maze” by John Pound, wet sloppy kisses in Lou Brook’s “The Wetter the Better”, tropical bliss with monkeys in Amy Crehone’s “Monkey Love”, Calef Brown has different creatures in the act of “Migration”, crying monkeys in Fred Stonehouse’s “Little Bug”, “Sun Rays of Death” assault retro America by Ryan Heshka, Esther Pearl Watson explores the “Haunted Eleazer Plot”, Gary Baseman does his own version of the “Li’l Egg Hunt”, Mark Todd does “High-Ku Class of 89”, Lou Brooks twists your tongue in a knot and lets it grow in “My Garden of Tongue-Listing Twimericks”, Shag does the artist from the early 1960’s painting a nude in the stand alone “Blab Cartoon #2”, Monte Beauchamp does a “Tribute to Bazooka Joe”, Marc Rosenthal does enchanted forests and subdivisions in “Behold the Wave”, Brian Cronin says “I have Dyslexia But I Don’t Know Ti”, Peter Kuper has “Nine Lives” and he proves it in his comic strip, Mark Landman has Fetal Elvis do the “Fetal Sunday Funnies” satires on Sunday comic strips, Gary Taxali’s retro teddy bear character needs another poker player for his game in “The Poker”, Spain talks about his old job at a copper cable company in “High Smile Guy in a Low Smile Zone”, Paco Alcazar gets the shovel in the weird “Membrane”, and Drew Friedman does portraits of “Old Jewish Comedians”.

Cover of issue 18 by Ryan Heshka.

In issue eighteen Bob Staake does his own take on e mail scams in “Hugh Got Mail”, Paco Alcazar talks a hired assassin’s relationship with his mom in “Obedience”, how to draw comics the Blab way with “The Blab Academy of Visual Arts” by Randall Enos, Drew Friedman does “More Old Jewish Comedians”, Nora Krug tells the tale of a American defector to North Korea in “No Man’s Land the Life of Sargent Robert Jenkins”, here comes “The Ever Elusive Yeti” by Mark Todd, Sergio Ruzzier once again lampoons children’s books in “Two Birds”, Fred Stonehouse paints “The Widow’s Garden”, Esther Pearl Watson talks harmless apparitions in “Caspers”, Steven Guarnacia tells the story of the master builder of mini golf courses in “Moe Greene”, a beautiful wine taster talks the taste of her different suitors in “The Tasting Notes of Annapol Garda”, Richard Bears draws the “Shapes of Things”, John Pound has eyeballs working in “Brick Rooms”, Baseman plays in the “Devil’s Playground”, Tim Biskup draws a “Helper”, suited devil men populate Travis Louie’s “Krampus One”, Shag talks hand jobs in “Blab Cartoon”, Skip Williamson does a story on a hermaphrodite turned actor turned killer in “Daddy was a Lady”, Mark Zingarelli does one on a burlesque house club owner on “Chick’s Club Taboo”, Peter Kuper talks about bullies in “Bully for You”, Ryan Heshka does one of his strange painted retro sci fi stories in “Brides of Science”, Sue Coe and Kim Stallwood take down circus’ treatment of the elephant Topsy in “The Elephant Never Forgives”, Mark Landman’s “Fetal Elvis” gets high off paint thinner and steals porn from Colonel Placenta, Mark Frauenfelder gets juiced in Calef Brown’s “The Eldritch Commons”, “Peas” waxes poetic by Serge Bloch, Randall Eno’s teaches another Blab cartoon class with “Sound Effects in Comics”, Geoffrey Grahn does one on the poor houses of yesteryear in “A Visit to the Poorhouse”, and Gary Taxali does his retro thing with “Billu”.

Cover by Baseman.
From the issue New and Used Blab!

“New and Used Blab” features the best of the previous “Blab” volumes, and while there is a lot of good material in this part of the book, if it were me I would’ve included Al Columbia’s “The Trumpets They Play”, the absence of that twisted genius piece is mind boggling, turn the book upside down you get new material with a introduction by Mark Mothersbaugh, David Goldin does his hybrid of found objects and hand drawn characters in “Horace”, Camille Rose Garcia does “Who’s Afraid of the Peppermint Man?” A grotesque story of how peppermint candy is made and shipped into town, Doug Allen does a strip on being stranded and rescued by a ghost ship in “Adrift”, Peter and Maria Hoey with Charles Paul Freund writing about how alien invaders use humor comic strips to conquer humanity in “The Paper Grin”, Marc Rosenthal goes to “France”, Douglas Fraser takes a shot at capitalism in “Pax Americana”, Monte Beauchamp features the cover art of old detective magazines in “Cover Couture”, Sue Coe goes after factory farming in “The Man with No Heart”, Blanquet does a shadow puppet nightmare theater where a girl’s teddy bear instructs her on how to get revenge on her bullies in “Sweet Teddy”, Johnathan Rosen does stream of conscious in “Hey Mister”, Teresa Mucha paints “Go There to Rest”, Haley Johnson does “Dirty Girl Body Language”, Walter Minus has a pixie femme fatale cause havoc in “Tarantula B.”, Spain talks the Cold War in “My Cold War”, Drew Friedman shows how you can have a successful career in “Show Business”, Richard Sala features a treasure hut for “Amber Eyes”, Fred Stonehouse has weepy characters in “General Martyrology”, Baseman does the devil balloon head thing that causes destruction in “Baseman”, Monte Beauchamp does “A Tribute to Jim Flora!!!” And his abstract jazz record covers, “Fetal Elvis” fights his evil twin by Mark Landman, and Peter Kuper talks fear of nuclear destruction in “Bombed”. Chronicles Books put this one out in 2003 after Fantagraphics gave up publishing “Blab!”.

Blab World 1, cover by Shag
From Blab World 1, a write up on the presence of skulls in old mystery comics by Bill North.


“Blab World 1” came out years after in 2010 and was put out by Last Gasp it starts with the then departed Geoffrey Ghan’s artwork and study on “Slime Molds”, Kari Lane McCluskey’s strange Lolita like doll world is photographed in “Collodion”, Greg Clarke chronicles the trials and tribulations of “The Neurotic Art Collector”, Bill North features and writes an article on how the skull played a major role in cover art back in the day in “Skull!”, Nora Krug illustrates a story on “The Tumultuous Life of Isabelle Eberhardt”, Shag shows what happens when you screw around in “Eames Lounge”, different artists draw and paint their vision of the apocalypse, artists like Ron English, Mark Ryden, Ryan Heshka, Owen Smith, Jean-Pierre Roy, Andy Kehoe, Spain, Martin Wittfrooth, Femke Hiemstra, Natalia Fabia, Joe Sorren, Gary Baseman, Karen Barbour, Edel Rodriguez, Sue Coe, Mark Burckhardt, Calef Brown, Kris Kuksi, Tom Huck, Andrea Dezso, Yoko D’Holbachie, Alex Gross, Fred Stonehouse, Gary Taxali, Travis Lampe, John Pound, Michael Noland, Sofia Arnold, Larry Day, Teresa James and Kathleen Lolly. Sergio Ruzzier does his parody of children’s books in “The Life of an Artist”, Steven Heller does a write up on “Weirdo” I also did one on my blog ( get weird-OH! Here, James Lowe writes on and shows propaganda caricature art of World War Two in “Ax the Axis”, Mark Landman has Fetal Elvis commanding his “Art Empire”, Juilia Moore writes and Steven Guarnaccia illustrates the “Lament on the Death of Willie”, Mark Todd does the tale of “The Dreaded Mothman of West Virginia”, CJ Pyle draws braided people with ballpoint in “Ballpoint Bravura”, and Peter Kuper does his interpretation of the “Four Horsemen”.

Cover of Blab World 2 by Gary Taxali.
From Blab World 2 by Elvis Studios.

