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Hysteria in Remission: Comix and Drawings by Robert Williams

Overview

Legendary imagist painter Robert Williams sprang from the custom car culture of Southern California and the roots of the Underground Comix movement. Though known today as one of the world's most iconoclastic fine artists, Williams is also, of course, first and foremost a cartoonist. As one of the original ZAP artists, along with R. Crumb, Williams eventually transcended the world of comics by cultivating his mastery of oil paints and forging a career as the preeminent artist among a generation of imagist painters...
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Overview

Legendary imagist painter Robert Williams sprang from the custom car culture of Southern California and the roots of the Underground Comix movement. Though known today as one of the world's most iconoclastic fine artists, Williams is also, of course, first and foremost a cartoonist. As one of the original ZAP artists, along with R. Crumb, Williams eventually transcended the world of comics by cultivating his mastery of oil paints and forging a career as the preeminent artist among a generation of imagist painters gathering inspiration from the shadowed corners of contemporary culture. Williams singlehandedly became the model of the "Outsider" art movement, influencing a generation of artists to create without concern for the fine art world, held in contempt by Williams (a feeling which had been reciprocated in kind for years by the established fine art community, although Williams' sheer mastery of his craft has caused a grudging retreat—Williams paintings now command tens of thousands of dollars each in the gallery scene and the artist has a long waiting list of potential buyers).

Included in this deluxe collection are all of Williams' contributions to such legendary underground anthologies as ZAP, Snatch, Arcade, Cocaine Comix, and more (much of which has been out of print for over 25 years). Also, the book will feature scores of never-before-published work, including the never-before-seen, full-color storyboards for a proposed, animated ZAP movie, along with numerous cartoons from Williams' early years at L.A. City College. Plus, the seminal Coochy Cooty Men's Comics, dozens of examples of hot rod art done for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's studio, and the rare, two-color strip "Yama Yama."

Hysteria In Remission is a perfect and comprehensive complement to Williams' Malicious Resplendence, finally collecting all of Williams comix art and illustration work in one place, as his previous book did for his paintings to great acclaim. The book features two introductions, one by abulous Furry Freak Brothers creator and fellow ZAP cohort Gilbert Shelton, and the other by Williams himself. contextualizing his comix work within his better-know career as a painter. Black-and-white illustrations with over 30 pages in full-color.

Author Biography: Robert Williams, represented by the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York City, has a waiting list numbering in the hundreds of art patrons waiting to buy his latest masterpiece. He lives in North Hollywood, CA, with his wife, Suzanne.

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Editorial Reviews

Walter Hopps
[A] lucid and lyrical, violent and apocalyptic windshield to view the chaotic landscape of our culture...
Publishers Weekly
This blast from the past still has the power to disturb and impress. Before he became popular as an imagist artist, Williams was one of a seminal crew of cartoonists in the 1960s and '70s who created underground "comix." This new genre was a reaction against mainstream comic books, long neutered of challenging material by the Comics Code Authority, a mid-1950s comics industry oversight body established to prevent Congress from regulating the content of kids' comic books. Besides demonstrating that comics can and should deal with serious subjects like sex and drugs, comix experimented with the design of comic book pages and the limits of linear storytelling. However, their primary emphasis was on grossing out inhibited readers and thus liberating their imaginations. Williams knew he didn't fit in with the abstract expressionists of the "fine art" gallery world. But when he saw a copy of the underground Zap Comix in 1967, he knew he'd found a creative home. This collection begins with samples of Williams's college cartoons and early illustrations for karate and custom car magazines, but most of the art is from the pages of Zap, Snatch, Dr. Wirtham's Comics & Stories and other counterculture publications. Williams is an excellent draftsman with a stunning mastery of technique, though his subject matter can be monotonous as he searches for new outrages to depict. And if these images don't seem relevant today, consider a four-page depiction of outrageously escalating brutality that concludes, "Violence Is Always Right If You're The Winner!" (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560974659
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Edition description: Graphic Novel
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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