Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Leningrad Cowboys are the Greatest Hair Band of All time

In case you were getting bored, I thought you might like this Finnish Rock Band calling themselves the Leningrad Cowboys. They often perform in concert with the Russian Federation Red Army Choir doing back up vocals and various instrutments. I am going to try to post a video of the Leningrad Cowboys with the world famous Red Army Choir and some B 52's look alike go go dancers doing Sweet Home Alabama to a crowd of thousands. Check it out, they are fab, use more hair gel than all the Do Wop Groups of the 1950s combined and are just plain more fun than the Obama Administration, something that is missing in music today, fun that is (not the current Adminstration) as in humor, side splitting, gut bustin' laughter, joy and whatever else liberates the soul of Man. There is a possibility that this will not actually work on the blog here. So in case that be the situation, go to www.youtube.com and search for the Leningrad Cowboys doing Sweet Home Alabama with the Red Army Choir and then turn it UP!!!!! This is the greatest Hair Band of All Time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Brush and the Influence of Robert Crumb Deleted

King AdBeck said...

Wait a minute! What happened to that post about Robert Williams' brushwork? Did I hallucinate that?

I had a dream or should I say, I could not sleep the night I posted the whole thing about the brush. When my conscience bothers me that much, I try to adjust everything as fast as possible. I just had no peace after posting it. But I am glad you got to read it. Robert W. Cox
April 21, 2009 12:09 PM

R.Crumb, I noticed has since, the time of our last encounter, circa 1988, has returned to the Pen. His brief period using the brush was brilliant but probably inconvenient to say the least, I dont know that for a fact but....... With the brush and India Ink, one must be careful to wash the brush after each use, as India Ink has shellac in it, causing everything to harden pretty fast. Hence, your tech pens would get permanently clogged using India ink, they say do not use india ink actually but when you use it with a brush or crow quill nib, you must be sure to use soap and water to clean the hairs and water to clean pen points after each use or kiss that brush/nib good bye. And since Crumb's pen and inks sell for around $4000 plus a piece well, if it aint broke dont fix it.
Anyway, he did emulate my brush style in 1984 in order to satire it for a fabulous piece he printed in Zap 10# 1984. We spoke a few times on the phone from 1985 till 1988, he gave me permission to reprint his satire of my comics in sequel in the Safe Comix, published by Graphic graphix in 1988. He only asked for $25 bucks a page as I re call. I asked him if he had a copy of His Sketch Book in comic book form and he sent me a personalized signed copy with in three days. (Amazing, thank you Robert) This was after I left Chicago (Cornerstone Magazine) and before Robert and his wonderful, brilliant wife Aline, moved to France.
If you get to revisit Crumb's movie, you will see them packing up their house in Northern California. A person could actually call R. Crumb on the phone at his home there by looking it up in the local phone book. I know, because that is how I called him up for an interview for Cornerstone Magazine that never got printed. I had to barter with that Robert Crumb Interview tape to buy time for my family with the editor in 1985. She took the taped interview and never published it. I got a safe haven till June of 1986 but never was allowed to publish anything of importance at JPUSA again. I was extremely marginalized after that whole incident with Crumb. The funny thing was, that while interviewing R. Crumb, he just all of sudden came out and said to me that my days at JPUSA/Cornerstone were numbered. He told me the die had been cast and I would be moving on soon. I was rather stunned by his prophesy about my future at the time. And probably more shocked when it all came true with in the same year. I did take my copyrights with me and last Fall finally created the Graphic Novel RESISTANCE: The Life Of Dietrich Bonhoeffer published by Bootleg Comix.
If there was one thing I learned and took with me from Skip Williamson. Jay Lynch, Robert Crumb and the entire Underground Comic scene it was, that my work was mine, and my copyrights of everything I do, belong to me, regardless. Thank you Robert, for challenging me that day back in 1985, I finally did my art for the sake of just doing it. Oh yeah and if you don't wash your brushes out, they don't work too good, I finally gave up the Brush and went back to the Pencil in 1989 and did some of my best work with Pencil Lead, my fingers and an Offset Heidelburg Kord One Color Press

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bijou Funnies #1with 'Nard n Pat Cover by Jay Lynch

Well if we are going to do #2 Bijou, then it is only fitting to do the original #1 with Jay Lynch's Nard and Pat cover. We found this one at Comix Bazaar.com on sale for $129.95. Jay told last year that some Bijous in perfect condition are as high as $800. Rather amazing for a 50 cent comic book. I think I had an original copy, but dont recall what happened to it. Or maybe I was just hanging around when it came out but never bought one? I don't remember if I had one or not but I do remember the excitement we all shared at the time of it's publication.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bijou Funnies with Snappy Sammy Smoot Cover by Skip Williamson

Well, now here is a Classic, Bijou Funnies #2 with Skip Williamson's Snappy Sammy Smoot cover. We found it online for only $19.95 at Comix Bazaar.com. Bijou Funnies was a Jay Lynch and Skip Williamson combined effort that Jay published under the name of Bijou Publishing Empire. Skip and Jay had been getting published by a number of smaller offbeat publications as well as Harvey Kurtzman's Help Magazine. When Help folded the two just decided to go for it. The comic was published out of Chicago, and featured Jay Lynch, Skip Williamson, R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Jay Kinney, and Dave Herring in 1968. Skip did the second issue cover with Snappy Sammy Smoot.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Air Pirates and Rebel Dog Comics

King Adbeck of Rebel Dog comics sent me an email about the Underground Comix scene today. I will post some of it here to start the dialog. Anyone with insight or first hand knowledge is invited to speak out on the subject going forward. Here goes.........