In “Blab World 2” Nora Krug does a strip on “Adolf’s Aberration” not that Adolf, the artist Adolf who drew and invented a colorful past for himself after being arrested for various, uh hmmm, indecencies, Greg Clarke does the trials and tribulations of Edward in “Dispatches from Oblivion”, Ryan Heshka does a profile on Frank R. Paul who illustrated covers for “Wonder Stories” and “Amazing Stories” in “A Passion for Paul”, Elvis Studio does an abstract pink world in “Hollow Inside”, Andrea Dezso does a strip on a woman who summons a demon lover called “Liderc”, Drew Friedman draws and writes a profile on “Will Elder”, different artists draw their visions of “The Hereafter”, artists like Ryan Heshka, Jon Macnair, Eric White, Femke Hiemstra, Erik Mark Sandberg, Larry Day, Brook Slane, Christopher Buzelli, Gary Taxali, Luciano Scherer, Cahtie Bleck, Craig Larotunda, Laurie Hogan, Marc Burckhardt, Martin Wittfooth, Travis Lampe, Robert Connett, Lou Beach, Kris Kuksi, Lou Brooks, Yoko D’Holbachie, Charles Glowbitz, Elvis Studio, Kevin Scalzo, Fiona Hewitt, Jean-Pierre Roy, Chet Zar, Rob Sato, Michael Noland, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Xinoqing Ding, Jana Brike, Baseman, and Owen Smith, Steven Heller does a write up on Zap Comix in “The Zap in my Life”, Sergio Ruzzier does his kid book satire thing with “Left Overs”, a bird character wakes up and finds he is dead, Doris Kitchen of Kitchen Sink publishing does a comic strip on a haunted house him and his family lived in “The Vexing Thing Upstairs”, Mark Todd does a strip on “The Great Sea Serpent of Brazil’s Parahiba River”, Bill North does a write up on Fred Stonehouse in “Fred Stonehouse! A Life in Between”, Peter Kuper talks about how he dreamed of his dead father in visitation. “Blab World” in particular stresses more of the painting and single page illustration than the previous issues of “Blab!” Nothing wrong there, it almost is an easier and accessible issue of “Hi Fructose” art magazine.

So in closing “Blab!” Is a series with interesting, eye popping, art work and comics, a cross between high brow and low brow. I absolutely fell in love with this series again, there will be times I’ll just crack an issue and drink in the sights like a heady brew, while not all of the stuff in “Blab!” Is my cup of tea, that is any comics anthology, not every story, strip or art is gonna be somebody’s cup of tea and that is OK, the point of “Blab!” Was to introduce people to art that they’d never seen or heard of. I sure do hope Last Gasp continues to put out “Blab World”, this world would be the richer for it. “Blab!” Away my friends.

Now if any of you want to buy these go on amazon or ebay, good luck getting a copy of the ever illusive issue 10.

Some of these you can read online here:




White Noise on Paper: “Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist” because I got nothing…

They don’t make men like Norman Pettingill anymore, hell, you could argue they don’t make men today, period. Pettingill seems like he chews bark like gum and could stomp your modern, smart phone scrolling, skinny, whiny ass into the ground with his hiking boots. They also don’t make humor like this anymore.

I discovered Norman Pettingill from reading Robert Crumb’s “Weirdo” magazine (see my review of “Weirdo” magazine here: Robert Crumb republished some of Pettingill’s art work in his 1980’s underground comix/cartoon magazine, his art jumped out at me, it was ribald, crazy, chaotic, free spirited and had to see more. So I went to go find out if there was a book and sure enough the fine folks at Fantagraphics put one out, “Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist” in 2010 and this being Fantagraphics who won’t do another fucking print run of anything, the book is out of print which is a damn shame because this artist needs more exposure in my opinion.

This a document of a bygone era, when rural America really had its own culture, food and humor, since the urbanization of most of the country and homogenization of culture country wide a lot of this stuff has just disappeared. In “Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist” you’ll see some of that past preserved. Most of Pettingill’s work was collected and preserved by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, located in the Wisconsin area, keeping alive the independent, DYI folk art that would otherwise be lost. The Arts center helped with this book.

Norman’s grandfather, John A. Pettingill, a farmer and cattle dealer bought the land and started the town Norman was born in on 1896, Iron River, Wisconsin. Norman says he’d been drawing since he was six years old and dropped out of high school in his third year because he wanted to be outside fishing and hunting. John was drafted during World War One and only served in Mississippi for a short period and was discharged when the war ended. Norman lived off the land, his drawing and calligraphy skills. He did calling cards, signs and other jobs until 1946 when he started drawing postcards, printing and selling them from door to door, he’d make a living at it for pretty much the rest of his life. That pretty much sums up this book, you get most of his postcard work as well as his nature paintings. John claims he pretty much didn’t get lessons from anybody and was self taught, even when he wrote letters to people he would illustrate them. His bar, hospital, public beach etc. paintings are something else, a cross between Will Elder and Hieronymus Bosch, silly, stupid, profane, carnival like, ribald etc. When looking at a Norman Pettingill postcard you will always find something new or something you missed. That being said if you can find a copy of “Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist” snap it up, there is copies available on ebay and amazon, it might give your wallet and/or paypal account a diet. Robert Crumb does the introduction, Leslie Umberger, the Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at Kohler Arts Cent does the foreword and Gary Groth does the biography. The front cover and back cover are literally made of wood and the book horizontally is oversized to fully show the art. Highly recommended.

Start your diet here, it is 20 bucks digitally if you want to go that way:

And here:


White Noise on Paper: Damn “Commies From Mars”! (1973-1987)

The title of this underground comix series sounds like the title to a bad b movie from the 1950’s-1960’s at the height of the red scare and I think that is the purpose. This series pretty much satirizes the “Red Scare” and science fiction comics and movies in general, kind of like what the early 1960’s card series “Mars Attacks” did. This was published by Last Gasp, first issue came out in 1973.

It was edited by Tim Boxell who would, oddly enough, direct the serialized puppet biker, soap opera segments of “Winter Steele” for the awesome animation anthology show, “Liquid Television”, he was also a technical advisor on the Eddie Murphy’s oriental occult movie “Golden Child” among other jobs in Hollywood. The series, a lot like Last Gasp’s other series, would span years and publish sporadically, in “Commies From Mars” case, after its first issue there would be a six year hiatus before the next one.

Many authors and artists would come aboard, most from the underground comix world, people like Greg Irons, Peter Kuper, Spain, S. Clay Wilson and Kenneth Huey which gave the series variety and kept interesting. Different strips explored different themes, some were straight up satire, some action, eroticism (especially between humans and aliens), science fiction, propaganda, societal control and social mores while not taking itself seriously.

In those fourteen years six issues came out, I first stumbled across this series while reading old “Heavy Metal Magazines”, the ads in the back were from Last Gasp Publishing’s underground comix satire line up which featured “Cocaine Comix”, “Young Lust” and “Commies from Mars”, when I read that title I busted up laughing, it brought to mind those corny and cheesy 1950’s B monster movies I used to watch while stoned on a Saturday night on the local public access station. I forgot about the title until I started going through my “Heavy Metal Magazines”, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to dig into my wallet to buy the series issue by issue. Luckily, Last Gasp released all six issues in one beautiful book.

“Commies from Mars The Red Planet The Collected Works” will set you right. Jerry Garcia from a band I fucking hate, The Grateful Dead, does the foreword and Tim Boxell gives warning about the “Martian Extermination Legion” knocking on your door at 2AM. There was very scant info on this series and its publishing, nonetheless the mystery adds to the mystique of this series. This comes highly recommended from me, visual white noise every noise addict should search out and inject in their veins. THE MARTIANS ARE COMING! THE MARTIANS ARE CUUUUMMMMINGGGGG!!!!

To get invaded, do it fast because the spots on the saucer are being filled up:


White Noise on Paper: “An Ode to Joy” by Frank Kozik is what you get.

