Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix

Overview

The impact of American underground comix is profound: They galvanized artists both domestically and abroad; they forever changed the economics of comic book publishing; and they influenced generations of cartoonists, including their predecessors. While the works of Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman are well-known via the New Yorker, Maus, and retrospective collections, the art of their contemporaries such as Gilbert Shelton, Trina Robbins, Justin Green, Kim Deitch, S. Clay Wilson, and many other seminal cartoonists...

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Overview

The impact of American underground comix is profound: They galvanized artists both domestically and abroad; they forever changed the economics of comic book publishing; and they influenced generations of cartoonists, including their predecessors. While the works of Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman are well-known via the New Yorker, Maus, and retrospective collections, the art of their contemporaries such as Gilbert Shelton, Trina Robbins, Justin Green, Kim Deitch, S. Clay Wilson, and many other seminal cartoonists who came of age in the 1960s is considerably less known.

Underground Classics provides the first serious survey of underground comix as art, turning the spotlight on these influential and largely underappreciated artists. Essays from curators James Danky and Denis Kitchen, alongside essays by Paul Buhle, Patrick Rosenkranz, Jay Lynch, and Trina Robbins, offer a thorough reflection and appraisal of the underground movement. Over 125 original drawings, paintings, sculptures, and artifacts are featured, loaned from private collections and the artists themselves, making Underground Classics indispensible for the seriousminded comics fan and for the casual reader alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Steven Heller
I was happy to be reintroduced to Dope Comix; Spain Rodriguez's Trashman, one of my favorite antiheroes of the day; and Gilbert Shelton's "Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers" (the Abbott and Costello of the dope generation) and "Billy Graham Reaches the Dope Mystics"…This is not (as the title suggests) the definitive collection of all their classics, but it is a satisfying representation of some of their greatest hits.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810905986
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Edition description: Co-edition with Chazen Museum of Art
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James Danky is the author of books on topics as varied as African-American newspapers and women's publications. He is on the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Denis Kitchen, cartoonist, writer, editor, publisher, and entrepreneur, was present at the birth of the underground comics movement. Kitchen has worked with every important artist active in producing underground comix.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Jay Lynch Lynch, Jay 13

Underground Classics James Danky Danky, James Denis Kitchen Kitchen, Denis 17

The Limited Legacy of Underground Comix Patrick Rosenkranz Rosenkranz, Patrick 23

Wimmen's Studies Trina Robbins Robbins, Trina 31

The Undergrounds Paul Buhle Buhle, Paul 35

The Plates 46

Listing of All Works in the Exhibition 138

Index 142

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