I actually did see that post about Jay and the Ramones, but what really occurred to me was how little is known about a lot of the underground work of the era. I mean, most people know Crumb and have maybe some sort of passing acquaintance with some other names like Spain Rodriguez or Vaughn Bode, but the majority of the whole 'comix' scene has gone largely unrecognized and uncelebrated. A lot of this work, by its very nature, has never been reprinted or seen any kind of large-scale distribution and most of these young cats don't have a freakin' clue. I'm no slouch when it comes to comics and consider myself an avid student of its history, but I'll admit to not knowing too terribly much about the underground scene. Like, Skip Williamson is a name not unknown to me, but I couldn't necessarily point to anything specific. The internet offers the possibility of rectifying that. I was always keen to see a copy of like, say, Air Pirates Funnies, but those kind of things will probably never see the light of day again. Obviously.
My real point, if indeed I have one, is that as someone who was there and directly involved, you're in a great position to give some insight to all of us young turks about what went down. And maybe champion the cause and reacquaint people with names they should know. So I hope you will keep posting and remember that there are a bunch of folks out there that are genuinely interested - though they may have a hard time finding you. What may seem like old news to you is probably all-new territory to a whole new generation of cartoonists and upstarts.

Well, here is where the rubber meets the road, as they say, and yes I was there, and yes I have this blog and yes I will keep on posting but there will need to be others willing to speak their minds on the subject who were either doing it themselves or knew those doing it personally or something because my connection was in Chicago with Skip Williamson and Jay Lynch. I met several artists that came through Chicago at the Chicago Comic Con or I met them at Skip's apartment on the North Side. So for the West Coast School we will need some help. I met Denis Kitchen of Kitchen Sink Press out of Wisconsin at the Conrad Hilton version of the Chicago Comic Con as well as Will Eisner but I was never formally introduced. Denis was there in the Dealer's room selling Kitchen Sink and a whole host of Underground Comix even after the bubble had burst. Denis is currently doing fabulous work promoting and publishing major Artists and Books as well as handling several Artist Estates. I hope he would connect up here or start his own blog, he has so much more to say then I on more things related. But he is very busy as well. You can go to his website and follow the links to the store to make purchases at www.deniskitchen.com. R. Crumb's family has a website as well, that is another good place. I am not sure of the exact url but you could do a search and find it easy enough.
Skip Williamson has a blog called My Bitter Agenda which is in fact his autobiography that is a wealth of stories, episodes, adventures and just plain fun you can check out. There are a number of comic dealers specializing in Underground Comix, that one can access through a Google search. Some things are very expensive some works are not. I saw a number of Vaugh Bode's stuff that seemed affordable. Air Pirates (No.1 $199) are probably there. Spain Rodriguez comics are online, and anyone truly interested needs to check out Spain's work. S. Clay Wilson OMG...........I saw Robert Williams on TV last fall at some big Custom Car show on the Speed channel, they interviewed him, but never said who he really was. I am sitting on thc couch and Robert Williams (Zap Comics), comes on TV being asked what he thought of the World's Biggest Classic Car Show on Earth, I am thinking what kind of dumb question is that? Robert says "Awesome, fabulous machines" and walks off.......Duh? What was that? I am guessing, one of the producers must be a friend of Williams and says let's put Robert Williams on, famous for soft porn art in Zap Comics but we wont mention that, AND see if anyone gets it? Yeah I got it Man............you need to check out Robert Williams, it was all in brush. Throw away your art pens and get a brush and a bottle of India Ink, it will change the way you have sex.
Of course there is Art Spiegelman who actually got his "Maus" comic into the public schools in South Carolina? Probably everywhere. My daughter read it in 5th grade, she was not even born yet when we were getting every new issue of RAW magazine that had the comic Maus insert inside. RAW, brainchild of Art's wife, Francoise Mouly, was just the real Avant Garde in the 1980's America, hands down. Artists like Gary Panter and a whole host of folks that went on from there. That will have to be another post. All great seminal work, all in our Cornerstone Staff resource library that I should have taken when I left Chicago, but would never have made it out the door with, I was fortunate to be able to just take my own works out.
Ok the cows are out of the barn so let all start celebrating this uniquely American Heritage of American Art, before we die, thanks King, you know as an artist you just want someone to read your work, if they arent going to pay you, then at least read the stuff, we know they are collecting it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


From the President's Desk

After a serious layoff of posting here, I was surprised to see that some new followers have joined the Weeklies. Sorry Guy joined last month and I strongly recommend you go to his blog and read his works. I dont know if Sorry Guy has ever checked out Robert Crumb's work or not but he is following in the Crumb tradition of making excellent comics from his own life, unless of course it is all fiction made to look like a life. Either way it works. His style is as compelling as the story lines are. I think we mentioned to him that his Sorry Guy Comics are worth assassinating a few of the Witch's Trees to print in paper. Of course who these days has the discernment to spot a Spying Witch Tree anymore? Alas gone are those good ol days of real paper Underground comics. But if you have some Time on your hands go check out Sorry Guy's blog and tell him Frog sent you.

Robert W. Cox, President
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