In the late 1990’s I had just graduated high school and I was visiting my parents in Los Angeles, I was in a used bookstore but I forgot which one. This bookstore was a bookstore for weirdos, people like me and you. Having a little money I had to make up my mind between a bunch of cool books, underground comics, magazines and zines, I was sweating. This was before the internet was widespread and nobody had a smartphone and here I was sweating my late teen nuts off. On one hand I had a book of nudes hot chicks with piercings in different place, the title of the book escapes me now but I was old enough to buy it, then there was the current issue of “Blab”, a book on unusual fetishes that had me in stitches laughing, the first mention I’d ever seen of “Furries” and “An Ode to Joy” by Frank Kozik. After awhile I had it narrowed down to the nude pierced chicks and “An Ode to Joy”. I knew if I didn’t choose soon my mom was gonna call the police thinking I’d been murdered and dumped somewhere in the Los Angeles River and a scene would be made, I didn’t want a scene to be made. “An Ode to Joy” popped out at me, a insane, psychedelic, nightmarish cartoon brew of retro pop culture screwed, slewed, brewed and tattooed, on the other hand I had forgotten my Penthouses at my apartment in upper Northern California, and being a young guy I had blue balls and a can of Vaseline. My dick won out, soon, however that pierced chick book got lost, I’ve been through two house fires, three crazy ex girlfriends who destroyed my stuff and numerous moves, in between those incidents it was lost but all through the years, “An Ode to Joy” stuck in my head like a icky, sticky pop song, except this is one song I wanted to hear. Years ago I finally got a copy and lost that copy, then I bought another one, for pierced chicks I can just go to Pornhub now.

I lived through the brunt of the “alternative movement” of the 1990’s, the “I don’t give a fuck, everything sucks” Generation X coming of age where a lot of cool music, art and other things got spawned. Us Gen Xer’s were raised on pop culture, some of us without the aid of church and religion made cartoons, b movies, underground music, old TV shows etc. the religion and it was later satirized. I can’t think of a bigger embodiment of that than the work of Frank Kozik, who was owner of Man’s Ruin Records, Frank actually started out doing poster art and other work as an artist in San Francisco. Man’s Ruin released mainly Alternative Stoner rock/metal and punk acts, Frank illustrated most, if not all of the covers for the bands on his label not to mention their posters. He also did posters for bands that went on to become big, Nirvana, Green Day, Soundgarden etc.

The book is hardbound and the posters are reproduced with eye piercing color on slick paper, in this book you’ll get cute animals with knives and axes through their heads, a drunk Yogi Bear, 1950’s children’s books where the kids are cannibals, the Japanese army cheering over the remains of the Statue of Liberty and other mind twisting, nut tweaking images. “Man’s Ruin” has released some of favorite bands, chief among them being “The Fuckemos”.

Frank’s got two more books I’d like to get my greasy paws on “Man’s Ruin: Posters and Art” and “Desperate Measures”. Frank’s work also appealed to me being raised on various cartoons where animorphic animals would blow the shit out of each other, except in Frank’s world you get to see the blood, there is no shaking off of the bomb going off, you see the bloody pieces in close up, ridiculous detail. Any retro pop culture aficionado will be able to pick up on different pieces he satirizes and he mixes different stuff in his art.

As I’ve mentioned before you’ll see posters for bands who are famous, yet to be famous or only bands that you and couple of friends know. Sometimes Frank will chime in with an anecdote of how he got the idea for the poster or some nonsense that isn’t even related to the piece in question. Frank keeps you on your feet, the guy has a twisted sense of humor.

So if you want a little taste of 1990’s alternative culture, visual style, this book is a good place to start, there is copies out there that are within your reach money wise but that might change so go snap them up while you can.


White Noise on Paper: Have an “Horrorgasmo” on me.

“Horrorgasmo: Psychotic Art For New Mutants” could only be vomited forth from the minds of Italians. The same nation that gave us Fulci, Bava and Argento also gave us this “art book” in limited quantities and the reason why I put quotation marks around art book is because I doubt the four people contained in this book, as well as the editor, want their names associated with the art scene of the late 1990’s to early 2000’s as full of itself as it was.

Limited to 999 copies (I have copy 944) you can tell a lot of this stuff was inspired by the great Charles Burns. Alessandro Papa had a comics shop in Italy called “Mondo Bizzarro” and he seems to be the one that put this volume together, he said in 1997 that Stefano Zattera, one of the artists in the book, came into drop off some zines he had put together, Papa said he thumbed through them and was blown away and in his words the zine was packed with “Posters of incredibly strange imaginary B movies, demented strips, “sick” and ultra extreme cartoons, all drawn with great technical ability in classic comic style. It was as if some ageing  maestro of the American pop era had sold their soul to the devil.”

Zattera’s alien cow girl rides!

In another one of the zines that Papa leafed through was the art of Dast whose work is also in the book and was very impressed and Dast ended up having Zattera design the cover of his own Healter Skelter magazine. A year later Papa met Dast and Zattera at their “Horrorgasm” exhibition consisting of the aforementioned artists, Spiderjack and the veteran Italian cartoonist Gianmaria Liani. That is when Papa decided that these artists couldn’t stay hidden from the world and that they needed their own book which is “Horrorgasmo”.

Liani takes a bite out of you!!!

All four artists come from the Veneto region which is a region that is pretty conservative and Catholic, maybe the repression created some deviant artists. Whether you buy that commonly held conception is up to you, maybe its bullshit. The first artist in this book is Stefano Zattera, he is the founder of Delirio Communications, in which he not only publishes his own work but other artist’s work.  His work has appeared in various books and mags, as of now he still does work. Today he calls his work “Apocalyptic Surrealism” in which he still lampoons 1950’s and 1960’s pop culture as well as B movies. His work is in the first part of the book and already you can see his satire of retro junk culture, his art is my favorite in the book. Mutants and aliens fucking in a alternative 1950’s universe where bondage is widely accepted.

Spiderjack attack!!!

Next up in the book is Gianmaria Liani who has done art work for various magazines as well as the American magazine “Malefact”, he has also done his own comics and produced illustrations for the book “LupinIII” and it looks like he still does work and has a few books published underneath his belt. Liani’s work is sado masochistic and involves cannibalism and like Zattera he seems to lampoon retro junk culture. There is part of a comic strip on one page and fake movie poster on another one.

Spiderjack is gonna fuck you up good with his “cute characters” getting sucked, pummeled, stabbed etc. Just like the other artists in this book he has had his stuff published in various Italian magazines and is the author of a trading card book called “Ebryotica” which is just as weird and screwed up as his section in this book.

Dast-ardly deeds down dirt cheap!!!

Last but definitely not least is Dast who is co founder of Delirio Communications along with Zattera who I’ve mentioned release fucked up zines, art and magazines. He has had his work published in various weird art magazines and other places as well as “Malefact” here in the US, and “Stripburger” in Slovakia not much more I can find on him don’t know if he does art nowadays anymore. Any search I tried came up with another Dast who is a musician. Dast’s art consists of stumpy and ugly hermaphrodites sucking, fucking and killing each other so that is that.

This book comes with Italian as well as English texts and the whole thing is in black and white which really makes the visual white noise pop aggressively. This book isn’t for the feint of heart there is debauchery, mutant and tentacle sex and violence. Some pieces lampoon religion, some try to push the boundaries of what is excepted in the art world. Over all sometimes I think this book tries too hard to shock, if this up your alley you aren’t in luck I bought my copy off of Abebooks and now doing a search it is nowhere to be found, it kind of pisses me off when books are released in limited quantities, kind of a hipster thing to do if you ask me. In closing if you wish to have this in your possession good luck finding it.


White Noise on Paper: Become a “Brutarian” issues 7 and 8!

The heyday of the zine was the 1980’s to the 1990’s before the massive onslaught of the internet, and blogs, things we take for granted these days. The only way to find like minded individuals who were into the same weird music, movies, comics etc. that you were into was to pick up “Fact Sheet Five” a magazine cataloguing different zines, find like minded individuals through ads put in zines, and word of mouth. These zines were really personal and people put their own style and personal stamps on them. There was zines on all subjects you can think of from stuff as innocent as socks and clothing to alternative music and “snuff films”. The quality and quantity varied depending on how much money the person publishing the zine had, what access to printing equipment they had etc. Some zines were really primitive, some were hand drawn and xeroxed, then there was some that looked like they could’ve been sold in grocery and convenience stores right next to “People” magazine. Some also varied in size from A5 small digest size to giant newspaper size, then there is the magazine size and “Brutarian” was a zine that was as big as a regular sized magazine, the cover and back are slick and in color and the insides are in black and white.

