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Monday, October 6, 2014

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers NSFW

The other big Underground Comix artist besides R. Crumb of the late 60's and early 70's was Gilbert Shelton, the creator of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #2, 1972
In the late 60's the baby boomers were coming of age and they were bringing the comics that they loved with them. While the newspaper strips and comic books had been very tame, even inane at times, the Underground Comix creators took the same esthetic and reinvented them as hippies with their free love, drugs and rock and roll. Of all the Underground Comix artists, Gilbert Shelton has been the best at showing the hippie life style in all it’s depraved glory. The Underground Comix were risqué, ribald, raunchy, and anything but for the faint of heart, the perfect thing for the new hip, hippie generation.
In this episode of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers we get to see the kind of lifestyle they were living with plentiful drugs and rich party life.


In an interview Gilbert Shelton said, "I was more influenced by newspaper comics like Pogo Possum and Dick Tracy and Little Abner. I saw that these weekly, left wing newspapers were awfully dull and I thought, “What they need is comic strips.”

Here we can see his comic influences in the children who visit Fat Freddy Santa, characters like Charley Brown, Nancy, Dennis the Menace, and a student of Miss Peach.
Gilbert actually started his own publishing company, Rip Off Press with some friends of his. He talks about it in an interview, "I thought maybe I could get a job in San Francisco doing rock and roll posters like Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Alton Kelley, I thought I would go out for a couple a weeks and get a vacation from the Texas summer heat. I just stayed out there. It was fun at the time. Quickly I discovered that I wasn’t going to make it as a poster artist and so I started my own publishing company with some friends. We published posters for a while until we discovered that posters had to be nicely printed and none of us knew how to run the printing press very well. But comic books didn’t need to be well printed."

Rip Off Press founders Fred Todd, Gilbert Shelton, Jack Jackson, Jackson's girlfriend Beatrice Bonini, and Dave Moriarty

Check out a classic Freak Brothers comic from Rip Off Press ink, Underground Classics #1 (Freak Brothers #0), "Fat Freddy gets the Clap".




Gilbert Shelton's fabulous Furry Freak Brothers spoke to a generation of alienated youth who had 'dropped out' of mainstream American culture and were living in places like San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury smoking pot and dropping acid. He spoke for the hippie generation and inspired many generations to come.

If you liked this check out the Interview with Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb

In 2006, the company Grass Roots Films began production on a feature-length clay-animation film based on the series, called Grass Roots. In 2013 work on the film had stopped and conversion of the script to a musical had started.


 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these. They brought back a lot of memories. ROP needs to reprint all of the issues (please).

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