Unfortunately the issue I got didn’t come with the “DeCeased/Brutarian Sampler” and the fact this zine actually had a music sampler is surprising. Most zines can’t afford one tape or CD let alone the printing costs. Right off the bat “Brutarian #7” with its cover done by underground cartoonist Doug Allen pronounces itself, the cover screams “Lo Brow! Stupid! Childish!” Open it up and you’ll soon see that while the contents are what are screamed on the cover, the articles and reviews and they way their written say different. Thumbing through this thing you see that not only are there articles, reviews and interviews, there is underground comics drawn by recognizable names if your into underground comics, Jarret Huddleson being one who did the cover art for the “Garbage” compilation, a compilation of noise, metal and punk acts mainly from Japan. In this issue he takes apart Madonna (literally in drawing of course), on the “Garbage” compilation cover he gave her black eyes.

Also interviewed are Larry Buchanan, director of Z grade fare like “Mistress of the Apes” and “Creature of Destruction” for Roger Corman’s company. You also get big titted Kitten Natividad, who bore her chest for the classic dirty old man, Russ Meyer, in his movies, in the interview you find out that she was drifting towards doing hardcore porn (yeah I know you dirty perv, your searching for her name in pornhub, great minds think alike, after your done with um, whatever, come on back and cool down).

Brian Horrorwitz, who owns the awesome “Trash Palace” web site and sells very hard to find movies and other things and is in the psychobilly band, Ubangis, interviews horror punk band, Sic Kidz. Then we’re on to “Celluloid Void” where the movies of the day are reviewed, this issue came out in 1993 and there is a review on Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” and the review is actually prophetic, this was before “Pulp Fiction”, and “Brutarian” is prophetic, especially from this end line in the article: “Tarantino does get to you and he makes the whole exercise look effortless. This may not be genius but it certainly is, at the very least, prodigious talent. His pending partnership as screen writer/producer with  John Woo promises to kick ass (did they end up doing a movie that I don’t know of?). Here’s hoping Hollywood wises up and starts throwing bagfuls of money at this guy.” Wow did they and depending on what your opinion of Tarantino is, that was good or bad thing.

Also “Basic Instinct”, “Army of Darkness”, Coppola’s “Dracula”, etc. to name movies and this is around when they were in theaters. Ozzy Fide reviews videos in the “Six Pack Theatre” section, to you kids out there VHS videos are bulky, black rectangular objects that played pictures, you could throw a VHS tape at somebody’s head and knock them out. He gives movie beer cans depending on how good they are. He reviews “Universal Soldier”, “Poison Ivy”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992) etc. He shits on a lot of movies even if he likes them and its hilarious. “Brutarian” does book reviews in the “Brutarian Library” where various books that offend the common reader are reviewed, again “Brutarian” doesn’t disappoint or bore, the people who write the reviews make something interesting something you normally wouldn’t give attention to. Then we’re on to music with “Audio Deprivation” but “Brutarian” doesn’t limit its musical reviews to 1990’s alternative college radio rock and punk bands like a lot of zines did back in the day, nope they cover it all, metal, punk, garage, rockabilly etc. which endears me to “Brutarian”. Granted there was a lot of zines tailored to different people with different tastes in music and movies. “Brutarian” will review a death metal album in one column and a 1960’s revival garage band’s album in the next column.

The various contributors to this zine are a whose who of the underground, not only do you get comics by Mike Diana, Danny Hellman, Greg Fiering among others, you get other zine and underground writers contributing like Stately Wayne Manor, Greg Goodsell, Vic Stanley etc. “Brutarian” number 7, count me in!!!

Up next, right off the bat, you get a bat girl riding a missile saying on it “Bang Me Big Boy”. Again, “Brutarian #8” assaults your fragile, weak boy sensibilities. Its sexist and stupid and “Brutarian” doesn’t give one fuck what you think of it. 

First interview up, they let “The Mentors” mentally rape you and laugh in your face. El Duce, and Sickie Wifebeater do their interviews drunk, I mean, how else would they do a interview? Incoherent offense spews on every page, sneering and disdain for every wimpy crybaby in the world reading this interview will have the Millennial and Z crowd running for their Starbucks Soy Latte Safe Spaces. “The Mentors” are a homophobic, misogynist, perverted, sadistic, masochistic, drug addicted, alcoholic sleaze metal band that will literally make you eat their shit.


You get comics from J. Huddleston, Greg Suss, Pat Carroll, Steve Cerio, Tom Corllette, Mike Diana and Paul Revess. The obligatory “Audio Deprivation” section that takes music to the wood shed, Deicide’s “Amon: Feasting the Beast”, The New Bomb Turk’s “Destroy-O-Boy”, Geto Boys’ “Uncut Dope”, and Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Rockin’ My Life Away” are among the discs given a spanking along with “Swingin’ Singles” a column on singles and EPs. You get an article on the insane genius Joe Meek by Steve Jefferies, Joe did the infamous 1960’s instrumental “Telstar” among other pieces of music, Joe was Schizophrenic and thought he was from a different planet, he also thought his land lady was spying on him he ended up killing her with a stolen shot gun and then himself.

“Celluloid Void” is skinnier sadly but there is an article by the editor Don Salemi on Mario Bava flicks, Ozzy Fide drinks himself silly to videos with “Six Pack Theatre”, and “Brutarian Library” pulls underground books from the feces and encrusted sewer and flings them at you, there is a section on books on the “JFK assassination conspiracy” thing.

So if you can, get a hold of any old copies of “Brutarian” their out there on ebay and there is some back issues to read for free on just by searching. I tried to find out more stuff on this zine and I thought I’d find more than I did given that a lot of the issues had semi famous underground cartoonists and writers. I was a dead wrong, there is bare bones info on this thing. Even combing the publisher notes. This zine is very professionally done, more so than a lot of the zines that came out in the 1980s and 1990’s. “Brutarian” wallows in its own, low brow, lo fi filth. Nobody could get away with half of what is in these two issues if they tried publishing these today.

From what I can tell this zine was edited and published by Don Salemi out of Arlington, Virginia, the most unlikely place I would think something like “Brutarian” would come from, but you’d be surprised how many messed up zines came out of the south and heartland of America, in fact, the most repressed places have the more messed up zines. “Brutarian” is for the culture Brute in all of us, man or woman. While it is cool that people like myself can just publish a site or blog, I miss the heyday of the zines when the only way to put out your “blog” was to draw, write, type, print and xerox copies of your very personal zine. Don’t get me wrong, there is still some people who do it old school and to them I say “I am glad your keeping the true flame alive”.


White Noise on Paper: Come on down to the “Underworld”, WAY WAY DOWN!!!

I randomly grab some type of newspaper on the toilet tank of my stoner buddy’s bathroom and I open it to the comics section, ahhh looks like “Mutts”, I’ll get a little chuckle or I’ll use this paper to wipe my butt with…wait a second! Is Mutts shooting up heroin? WTF is this? Oh…Its a comic called “Underworld” by Kaz and this paper I am reading is the local “alternative weekly”.

And the book has an introduction by the creator of “Mutts”, Patrick McDonnell who is friends with Kaz in real life. “Underworld” is like looking at demented funhouse mirror images of Mutt and Jeff, Mickey Mouse, Popeye and Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy and Slugo.

Kaz, full name Kazimieras Gediminas Prapuolenis, comes from a Lithuanian family, he said his family fought and yelled a lot, he said he got his imagination from his mother who encouraged his artistic ventures. He said his influences as a kid that followed him into adulthood was “The Wizard of Oz”, “Peanuts”, “Bugs Bunny”, “Popeye”, “Lil’ Nancy”, “Dick Tracy” and “Krazy Kat” comics, the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, and Mark Twain. If you do pick up this “Underworld from Hoboken to Hollywood” compilation, you will see these influences stamped all over, albeit spit out in a twisted way that is Kaz’s own.

Kaz went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, some of the instructors there were Art Spiegelman and Harvey Kurtzman, a lot of artists came out of there and went on to write for Spiegleman’s “RAW”, the large size underground comic magazine whose street level competition was Robert Crumb’s “Weirdo” I did an article on “Weirdo” here, Kaz also wrote for them and another one time SVA student who moved from New York to Seattle, Peter Bagge, became editor of “Weirdo”.

Kaz was doing illustration work thinking about quitting comics because they took way too long to complete until New York Press asked him if he would do a strip for their paper, so he developed “Underworld”, he wanted to do a black humor strip full of addiction, murder, sex and despair, you know, all the finer things in life. He wanted it to be about two low rent hoods, one of them being a demented and drug addicted “Mickey Mouse” look alike. He took the name of the comic from the 1927 silent gangster movie by Josef Von Sternberg.

He pretty much said “I took the shapes and cartoon spare parts from comic history and rearranged them and subverted them. If it made me laugh I used it. I actually thought of “Underworld” as an underground comics parody of daily newspaper comics when I started.” He said he gets ideas from listening to people on the street, or reimagining other comic strips he’d read and twisting the humor, he also filters his feelings that day through his comics.

Kaz says “Underworld” is his escape and he feels like a kid again when he works on it. The strip appears in various alternative weeklies across the country, well, the ones that still print at least. Kaz has gone onto work as a writer for “SpongeBob SquarePants” (you can see Kaz’ absurdist humor in a lot of the episodes he wrote) and Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb”, Kaz actually got an Emmy nomination for an episode he wrote. “Underworld” is a strip that will either give you a chuckle or make you laugh so hard you shit your pants and you’ll want to go back and read the strip and show it to your friends. Some ideas work and some don’t, but one thing you’ll get is something different, absurd and weird in Kaz’s world than what you’d get in normal comic strips. There is some one off characters but the reoccurring ones are Snuff (a Popeye look alike) and Creep Rat (a twisted Mickey Mouse) two low rent crooks who are constantly getting into trouble, Nuzzle the Junkie always looking for a hit, Smoking Cat, Petit Mort, Newton the big man with the small head, Zoot Rumpus and Bunky the Weird Man Baby. Fantagraphics released this bad boy in hardcover it features the best of 23 years of the weekly comic, there is a few pages in color and its mostly in black and white. Another feature that pops up is “Kaz’s Girls”, a strip of different girls with, shall we say, “unique” qualities and features, “Kaz’s Sketchbook” a one panel strip of drawings from, what else, his sketchbook and “Lists” where Nuzzle just lists a bunch of weird and random shit in each panel. “Underworld” is a must have for anybody who loves twisted, different and weird comics.

To get “Underworld from Hoboken to Hollywood” you have dig here:

Go visit Kaz’s web site, he’s got a lot of cool stuff on there as well as the newest weekly strips of “Underworld”, he’s got shirts, mugs etc. Get the fuck over there!


White Noise on Paper: Welcome to “The Manly World of Lloyd Llewellyn”! GRRRRRR!!!!

Open this comic compilation and the smell of cheap gin, cigarettes and even cheaper perfume wafts right off the page. You know exactly where you are: “The Manly World of Lloyd Llewellyn”. Welcome to a world where the 1950’s to mid 1960’s pop culture is mixed together with no blurring lines, its a place where space travel and alien visitation is normal. A four eyed detective, Lloyd Llewellyn, hangs out in a bar “The Big White Dot” with his diminutive side kick, Ernie. Together they chase alien dames, beat up Ed Big Daddy Roth monster teenagers from Jupiter, battle man eating Beatniks etc. This was Daniel Clowes first foray into doing his own comic book.

Daniel says all up until the point of Lloyd Llewellyn he had only done 25 pages of actual comics and single illustrations until he sent an Lloyd Llewellyn page in color to Fantagraphics, Fantagraphics gave him his own comic, except it was in black and white, the cover and back being colored which fits the whole aesthetic of the magazine and the time period its paying homage to. Its like reading a black and white sci fi noir film.

Dan says he isn’t particularly proud of his work in “The Manly World of Lloyd Llewellyn” it was one of his first projects and he says he was working himself up to “Triple A Baseball”. He said writing Lloyd Llewellyn was a way of exorcising pop culture demons and trivia he’d gathered, pop culture from 1948-1966. He thought there was a market for comics that referenced “Dragnet” and Mickey Spillane novels, he said the target audience turned out to be ex hippies who thought it was a satire of the pre 1967 culture they hated and younger kids who were into “Hep Cat” culture and hated anything post 1966.

The series lasted from 1985 to 1994, in it he pays homage to various pop culture relics from the 1950-1966 period including  Red Sovine and Burl Ives lyrics, DC comics of the early 1960’s, characters that are similar to Lee Hazlewood, Esquerita, Alfred E. Newman, Sylvester P. Smythe, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth monsters, 1950’s “Super Duck” and “Plastic Man”, movies like “Detour”, “Devil Thumbs A Ride”, “Touch of Evil”, “Brainac”, “Thrill Killers”, “Homicidal”, “Straight Jacket” and “Psycho” and TV shows like “Dragnet”. Despite what Clowes says (and his later stuff is better) I wasn’t bored one minute with this thing. I loved this world, I’ve read worse and won’t review those on here.

In this book is the foreword and afterward to the first version of this collection called simply “#$@&! Parts one and two”. This book is a must for Daniel Clowes fans, problem is this book is out of print and rare. While “Fantagraphics” is one of my favorite companies out there, their refusal to republish past stuff, even in limited quantities makes me insanely mad. The prices are utterly fucking ridiculous, I was lucky to get this copy for 150 bucks from Australia. Utterly ridiculous. From “Fantagraphics” point of view they probably wonder why they should reprint something barely anybody knows or cares about but the problem is they do it all the time. I wish they’d give Lloyd Llewellyn the same treatment as Dan’s other work like “Velvet Glove Cast In Iron” and “Eight Ball”. There is stuff released that is selling on ebay and various sites for insane amounts of money I would never pay, no matter how much I want it. Until I started searching I didn’t think I’d ever read “The Manly World of Lloyd Llewellyn” and I despaired of ever seeing this visual white noise. There is a lot out there I want to see but never will because of insane fucking collectors and sellers who drive the price of something way the fuck up, sure scarcity causes the costs to sky rocket but c’mon, some of these sellers are just ripping desperate schmucks off. (RANT OVER. LOL!)

“The Manly World of Lloyd Llewellyn” was released in a limited print run of 2000 copies, wish they’d do another so all of you out there could experience Clowes’ strange noir, sci fi, retro world. If you want a copy I say do a search on your favorite internet search engine, the physical copies like I have are gonna straight up rape your wallet raw, and on amazon right now the cheapest available copy is 727 bucks! EEEEK!!! When I searched I could find no download links, if you want to search for a copy good luck to you and good luck hunting!



White Noise on Paper: Your such a “Weirdo”! Underground Comix Magazine 1981-1993

When I was a youngster, I remember looking at the comics rack in our local liquor store, “George’s Liquor”. Old man George was a curmudgeonly old man who smoked a big cigar, this was before there was laws to ban indoor smoking. George’s store had two pieces, the back, separated by a huge black curtain had all the booze, and porno mags, the front of the store had all the soda, 5 cents to 25 cent candy, regular magazines and the comics. George would get annoyed at us and grunt “You kids just gonna stand there and read those picture books are you gonna buy summin’?” Was his common refrain, what George didn’t know was he threw all the comics in one section, the DC, the Marvel and the underground ones. As a kid I would gravitate towards the weirder comics, I still read the super hero ones but I was more interested in the “Conan the Barbarian” comics than the Superman and Spider-man comics, the “Conan” comics were pretty racy and as a young boy I felt funny looking at Conan laying on top of the scantly clad women in the issue. I promptly bought two issues before my mom caught me reading them and threw them away. One day, browsing the comics I came across a cover that was completely different from all the comics populating the rack, it said “Weirdo” and the cover was creepy, I picked it up, after thumbing through it I knew it was something my mom would throw away if I bought it and then recommend I see a psychiatrist. There was weird people having sex, indiscriminate violence and creepiness that sprang up and hit me between my nine year old eyes. I felt like it was something I shouldn’t be reading and through the years it sat in the back of my subconscious growing like a poisonous mushroom in the dark basement of my mind until it came full grown.

So after buying the “Zap Comix” box set, and reading the supplemental material the poisonous mushroom reared its ugly head in the basement. Robert Crumb, of “Fritz the Cat”, “Keep on Truckin'” fame founded “Zap” and invited his artist friends to make “Zap Comix”, the first underground comic to spurn on the movement, not the first underground comic but the one to spread independent comics to more widespread notoriety. Robert wanted to bring in more blood to “Zap” newer artists besides Spain, Robert Williams, S. Clay Wilson, Rick Griffin, Gilbert Shelton and Victor Moscoso. They put it to a vote and Robert got outvoted, undeterred, Robert decided he was gonna start another magazine featuring new up and comers, as well as the old masters of the underground comics called “Weirdo”. In fact most of the “Zap” crew would contribute to “Weirdo”.

“The whole idea for “Weirdo” magazine came to me in a flash in the fall of 1980. I was performing my daily meditation exercise one day when the vision of this kooky, screwball magazine erupted in all its tacky, low-life, dumb-ass essence, a style-mix of the old 1940’s and 1950’s girlie-and-cartoon ‘joke books,’ Harvey Kurtzman’s early MAD and Humbug, their sleazy imitator, and the self published ‘punk zines’ of the period. I got very excited. I became obsessed,” Crumb wrote.

Spain’s (from “Zap”) contribution among others in the 2nd issue of “Weirdo”
Robert Williams (from “Zap”) contribution to issue 7.
Crumb would reprint ads from the old men’s magazines. This being one of them in issue 2.

Crumb took his idea to Ron “Baba” Turner of “Last Gasp Eco Funny Comix” who’d published both Crumb and his wife before. Ron said Crumb had a deal if Crumb did the covers and had artwork in each issue which Crumb agreed to. Crumb’s covers mimicked the old “Humbug” and “MAD” magazine covers with small illustrations populating the borders. Crumb also had a lively letter section, most of the letters coming from artists who would go on to do more things in the future, people like Craig Yoe, etc., future filmmaker Terry Zwigoff, who would go on to do the “Crumb” documentary, “Ghost World”, “Bad Santa” etc. who was friends with the Crumbs took photos for the infamous fumettis for “Weirdo” hosted a love and relationship advice column that was humorous in the letters section.

Crumb was inspired by the “photo funnies” from the men’s magazines of the 1940’s and 1950’s, magazines like “Titter” and “Wink” not to mention the ones Kurtzman made for “Humbug”. 

Where Crumb got inspiration for the “photo funnies”. He featured this in issue 7.

The Italian magazines called them “fumetti” and they were really popular in Mexico but called “Fotonovelas”. Crumb put his own fetish like spin on it, his fumettis normally featured women with muscular legs and big asses, sometimes Crumb took the photos himself and sometimes he employed outside photographers but didn’t like how they turned out. Zwigoff was one who did some of the photography. These were widely unpopular with the “Weirdo” readership who wanted more comics, in fact, they were widely panned through out the letter’s section. Crumb didn’t care, until almost the end of his editorship he kept on featuring them, personally I think they added something different to an otherwise straight comic magazine, also some of the chicks Crumb picked are pretty hot.


Crumb also featured comics from people who weren’t practicing artists, people like prisoners, the insane and amateurs if he found the content interesting. One prisoner sent Crumb comics from his experiences in prison and Crumb put them in the magazine. Macedonio was a cartoonist who went to prison for assault. His work featured in issue 5.

Not to mention he put on the back cover of an issue a rambling, paranoid schizo screed from Francis E Dec, Dec was a disbarred lawyer who warned about the “Communist Computer God” he thought the CIA was always after him. Dec would send his ranting to random people whose addresses he found in the phone book and he would send them to heads of companies and the government. Crumb published this stuff along with the address to Dec’s house to get even more rants.

Francis Dec’s rant on the back of issue 8.

He would also re publish found pieces, 1950’s era post cards from a backwoods artist named Norman Pettingill whose cartoons featured insanity in numerous backwoods settings, forests, rough and tumble bars etc. He also reprinted cartoons from 1940’s-50’s era specialty magazines.

Norman Pettingill, Backwoods artist, retro post cards featured in issue 2.
Norman Pettingill post card from issue 2.
Reprints from the 1940’s jazz magazine “Record Collector” cartoons by future animator Gene Deitch, from issue 3.
Old humorist pieces from different eras, re-published in issue 5.
A re printing from the African American magazine “Hep” from the 1950’s in issue 6.

And comics from such obscure places as self published underground black newspapers. “A xerox of a xerox” from an elderly black man by the name of Eugene Teal that featured frogs in various, strange situations. Nobody else outside of Crumb would republish stuff so raw and illiterate. Stuff like this is what made Crumb’s editorship one of the best.

Eugene Teal’s “Frog funnies” from issue 3

B.N. Duncan headed “Teletimes” where he published poems, writings and drawings from the down and out and homeless of the Berkley area. Through him Crumb found some of the material that would be featured in “Weirdo”.

BN Duncan’s controversial comic in issue 1.

He featured work from the nutso, underground satire religion “Church of the Sub Genius” (Anybody want SLACK?! PRAISE BOB) whose messiah is con artist, insane, pipe smoking, salesman named J.R. “Bob Dobbs”. Some call them a cult and I agree because I know first hand. I am part of it, and so should you. WE ACCEPT HIM WE ACCEPT ONE OF US ONE OF US. FROP FOR ALL.

Church of the Sub Genius “religious” tract from issue 1.
Article on the Church of Sub Genius “Devival Meeting” by underground cartoonist Jay Kinney who is a fellow cult member. From issue 4.

“Weirdo” also lampooned and made fun of the then current pop culture of the time. Various artists attacked sacred cows like traditional Sunday comic strips, famous ads of the time and so called “good causes” that sent some people in a tizzy over in the letters section. Not only that, gender, sex, age, race etc. would be lampooned, again people in the letters section would get in a tizzy and if a lot of this stuff was published these days, the artist and the publisher would get “cancelled” and have their personal lives destroyed. But “Weirdo” was published when people could take a joke and realize what satire was.

Crumb’s back cover on issue 1 mocking the Calvin Klein Jeans ads of the day featuring a young Brooke Shields.
Ace Backwards comic strip mocking traditional Sunday strips.
Future “Ren and Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi’s comic mocking “The Flintstones” made while working at Hanna Barbera, which he posted all around the office getting it yanked down. Bill Wray inked it and fellow cartoonist Jeff John sent it to “Weirdo”. Issue 9.
Tom Bertino’s comic satirizing racist stereotypes and attitudes. Tom Bertino went on to do animation and special effects for “Back to the Future” and “Terminator” among other things. He is one of the head guys at Industrial Light and Magic. This strip got a lot of hate letters from people who didn’t understand the satire, Crumb told them to fuck off. From issue 4.

Causing more controversy Crumb put insane/genius Stanislav Szukalski master sculptor and painter who also had a theory called “Zermatism”, he believed all communists, fascists, bullies, criminals and thugs are descended from yetis who raped humans after the Great Global Flood. He wrote thousands of pages on his theory and sculpted and painted based on it, of course, the problem was some of Szukalski’s theories lead to obvious racist ends. Crumb didn’t care about that, if a person was crazy and different enough their work got published in “Weirdo”. As well as pieces by Oisif Egaux “explaining” sexuality and control in a scattershot way.

Stanislav’s “Zermatism” biological theory in Weirdo issue 1.
Oisif Equax’s “essay” on sexuality and societal control. Issue 5.

During Crumb’s tenure the underground “Mini Comix” movement was alive and well and were appearing everywhere, Crumb promoted these in his magazine.

As well as promoting work from his street dwelling, slightly crazy younger brother Max.

Crumb’s brother Max’s gallery in issue 3.

The magazine featured a lot of artists that would go on to do bigger things, like John K. of “Ren and Stimpy” fame, Drew Friedman, Kaz (who went on to work for “Sponge Bob Square Pants), Daniel Clowes etc.

Jeff John, later animation supervisor at Hanna Barbera and future editor and chief of Guns n’ Ammo magazine. Weirdo issue 6.
Kaz, who went on to do his own weekly strip “Underworld” and then went on to work on “Sponge Bob Squarepants”.
Drew Friedman who has done numerous portraits and strips of older movie stars, TV stars and musicians.
Ace Backwards one pager. Issue 4.
From underground cartoonist Robert Armstrong’s sketchbook, issue 4.
Dori Seda’s first contribution to underground comics. “Bloods in Space” about gang bangers in outer space.
John Holmstrom of “Punk” magazine, Peter Bagge (who becomes the future editor of “Weirdo” and JD King (future famous illustrator) issue 3.
Elinore Norflus’ “Helen Hippo, the Trippy Hippy” Norflus got a lot of grief in the letters section for her artwork which was really rough but story wise she had it. Crumb would publish stuff like this all the time. From issue 7.

Apparently, any artist who appeared in “Weirdo” got 50 bucks a page. However, according to Crumb getting those checks was like squeezing water from a stone. Crumb claimed that he had to stand over publisher Ron Turner’s back to make sure Ron made out those checks and he claimed Ron would drag his feet, get distracted, order lunch and do other things. Robert would badger Ron until he got all those checks for the artist. However, Ron claims that it wasn’t that easy, that the names, Social Security numbers for tax purposes and other things had to be hashed out before a check was written and sent out. Whatever the case Robert got burned out in 1983 on being a editor for “Weirdo”, he was sick of dealing with artist’s and reader’s complaints and just wanted to draw. So he passed the torch to Peter Bagge of “Hate” and “Comical Funnies” fame, after submitting stuff Crumb straight up asked him if he wanted to take over “Weirdo”. At first Bagge didn’t think he was serious, but Robert insisted. Bagge was moving from New York to Seattle because his wife was co owning a deli business with her sister whose husband was a Seattle Seahawks football player. Peter Bagge was more punk rock, New York, than Crumb who was ex hippie and more into pre 1940’s music and from laid back Berkley. Bagge was considered the “smart ass” and brought along his smart ass friends from New York and Seattle to help put material in “Weirdo”. Starting with issue 10 Bagge came on ragin’. “Weirdo” was in good hands.

A zine from kids living in Dallas, Texas in the early 1930’s found my artist Mark Newgarden. Published in Issue 10.
Ed “Big Daddy” Roth gallery in issue 11.
More Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. Issue 11.
Ray Pettibon gallery. Issue 13.
Robert Williams painting gallery. Issue 13.
Illustrations of musical instruments from Arne. In Issue 13

There was also an “Ugly Madonna” art contest and as well as a “Ugly Art” contest where people submitted their ugliest art. A lot of the contributions came from future famous cartoonists and animators as well as underground cartoonists.

Ugly Madonna contest winners and runner ups. From issue 13.
Winners of the “Ugly Art” Contest. Issue 15.

As per his agreement with the publisher, Last Gasp, Crumb continued to do covers and comics, even though he wasn’t a editor. Some of his best work was during Bagge’s tenure as editor in my opinion.

Crumb does his comic version of “Pyschopathia Sexualis” by Kraft Ebbing. Issue 13.
Another page from Crumb’s interpretation of Kraft-Ebbing’s fetish classic. Issue 13.
Crumb does Philip K. Dick’s “religious revelation” in issue 17, some of his best work in my opinion.

Bagge’s tenure also brought about more biographical pieces, like Bagge’s experience as a kid dealing with an actual “Weirdo”. He also encouraged other cartoonists and letter writers to submit their experiences on dealing with actual rejects and they all complied. Another example is Bruce Carleton’s (Bruce did work for “Punk” and “Screw” magazine) illustrated diary of being in the Malay archipelago and his sexscapades.

Editor Bagge’s “The Reject” on his experiences dealing with a actual reject as a kid in school. Issue 10.
B. Carleton’s sexual journal of his stay in Malay. Issue 11.
B. Carleton’s sexual journal of his stay in Malay. (That rhymed!) Issue 11.


Various work got featured during Bagge’s tenure from his fellow School of Visual Arts peers. SVA had as teachers Will Eisner (The Spirit), Harvey Kurtzman (as mentioned “Humbug” and “Mad” magazine), and Art Spiegelman (of “Maus”, “RAW magazine” and “Garbage Pail Kids” fame, more about him later). As well as artist Rory Hayes whom artist Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead) does a introduction for. There is something wrong with Rory’s comics, the man is deeply disturbed but he is also a genius, Rory died at 34 years old from a drug overdose when Crumb  published him in “Snatch Comics”, Janis Joplin (yes that one) came over and read Crumb the riot act Crumb wrote “She said “Look, I have to talk to you this is serious, you know I think you guys are making a big mistake putting this Rory Hayes guy in your comics. The rest of you guys are doing this kind of funny stuff about sex and all that, but this guy is just sick, he’s a psycho.” Some of the “Zap” crew returns, mainly Spain and S. Clay Wilson with his “Checkered Demon” character, Wilson’s “Checkered Demon” would drive this easily offended generation into the nuthouse.

Rory Hayes with an introduction comic by Bill Griffith, from issue 12.
J.D. King mocks perennial drunk, murdering senator Teddy “Chappy” Kennedy on the back of issue 14.
Mark Zingarelli in issue 16 Mark was a real prolific contributor to “Weirdo” during Bagge’s tenure.
Robert and Aline (The Bunch) Crumb’s collaboration, one of many they do throughout “Weirdo”s run.
Contribution from Kim Deitch, son of Gene who did cartoon work in the “Record Collector” which I posted. Issue 16.
Dennis Worden’s dirty and hilarious comic from issue 16.
S. Clay Wilson’s “Checkered Demon” makes one of his numerous reappearances in issue 17.

Bagge also being tight with the “Punk Magazine” crew republished some stuff from the than defunct magazine in “Weirdo”, again I love this reprinted material. It was one of the more interesting features of “Weirdo” exposing people to something they hadn’t read or seen yet.

Spread from John Holmstrom’s “Punk Magazine” from issue 16.

Bagge started getting “Weirdo” burn out like Crumb (he put “Weirdo” together on his kitchen table and would drive down to Berkley!) he got burned out dealing with pissy artists and apparently Ron Turner, the publisher didn’t think too much of Bagge. Bagge was wanting to just do his own art and wanted to do his own “Hate Comix” and “Neat Comix”. The reins went over to “The Bunch”, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Robert’s wife who have previously got worked published in “Wimmen Comix”, “Power Pak”, “Twisted Sisters” etc. among other publications. She came on board on issue 18 in 1987. She was called “The Bunch” because Crumb had a a fussy, female character drawn like his future wife called “The Bunch” people called her that and it stuck. From the beginning of the magazine, the Crumb’s daughter, Sophie, had been born and living. Some of her art is in these issues, Aline’s issues lean more towards the biographical end of things, and depending on the story they can be interesting, hilarious or boring. Aline also brought to light more female artists, however, there was less found items and less galleries which were high lights for me. Aline’s run is my least favorite, it isn’t bad, I just like Crumb and Bagge’s insane editorship, Aline’s is more “professional” well, as professional as you can get editing a magazine like “Weirdo”. Bagge did a guest editorship on issue 25 while Aline had a holiday in France.

Justin Green does a autobiographical piece with illustrations. The autobiographical bent would be more prominent throughout the Bunch’s editorship. From issue 18.
Terry Zwigoff’s story on the Valmor company, a company that marketed products to black people. Terry talks of his obsession of collecting as much ads and labels from the defunct company as he can. Issue 18.
Robert Armstrong’s “Mickey Rat” character makes an appearance in issue 21.
A memorial for Dori Seda, who had done work for “Weirdo”, dying of complications of pneumonia and black lung. Harvey Pekar of “American Splendor” does a column, while I am a fan of Pekar, his column is a little up its ass and takes itself too seriously. Insisting comics shouldn’t be escapist and address serious matters. Issue 22.
Lisa Lee, a friend of Aline who she met in her aerobics class, reviews zines. Zines were a huge part of the 1980’s to 1990’s underground culture. Issue 23.
One of many of Ted Jouflas’ contributions to “Weirdo”. Issue 23.
Bill Griffith appears in issue 24, talking about his struggle of straddling the “straight” world of Sunday funnies with his “Zippy the Pin Head” strip and the “underground” comics world.
Robert Crumb’s parody of the then famous “Omaha The Cat Dancer” a comic Crumb admired. From issue 24.
A compilation illustration of different artists who did work for “Weirdo”. Colin Turner, son of publisher Ron, said George and Leonardo DiCaprio (yes that one) were over for Thanksgiving. Him and Leo being bored added their own strange contributions at the bottom of the illustration. From issue 24.
Bagge’s guest issue, him and Daniel Clowes of “Eight Ball”, “Ghost World” among others fame do a collaboration. Bagge writes and Clowes illustrates. Issue 25.

With issue 27 the Crumb’s were ready to hang it up, Aline wanted to really move to France. Winters, CA was getting over run with Mc Mansions, and Aline didn’t like her daughter using words like “duh” and they said “the Christian right were taking over the country” so they moved to France. They had a lot of money and bought a chateau Ron Turner was going to reprint all of the “Weirdo” issues and wanted the Crumb’s to do one more to promote the reprints. They obliged with the last issue, 28. The issue was an “International Issue” and the title was in French “Verre D’eau” which means “glass of water” they called it that because “Weirdo” phonetically to the french sounds close to “Verre D’eau”. On the cover was just as a lone glass of water. In my opinion “Weirdo” goes out not with a bang but a whimper. In my opinion this was the weakest issue, its still good and features art from not only America but Europe too. However, my problems aren’t with the art, its the message, when it comes to politics or religion I don’t like to be preached at. I admire when people can get their point across in a intelligent and original manner, even if I disagree with their point of view. Convince me, don’t yell in my face and yell in my face this issue does. I am not going to tell you where I line up politically, this blog isn’t about that and it is nobody’s business, hell, I might even agree with everything politically in this issue but think the execution is bad. Too much of this in the issue.

Charles Burns and Art Spiegelman do back page art for “Weirdo” which was really “weird” since Art and Robert had a friendly rivalry going. Art’s “Raw” was more artistic and European, “Weirdo” was more gutter and lower level American. In fact, Art said he thought “Weirdo” was trash. Apparently he thought Robert’s idea of releasing a phone book size “Weirdo” and publishing every submission he got was an interesting and new idea and thought he should’ve gone in that direction. From issue 27.
Spain’s contribution to the last issue, while Spain’s socialist criticisms of society in his previous comics were smart and didn’t hit you over the head. This time he used the hammer and I just rolled my eyes. Issue 28.

In the last issue there was a lot of controversy, especially with Crumb’s parodies of racist and anti-Semitic views and attitudes. Again he used satire to expose this but for a lot of stupid people it flew over their heads. In fact, a white nationalist zine called “Race and Reality” republished the two comics thinking them serious which shows how far it flew over their heads, that shouldn’t surprise anybody, any person who goose steps, wears a brown uniform and lives in their mother’s basement with no job isn’t too smart of a person. Art Spiegelman pointed out to Crumb how satire can be misinterpreted and he shouldn’t have ever published the comics. Crumb dismissed this and said it wasn’t his responsibility if some idiots took satire seriously and I agree, if everybody went around worried that some idiot was gonna take their creative work out of context and get some bad influence out of it nothing would be created. In my mind, that line of reasoning can be used to censor works and is a dangerous line of thinking, Spiegelman, a life long artist himself should know better. So Trigger Warning, if you get offended scroll down the page, kids this is what we call “SATIRE” its meant to shed light on something that is very dark in a humorous or over the top way, you’ve been warned.

A satire on racist attitudes. From issue 28.
A satire of anti-Semitic attitudes. Issue 28.

If you end up being convinced you need to dive into the cesspool that is “Weirdo” and come up smelling like shit, you should get the recently released “The Book of Weirdo” by Jon B. Cooke, Drew Friedman does the cover, the book goes into way more detail than I did in this post, the guy searches every nook and cranny of the “Weirdo” universe and anybody even tangentially connected to the magazine. Released by Last Gasp and highly recommended. So many artists were showcased in “Weirdo” that I left out, Savage Pencil, R.L. Crabb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Carel Moiseiwitsch etc. If you want a good picture of the underground culture of the 1980’s and early 1990’s there is no better place to look than “Weirdo”.

“The Book of Weirdo” by Jon B. Cooke released by Last Gasp. Cover by Drew Friedman.

So where do you become a “Weirdo”? Well, try looking on ebay or amazon, cheap physical copies are still available. I am one of those old crusty guys that prefers the physical copy but if your one of these young whippersnappers that like to see things on these new fangled thingamajigs you can go here:

And I highly recommend the book “The Book of Weirdo” after you peruse or read all the issues, it goes more in depth than I ever could. The book is very comprehensive and every person having anything to do with “Weirdo” is interviewed. Get it here:

Get Weird.





White Noise on Paper: All Rise for “The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories” by Nicholas Gurewitch

Don’t let the bright candy colors of the cover fool you, this is no ordinary “children’s book”, in fact, its not a children’s book at all. Bored and browsing through a mainstream book store where my then girlfriend was looking in the boring Harlequin Romance novel section, my eyes fell on this. At first I thought it was a kid’s book until I opened it, my boredom melted away like Rainbow Sherbet in a hot summer sun. I was laughing so hard I was annoying other customers. I promptly went and bought it. My then girlfriend thought it was disgusting and that is why she is now my ex.

Its as if some maniac played too much “Candy Land”, read too much Frank Baum books, and watched too many episodes of South Park and then decided to make a comic strip. I love this book, it was unique in that it was almost presented as a children’s comic collection but the humor was messed up, and stomach churning in some cases.

The creator, Nicholas Gurewitch, was art director of the Syracuse student paper “The Daily Orange” and first published the strip, “Perry Bible Fellowship” there in 2001. Since then different publications have picked the strip up. The art work can vary from strip to strip which makes the whole thing interesting. The whole book is full of snickers and/or outright belly laughs. Most of the strips in “The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and other Stories” are taken from previously published work. Man oh man where does Nick come up with this stuff?

According to Nick, “Perry Bible Fellowship” is actually named after a real church in Perry, Maine. A lot of the humor is abstract and non sequitur if this annoys you then you might want to avoid this book. Scratch that, if that annoys you why are you reading my blog? Fuck right off. HA! HA! This is something that puts a smile on my face if I am in a bad mood. I am so glad something like this exists, if it didn’t I hope me or somebody else would’ve done it as good as Nick does it.

Nick still till this day updates “The Perry Bible Fellowship” web site, less frequent than he used to do. I am glad he is keeping this going and hasn’t given up on it, the world needs this now more than ever. There is a lot of humorless twats walking around today, maybe they need a unicorn horn thrust through their chests…A unicorn horn of HUMOR.

This insane candy colored, ridiculous, off the wall world needs to be explored more. There is another book out there “The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack” with more comics, probably out of print and a lot of money. I am glad I bought this when it came out, a lot of the books I like become worth big bucks. I hate when I miss out on something cool the first time around, the price gets insanely jacked up.

So where does one go to have Perry Bible Fellowship study? First you can go to Nick’s site which he still updates infrequently,

Cheap copies can still be found used on amazon, get them while you still can:

And AMEN!!!!